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Report on U.S. Military Power 2012 (6)

(People's Daily Online)

10:56, July 19, 2013

III. Clarifying Principles of U.S. Force and Program Development

The strategic guidance document makes it clear that the U.S. will build a force that is smaller, more agile, and technologically more advanced. To that end, it must adhere to eight principles. First, the future force will possess a range of capabilities for the missions mentioned above. As there are distinctions between these primary missions and other missions in terms of urgency and importance, the development level of all these capabilities will be different from each other. It is impossible to give up any of these mission areas; and it is imperative to protect U.S. forces’ ability to regenerate capabilities that might be needed to meet future, unforeseen demands. Second, U.S. forces should seek to differentiate between the investments that should be made immediately and those that can be deferred. This includes an accounting of U.S. ability to make a course change in investment that could be driven by strategic, operational, economic, technological, and other factors. The concept of “reversibility”, therefore, is a key part of the decision-making process. Third, U.S. forces are determined to improve their war preparedness. Even as they reduce their overall capacity, they maintain a ready and capable force. Fourth, DoD must continue to reduce administrative expenditure, find further efficiencies in operating DoD, and reduce its manpower costs and health care costs. Fifth, it is necessary to examine the strategic influence. It is important to evaluate how this strategy will influence existing campaign and contingency plans so that limited resources may be invested in critical areas. Sixth, DoD needs to examine the mix of Active Component (AC) and Reserve Component (RC) elements and to specify the readiness of RC. Seventh, special measures will be taken to retain and build on key advancements in networked warfare in which joint forces can be truly interdependent. Eighth, DoD will maintain an adequate industrial base and investment in science and technology, and encourage innovation in concepts of operation. Over the past decade, the U.S. and its allies and partners have applied innovative approaches in counter terrorism and counterinsurgency operations. The same is true with U.S. forces in A2/AD and cyber operations.

The strategic guidance document outlines major adjustments in U.S. defense strategy when the war in Iraq has concluded, the war in Afghanistan is drawing near an end, its national economy remains in recession, and its defense budget is suffering significant cuts. In terms of threat assessment, the U.S. takes China as its greatest potential security challenge, and Iran and DPRK as immediate adversaries to be deterred and cautioned against. While continuing to fight against violent and radical terrorists, the U.S. will shift its defense focus from tackling terrorism to dealing with major powers and regional challenges. In terms of war preparedness, the U.S. is prepared to fight and win high-end conventional warfare against a backdrop of nuclear deterrence, focusing on dealing with A2/AD threats. It is determined to ensure fighting and winning a large-scale war, and at the same time deter and defeat attacks launched by a second adversary elsewhere. In terms of force development, the U.S. will amend force structure, shifting from expanding land,maritime, and air forces to developing both joint forces that are smaller, more agile and advanced, and emerging operational forces such as space and cyberspace units. In terms of strategic center of gravity, the U.S. will tilt from Europe to the Asia-Pacific region with Guam as the hub, Japan as a pivot in the north and Australia as a pivot in the south. The result is that U.S. military presence is reinforced with 60% of its warships deployed in both the Pacific and the Indian Oceans. U.S. military buildup in the region is now characterized by a multilayered presence with a broad front and depth. The ultimate purpose of this shift is to maintain absolute U.S. military superiority and global leadership in time of decline with strategic realignment.

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Email|Print|Comments(Editor:YanMeng、Yao Chun)

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