Author Biography

Michael G. Anderson is currently assigned to Headquarters, Department of the Army, Operations, Readiness, and Mobilization directorate. He holds a B.A. in History and Political Science International Relations from University of Central Florida and an M.A. in Military History from Norwich University. His four deployments include to the Middle East, Central and East Africa. Previous publication include the Infantry Magazine, Army Magazine, Small Wars Journal, Journal of the West, and a Combat Studies Institute Press staff ride handbook.



Subject Area Keywords

Complex operations, Irregular warfare, National security, Stability operations



The United States ground forces face divergent array of threats from a return of great power competitors and from a continuance of irregular non-state opponents and stability operations, leading the Army and Marine Corps to struggle with capability focuses. American ground forces historically swing from preparing their forces for one spectrum of conflict to the other based on immediate and perceived threats. The pendulum swing creates uncertainty and capability gaps, requiring sharp shifts when unanticipated, immediate threat emerge. A hybrid force model creates two distinct army groups within the larger Army force – allowing one to focus on conventional threats, the other on irregular war and stability operations. A compartmentalized force model divides the Army’s focus by component, with the active component focusing on the major combat operations and the reserve component focusing on irregular and stability conflict. A service-centric force solution gives the Marine Corps the sole expeditionary responsibility across the spectrum of conflict, and the Army the sustained land-based operational responsibility. The United States land forces benefit with preparedness with a specialized two army system or service divided responsibilities, positioning the United States ground forces to best protect the national interests with the best prepared forces.


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any agency of the U.S. government.