A near-peer conflict between the U.S. and China will be a nightmare lived in real life. Just how scary the nightmare of war might be is dependent on what is done now. As policymakers and war planners prepare for the potential of near-peer conflict — the biggest fight of modern times — two imperatives must be considered: the rapid investment and fielding of highly employable technology, and greater autonomy and expectations from novel warfighters on the battlefield.
In a recent conversation at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. David Berger said that we will have to use everything in the cupboard to prevent conflict with China. At present, open-source war games predict that American fire power and expertise would prevail in a conflict with China. However, the current “victory gap,” is not static, and our military advantage over a near-peer adversary is not guaranteed in perpetuity.
The Department of Defense and Congress must push the envelope harder to reduce the time it takes to field and acquire new systems—technology at the speed of relevance.
While progress has been made to step up the pace of acquiring new weapon systems through existing acquisition authorities, it can be argued that much more speed is needed to ensure the force is ready for the next fight. This will mean more robust legislative reforms that entrust the Department of Defense with the authority to speed up the acquisition of emerging technology from future years to real-time relevance. It may even mean a radical idea: Buy now and report as soon as possible.
Read the full article from Defense News.
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