While the U.S. may have superiority among all global military forces due to the sheer numbers of its military forces, weapons, jets, ships and tanks alone, one think tank is now saying the U.S. has to think harder. In today’s war, sheer number alone cannot ensure victory, not if there are guided missile systems that can take out your assets before you can even deploy them.
This is one of the foremost findings by Mark Gunzinger and Bryan Clark in their latest report for the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. It is not because the Pentagon is not trying hard to close the missile threat gap.
In fact, the Department of Defense (DoD) is said to have spent more than $24 billion in “buying a mix of capabilities to defeat guided missile threats” as it believes these missile threats are a “cost-imposing challenge to U.S. and partner naval forces and land installations.”
However, the said investments were said to have “fallen short.”
Does The U.S. Measure Up To Its Enemies When It Comes To Long Range Guided Missiles?
The DoD has viewed fielding long range surface-to-air interceptors in order to counter anti-ship cruise missiles of ballistic missiles from the likes of North Korea and Iran as costly.
It must also be noted that in the past, the U.S. military has never had to face an enemy who can conduct precision strikes from a long distance.
However, today is simply too different from back then with China, Russia, Iran and North Korea already having developed their own guidance and missile technologies.
For one thing, China is already equipped with anti-ship cruise missiles (ASCM’s) and land-attack cruise missiles (LACM’s). Aside from these, China also now has several types of ballistic missiles that is capable of reaching U.S. bases in the Western Pacific as well as its ships at sea.
Meanwhile, Iran may still be struggling with the accuracy of its own long-range weapons, it is looking to acquire improved guidance systems from China, North Korea and other countries who can provide missile technology.
Recommendations For U.S. Military
In order to counter the advance of these countries, the report has made a number recommendations that would “create advantages in future salvo competitions.” One of these is the proposal that the U.S. military operate from bases and locations at sea that would be outside the missile striking range of an enemy. Another proposal involves taking advantage of cluster basing in order to “dilute enemy strikes over larger target areas.”
At the same time, the report had also numbered a number of capabilities that would give the U.S. military advantage when comes to air and missile defense.
These include medium-range kinetic interceptors, guns that can launch guided or hypervelocity projectiles, directed energy weapons, electronic warfare countermeasures and more.
It seems that even today, the primary problem here still remains to be funding. Of the $524 billion requested for the DoD in the FY2017’s President’s Budget, less than $3 billion was allocated for the acquisition of missile interceptors of all types. The report says that this may simply “prove insufficient to develop effective defenses.”
Also read: How Scared Is US Of WW3? See Infographics