Alone and Unafraid: Advisors and Risk Across the Spectrum of Conflict


  • Michael Anderson US Army


The current structure and employment of the United States Army advisory formations is hindered by risk aversion and lacking organic organizational structure. The result negatively affects the readiness of other units, impacting training and use while failing to maximize their full contributions to defense strategies. Army combat brigade readiness remains negatively impacted by fulfilling out-of-design advisory missions even after the creation of advisory-specific formations and providing support to deployed Security Force Assistance Brigades. In an era of growing great power competition, the maximizing of building and holding readiness is paramount. The question of how to resolve the issue is encapsulated in a discussion of risk-to-force and risk-to-mission. Three solutions include accepting greater risk by not providing additional force protection and emphasizing reliance on partner force support and relationships; creating additional force structure designed to support advisory missions; or adding identified additional force structure to the advisor organizations addressing the risks.