Smart Thoughts Important to Future of National Security,
April 8, 2000
The authors begin by noting that there is “a deep chasm between the advent of technology and its full implementation in doctrine and strategy.” In their history of failure they note how conventional wisdom always seems to appreciate the systems that won the past wars, and observes that in the U.S. military there is a long history of transferring power from the political and military leadership to the technical and acquisition managers, all of whom have no real understanding of the current and future needs of the men who will actually fight. They address America’s vulnerability in both U.S. based logistics and in overseas transport means-“Destroying even a portion of American supply vessels could so disrupt the tempo of a logistical build-up as to delay offensive operations indefinitely.” They have a marvelous section on the weaknesses of U.S. data gathering tools, noting for example that satellites provide only a static picture of one very small portion of the battlefield, rather that the wide-area and dynamic “situational awareness” that everyone agrees is necessary. They go on to gore other sacred oxes, including the Navy’s giant ships such as the carrier (and implicitly the new LPH for Marines as well as the ill-conceived arsenal ship) and the largest of the aircraft proposed by the Air Force. They ultimately conclude that the future of war demands manned space stations that are able to integrate total views of the world with control of intercontinental precision systems, combined with a complete restructuring of the ground forces (most of which will be employed at the squad level) and a substantial restructuring of our navel force to provide for many small fast platforms able to swarm into coastal areas.