As threats continue to evolve, and new forms of warfare emerge (or, in some cases, re-emerge), joint military and interagency efforts center on ways to innovate, adapt to, and anticipate these challenges. How does the U.S. harness technology and tactical innovations to enhance the survivability and effectiveness of its ground forces? What have been the lessons learned for ground forces? What technological and tactical innovations have been applied to deal with them? Several examples will be assessed, including the Lightweight Miniature Aerial Munition (LMAM), Man-Portable Line Charge (MPLC), and robotics that have been adapted to the new operational environment. Technological changes currently in progress will also be discussed.
Colonel Patrick J. Mahaney Jr., U.S. Army, is a Special Forces officer and the Army Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He most recently commanded the Asymmetric Warfare Group based at Fort Meade, Maryland, where he was responsible for global support in countering asymmetric and irregular threats. He has also commanded a Special Forces battalion, and a Special Operations Task Force in Afghanistan. His previous assignments include service in the 7th Special Forces Group, Joint Special Operations Command, the Special Warfare Center and School, the Combined Forces Special Operations Component Command-Afghanistan, and a range of other combat and operational assignments. Colonel Mahaney is a graduate of New York University, Columbia University’s SIPA, and Army War College’s Fellows program at Italy’s Institute for High Defense Studies.