What DoD’s New Strategy Means for Post-9/11 Tech

Here are some interesting technology-related quotes that Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and Vice Chairman of the joint Chiefs, Adm. James Winnefeld just said about the Pentagon’s defense strategy that was unveiled unvieled this morning. The two were responding to a reporters question about whether the UAV fleets that were built up for the fights in Iraq and Afghanistan will be cut as the U.S. ends its fights in the Middle East and slashes defense spending.

While many capabilities, such as Cold War legacy systems will be cut, new tech that was developed in the wars in Iraq and Afgahanistan will be nurtured and integrated into the 21st Century military replied Carter and Winnefeld.

Here’s what Carter had to say:

There are lots of capabilities that were developed over the course of the last decade that reflected modern technology and modern warfare, not just COIN [counter-insurgency] warfare, that we want to make part of the future. So when I say we’re not going to keep the large force structure in being, but the critical skills, the critical enablers, the novel things that war over the last decade has taught us, we do want to keep and include in our force structure. You’ll see examples of that in a couple of weeks, very deliberate ones in which we’re building in some of the things you saw in Iraq, you see in Afghanistan and designing how they will fit into the force structure in the long run.

And here’s Winnefeld’s two cents:

We’ve learned an awful lot over the last ten years in these two fights in Iraq and Afghanistan and I think it’s sometimes important to tease out the difference between COIN and counter-terrorism, and we’re doing an awful lot of counter-terrorism work right now using those tools. One of the interesting things for me is that a lot of what we’ve learned in the COIN business transcends the COIN business and is applicable to a lot of the other things that we can find ourselves doing in the world. By the same token, a lot of the things that we’ve built, that we’ve added to the force technically, and it’s not just ISR platforms, it’s networked approaches to warfare and the like, are applicable to other forms of warfare. So we’re not going to throw the baby out with the bathwater, we’re gonna take the lessons, take the technologies that we’ve developed over the last ten years and apply them to the future.

While the Pentagon won’t discuss the details of what tech will be cut and what will be kept, this gives you a clue that we’ll be seeing investment in advancing the drone, communications and cyber tech that has been developed in the last decade.

  • dddd

    Question for everyone:
    1) If you could cut the JSF and invest the saved funds into three areas (not including benefits or salaries), where would you choose?
    I would say a) unmanned systems b) directed energy weapons c) rail guns (you may think its pie in the sky, but I think we will be surprised how soon these are a reality)

  • Marcase

    I find it always interesting how US DOD policies say “we won’t do that”, yet in the end they do precisely the most unwanted thing.

    George H Bush said “We don’t do nation-building”, yet that’s exactly what was done (well, tried anyway) both in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    What I’m trying to say is that policy papers may say that the Two Block War (capability) is abandoned, I would not be surprised if that may happen in the future.

    Often, conflicts / wars themselves pick the time and place, all you can do is react to it instead of claiming that we don’t *do* that type of thing.

  • kotch

    Dddd if they cut the F35 i would hope a ton of funds were put into another manned fighter program asap. I dont think were ready to replace manned strike fighters with drones and a little under 200 F22s

  • Lance

    Well true more of a deterrence force against Russia and China are needed and the Army is not needed for such a task a more robust Air Force and Navy are needed so I see the Army getting slashed and the Navy and USAF getting the life line. Fact is army projects are NOT needed GCV JLTV and the even more wasteful ICC need to go away. Like some said it be better for the DoDs dollars to goto new planes like the F-35 and F-15K/SE upgrade’s and new ships like Virgina Class subs and DDG1000 destroyers than wasted on wasteful army programs.

  • Black Owl

    I only have one question: When will someone get the balls to cancel the F-35?

    The Iraq War cost a little over $300 billion. The JSF is over $300 billion. We could have fought a whole other war with the amount of money the JSF cost and it still isn’t ready. Or it would have been better if we tried to invest that money into some sort of active stealth technology that could be equipped to all our 4.5 gen fighters like the F-16.

    • SJE

      This is a very difficult decision. A lot of allies bought into the F-35 program and did not make purchases or investments in other fighters. If the US pulls the plug, allies would be pissed and the US defense industry would lose credibility. Already there are replacement purchases of other fighters (e.g F18), leaving less in their budgets for the F35.

    • guest

      “The Iraq War cost a little over $300 billion”

      LOL. Where did you get those costs…fantasy land?

  • nitrox

    I agree because just like at the end of the Cold War and at the beginning of the new millennium we can be damn sure air power nerds can handle everything and no one will ever start any wars that require experienced ground troops.

  • BYOGuns

    Can we just admit that the IED literally and figuratively killed the US’ will to fight ground wars? The conflicts in Iraq and AFPAK would have and should have been a cakewalk, but were not thanks to this device. JIEDT Spend 100 of Billions to solve it and never did.

    Now we pack up and go home wiht our tails between our legs, saying we will never do that messy thing again. Let us do what we are good at, spending money and on things that will never be used and preparing for scenarios that will never come; and and once again be caught with our pants down, with the wrong products and skill-sets. We suck at wars but are tops at planning and buying for wars that never materialize.


  • The_Hand

    Powered armor.

  • TH1

    I love unmanned platforms for all the reasons most people do. But there is one huge problem… they can be hacked and once they are, the entire fleet could become useless in the middle of combat… US must be overly careful to not allow itself to become volunerable to such a real threat against a top tier enemy (Russian, China)

  • flatwoodsflyer

    here goes congress again, cutting the ANG, do these idiots ever do anything right, just keep cutting and put us in a bind, the countries that hate us are just setting back waiting for us to weaken our military, Iran is one country to keep our eye on, China is another, in fact China has weakend our economy to the point that we couldn`t win a war with them, big time back stabbers, get rid of congress and the senate, that have made a life time of screwing up every bill that is put before them: just vote in Nov, get off you`re duffs and VOTE