As to human conflict, this kind of drama often includes a B-Plot that covers internal conflict. “Why couldn’t this wait” isn’t likely to be used as an excuse when the questions being asked are “who will lead the insurgency?” or “are these methods moral?”
As to downtime: I personally am a big fan of focusing on downtime as narrative beats. Following a single soldier during downtime or solo recon missions is an opportunity to add personal drama to the game.
On that note: personal recon missions that take a single soldier out of the action temporarily could be a good replacement for Secondary missions, information gathering, OR long term projects. Maybe all of the above?