29 September Washington Times commentary - More Agility Needed by MG Robert Scales (USA ret.).

...The ground services understand that war is moving into the third dimension. Our enemies will continue to challenge us in the most remote, distant and inhospitable places. As we have seen in both Afghanistan and Iraq, getting to (and staying) in these places often can be done only by air. The enemy understands that they can best survive against American precision killing power by dispersing and distributing their forces in remote mountain areas and in the crowded and narrow urban places. The enemy has learned the advantage of killing the most vulnerable part of our force -- the huge and soft ground convoys that we rely on to supply our gas-guzzling iron monsters inherited from the Cold War.

The Army has committed to a very ambitious program to lighten its fighting forces and to make them more agile and capable of fighting against a dispersed enemy. Fighting systems now under development consist of a "family" of very light air transportable vehicles ideally suited for fighting primitive enemies in distant places that can best be reached by air.

The Marines' newly developed concept of distributed operations envisions a future war in which very small light infantry forces will meet the enemy on their turf. These forces will be inserted and supported in part using the V-22, essentially a rotor craft capable of vertical takeoff and landing like a helicopter and traditional horizontal flight similar to a conventional propeller-driven transport.

Unfortunately, neither the Army nor the Marine Corps have enough aerial lifting power to meet today's requirements, much less their ambitious plans for the future. Both services are quite literally flying the rotors off their obsolescent fleet of helicopters just to perform the routine day-to-day operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. They cannot fulfill the demands of the future without a multifunctional cargo aircraft capable of getting into the small, unimproved areas where ground forces operate...