Defense spending critics want to change the make up of military

The Obama administration foresees 21st century wars fought with fewer boots on the ground and more drones in the air, while the Pentagon continues buying weapons from the last century.

In his Feb. 12 State of the Unionaddress, President Barack Obama said America no longer needs to deploy tens of thousands of troops to occupy nations or meet the evolving threat from new extremist groups. Cyber-attacks are the “rapidly growing threat,” he said.

Nevertheless, the defense budget contains hundreds of billions of dollars for new generations of aircraft carriers and stealth fighters, tanks that even the Army says it doesn’t need and combat vehicles too heavy to maneuver in desert sands or cross most bridges in Asia, Africa or the Middle East.

“There’s a fundamental need to have a conversation about what kind of military we need to have and what we should expect it to do,” Andrew Bacevich, a West Point graduate and former Army colonel who now teaches at Boston University, said in an interview.
There is much more.

The US is still going to been combined arms operations and the makeup of those arms needs to be a mix of heavy and light weapons so that it can deal with multiple threats at the same time.  It is a mistake to get too focused on just a few weapon systems.  Advances in body armor are going to make for a heavier infantry that is better protected.  The enemy response is likely to be heavier weapons used against us.  Finding those crew served weapons and destroying them will become a priority, and we will probably use more smart weapons for that task.


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