The Revolution in Military Affairs and Its Implication For Force Structure

Date of Graduation

Spring 1998


Master of Science in Defense and Strategic Studies


Defense and Strategic Studies

Committee Chair

William Van Cleave


Although there is general agreement among national political leaders that defense spending has declined as far as it can, few politicians advocate increasing defense spending. This has created a situation in which the level of defense spending is not conducive to maintaining a large, flexible military force structure to support the two-MRC strategy. As a solution to this problem, the advocates of the information age Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA) assert that these technologies can compensate for reduced force levels. The basis for their arguments is the manner in which airpower, precision guided munitions, and surveillance systems were used in Desert Storm to transform warfare. At the same time, the small defense budget is hampering funding for modernization to replace the aging equipment of the 1980's. Therein lies the choice between modernizing at the expense of force structure or maintaining force structure and stifling modernization. This thesis first argues that the RMA has not yet been proven, and, second should these advances constitute an RMA, that countermeasures will be developed. Due to budgetary concerns, weaknesses in reliance upon the RMA have been overlooked to justify reductions in spending. As a result, modernization, force structure and readiness have all suffered. In order to maintain United States military superiority, an increase in the defense budget is required.

Subject Categories

Defense and Security Studies


© Brian W Ellis