Thursday, October 05, 2006

You Say You Want A Revolution. Well...

There is an article in NY Times today that says that the Army is going to focus more on guerilla warfare, state-building, and peacekeeping for future conflicts. To make a long story short, the Army recognizes that it needs to address how to combat asymmetric warfare:

"The new doctrine is part of a broader effort to change the culture of a military that has long promoted the virtues of using firepower and battlefield maneuvers in swift, decisive operations against a conventional enemy. "

However, this is not enough. The culture of all three branches of the military has to change. Let me explain.

The US military is the finest war machine this planet has ever known. There is not a single foreign military that could defeat us in a conventional military throw down. While there may be some instances when the enemy has greater preponderance (number of fighters), they will rarely-if ever-have greater technology or force employment (fighting efficiency). Because the US military is proficient in all these areas, I don't see any instance in which the US would not triumph in a prolonged conventional war.

Other militaries are aware of this, so none of them will ever fight us in conventional terms. Imagine countries with sizeable militaries like China, Russia, or North Korea. At the beginning of the war, they might try to take us on, but they would soon realize that asymmetric warfare will be the only way to beat us. China even has a name for this "Shashoujian". China has an official doctrine that trys to "neutralize the advantages of a superior, more modern, military force so that the battle can occur on a lower technology battlefield."

My point to all of this is that the US's defense spending must start to mirror our reality. We don't need to be spending money on the F-22 stealth figher jets, the Future Combat System, the V-22, the DDx, or littoral combat ships. These weapon systems aren't going to help us wage asymmetric warfare. The Defense Department's QDR even states that the biggest future threats to the US are Islamic extremism and China. Neither of those potential conflicts will be conventional.

If nothing else, our military leaders can at least start watching Battlestar Galatica and study how the Cylons combat a peer competitor to prepare for future combat.

1 comment:

The Geriatric Three said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.