As the Pentagon prepares to bolster its counterinsurgency capabilities, the big winners appear to be light intratheater cargo planes, unmanned aerial vehicles, countermine warfare systems. Losers may include amphibious craft, heavy armored vehicles and air defense systems, according to defense officials and experts.
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Unless DoD gets billions more from the White House, the money will be shifted from existing weapon programs to new irregular warfare tools, and to efforts to gird the Navy and Air Force to fight a major conventional war, Ochmanek said.
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The Navy and Air Force will address “higher-end gaps” related to a major conventional war with a peer military.
+++++++Phi Beta Iota Editorial Comment+++++++
The profound ignorance of history and strategy within the most senior ranks of the Pentagon (i.e. the Policy and Acquisition elements ignoring Intelligence) is not surprising, but continues to disappoint.
$60 billion within a budget that is close to $1 trillion a year now is chump change. This is less than a 10% shift and comes under the heading of “cosmetics.” While the Air Force does indeed need redirection, both an increase in the C-130 and other innovative intra-threater delivery devices (e.g. geo-guided precision air drops), and the Air Force desperately needs a long-haul lift capability, the Air Force cannot be trusted to get this right as their leadership is currently oriented. Similarly, the Navy needs a 450-ship littoral Navy, a distributed Navy with many small platoforms able to execute the “pile-on” operational concept devised in 1992, but that is not where the Navy will spend the money–they are too busy justifying strategic nuclear submarines with five-foot wide tubes as their primary “Irregular Warfare” platform.
The Army Strategy Conference got it right in 1998–not only do we need to abandon the two theater concept (how very sad that it should take Versailles on the Potomac 21 years to catch up with the Army's Strategic Studies Institute)–but the Pentagon needs to understand the 1+iii (One Plus Triple Eye) concept advanced in 1998 and confirmed in 2008 at the Army Strategy Conference focused on Rebalancing the Instruments of National Power.
From where we sit (the cheap seats), the USA appears to lack a national strategy, a foreign affairs strategy, a military and military support to Whole of Government strategy, and a military acquisition strategy. Nothing has changed–just the specific words used to pay lip service to fad of the day, Irregular Warfare.