The Army is coming out of a decade of war beat up and strapped for cash.
The force that arguably did most of the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, and suffered the most casualties, now finds itself in a new conflict.
It has begun a round of soul-searching and bureaucratic battles to determine its place in the Obama administration’s new military strategy, which celebrates the global striking power of air and sea forces and downplays the chance of another major land war.
After spending huge amounts of money on equipment to fight terrorists, the Army has none to truly modernize itself with new core platforms such as attack helicopters and battle tanks.
Basically, yes, the Army is tired (though I think “hollow” might be a bit too much of a stretch- it is certainly in better shape than the immediate post-Vietnam era).
It does need a material reset. But frankly, the state of the art hasn’t advanced so much to justify a wholesale investment in new vehicle technology. Particularly since I’m wholly unconvinced of the Army’s ability to run a disciplined acquisition program that won’t lead to the likes of LPD-17, LCS, or F-35 levels of gold plating and waste.
There is a LOT the Army can do to reset its material at relatively low cost. Further, there just isn’t going to be a lot of money for defense going forward. We’ve spend that money already on “stimulus” and whatnot. I’d endorse modernizing the Navy and Air Force first… except their wasteful spending is even worse than the Army’s.