Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Stagnation of Warfare Pt. 3

Hate to say I told you so but...from Strategypage:

The U.S. Secretary of Defense has ordered the service chiefs and
their subordinates to cut back on developing weapons and tactics for the next
war (wherever and whatever it might be), and concentrate on the current ones.
This directive is based on the assumption that the U.S. military can already
defeat any potential foe, and the near future appears to include more irregular
fighters and terrorists, than masses of tanks, modern aircraft and high tech

The Department of Defense wants the troops to become more
effective at dealing with irregulars and terrorists. The current war is giving
the ground troops invaluable combat experience, making American ground forces
the most capable on the planet. The idea is to capitalize on that, not new,
untried and very expensive technology.

I am convinced that it is not so much our high tech wonder weapons that has given the US its wave of victories in the post-Cold War era, but how it schools its troops in warfare (train as you would fight). Only this can explain our ability to fight 2 simultaneous conflicts since 2001, while keeping watch on China, North Korea, and Iran, despite suffering in the Clinton Era the largest defense cuts since after World War 2.

Therefore, I believe the US can safely endure a "weapons holiday" with a freeze on building Big Ships, while bolstering our littoral fleet to fight pirate insurgents. We could also hold off plans for reequipping the USAF with hi-tech fighters and concentrate on close air support planes, plus late model fighters like the F-16 or Super Hornet to keep numbers up. The Army already seems to be doing everything right. As mentioned in the article they are backing off some on the Future Combat System while beefing up its forces with off-the-shelf equipment like Strykers and armored cars, armor for the troops, and new build helicopters.