Author Topic: Military Science, Military Issues, and the Nature of War  (Read 358733 times)

G M

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Re: WSJ: US Military is growing weaker yet.
« Reply #1100 on: October 17, 2022, 09:34:59 PM »
The US military is about revenue to the MIC, not defending America or winning wars.


The U.S. Military’s Growing Weakness
A new Heritage Foundation report warns about declining U.S. naval and air power.
By The Editorial BoardFollow
Updated Oct. 17, 2022 5:51 pm ET


U.S. aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan participates with other U.S. and South Korean navy ships during the joint naval exercises between the United States and South Korea in waters off South Korea's eastern coast on Sept. 29, 2022.
PHOTO: /ASSOCIATED PRESS

Americans like to think their military is unbeatable if politicians wouldn’t get in the way. The truth is that U.S. hard power isn’t what it used to be. That’s the message of the Heritage Foundation’s 2023 Index of U.S. Military Strength, which is reported here for the first time and describes a worrisome trend.

Heritage rates the U.S. military as “weak” and “at growing risk of not being able to meet the demands of defending America’s vital national interests.” The weak rating, down from “marginal” a year earlier, is the first in the index’s nine-year history.

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The index measures the military’s ability to prevail in two major regional conflicts at once—say, a conflict in the Middle East and a fight on the Korean peninsula. Americans might wish “that the world be a simpler, less threatening place,” as the report notes. But these commitments are part of U.S. national-security strategy.

Heritage says the U.S. military risks being unable to handle even “a single major regional conflict” as it also tries to deter rogues elsewhere. The Trump Administration’s one-time cash infusion has dried up. Pentagon budgets aren’t keeping up with inflation, and the branches are having to make trade-offs about whether to be modern, large, or ready to fight tonight. The decline is especially acute in the Navy and Air Force.

The Navy has been saying for years it needs to grow to at least 350 ships, plus more unmanned platforms. Yet the Navy has shown a “persistent inability to arrest and reverse the continued diminution of its fleet,” the report says. By one analysis it has under-delivered on shipbuilding plans by 10 ships a year on average over the past five years.

From 2005 to 2020, the U.S. fleet grew to 296 warships from 291, while China’s navy grew to 360 from 216. War isn’t won on numbers alone, but China is also narrowing the U.S. technological advantage in every area from aircraft carrier catapults to long-range missiles.


The Navy wants to build three Virginia-class submarines a year, and the U.S. still has an edge over Beijing in these fast-attack boats. But the shipbuilding industry has shrunk amid waning demand, and the Navy’s maintenance yards are overwhelmed. Maintenance delays and backlogs are the result of running the fleet too hard: On a typical day in June, roughly one-third of the 298-ship fleet was deployed, double the average of the Cold War.

It’s worse in the Air Force, which gets a “very weak” rating. Aging “aircraft and very poor pilot training and retention” have produced an Air Force that “would struggle greatly against a peer competitor,” Heritage says.

The fighter and bomber forces are contracting to about 40% of what America had in the 1980s. The service has been slowing its F-35 buys even as it needs modern planes to compensate for the smaller fleet. Aircraft have low mission-capable rates, roughly 50% for the F-22. Heritage says the Air Force has “abandoned even the illusion” that it is working toward an 80% aircraft readiness goal. Munitions inventories “probably would not support a peer-level fight that lasted more than a few weeks,” and replacements can take 24 to 36 months to arrive.



A pilot shortage “continues to plague the service,” and the “current generation of fighter pilots, those who have been actively flying for the past seven years, has never experienced a healthy rate of operational flying.” Fighter pilots flew a meager 10 hours a month on average in 2021, up from 8.7 in 2020 but still far below the 200 hours a year minimum needed to be proficient against a formidable opponent.

The story isn’t much better for the Army, which has lost $59 billion in buying power since 2018 due to flat budgets and inflation. The Army is shrinking not as a choice about priorities but because it can’t recruit enough soldiers—nearly 20,000 short in fiscal 2022.

The Marines scored better in the index as the only branch articulating and executing a plan to change, reorganizing for a war in the Pacific in a concept known as Force Design 2030. But the Marines are slimming down to a bare-bones 21 infantry battalions, from 27 as recently as 2011. Mission success for the Marines depends on a new amphibious ship that the Navy may not be able to deliver.

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Some will call all this alarmist and ask why the Pentagon can’t do better on an $800 billion budget. The latter is a fair question and the answer requires procurement and other changes. But the U.S. will also have to spend more on defense if it wants to protect its interests and the homeland. The U.S. is spending about 3% of GDP now compared to 5%-6% in the 1980s. The Heritage report is a warning that you can’t deter war, much less win one, on the cheap

G M

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Crafty_Dog

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WT: Defense of Taiwan?
« Reply #1102 on: October 19, 2022, 01:54:55 AM »
Gallagher: U.S. must prepare to support defense of Taiwan

Warns China poised to invade island nation

BY MIKE GLENN THE WASHINGTON TIMES

There isn’t enough time for the U.S. to build a fleet of warships large enough to fend off a Chinese invasion of Taiwan by the end of the decade but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any options to protect American interests and allies, a key Republican on the House Armed Services Committee said Tuesday.

Rep. Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin told a Heritage Foundation audience that the Pentagon needs to use the resources it has more creatively to deter a Chinese cross-strait invasion. He noted that retired Adm. Philip S. Davidson, a former commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, assessed that Beijing may make a move on Taiwan by the end of the decade — a period that has come to be known as the “Davidson Window.”

President Biden’s defense budget will force the Navy to reduce its fleet size to 280 ships and leave the Air Force forced to cut more than 100 airplanes by 2027, just in time for the 100th anniversary of the People’s Liberation Army and the target date for China having the capability to take Taiwan, Mr. Gallagher said.

“Most of the transformative technology [the Pentagon] is investing in with its much-hyped 9.5% increase in research and development dollars, from hypersonic weapons to ‘Joint All Domain Command and Control,’ may not be fielded until the 2030s, if at all,” he said. “Making matters worse, we’re running low on the munitions that are essential to both Ukraine and Taiwan.”

The U.S. won’t be able to rebuild the Navy to where it needs to be within the next five years, Mr. Gallagher said.

“What we can do, however, is build an ‘anti-Navy,’” he said. “By anti-Navy, I mean asymmetric forces and weapons designed to target the Chinese navy, deny control of the seas surrounding Taiwan, and prevent [People’s Liberation Army] amphibious forces from gaining a lodgment on the island.”

The first step would be surging long-range conventional precision fires in concentric rings across the Pacific — ranging from the so-called “First Island Chain” on China’s coastline, which would include the Japanese archipelago, Taiwan, and the Philippines, all the way out to Alaska, Hawaii, and Australia. Army and Marine Corps troops would operate the short-range anti-ship missiles to secure the zone.

The second step would be stockpiling munitions in the region before the shooting starts, Mr. Gallagher said.

“At current production rates, for example, it will take at least two years to boost Javelin production from 2,100 to 4,000 missiles annually. In many cases, Chinese companies are the sole source or a primary supplier for the ... materials used in our missiles,” Mr. Gallagher said.

The third step would be arming Taiwan “to the teeth.” That would mean moving them to the front of the Foreign Military Sales line and clearing the backlog of $14 billion worth of foreign military sales items that have been approved but not delivered, he said.

“Congress can go further by providing direct financial assistance to Taiwan and by giving the Pentagon the same drawdown authority to directly provide defense articles to Taiwan that it already has with Ukraine,” he said.

The Pentagon should also send Taiwan the U.S. Harpoon missiles that are now destined for the scrap yard or long-term storage — similar to the drawdown authority that has boosted Ukraine’s military stockpile.

The GOP lawmaker faulted the Biden administration for not doing more to reassure a critical ally.

“We don’t lack options, we lack leadership,” he said. “We lack leadership in the Pentagon capable of bending the bureaucracy to their will, in service of a defense strategy that prioritizes hard power,” Mr. Gallagher said. “We lack leadership in the White House that understands the paradox of deterrence: that to avoid war, you must convince your adversary that you are both capable and willing to wage war.”

Mr. Gallagher, a former Marine Corps intelligence officer who deployed twice to Iraq, will likely get a subcommittee chairmanship if the Republicans take control of the House of Representatives after the midterm elections. He said the GOP will have a “very productive agenda” if that happens, including taking an ax to a Pentagon civilian bureaucracy that is larger than the size of the Army.

“The military has two purposes — to fight wars and train to fight wars,” Mr. Gallagher said, paraphrasing Marine Corps doctrine. “Anything that does not contribute to our war fighting ability should not be funded.

DougMacG

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Re: WT: Defense of Taiwan?
« Reply #1103 on: October 19, 2022, 06:48:17 AM »
From the article:
"Mr. Gallagher, a former Marine Corps intelligence officer who deployed twice to Iraq, will likely get a subcommittee chairmanship if the Republicans take control of the House of Representatives after the midterm elections. He said the GOP will have a “very productive agenda” if that happens, including taking an ax to a Pentagon civilian bureaucracy that is larger than the size of the Army.

“The military has two purposes — to fight wars and train to fight wars,” Mr. Gallagher said, paraphrasing Marine Corps doctrine. “Anything that does not contribute to our war fighting ability should not be funded."



[Doug] Rep Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin is one of the good guys on national security.   Cutting bureaucracy and social programs in the military and building ships and weapons systems should be priorities.

Crafty_Dog

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Could America win a new world war?
« Reply #1104 on: October 28, 2022, 08:19:07 AM »
Could America Win a New World War?
What It Would Take to Defeat Both China and Russia
By Thomas G. Mahnken
October 27, 2022
https://www.foreignaffairs.com/united-states/could-america-win-new-world-war


When it comes to international relations, 2022 has been an exceptionally dangerous year. During the first two months, Russia massed thousands of troops along Ukraine’s borders. At the end of the second one, Moscow sent them marching into Ukraine. China, meanwhile, has grown increasingly belligerent toward Washington, particularly over Taiwan. After U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taipei in August, Beijing carried out a furious set of military exercises designed to show how it would blockade and attack the island. Washington, in turn, has explored how it can more quickly arm and support the Taiwanese government.

The United States is aware that China and Russia pose a significant threat to the global order. In its recent National Security Strategy, the White House wrote that “the [People’s Republic of China] and Russia are increasingly aligned with each other,” and the Biden administration dedicated multiple pages to explaining how the United States can constrain both countries going forward. Washington knows that the conflict in Ukraine is likely to be protracted, thanks to the ability of Kyiv and Moscow to keep fighting and the irreconcilability of their aims, and could escalate in ways that bring the United States more directly into the war (a fact that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s nuclear saber rattling makes readily apparent). Washington also knows that Chinese leader Xi Jinping, emboldened by his appointment at the 20th National Party Congress in October to an unprecedented third term, could try to seize Taiwan as the war in Ukraine rages on. The United States, then, could conceivably be drawn into simultaneous conflicts with China and Russia.

But despite Washington’s professed focus on both Beijing and Moscow, U.S. defense planning is not commensurate with the challenge at hand. In 2015, the Department of Defense abandoned its long-standing policy of being prepared to fight and win two major wars in favor of focusing on acquiring the means to fight and win just one. This policy shift, which has remained in place ever since, shows. Large quantities of the United States’ military equipment are aging, with many aircraft, ships, and tanks that date back to the Reagan administration’s defense buildup in the 1980s. The country also has limited supplies of important equipment and munitions, so much so that it has had to draw a large portion of its own stocks down to support Ukraine. These problems would prove particularly vexing in simultaneous conflicts. If the United States found itself in a two-war situation in eastern Europe and the Pacific, the commitment would likely be lengthy in both cases. China’s expanding interests and global footprint suggest that a war with Beijing would not be confined neatly to Taiwan and the western Pacific but instead stretch across multiple theaters, from the Indian Ocean to the United States itself. (China might launch cyberattacks, or even missile strikes, on the U.S. mainland in an attempt to blunt U.S. military power.) The United States needs to create deep munitions reserves, stockpile high-quality gear, and come up with creative battlefield techniques if it hopes to win such fights.


Washington should get started now. U.S. policymakers must begin working to expand and deepen the United States’ defense industrial base. They need to develop new joint operational concepts: ways of employing the armed forces to solve pressing military problems, such as how to sustain forces in the face of increasingly capable Chinese military capabilities and defend U.S. space and cyber networks from attack. They should think seriously about the strategic contours of a war in multiple theaters, including where they would focus most of the United States’ military attention, and when. And Washington can do a better job of coordinating and planning with U.S. allies, who will be indispensable—and quite possibly decisive—to the successful outcome of a worldwide military conflict.

REBUILDING THE ARSENAL OF DEMOCRACY

In some ways, the United States and its allies will have an advantage in any simultaneous war in Asia and Europe. The war in Ukraine has demonstrated that modern precision weapons are highly effective, and most of these weapons are made by the United States. When it comes to quality, Western systems and munitions remain the best in class.

But the United States must supply these weapons to both its own armed forces and those of its allies and friends. Unfortunately, weapons stockpiles in the United States are limited, as is its industrial base. It will likely take years to replenish many of the munitions that the United States has provided to Ukraine. This should not come as a surprise. In 2018, the congressionally mandated National Defense Strategy Commission warned that the United States didn’t possess enough munitions to prevail in a high-intensity conflict and argued that the country needed to expand production. The report also found that Washington would need to modernize its defense manufacturing to create munitions and other weaponry at a faster pace. For example, the United States has not produced Stinger antiaircraft missiles in 18 years, and restarting production will take time and money. So far, the United States has given Ukraine over 1,400 of these munitions.

The Department of Defense must also look beyond Ukraine. Russia’s ongoing war offers a valuable set of data, but if China initiated a military operation to take Taiwan, forcing the United States and its allies to respond, the conflict would likely take place mostly at sea and have very different requirements. It would demand lots of long-range weapons and antiship missiles, and right now, the United States has meager supplies of both. There are, for instance, fewer Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles-Extended Range (JASSM-ER) and Long Range Anti-Ship Missiles (LRASM) in storage than there are on the Ukrainian battlefield.

The United States clearly needs to increase its defense manufacturing capacity and speed. In the short term, that involves adding shifts to existing factories. With more time, it involves expanding factories and opening new production lines. To do both, Congress will have to act now to allocate more money to increase manufacturing.


A war across multiple regions could break out in any number of ways and proceed in a messy fashion.

But to keep U.S. stockpiles from falling too low, the country will need to do more than make ad hoc investments. Congress should also pass legislation that establishes minimum supply levels for munitions, with money automatically allocated for topping off stockpiles as the United States and its friends draw them down. Creating such a system would do much more than just guarantee consistent munitions supplies. To innovate, the United States also needs new firms that can complement existing manufacturers, and having near-guaranteed demand will give venture capitalists and entrepreneurs new incentives to invest in the defense industry.

Of course, the United States cannot rapidly expand all parts of its defense industrial base; it does not have unlimited resources and financing. That means the country will need to think creatively about how it can use the manufacturing it does have to best bolster its forces. The U.S. Navy, for instance, cannot easily hasten the production of aircraft carriers, yet it can think about how to expand these ships’ effectiveness by equipping them with better aircraft. The U.S. Air Force, for its part, will not always be able to rapidly scale up aircraft manufacturing. But it can multiply the effectiveness of its most advanced fighters and bombers by matching them with increasingly capable, low-cost, and easier-to-make unmanned systems that can sense and strike enemy planes while protecting their manned counterparts. By pairing manned systems with unmanned ones, the United States can multiply the effectiveness of the U.S. air fleet, preventing it from being stretched thin in a future conflict.

Finally, the United States should work with its allies to increase their military production and the size of their weapons and munitions stockpiles. Washington will need to be able to backstop its partners, but as the war in Ukraine clearly illustrates, it is good if frontline states have enough munitions to fight without the United States drawing down its own stocks. Some U.S. allies, such as Australia, are making considerable investments to build up their own munitions industry, while others, such as Japan, face considerable barriers to doing so. (Japan’s constitution, for instance, severely restricts the size and scope of its military.) They will need to do more if the West is going to create a munitions base robust enough for an era of protracted warfare.

STRUCTURAL ADJUSTMENT

Weapons and munitions are just one part of war. To win a conflict against both China and Russia, Washington also needs to come up with new fighting techniques. As the 2018 National Defense Strategy Commission put it, “The United States needs more than just new capabilities; it urgently requires new operational concepts that expand U.S. options and constrain those of China, Russia, and other actors.”

Washington has not ignored this call. In response to the 2018 report, the Department of Defense produced a “Joint Warfighting Concept” to shape future doctrine and establish funding priorities. Much of this report is classified, but progress has been patchy. It is unclear whether the department’s document—or the process that produced it—has influenced the size and shape of the U.S. armed forces or the composition of the defense budget. Moreover, efforts by the U.S. armed services to solve pressing operational challenges have come under attack from traditionalists. The Marine Corps’s new Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations doctrine and Marine Littoral Regiment, for example, would devote Marine forces to complementing the navy in countering the Chinese fleet in the western Pacific. But it would divest the Marine Corps of some of its tanks and reduce its complement of artillery, something that traditionalists—steeped in 20 years of warfare in the Middle East—bemoan.

To improve how it fights, the Department of Defense needs a vigorous contest of ideas spurred, supervised, and supported by its senior leadership. The Pentagon needs to develop new concepts to project and sustain forces against an enemy’s precision-strike systems, to resupply forces under fire, and to protect critical bases of operations at home and abroad against attack. The United States also needs to collaborate with its partners on new approaches to deterrence. The Biden administration, for instance, should make good on what it calls for in the Indo-Pacific Partnership for Maritime Domain Awareness: working with its allies to harness the power of unmanned systems to detect, and therefore deter, acts of aggression.

As it develops new combat techniques, the United States also needs to think seriously about strategy more broadly—specifically how to structure the military and construct its operations. This will likely require breaking from the military designs of recent decades. Today’s theater command structure, for example, is an artifact of the 1990s and the following decade. It features a series of six geographic fiefdoms presided over by powerful geographic combatant commanders. This structure made sense when the United States was mostly interested in discrete, local conflicts with Iran or North Korea, for example, and terrorist organizations such as insurgents in Somalia. But the threats the United States faces today do not conform to carefully drawn geographic boundaries, nor do the strategies needed to counter them. A war with China could easily spill from east Asia into the Indian Ocean, which connects China with its sources of energy in the Middle East, and even to the Persian Gulf and Djibouti in the Horn of Africa, which hosts a Chinese base. In such a war, it might be better to have a command structure that’s not so geographically constrained.

ORDER OF OPERATIONS

That said, as defense strategists game out simultaneous conflicts with China and Russia, they will need to figure out how to prioritize U.S. military action based on the relative threats in Asia and Europe, the geography of the theaters, and the allies Washington has in each region. This isn’t a simple business. A war across multiple regions could break out in any number of ways and proceed in a messy fashion. Xi, seeing the United States preoccupied with Europe, might decide it’s time to move against Taiwan, something he believes is necessary to “rejuvenate” China. Such an attack could take many forms, from a blockade to a missile campaign to a full-fledged amphibious invasion. If things go well for Beijing, the United States might face the need to assist the Taiwanese in resisting Chinese occupation. But even if things go well for Washington, and a Chinese missile campaign or amphibious invasion ends in failure, Beijing would likely fight on. The United States, Taiwan, and their friends would then face a protracted conflict that could spread to other theaters. Moscow, meanwhile, could decide that with the United States bogged down in the western Pacific, it could get away with invading more of Europe.

Planning for such a conflagration would require careful sequencing. In World War II, the United States emphasized one theater of conflict over the other at different moments, depending on which theater had the greatest and most urgent needs. At the outset, the United States followed a Europe-first strategy focused on beating Nazi Germany because it posed the gravest threat to the United States and its allies. Today, however, the United States would need to initially focus on Asia. Although the war in Ukraine has required great U.S. support, it has exposed the limits of Russian military power as well as the effectiveness of concerted NATO action. As it stretches on, the war will continue to diminish Russia’s conventional military in ways that Moscow cannot quickly repair. NATO, meanwhile, will grow more capable, particularly with the additions of Sweden and Finland. The United States would still have a key role to play in the European side of the war, particularly in maintaining nuclear and other forms of deterrence. Ideally, Washington’s capacities would stop Russia from attacking a NATO country. But the United States’ European allies would be able to take the lead in many areas, such as supplying ground forces. They would not need U.S. aid and direction for every element of combat.

The situation in the western Pacific is different. China has a stronger military than does Russia, and it poses a graver danger to the prevailing regional order. The United States has capable local allies in Australia, Japan, and South Korea, but there is no NATO equivalent. There are many capabilities that only the United States can bring to the table, including nuclear deterrence; key naval, air, and space capabilities; as well as vital logistical support such as munitions. Washington would need to work with Taiwan, and potentially others, to help Taipei resist Chinese attacks and to augment Taiwanese military power. Such an effort would involve forces operating out of U.S. territory, such as Guam, as well as from the territory of allies such as Japan. It would require that the United States protect its territory and allies in the western Pacific and beyond, including the continental United States, as well as its computer networks and satellites. Such a campaign might last months.

This type of war would be frightening, in no small part because it would occur under the shadow of the Chinese, Russian, and U.S. nuclear arsenals. These three powers would have to communicate redlines to one another—for example, attacks on U.S. and allied territory—to avoid the use of weapons of mass destruction. These redlines would likely constrain each state’s military operations. In doing so, the war might simmer longer, but it would likely cause less damage. But the presence of nuclear arsenals would also significantly raise the stakes of escalation. It’s not impossible that the war could produce the world’s first nuclear attacks since 1945.

RUN IT BACK

The more one outlines a conflict between China, Russia, and the United States and its allies, the more it starts to resemble World War II. Analysts don’t even need to look into the future to see the similarities; there’s much about the present day that resembles the international order in 1939. Two authoritarian powers—China and Russia—have formed a loose alliance based on shared goals of redrawing the political map, just as Germany, Japan, and Italy did in the 1930s. Russia is trying to conquer land in Europe, and its violent quest risks spiraling outward, bringing other parts of the continent into combat. China’s increasing belligerence toward Taiwan means that conquest could also return to Asia. The United States and its allies must plan for how to simultaneously win wars in Asia and Europe, as unpalatable as the prospect may seem.

As they do so, they can study the Allied victory in World War II. At first, this comparison may not be encouraging. The ingredients of American success included the mobilization of U.S. science, technology, and industry, as well as the development of new ways of war, and measured by this yardstick, there is much to be done. When it comes to mobilizing industry in support of national security, it is China that most closely resembles the United States in 1940. But the United States has vast reserves of untapped energy in both its defense sector and in the economy more broadly. It can regain the industrial upper hand. And the U.S. armed forces are staffed by dedicated and intelligent officers and soldiers—they have the skills to solve pressing operational challenges.

There is also one advantage the United States has from World War II that it never forfeited: its alliances. Unlike China or Russia, the United States has close ties with many of the world’s strongest militaries. The United States is also interlinked with most of the world’s vibrant economies. Washington needs to collaborate more closely with its partners on everything from defense research to operational planning. It needs to work with them to increase their reserves of munitions and weapons. But the United States has done all this before. There is no reason why it cannot do so again.


THOMAS G. MAHNKEN is President and CEO of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments and a Senior Research Professor at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. From 2006 to 2009, he served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Policy Planning.


Crafty_Dog

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WSJ: The Big One is coming and we are not ready
« Reply #1106 on: November 06, 2022, 03:56:37 AM »
‘The Big One Is Coming’ and the U.S. Military Isn’t Ready
A U.S. flag officer talks candidly about the fading U.S. deterrent.
By The Editorial BoardFollow
Updated Nov. 4, 2022 6:50 pm ET

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine revealed the fading power of America’s military deterrent, a fact that too few of our leaders seem willing to admit in public. So it is encouraging to hear a senior flag officer acknowledge the danger in a way that we hope is the start of a campaign to educate the American public.

“This Ukraine crisis that we’re in right now, this is just the warmup,” Navy Admiral Charles Richard, commander of U.S. Strategic Command, said this week at a conference. “The big one is coming. And it isn’t going to be very long before we’re going to get tested in ways that we haven’t been tested” for “a long time.”

How bad is it? Well, the admiral said, “As I assess our level of deterrence against China, the ship is slowly sinking. It is sinking slowly, but it is sinking, as fundamentally they are putting capability in the field faster than we are.” Sinking slowly is hardly a consolation. As “those curves keep going,” it won’t matter “how good our commanders are, or how good our horses are—we’re not going to have enough of them. And that is a very near-term problem.”

Note that modifier “near-term.” This is a more urgent vulnerability than most of the political class cares to recognize.


Adm. Richard noted that America retains an advantage in submarines—“maybe the only true asymmetric advantage we still have”—but even that may erode unless America picks up the pace “getting our maintenance problems fixed, getting new construction going.” Building three Virginia-class fast-attack submarines a year would be a good place to start.

The news last year that China tested a hypersonic missile that flew around the world and landed at home should have raised more alarms than it did. It means China can put any U.S. city or facility at risk and perhaps without being detected. The fact that the test took the U.S. by surprise and that it surpassed America’s hypersonic capabilities makes it worse. How we lost the hypersonic race to China and Russia deserves hearings in Congress.

“We used to know how to move fast, and we have lost the art of that,” the admiral added. The military talks “about how we are going to mitigate our assumed eventual failure” to field new ballistic submarines, bombers or long-range weapons, instead of flipping the question to ask: “What’s it going to take? Is it money? Is it people? Do you need authorities?” That’s “how we got to the Moon by 1969.”

Educating the public about U.S. military weaknesses runs the risk of encouraging adversaries to exploit them. But the greater risk today is slouching ahead in blind complacency until China invades Taiwan or takes some other action that damages U.S. interests or allies because Bejiing thinks the U.S. can do nothing about it.

ccp

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B21 bomber success so far
« Reply #1107 on: November 09, 2022, 10:11:45 AM »
" "A decade later, the Air Force’s new bomber means America is the only country in the world that can hold targets at risk inside mainland China—a capability essential to deterrence and avoiding conflict."

and on time, not over budget , running smoothly  :-D

https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/robert-spencer/2022/11/09/there-would-have-been-a-red-wave-but-one-group-saved-the-left-from-being-completely-obliterated-n1644558

"A decade later, the Air Force’s new bomber means America is the only country in the world that can hold targets at risk inside mainland China—a capability essential to deterrence and avoiding conflict."



Crafty_Dog

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Crafty_Dog

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GPF: Air War
« Reply #1111 on: December 20, 2022, 02:29:06 PM »
December 20, 2022
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The Effectiveness of an Air War
By: George Friedman
The Russians have initiated a concentrated air attack on Ukraine focused on the use of drones. The target is civilian and industrial infrastructure, primarily electrical and related systems. The intent of the attack is to undermine survivability in cities by limiting the transport of food, heating and so on, in order to compel the Ukrainians to surrender or to so weaken their defenses that a ground attack can successfully penetrate and seize territory. Failing that, the attack can also have a psychological dimension, inflicting significant civilian casualties, creating intense hardship and causing individual cities or even the country as a whole to surrender. It's intended to be a lower-cost and more efficient strategy than the use of massed infantry.

The problem with this strategy, however, is that it has been tried before and consistently failed. The Germans sought to force British capitulation through the concentrated bombing of London early in World War II. The damage and casualties were substantial, but the British did not surrender. Later in the war, the Americans and the British launched combined air attacks intended to break civilian morale and destroy German infrastructure. They failed. Indeed, the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey conducted after the war showed that German production actually rose during and after air assaults.

In Vietnam, the United States conducted air campaigns designed to damage North Vietnam’s industrial strength. Toward the end, Hanoi was attacked by devastating
B-52 assaults, which were less precise with far more civilian casualties. North Vietnam did not capitulate.

Each of these attacks was carried out by trained and motivated pilots in excellent (for that time) aircraft. The reasons for the failures had some consistency. Attacks on cities focused on the use of aircraft, making them vulnerable to air defenses. Intelligence on the location of factories and other infrastructure was imprecise, and therefore air attacks failed to hit their targets. Aircraft and munitions were periodically unavailable, which gave the enemy some breathing room. Perhaps most important, the attacks bred a spirit of resistance among the population, which meant that the causalities caused by effective attacks reduced the pressure on the government to capitulate. The population calculated that ruthless air attacks would mean a more ruthless peace. Some have even said that the Blitz saved Churchill. All of this is against the recuperative power of the enemy. Damage can be repaired, and total destruction from the air is difficult.

Concentrated air attacks were infrequently used against ground forces. The planes that were deployed were mostly fighter aircraft, which could practice more precision. This made necessary the dispersal of ground forces, which made carpet bombing only marginally effective and attack aircraft vulnerable to ground fire.

Russia's air assault on Ukrainian infrastructure and urban concentrations has one advantage over prior attacks: Drones have a degree of precision. The problem, however, is that their identification of targets relies on intelligence, which can become obsolete in the course of a flight. Moreover, intelligence is collected in an urban environment with a great deal of clutter. And in the current technological environment, drones are more likely to be shot down than aircraft in prior wars.

The most important point is that airpower, under the best circumstances, cannot take and hold ground. Ground forces must be deployed to do that. Drones can support ground campaigns, as airpower did in WWII and Vietnam, but the gap between intelligence and action makes support for ground attacks more difficult.

The Russians are therefore depending on a follow-up ground assault, combining artillery and infantry and confronting the same. The problem is that infantry can be widely dispersed and dug in, as it is today. Urban fighting against an enemy familiar with the ground conditions is challenging. The chances that airpower can ease this problem are as slim as they were in WWII or Vietnam. Ground forces will have to go in, and a good deal of the defending force will not have been knocked out by the air attack. They will be in the classic situation of infantry on the attack: facing counterfire from a well-dug-in enemy. It can be done, but I would argue that the newly trained Russian infantry will not be a match for the bloodied Ukrainian forces. Air power, save for nuclear, is a necessary but insufficient dimension of war.


Crafty_Dog

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F-15EX Missile Truck
« Reply #1113 on: January 09, 2023, 12:32:44 PM »

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Re: Military Science, Military Issues, and the Nature of War
« Reply #1114 on: January 09, 2023, 03:36:59 PM »
F-15EX: The U.S. Air Force Now Has a Real ‘Missile Truck’

that means china has it too
 :-P

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Sec Navy warns Uke war cuts US inventory dangerously, pist off at defense cons
« Reply #1115 on: January 12, 2023, 12:38:29 PM »
Navy Secretary Warns: If Defense Industry Can’t Boost Production, Arming Both Ukraine and the US May Become ‘Challenging’
Carlos Del Toro’s comments come as an admiral accuses weapons makers of using the pandemic as an excuse for not delivering arms on time.
Marcus Weisgerber
BY MARCUS WEISGERBER
GLOBAL BUSINESS EDITOR
JANUARY 11, 2023 03:58 PM ET

If weapons makers can’t boost production in the next six to 12 months, the United States may find it “challenging” to continue arming itself and helping Ukraine, the Navy secretary said Wednesday.

Carlos Del Toro was speaking to a group of reporters on the sidelines of a Surface Navy Association conference in Arlington, Virginia, just days after the Biden administration announced it would send armored fighting vehicles to Ukraine. Some Republicans are pushing for the U.S. to stop giving weapons to Kyiv.

The secretary was asked to respond to comments made at the conference by Adm. Daryl Caudle, commander of U.S. Fleet Forces Command. Caudle, the reporter said, worried that “the Navy might get to the point where it has to make the decision whether it needs to arm itself or arm Ukraine, and has the Navy gotten to that point yet?”

Del Toro replied, “With regards to deliveries of weapons systems for the fight in Ukraine…Yeah, that's always a concern for us. And we monitor that very, very closely. I wouldn't say we're quite there yet, but if the conflict does go on for another six months, for another year, it certainly continues to stress the supply chain in ways that are challenging.”

The Navy secretary said that Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks has been working “very closely with [the defense] industry, to motivate them to find out what their challenges or obstacles are to be able to increase their own production rates.”

“It's obvious that you know, these companies have a substantial pipeline for the future,” Del Toro said. “They now need to invest in their workforce, as well as the capital investments that they have to make within their own companies to get their production rates up.”

Most U.S. weapons sent to Ukraine are coming from Army, not Navy stockpiles. Still, U.S. officials recently announced they would start sending Sea Sparrow missiles to Ukraine. Last year, Denmark gave Ukraine U.S.-made Harpoon missiles.

Speaking earlier at the SNA conference, Caudle said that the timeliness of weapons deliveries have real implications both for the Ukrainian and U.S. militaries.

“I'm not...talking about what it’s doing to me, I'm talking about of course, we're going to help a country—deliver the stuff we need—so they can win that conflict against Russia and it's not going to destroy and set me back into the dark ages,” he said.

Over the past three years, companies have blamed weapons production delays on the supply chain issues and worker shortages stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Still, Caudle accused defense companies of using the pandemic as an excuse for missing weapons delivery deadlines.

“I’m not as forgiving of the defense industrial base. I’m just not,” he said. “I am not forgiving of the fact that you’re not delivering the ordnance we need. All this stuff about COVID this, parts, supply chain this, I just don’t really care. We’ve all got tough jobs.”

Caudle specifically mentioned torpedoes and Standard Missile-6 interceptors being late. Deliveries of the SM-6, which are made by Raytheon Technologies, have been slowed, in part, due to problems getting the rocket motors from Aerojet Rocketdyne, a key supplier.

“We’re talking about war fighting and nation security and going against a competitor here and a potential adversary that is like nothing we’ve ever seen and we keep dilly dallying around with these deliveries,” the admiral said. “I don't see good accountability and I don't get to see good return on investment from the government [side], I really don't.”

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GPF: Changes in Russian Military
« Reply #1116 on: January 17, 2023, 01:33:23 PM »
Revamp. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced that the armed forces will make several significant changes over the next three years. They include an increase in the number of military personnel to 1.5 million (a move that was initially discussed in December); the creation of two new inter-service strategic territorial associations; the reorganization of motorized rifle divisions in the Western, Central and Eastern military districts and in the Northern Fleet; and the strengthening of the combat component of the navy, aerospace and strategic missile forces. The ministry said the changes were necessary to ensure the “military security of the state.”




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