Brent Scowcroft Center Nonresident Senior Fellow August Cole cowrites for Reuters on the need for innovative US military technology to address new and emerging global threats:
Terrorism and Middle East insurgencies are not going away. Yet in the 21st century, the United States must understand it faces a return of a serious national-security concern that shaped the last century: the risk of great-power conflict.
The Defense Department’s new military strategy acknowledges this by noting the implications of the renewed rivalry with China and Russia. The possibility of a major war with great powers, like World Wars One and Two, is “growing,” according to the US National Military Strategy released this month.
Yet the US defense establishment still has one foot in the past and only a tentative one in the future. The Pentagon talks the talk of military innovation to deal with this new mix of threats but doggedly pursues costly weapons programs anchored in dangerous past compromises. Not only are the weapon systems unlikely to deliver well in today’s conflicts, they also could become vulnerabilities exploited by America’s adversaries during wartime