Experts in military science have, for a long time, emphasized on the need for the United States to transform its military in line with new global security realities. Some of the critical opinions leveled against the United States military have centered on the fact that it is largely based on and controlled by conventional policies and practices (Blaker, 2007). In the recent past, the military methodologies and policies advanced by the United States have been more pre-emptive than responsive. For years, the United States spent substantial resources in building technological structures that would be enlisted in the conventional war scenario. The pre-emptive policies have been designed in a way that would predict and subdue the intentions and threats of the enemy (Evans, 2004). Important legislations have been passed with the aim of reforming the US military.
One of the most important legislations was the 2004 Defense Authorization Act (Czelusta, 2010). This legislation was crafted to reform the military in line with the unique challenges of the 21st century. The designers of this act argued that the inefficiencies experiences by the US military in its missions abroad were contributed by the inflexible structure that was designed in the 20th century. Bureaucratic intrigues are some of the internal obstacles that have impeded the speed of investigations and decision-making. This bill aimed at reforming the internal and external structures of the military by streamlining the civilian and military elements of the system (Rodrigues & Glebov, 2009). It might be looked at as a capacity building approach that allows the military to respond rapidly and efficiently to global terrorism while at the same time protecting the interests of the US military personnel.
The bill also authorized research activities into the methods and capabilities of the US military particularly in light of resurgent terrorism. This change was mainly occasioned by the global rise of terrorism as the choicest means at the disposal of the enemies of the United States. The new legislation recognized the fact that global terror has been enhanced by the adoption of communication technology that has enabled easy transfer of money, agents, and weapons from the source point to the target. Another policy that has been adopted by the United States is the collaborative approach. Despite the fact that the United States remains largely unequaled in terms of military prowess, techniques and expertise, the massive losses of its forces in the Iraq invasion and Afghanistan were sufficient proof that conventional warfare would not yield her military objectives.
The Obama administration has sought to adopt inclusive and cautionary support in the efforts to win the support of the International Community, which was largely lacking during the two wars. The argument has been the traditional foes who continue to pose threats to the United States have continued to change their designs of attack to circumvent the safeguards and interventionist practices of the United States. According to these critics, the United States has operated along the conventional battlefield rules that were advanced by Donald Rumsfeld and his predecessors (Sloan, 2008). The conventional military systems envisioned scenarios of open battlefield. Consequently, the technological inventions in military hardware and techniques of skill development were largely based on these frameworks. At the same time, the phenomenon of terrorism was acquiring new forms for which the United States was not used to. The circumference of terrorism was rapidly moving from the traditional Islamic militant groups to incorporate skilled agents from different nationalities, religions, and origins.
The exclusivist approaches in International relations that were advanced by the United States provoked an increased rise in anti-Americanism across the globe (Sloan, 2008). The growing in the level of sophistication by the enemy meant that the United States was growing increasingly endangered even within its own internal citadels. The September 11 attacks were the hallmarks of the growing tendency and threat for the enemy to infiltrate into the United States systems and wage war from within. Following the September 11 attacks the United States adopted policies that were largely based on counter-terrorism. The military policies and operational paradigm shifted from the conventional frameworks to those designed to pre-empt terrorism and guerilla attacks. There was also increased emphasis on training the US military personnel of methods of terrorism and how to intercept terrorist activities. Predictions by experts and analysts continue to point to the fact that the next battlefield will be largely governed by unconventional systems (Worley, 2006).
The change in policies and methodologies in the US military system will ultimately bring about significant changes in the nature and character of personnel. Terrorist attacks are sporadic and unpredictable in nature. For this reason, military policies have been designed to create military personnel who will be able to appropriate the advantages of education, technology and field training to confront the new challenge. For instance, the Khalsa methodology in predicting terrorism has increasingly become an integral part in military training. This methodology provides a scientific approach in the fight against terrorism. It provides structural indicators that must be incorporated in the predicting and intercepting terrorist activities. The implication of this new form of military training is the United States military training is moving away from the traditional system that relied heavily on the sophistication of the military hardware to a new system that is knowledge-based.
Technology has also taken center-stage in military transformation. In the past conventional wars, the United States has been accused of causing enormous humanitarian crises mostly because of the inefficiency in its technology (Douglas, 2008). The degree of error in its precision has caused significant collateral damage particularly with the death of thousands of civilians. Whenever this has happened the US has tended to lose the moral angles of its military causes. Consequently, the enemy has often appropriated this challenge to develop a callous nature of American military objectives. For instance, extremist Islamic groups like Al-Qaida and Hezbollah have tended to spread the propaganda that the United States military objectives are largely a proxy war against Islam (Douglas, 2008).
Concerns have arisen regarding the capacity of these kinds of information to escalate the volume of enemies against the United States. The on-going transformations have signaled the desire by the United States to reverse its design of military engagement in order to rebrand its image in a positive sense among traditional enemy zones. Lately, the US has adopted the approach of reducing its military presence around the globe. The Obama administration, for instance, has trained much focus on reducing the number of its military personnel in Afghanistan and Iraq. The government has also demonstrated its desire to cut the overall spending on NATO and other global military partners.
Supporters of these adjustment policies have argued that previous systems have used a lot of American taxpayer’s money on needless military expeditions. Presently, the US government has tended to direct much focus on the developing of strategic partnership in the war against terror. Ultimately, the desired objectives in the US military transformations are aimed towards reducing the level of hostilities between with traditional enemies while at the same time increasing its resources in pre-emptive strategies.
The substitution of belligerent approaches by collaborative and inclusivity policies are aimed towards increasing the level of partnership with the rest of the world. In the long run these policies aim at achieving budget cuts on military spending, reducing the incidence of local and international conflicts, and increasing the capacity and efficiency of the military to protect the Unites States and her interests around the world.