The U.S. Army must continue to customize its mission objects based on budget and force structure changes, said Todd Harvey, director of force development for the Office of Secretary of Defense.
Harvey, speaking Tuesday at the 2012 Association of the U.S. Army’s annual conference, said a defense strategy drafted in January to meet severe spending cuts over the next decade reflected DOD’s analysis of the preceding decade.
“We saw a transformation of a number of operations and activities that we had been engaged in over the past 10 years, [leading] us to believe we could begin shifting our focus to broader vistas,” he said.
“The force needs to be agile, versatile and ready to perform a range of missions,” he continued.
Harvey cited upheavels in North Africa and the Middle East as examples of the variety of conflicts the Army faces now and in the future.
This changing geopolitical landscape and the rise of asymmetric capabilities such as weapons of mass destruction and cyber issues are not entirely new, but their concurrence has potential to create particularly volatile situations for the United States, he said.
Meanwhile, he added, Middle Eastern and North African upheavals continue to provide opportunities for local radicals to establish a foothold.
“The challenges are as broad as they’ve ever been,” he said, adding that the Army will continue to seek the right balance among investments in force structure, readiness and modernization.
“We’re trying to stretch a shrinking force across as least as much mission as we’ve had to date,” he said.