That last couple of paragraphs are the most interesting for me. There's obviously merit to the idea of institutionalizing a training and advising capacity in the American land forces, but there's a lot of debate about the best way to do this. Nagl has been calling for the establishment of a 20,000-troop standing advisor corps for the last several years, and the Army has dismissed his suggestion for a whole host of sensible reasons. It's interesting to me that the New York Times wakes up one day to an advisor shortfall and suggests that "American and NATO officials... need to look seriously" at this problem, as if the Defense Department and the Army haven't been doing exactly that for the last four to six years.
NATO agreed that non-American members would provide half of the 5,200 trainers.
Since December, those capitals have pledged to send only 1,000 trainers, and they have been very slow to deliver. Mr. Gates is now expected to send Americans to cover 600 of these slots for 90 days.
While the Americans are close to complement, General Caldwell also had to fight hard to secure enough troops to fill the American slots as well as management positions on his staff. For all of the talk about new missions and new thinking, there are still a lot of brass — and those who want to become brass — who don’t consider training a warrior’s job or a path to promotion. That culture needs to change.
American and NATO officials also need to look seriously at creating a standing corps of combat advisers who are trained and equipped to develop indigenous national security forces in overseas conflict zones.
So what do you think? Permanent advisor corps (pdf)? Modular brigades augmented for security force assistance? Bifurcated, Krepinevichian army (pdf) with separate forces for the different points of the spectrum of conflict?