Missing Element of Modernization: The U.S. Army Constabulary Brigade

  • September 17, 2016
  • Lieutenant Colonel Jason B. Blevins

The U.S. military has experienced tremendous success in winning the conventional combat phases of its wars since World War II, but struggles to win the peace during post-combat hostilities. Informed by the lessons of OIF and the historical success of the U.S. Zone Constabulary in Germany after WWII, the Army should develop conventional units focused on a hybrid combination of stability and limited Irregular Warfare operations. These units, referred to in this paper as U.S. Army Constabulary Brigades, serve as a force modernization effort that supports “the process of improving the Army’s force effectiveness and operational capabilities through force development and integration.” Constabulary brigades balance the efforts of the U.S. military’s unmatched ability to succeed in conventional warfare, and its decade’s long struggle to win the peace during post-conflict stability operations. Several options exist for forming a constabulary force including reassignment of stability operations as service specific roles and converting existing structure to fill this capability gap. This paper recommends the U.S. Army convert selected BCTs to constabulary brigades, who serve as solider-police trained and focused on stability and limited IW operations.