Army Manpower and the War on Terror

By Kevin Ryan

A paper by Kevin Ryan, fall 2005 fellow, argues that Army manpower is a subject that is often misunderstood and misreported. How does the status of Army manpower affect the nation’s War on Terror? What if the manpower demands of concurrent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have sapped the country’s ability to deploy to the next hotspot on the globe? What if recruiting shortfalls leave combat units only half filled? What if frequent deployments for long periods cause professional soldiers to leave the service? And what if the demands of mobilization on the Reserve and Guard mean that those forces are used up and unavailable for a new contingency not yet on the radar? This paper provides background material on Army manpower that is meant to inform journalists who might cover the issue.

Download the paper (PDF).