4 hours ago
Monday, January 10, 2011
Ready For the Next War?
I found this article through Instapundit this morning, and I have to disagree with the premise of the article.
Two things I will say first: One- Air Power was developed to save men on the ground; and Two- The Military always plans to fight the last war.
The article talks about how the Air Force budget is being cut, and air power being returned to the Army because that's how it works best in Iraq and Afghanistan. Fair enough. Local theater rules.
But to use the War on Terror as a basis for determining the future of the entire military force set up is crazy.
What will the next war be?
If we are again taking on a rogue regime in a low tech area, then this plan will work, just as it has worked in Iraq and Afghanistan.
But what if we're not? What if we are fighting China or Russia?
Sure carpet bombing in a limited war, like the War on Terror, is not an acceptable option. Does that mean we will never be in a situation where massive conventional bombing will be required?
Control of the air means control of the ground. We didn't over run Iraq in 36 days because our Army and Marine Corps was invincible (although they are incredibly capable); we did it because we controlled the air.
Look at it this way. One of the things that made space travel semi-affordable was the space shuttle; a reusable space vehicle. Think of an F-22 as a reusable cruise missile. A cruise missile is a great delivery option for a nuclear warhead. No crews are put at risk, and the cost is less than the risk of losing a plane and crew.
But to drop a conventional weapon that way doesn't make fiscal sense.
You also miss out on the psychological impact of men on the ground seeing a sky dark with bombers, each delivering a 40 ton payload.
Reducing our "need" for the technology of bombers and fighters also reduces our technological and manufacturing edge, something else I have been fighting agaisnt for the last few years.
Our military needs to be ready to fight any war; both the last one and the next one. The way Obama is going I wonder if we will be ready for ANY war.