(Defense One) A new SOCOM office is pursuing tools to understand and influence populations, clear rooms with robots, and spot new forms of jamming
(Defense News) The Pentagon has proposed legislation that aims to end reliance on China for rare earth minerals critical to the manufacturing of missiles and munitions, hypersonic weapons and radiation hardened electronics, by making targeted investments.
By Loren Thompson, Forbes: "As in other sectors of the economy, the coronavirus crisis has spawned uncertainty about the future in defense circles. Military planners, think tank analysts and media pundits are all speculating where Pentagon spending may be headed in the aftermath of the worst global pandemic in a century."
Neither Manned Nor Unmanned:
The Future Of Air Warfare Will Be About Teaming
By Dan Gouré, RealClearDefense: "There are three basic types of unmanned “wingmen.” They are distinguishable based on their sophistication (and therefore, by their cost) as well as the role they play in enhancing the capacity of manned systems."
Hypersonic Defense Requires Getting Space Sensor System Right
By Douglas M. Fraser, Frank Gorenc & John S. Shapland, RealClearDefense: “While the U.S. is rightly focused on combatting the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important for the leaders within Congress and the Pentagon to also prioritize preparing for another threat for which the nation currently has no defense: hypersonic weapons."
(Defense News) The Department of Defense and defense industry have a long history of responding quickly and forcefully to crisis, and the COVID-19 pandemic is no exception.
By Kris Osborn, Warrior Maven: "Future warfare will be characterized by what the Commander of Army Futures Command calls a “hyperactive battlefield” -- a chaotic, fast-moving mix of complex variables in need of instant analysis as lives….and combat victory...hang in a delicate, hazy balance of uncertainty."
By Robert Clifford, RealClearDefense: "With MR, we can rethink how the U.S. conducts command and control."
By Kurt Degerlund, Strategy Bridge: “Despite the promise of open government innovation, few open innovation projects have been able to produce more than token innovations that solve simple resource maintenance and allocation problems."
By Franz-Stefan Gady, IISS: "AI-enabled technologies based on machine learning algorithms that accelerate the so-called ‘kill chain' by linking sensors and shooters in an internet of things or system of systems architecture could have a profound effect on conventional offensive military operations."
By Robbin Laird, SLD.info: "“We are taking full advantage of the leap forward in many sensors and communications technology to interoperate in ways that were previously impossible. Faced with a resurgent and challenging ASW threat, we have not given up on the old tool sets, but we are adding to them and weaving them into a new approach.""
By Jim Banks, RealClearDefense: "The Chinese government’s mismanagement of the novel coronavirus not only spread the virus worldwide, it shut down many supply chains that the U.S. and other countries had become accustomed to; indeed, that the U.S. deeply relied upon."
By Donald Stoker, Military Strategy Magazine: "The literature on insurgency and counterinsurgency is voluminous and this is certainly not the place to discuss it, and wars in which insurgency is the dominant factor are invariably described as “limited.” What we must point out is that much of the writing on these topics is tactical and thus not directly related to our discussion."
Germs: The Seventh Domain of Warfare
By James G. Foggo III, Proceedings: "To protect our national security, we must improve our ability to fight pandemics—germs, the seventh domain of warfare."
By Kenneth Weisbrode & Heather H. Yeung, RUSI: “That the post-9/11 era is over, supplanted by a pandemic, is now taken for granted. In the defence and security world, the intellectual fascination with counterinsurgency has long since passed, replaced by ‘great power competition.'"
By Michael J. Mazarr, War on the Rocks: "Now that the pandemic crisis is hammering America’s finances, U.S. strategy risks veering even further into permanent insolvency."
Preparing for a Dark Future: Biological Warfare in the 21st Century
By Thomas G. Mahnken, RealClearDefense: "News of the spread of COVID-19 aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt and the subsequent relief of its Commanding Officer has highlighted the tension that exists between maintaining military readiness and the need to safeguard the health of members of the armed forces in the face of a pandemic."
By Connie Lee, National Defense Magazine: “The Defense Department is speeding up early research-and-development efforts by working closely with academia and switching to a distributed research model, which will allow multiple organizations to work on initiatives more easily."
By T. X. Hammes, War on the Rocks: "The Marine Corps’ efforts to date represent a powerful first step in the process of transforming the force from its current configuration to one more suited to the rapidly changing international security environment."
The Army will pick either the Bell 360 Invictus or the Sikorsky Raider-X as its Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft. Get a close-up look at both contenders.
The Raider-X compound helicopter not only meets the Army’s Future Attack Reconnaissance needs today, Sikorsky FARA director Tim Malia told us: It has the margin for growth “to be a good investment for the taxpayer for decades to come.”
If the Pentagon does build the mobile reactors, it will deploy them far from the front lines – and even if they’re hit, their revolutionary TRISO fuel pellets will stay intact at temperatures that can melt steel.
The Need for Strategic Coherence
By Robbin Laird, SLD.info: "With a growing array of single service initiatives designed to compete for “deterrence badges” in the great power competition, there is a clear danger of splintering deterrence rather than reinforcing it."
By Daniel Vazquez, War on the Rocks: "The infantry community has a problem. The centerpiece of the Army's operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the infantry brigade combat team, is in danger of becoming obsolete in the face of near-peer opponents."
By Alex Gallo, The Hill: "China’s aggressive behavior to outright steal our technological secrets, build a generic version of our technological platforms, and re-orient U.S. tech companies has been exposed, to paraphrase Ernest Hemingway, “slowly... then suddenly.”"
Why This Pandemic Is Different
By Shlomo Ben-Ami, The Strategist (ASPI): "Long before people and goods were traversing the globe non-stop, pandemics were already an inescapable feature of human civilisation. And the tragedy they bring has tended to have a silver lining: perceived as mysterious, meta-historical events, large-scale disease outbreaks have often shattered old beliefs and approaches, heralding major shifts in the conduct of human affairs. But the Covid-19 pandemic may break that pattern."
By Gareth Rice, Grounded Curiosity: "Drugs have a long history in war. In fact, drugs and war may have always existed together in some form, leading Wes O’Donnell to declare that “Wars are rarely fought totally sober.”
Quantum computers are expected to be powerful enough to break the current cryptography that protects all digital communications. But this scenario is preventable if policymakers take actions now to minimize the harm that quantum computers may cause. Read more »