Issue Briefs

Army Modernization, And The Virtues Of Moderation (From Forbes)

Army Modernization, And The Virtues Of Moderation (From Forbes)

Loren B. Thompson

November 18, 2022

The U.S. Army is in the midst of a successful campaign to modernize its equipment and close gaps in capabilities needed for an era of great-power competition. This is a distinct departure from the uneven performance of modernization efforts during the Bush and Obama administrations. What changed? Four lessons are apparent. First, the Army developed a clear plan, a roadmap for modernization, in 2018 and stuck with it. Second, the Army’s leadership team was unusually cohesive and collegial. Third, the Army set realistic goals for what was feasible by 2030. And fourth, the service elected to use capabilities that other services already possessed where possible, rather than reinventing the wheel. The end result is a modernization program that is feasible, affordable, and progressing smoothly. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.

Loren B. Thompson is a Senior Adviser at GPI, Chief Operating Officer of the non-profit Lexington Institute and Chief Executive Officer of Source Associates, a for-profit consultancy. Prior to holding his present positions, he was Deputy Director of the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University and taught graduate-level courses in strategy, technology and media affairs at Georgetown. He has also taught at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. Mr. Thompson holds doctoral and masters degrees in government from Georgetown University and a bachelor of science degree in political science from Northeastern