Debate arises over future of U.S. Army

Oct. 10, 2007 at 12:20 PM
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 10 (UPI) -- U.S. military officials are debating proposals that would reorganize the U.S. Army, taking into account lessons from Iraq and the Cold War.

Some officers have come out in favor of a plan to transform many Army units into specialized forces that would be specifically dedicated to the training of foreign militaries, The Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday. However, others feel that Army units should remain generalists, so they are trained to perform a wide variety of tasks.

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates is expected to favor reorganization, warning that the United States is not likely to face a conventional war any time in the near future and therefore must reorganize in preparation for coming conflicts.

Pentagon officials briefed on Gates' upcoming speech said the secretary is expected to highlight the importance of training foreign militaries and stress that the practice could help prevent future wars.

"He doesn't believe anyone is going to take us on conventionally in the near future," said one Pentagon official familiar with Gates' plans. "We can't forget the things we learned in Iraq, after Iraq."

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