By Robbin Laird
The US and its allies are in the midst of a strategic shift from a primary focus on counter-insurgency and stability operations to operating in a contested environment with high tempo and high-intensity combat systems as a primary tool set.
This is about managing conflict with peer-to-peer competitors. On the one hand, the military capabilities are being reshaped to operate in such an environment, and there is a clear opportunity to leverage new platforms and systems to shape a military structure more aligned with the new strategic environment. On the other hand, the civilian side of the equation needs even more significant change to get into the world of crisis management where hybrid war, multi-domain conflict and modern combat tools are used.
One aspect of the change which I observed and discussed during my visits to Finland, the United Kingdom, Australia and to MCAS Yuma is the importance of being able to do mobile basing. At the Williams Foundation Seminar in Canberra in March 2018, the 11th Air Force Commander, Lt. Gen. Kenneth Wilsbach, highlighted the nature of the challenge requiring the shift to mobile basing.
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