It’s notable how the Islamist threat has receded, and emphasis on “near peer” battle engagements has taken center stage. The 2018 National Defense Strategy has changed all that. It’s major advocate was SecDef General Mattis before resigning over the Syrian deployment.
WASHINGTON — The Army National Guard will move most of its brigades under the command of its eight division headquarters as it reorganizes its fighting formations to give the force more combat power and some soldiers new career opportunities, officials said.
The Guard move will mark a substantial increase in the number of fully manned divisions that the Army can deploy, as only the service’s 10 active-duty divisions are now filled out with subordinate units, said Lt. Gen. Daniel Hokanson, the director of the Army National Guard. The increase to 18 complete Army divisions comes at a time when service officials believe a major conflict with a near-peer rival — namely Russia or China — would require the employment of full divisions, he said.
“When you look at the  National Defense Strategy and competition among near-peer competitors, peer competitors — that great power competition, there is a potential for large-scale combat operations … [and] it could actually be division level fights,” Hokanson said in an interview Thursday ahead of the Guard’s planned announcement Saturday. “We wanted to make sure that everything that the Army National Guard did was in support of the total Army and the NDS, and one issue was that our divisions are just headquarters they don’t have brigades under them.”