I feel that the real culprit is the Fog of War, which completely hides most units normally unless they are adjacent, which doesn't seem proper for a strategic game at this scale.
As much as I can understand your position, the depths of intervention of a FOW remains more than just a question of taste, even in strategic games, which are supposed to portray a modern warfare. I personally would find a basic exposure of troops positions on the global map and a reduced fog of the war only to the unit strength and the unit names rather boring. As a result, many strategic/tactical game variants are abandoned without need and are almost inevitably a certain chess feeling. If someone like to play strategy chess, he can also disable the FOW at all. I remember past campaigns of the first SC games, which often started to annoy me when the enemy aircraft carriers had turned into passive satellite reconnaissance by research, and you had play on practically without FOW. My first mod contained a drastic reduction of the passive reconnaissance ranges of air units. But, all just a personal impression.
Actually helpful and probably also strategically meaningful could be a background routine, which work according to the old principle: If you do not want the enemy to know your positions, keep moving! So a (abstracted) gradually passive reconnaissance, which varies with the length of stay in a position. There would be no surprising encounters for such "garrison-like" units.