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.

    • fromage

      Is that a veiled assertion that we need new nukes on new ICBMs, or did you forget a comma?

      • bobbymike

        Prompt global strike has always been used to describe conventionally armed systems on “strategic weapon systems”. As for the comma, huh?

        As for the word “veiled” if you have ever read any of my posts (why would you) I often, quite obviously, call for new nukes on new delivery systems but to avoid confusion I use ICBM or SLBM as has been used for fifty plus years for nuclear systems.

        • neither

          Yeah, I know. But you wrote “heavy lift…,” which could easily be slang for nuke, which you promote at all occasions. So hooray, we just coined a new euphemism! That was the comma. As for your posts, I’ve read them for years and disagree with probably 90% of them. But I’m aware of them, which is why I asked about the contextual meaning of “heavy lift.” Kablooey!

          • fromage

            Gah someone used this computer before me. Apologies. Fromage.

  • 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.

    • Uranium238

      I really hope it’s built to look just like the picture I see on this article. That bomber looks beautiful and absolutely insidious. I love it!!!

    • fromage

      Sorry bub. It’s stealth. No-see-um.

    • Lance

      I doubt it no program will start till the 2020s and then by the time a B-3 will be in service the B-52s will be in service past 2045 and B-2s might be retired due to budget cuts. I hope the new bomber wont look like the awful drawing on this page its another B-2 then. Hope for a new awesome design.

      • fromage

        It would seem that there’s a rash of comma-forgetting going on.

  • 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

    • Uranium238

      Yet it still looks amazingly good!!!

  • 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.

      • BigRick

        Russians not very likely, China it is certain, all one has to do is to listen to what they are saying and see what they are doing, it’s obvious to everyone not wearing the rose-colored made in China sun glasses.

        But, China isn’t just interested in the gaining control of the Pacific, they are also eying Russia’s vast natural resources, water, land, minerals, oil, gold, just sitting there ready to be taken (Russia won’t be able to stop them).

        • blight

          Russia isn’t in NATO: so the US wouldn’t be obligated to defend them. We won’t hit them, so they could certainly use European forces as their strategic reserve, in a reverse of how Eastern forces were strategic reserves for Europe.

          A reading of Inside the Soviet Army suggests that at its heyday they recycled old Soviet tanks for use as border turrets, but with the demise of the USSR it’s likely border troops have taken funding cuts, and since border troops don’t do the military parade propaganda thing, they’re unlikely to be well funded. I guess they can serve adequately as meatshields until reinforcements arrive. Wonder if they will use chemical weapons…

    • 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.

    • Dark Truth

      In reality we do not need such a large amount of troops, there is always a large amount of well trained reserves that we can pull if there’s a huge conflict. Why bring all the young men and women into the military when they can be working to build the economy which is critical for our security. Imagine 1.5 million soldiers meaning 1.5 million less workers. In general the world has been pretty peaceful for the past couple of decades with only small military conflicts here and there. It doesnt require the US to go all out with million of troops. Lets look at the most recent one, Libya, the airforce and our allies were pretty successful there with no ground troops present. It also shows 1 thing, if the US limited its military intervention other allies will have to jump in with greater responsibility. So why do we need to go all out all the time and take all of the cost burden? Like Japan wth is Japan doing with total military personnel of 250,000 when there neighbor China has 2 million? It doesnt matter how technological japan’s military is, if 1 million chinese troops invade their island japan is still done deal. Cmon USA make our allies take more responsibilities.

      • SJE

        I agree that the economy would grow more if more soldiers were working in business. But the same argument applies to equipment. An F-22 is not a “productive asset” in the economy. If anything, soldiers are better investments because they can be more quickly turned into skilled workers, but you can’t repurpose an F-22 into a crop duster.

        • The Dark Truth

          If you were to read the New York Times article last month regarding the returning troops from Iraq, you would see that it is not “quickly” or easy for returning troops when they get home. The battlefront and military lifestyle that they have lived with for years are completely different with the ordinary life that they will encounter when they return home. Especially, when they are being interviewed for jobs their only listed experience is operating weapons, is that really competence in an ordinary job? And who say an F22 is not a productive asset? In order to successfully research and develope an F22 it requires thousands of engineers to work. So imagine if there is no such program what will happen to these engineers? jobless, but since there is such a program they get a job, and they are able to do research and advance our country technology, its a win-win thing beside losing some tax money on the program.

  • 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.