The Army could be transformed into something better and more capable. However even the forever war has failed to overcome the momentum of the status quo. There is still no language training program to build soldiers fluent in key languages into line companies and battalions.
Key adaptations developed in Afghanistan are still not being absorbed by the whole army and the filtration of recent technological advances and their integration into the squad in the field still has not reach a paradigm shift. We still fight like we did 30 years ago, with some small changes. We are still equipped like we were 30 years ago.
We also need to decide what we want the National Guard to do. Because of the structure of the army and deployment policies, the Army National Guard provided more than half of troops to Iraq and Afghanistan at any time post 2004. There are certain economies of scale, and efficiencies which are utterly squandered by trying to hammer a round peg into a square hole; a part time professional force conforming to the policies, rotations, and standards of a massive full time bureaucracy. Their small funding and organizational changes that could make it so much more capable of conforming to the current path; more full-time leadership and more school slots for starters.
Unfortunately any paradigm shifts in funding or organization are largely constrained by the 50 billion ton gorilla of the F-35 program which is currently dictating the course, direction, and windage of the entire US military. If the Army were to get 20% more funding where would it come from? All the procurement and R&D slack in the other budgets has been tightened to the straining point in order to make way for these aircraft.
In response paralus’ comment, we already laid of what..10,000 officers from major to general in the Army, in the last 4 years?