Melvin Laird's Strategy for Peace Analysis

Melvin Laird’s Strategy for Peace: Argumentative Analysis
The purpose of this paper is to examine whether or not former Secretary of Defense, Melvin R. Laird’s insights in A Strategy for Peace are directly applicable today.   In 1970 Laird proposed a change in defense strategy focus from wartime thinking to peacetime thinking.   The strategy called for a restructure of forces that could appropriately deter threats while adhering to the confines of fiscal constraints.   During the time of this proposal the United States was engaged in a lengthy and costly war in Vietnam. As a result, the question was posed of   how the Army should be used and resource. Similar to the Vietnam era the United States continues to be engaged in over a decade of costly war.   In addition, the Army is seeking to overhaul doctrine, training and force composition to become a more flexible force capable of conducting full-spectrum operations.   Therefore, Lairds insights on force restructuring, security through international partnerships and fiscal constraints on defense spending are applicable in defense planning today.  
Laird discusses force restructuring in his proposal. Specifically he questions how the Army should be used and resourced. Laird points out that the United States must maintain a position of military strength while at the same time placing emphasis on force restructuring. He calls for a more flexible, mobile force comprised of a combination of Active, Guard and Reserve augmentation packages with increased guard and reserve mobilization.   In 2003 the Army began restructuring its division-based force into smaller brigade combat teams (BCTs) made up of a combination of Active, Reserve and National Guard teams. The goal is to create 76 active and reserve BCTs, 48 active and 28 Army National Guard BCTs and 225 active and reserve support brigades.   This force structure allows for a more defined continuous rotational deployment cycle with flexibility of force use for multiple types of...