Strategic Forces Still Winning

So, CDR Salamander is pointing out at the U.S. Naval Institute blog that the Pentagon’s new strategy is a potentially big win for the Navy, I’d add the  Air Force, too.

Sal points out that the new strategy’s focus on Asia and developing a host of deep strike weapons capable of defeating modern defensive systems (known as anti-access/area denial systems, A2/AD), ISR, increased electronic/cyber warfare, partnership building, counter-terror and UAV ops are right up the sea service’s alley.

A2/AD, “Influence Squadrons,” Asian focus, rebuilding neglected readiness areas – these are all Navy areas. We need to embrace them and lean in to the President’s challenge. Less money is always less fun – but it can also bring rewards if you take advantage of the opportunities it can present.

Well, many of these are missions that the Air Force will have a key role in as well. The air service is working hand hard with the Navy to craft the air-sea battle concept aimed at fighting in the vast expanses of the western Pacific Ocean. The two are also working on developing the long discussed “family” of long range strike systems that will included the Air Force’s new bomber along with cruise missiles — and possibly ballistic missiles —  and UAVs developed by both services, possibly jointly. As for drones, ISR and the Air Force, well, they’ve become pretty synonymous in the past few years.

Now, this movement toward Asia and cost-effective strategic weapons isn’t brand new. Heck, check out last year’s budget announcement and you’ll see a big focus on what the Pentagon considers its vital strategic weapons programs. Read the new strategy and last year’s budget for clues as to what programs will win and which will lose when the Pentagon reveals its new budget in a couple of weeks. Remember, in a time of tight spending, budgets will follow strategy.



  • Alexander

    I for one am not surprised that the AF and Navy are the big winners here. A simple look at a map of the Pacific makes plain why this is. Look for a new bomber platform, longer range UAV assets, and enhanced naval numbers. Long range strike weapons will come as a matter of corurse. Don’t be surprised at additional funding for intelligence gathering space based systems.

  • Kotch

    ground forces really dont need a lot of work either… maybe start thinking about better anti-air gear

  • bobbymike

    Need to develop a new heavy lift prompt global strike missile to supplement our strike forces.

  • jamesb

    As usual….
    Hardware driven…..
    Air Force Fast movers!
    Things NEVER Change….

    • Prodozul

      War. War never changes.

      • blight

        Hooray for a Fallout reference.

        • Prodozul

          It seemed appropriate

      • crackedlenses

        Fallout or not, it’s still very true….

  • James Purdy

    …and the second cold war begins. Guess we shouldn’t have spent so much at wal-mart on Chinese rubber dog $&@%.

  • Lance

    Its a good idea. Ships and new Fighters.bombers are needed now days. Crappy Army programs like GCV and ICC are a waste of money and need to die. Most attention should be for deterrence and counters of China and Russia.

  • William C.

    Meaning I could actually see a B-3 before I die? That would be good.

  • Clive

    Wonder how big a balls-up that new strategic bomber will be, probably a massive one with half a billion doller cost per unit and a production run of 12.

    • William C.

      Or we could decide on a set of requirements and planned production numbers, not change them, and actually do it right this time.

      Because going from 132 to 21 aircraft does have something of an effect on unit cost you know…

  • Sev

    Looks like the B1 had sex with the B2 to make the B3 in the picture. Similar nose and cockpit to the Lancer and wings of the B2

  • Joe

    Just building up for a new cold war that will never turn hot. Then when we are in a COIN battle in mexico in 10 years, we will be scrambling to replace the skill sets and gear necessary to fight a mountain and jungle based insurgency. While multi billion dollar platforms cruise the seas and skies looking for targets and defending us from threats our enemies have no desire to provide.

    • crackedlenses

      Or we can spend all our time preparing for COIN ops, then get caught with our pants down when our enemies turn out to be conventional militaries…..

  • Tad

    I guess the terrorists never really panned out as enemies; after all, there haven’t been any attacks against the US mainland for over 10 years. Oh well, at least we got to spend 2 trillion dollars and institute mass surveillance of the populace. But now that people are seriously questioning the whole fiasco, it’s time to go get another enemy, hopefully one with more staying power.

    • blight

      Flip a coin. Heads it’s Russia, Tails it’s China.

    • fromage

      The Kardashians?

  • Dave Barnes

    Flight of the Old Dog and subsequent novels.

    • Kevin McCune

      Maybe some of the legacy platforms can be updated-I may be old fashioned,but looks to me like something could have been done with the A-6.

  • SJE

    I am concerned about underinvestment in human fighters. Sure, we need tech for near-peer conflict. But troops are not just for assymetric warfare. In fact, skills such as COIN and SPEC OPS are very useful for large conflicts, especially if we are supporting insurgencies in the enemy’s territiory. Also, what is our back up if the enemy disables sections of the forces, such as with EMP or hacks into our comm-links, or we have a critical fuel shortage that limits abilities to operate with all our fancy kit? Finally, using troops instead of heavy strategic weapons allows us to scale our response to the threat, instead of having an all or nothing response.

  • Guy

    The pretext of ‘taking on China’ with high-tech, capital intensive (read taxpayer funded) projects is… asinine to the say the least.

    If the Israelis don’t sell the tech outright to China before hand (a la PAC3s in Finland) or your GWOT ‘Allies’ don’t hand the tech over to China (a la crashed stealth copter in Pakistan) or your enemies don’t capture the tech for show&tell with China (a la Iranian RQ) then the legions of Chinese hackers and agents in the US, will simply just steal the tech directly from US contractors or .mil databases (a la F-22).

    As such, the B3, Global Strike, et al. platforms, will be countered, copied and neutralized before they even leave the production line.

  • Hunter78

    The windshield proves this is a multi100billion $ waste, unless you’re on the receiving end.

    • William C.

      You’re an idiot. Wait until your unmanned bomber loses satellite connection and glides to a landing somewhere where you don’t want it to be.

      • Thomas L. Nielsen

        ….and it’s carrying four 20kT next-gen tactical nukes.

        Regards & all,

        Thomas L. Nielsen

  • Monk

    Who’s “we”? The military gets its hardware, corporations profit, and the sheeple foot the bill.