Monday, November 17, 2014

military innovation for future wars

For many years I taught a course with that title at the National War College, building on an interest I developed while working on military R&D programs on the Senate Armed Services Committee in the 1970s. Given the rise of China and the proliferation of unconventional, asymmetric threats from many areas, I am pleased that so many good ideas are now being generated to reshape U.S. military forces.

Sec. Hagel has just announced a defense innovation initiative. Think tanks are releasing their own proposals for a new "offset strategy," modeled after Harold Brown's efforts in the 1970s to offset Soviet numerical superiorities with information technology and stealth. The Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments [CSBA] has one such paper. Here's CSBA's summary idea:
A third offset strategy, however, could counter adversarial investments in A2/AD capabilities in general -- and ever expanding missile inventories in particular -- by leveraging U.S. 'core competencies' in unmanned systems and automation, extended-range and low-observable air operations, undersea warfare, and compl4ex system engineering and integration in order to project power differently.
These are creative suggestions, and a possible answer to level or shrinking defense budgets.

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