While precision-strike scenarios currently dominate U.S. strategic planning, the need for forcible entry in time of crisis is not going to go away.
Recent assessments of the future security environment envision many types, intensities, and durations of conflicts that the United States may be a party to at some point. Many of those can be described as being “brushfires,” with the level of U.S. commitment to their resolution being highly dependent on public sentiment. In contemporary language, such campaigns are termed “wars of choice”—generally by those who rarely see the absolute necessity for U.S. intervention in overseas hostilities of any kind. “Wars of necessity,” in contrast, are portrayed as national do-or-die affairs, ideally waged solely to confront an implacable enemy on the march to world domination.