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January 20, 2023

The Siren Song: Technology, JADC2, and the Future of War

By Andrew Metrick

The United States military keeps worshiping at the altar of high technology when addressing rising Chinese military threats. Unfortunately, the United States will not be able to brute force its way to superiority through technology. The Pentagon needs to acknowledge this reality and start making real changes, where they can matter.

This love of technology should not be surprising to long-time observers of the U.S. military. We are a nation of engineers with a boundless optimism in our scientific capabilities to overcome any obstacle, and perhaps nowhere is that more ingrained than the defense sector. We believe, in our bones, that superior technology will deliver us to victory.

Winning future wars will not be about maintaining information advantage but rather prevailing when neither side has the advantage. And that is not a war that can be won by new technologies alone

Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2) is the most recent example of this tech-first trend in American military developments aiming to “sense, make sense, and act at all levels and phases of war, across all domains, and with partners, to deliver information advantage with the speed of relevance.” Moving faster and increasing the speed of decisions is laudable in a vacuum. But technology is not applied in a vacuum: Adversaries get a vote, and China has spent the past 20-plus years looking at the U.S. military with a microscope. The fundamental concept at the core of PRC warfighting doctrine, systems destruction warfare, is aimed at the very heart of U.S. dominance, network-enabled precision targeting. Vast reams of translated open-source materials point to this reality.

Read the full article from Breaking Defense.

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