If you want further proof of where Pentagon weapon spending is likely to head, check out the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assesments latest publication, Outside-In, Operating from Range to Defeat Iran’s Anti-Access and Area-Denial Threats.
The document, a concept for how the Defense Deparment can counter Iran’s increasingly sophisticated efforts to feild weapons that could hold the U.S. and its allies at bay, echoes CSBA’s other concepts adopted by the DoD, such as the Air-Sea Battle and the “family” of long-range strike systems. All of these call for an increased investment in long-range strike and ISR gear.
As I just wrote over at military.com’s homepage:
CSBA’s ideas and recommendations have a way of becoming Pentagon policy. Several years ago, CSBA recommended adopting an air-sea battle concept that focused on building long-range, carrier-launched stealthy UAVs, a family of long-range strike systems, a cyber buildup and a focus on setting up a number of disbursed bare-bones bases in the Pacific where U.S forces could scatter to in the event of a war with a China armed with very sophisticated area denial weapons. Many of these recommendations have found their way into the Pentagon’s new strategy and budgets.
So, what technologies should you watch if you’re using this and other CSBA reports as tea leaves to understand dufture pentagon budgets. Listen to what CSBA’s Mark Gunzinger, the man who authored the think tank’s latest report, said today:
We think the world is becoming increasingly non-permissive for military operations [in all domains]; air, space, sea, undersea and on the ground. If that trend continues, we’re going to have to move toward capabilities can operate in all those domains against those kinds of threats.
He went on to say that the Pentagon has “a mix problem, we have too much in the way of non-stealthy, non-survivable air capability [F-15s, F-16s, F/A-18s, etc] and too many short-range [F-35 Joint Strike Fighter] versus long-range [B-2 stealth bomber] capabilities. The vast majority of our combat air forces across the services are non-stealthy and relatively short-range. If we had a basing problem in the future, such as the one we illustrated today, you’ve got to question what value those fighter forces would be until we have access to the bases…We’re not saying don’t buy fighters in the future, we are saying, ‘take a look at the mix and make sure it’s right.’ Today it really isn’t, we need more of the long-range surveillance and strike capabilities and perhaps less of the shorter-range capabilities.”
CSBA’s new concept for dealing with Iran also calls for investing in stealthy, long-range bombers and UAVS (some of which will be carrier-launched) submarine-launched cruise missile capabilities, increased cyber warfare capabilities and amphibious warfare systems like the Marines’ new Amphibious Combat Vehicle.
Click through the jump to read the slides from Gunzinger’s presentation on CSBA’s Iran concept: