CSBA "Third Offset" paper

jsport

what do you know about surfing Major? you're from-
Joined
Jul 27, 2011
Messages
3,757
Reaction score
1,438
In its 2018 report, the bipartisan National Defense Strategy Commission expressed concern that “China’s missile, air, surface, and undersea capabilities” would grow and potentially make it too costly for the United States to respond to Chinese military aggression in the Taiwan Strait. Since 2018, the Chinese military has only improved the capacity and range of these capabilities.
 

jsport

what do you know about surfing Major? you're from-
Joined
Jul 27, 2011
Messages
3,757
Reaction score
1,438

bobbymike

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2009
Messages
11,347
Reaction score
2,946
 

jsport

what do you know about surfing Major? you're from-
Joined
Jul 27, 2011
Messages
3,757
Reaction score
1,438

That overhead is not just in cost to the taxpayer, but also in the time lag that comes with NGA’s processes, including those related to security for classified information — a fact that the agency itself is clearly aware of and is seeking to redress.

That time lag is what is of greatest concern to military commanders, who are seeking near real-time battlefield information to manage machine-speed, All Domain Operations in future conflicts with peer competitors Russia and China. Foundational to this new way of war is DoD’s plan for Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2), which is aimed at linking all sensors to all operators and weapons platforms near instantaneously.


Again, why not split DIA, NSA NGA, back down to the svcs (MCIA,ONI, NGIC, AIA) and CIA?
 
Last edited:

jsport

what do you know about surfing Major? you're from-
Joined
Jul 27, 2011
Messages
3,757
Reaction score
1,438

Thinking about defeat is not merely taboo in U.S. strategic culture. It is illegal in some cases. In August 1958, Sen. Richard Russell expressed outrage that he had heard on the radio “that some person or persons holding office in the Department of Defense have entered into contracts with various institutions to conduct studies to determine when and how, and in what circumstances, the United States would surrender to its enemies in the event of war.” Russell proposed an amendment to the supplemental appropriations bill then under consideration that “no part of the funds appropriated in this or any other act shall be used to pay” for studies of this kind. While the Eisenhower administration (which protested that Russell misrepresented the studies he was condemning) and some senators pushed back against the amendment, it ultimately passed with 88 votes for and only two against.

But, in the present, when near-peer adversaries are increasingly capable of defeating U.S. conventional forces on a theater level, U.S. decision-makers can no longer afford to pretend that defeat is not a real possibility. And, so long as policymakers do not take losing seriously, they are unlikely to take the difficult steps needed to prevent such a defeat.

Robert Work contends that the capability to “Sink 350 Chinese navy and coast guard vessels in the first 72 hours of a war, or destroy 2,400 Russian armored vehicles” would have this effect. Work also suggests that, with some relatively affordable investments (about $8 billion per year for three years), the U.S. military could actualize such capabilities in the near term.

Should an adversary invasion appear underway, it may become necessary to launch the campaign against it as quickly as possible. But, with feints, provocation, and deception, the adversary may obscure whether an invasion has begun, sowing uncertainty and undermining U.S. decision-makers’ willingness to take the fateful step of attacking Russian or Chinese forces. If adversary leaders come to doubt U.S. resolve, then deterrence could fail. If strategic partners come to doubt it, they may feel compelled to appease their neighbors rather than entrust their security to Washington.

Even if planners make the optimistic assumption that the capability to sink Chinese ships and destroy Russian armor can be made a reality at modest cost, as argued by Work and others, this does not mean that the associated denial strategy is a sure bet in case of war. Firstly, one or more necessary enablers of the capabilities may prove more technically challenging than anticipated or even impossible. Secondly, even if the requisite capabilities could be realized quickly and cheaply in the abstract, this does not mean they necessarily will be in practice. The history of U.S. defense procurement in the post-Cold War period is littered with examples of technologically ambitious systems that consumed huge development budgets without becoming operational realities.
Implementation of the new capabilities may simply be flawed or delayed for all-too-familiar mundane reasons. The denial strategy also hinges on presidential resolve, as Montgomery pointed out. Even if the capability works, if the United States fails to use it promptly, the effect could be the same as if it didn’t exist. Finally, defining the problem in narrow operational terms simply invites the adversary to devise an alternative mode of attack. Explicitly signaling that U.S. leaders think of the problem this way makes it makes it clear for the other side how to begin planning accordingly.

Because of these considerations, the national security establishment may need to contemplate some kinds of near-peer conflict that it would rather not think about if it is to minimize the chances of defeat. If a near-peer conflict is not terminated on terms favorable to the United States and its allies in its opening phase, then there are two basic possibilities. The first of these is that the adversary managed to accomplish some or all of its goals in the opening phase of the war, but that the United States and its allies have refused to give up the fight. This presumably means a transition to a protracted war, possibly one of attrition. Even if the status quo ante could not be restored, Washington decision-makers might still feel it necessary to pursue such a conflict. Rationales for this could include a desire to shore up the faith of other allies in U.S. security guarantees and to impose costs on adversaries to deter them from further aggression. Unfortunately, U.S. strategy has not planned seriously for protracted near-peer conflict since the early Cold War. Being prepared for this contingency could demand considerable preparation and significant opportunity costs, but these may prove the best defense investment budget planners could make in the case of high-level conflict.

The second way that a protracted near-peer conflict might begin would be if the United States and its partners successfully parried an initial assault but the adversary refused to retire, initiating a protracted war on their own terms instead. While it seems like Western analysts have neglected this scenario, it seems all too plausible in some of the contingencies of interest (such as a Chinese invasion of Taiwan). Such a campaign might allow an aggressor to attain their goals even if these eluded them at first. For example, if a U.S. denial campaign depended upon an inventory of some hard-to-replenish resource (such as precision-guided munitions) and these assets were depleted in the opening phase of the war, the adversary might be able to regroup and mount another more successful attack before the United States could reconstitute its denial capability. Moreover, the failed initial attempt would also provide learning opportunities that might be exploited to neutralize U.S. advantages in the rematch. And, even if an adversary campaign of attrition fails to achieve its objectives, the United States and its partners might have to deal with its consequences.

It is much more unpleasant to envision losing than winning — but this does nothing to change the fact that defeat is an increasingly plausible possibility in a war with Russia or China. Brad Roberts has argued forcefully that the United States should have clearer “theories of victory,” but, in addition to “theories of victory,” defense planners need to have “theories of defeat” in order to turn those theories into self-negating prophecies. In order to forestall defeat, the Pentagon may need to envision how it could lose. Defense intellectuals could contemplate all the diverse ways U.S. forces might be defeated instead of one or two specific ways in which they would prefer to win. At the very least, planners could begin formulating contingency plans to continue the fight should the opening phase of a near-peer conflict fail to go as desired. An essential first step could be to start taking the prospect of protracted near-peer conflict seriously. Whether or not U.S. policymakers want such a conflict, one may be imposed upon them — and at present, America is woefully underprepared for it.
 

jsport

what do you know about surfing Major? you're from-
Joined
Jul 27, 2011
Messages
3,757
Reaction score
1,438

Richard based this warning on the fact China is boosting all areas of its missile force, including both quantity and quality of its strategic delivery systems — the “explosive growth and modernization of its nuclear and conventional forces can only be what I describe as breathtaking. Frankly, that word, breathtaking, may not be enough.”

Although China remains the major focus for everyone in the national security apparatus these days, Richard noted that the biggest nightmare for the US isn’t just Chinese nuclear modernization, but that there would be closing ties between Beijing and Moscow — leaving the US, for the first time in history, up against two nuclear competitors instead of just one.

“I think it’s a mistake to think about them in isolation of each other,” Richard noted, citing a series of recent military exercises between the two powers. “The continued defense relationship should not be underestimated or ignore, and I don’t think our national intellectual capacity has been sufficiently engaged to consider all the ramifications here.”
 

jsport

what do you know about surfing Major? you're from-
Joined
Jul 27, 2011
Messages
3,757
Reaction score
1,438

 

jsport

what do you know about surfing Major? you're from-
Joined
Jul 27, 2011
Messages
3,757
Reaction score
1,438

Thinking about defeat is not merely taboo in U.S. strategic culture. It is illegal in some cases. In August 1958, Sen. Richard Russell expressed outrage that he had heard on the radio “that some person or persons holding office in the Department of Defense have entered into contracts with various institutions to conduct studies to determine when and how, and in what circumstances, the United States would surrender to its enemies in the event of war.” Russell proposed an amendment to the supplemental appropriations bill then under consideration that “no part of the funds appropriated in this or any other act shall be used to pay” for studies of this kind. While the Eisenhower administration (which protested that Russell misrepresented the studies he was condemning) and some senators pushed back against the amendment, it ultimately passed with 88 votes for and only two against.

But, in the present, when near-peer adversaries are increasingly capable of defeating U.S. conventional forces on a theater level, U.S. decision-makers can no longer afford to pretend that defeat is not a real possibility. And, so long as policymakers do not take losing seriously, they are unlikely to take the difficult steps needed to prevent such a defeat.

Robert Work contends that the capability to “Sink 350 Chinese navy and coast guard vessels in the first 72 hours of a war, or destroy 2,400 Russian armored vehicles” would have this effect. Work also suggests that, with some relatively affordable investments (about $8 billion per year for three years), the U.S. military could actualize such capabilities in the near term.


Should an adversary invasion appear underway, it may become necessary to launch the campaign against it as quickly as possible. But, with feints, provocation, and deception, the adversary may obscure whether an invasion has begun, sowing uncertainty and undermining U.S. decision-makers’ willingness to take the fateful step of attacking Russian or Chinese forces. If adversary leaders come to doubt U.S. resolve, then deterrence could fail. If strategic partners come to doubt it, they may feel compelled to appease their neighbors rather than entrust their security to Washington.

Even if planners make the optimistic assumption that the capability to sink Chinese ships and destroy Russian armor can be made a reality at modest cost, as argued by Work and others, this does not mean that the associated denial strategy is a sure bet in case of war. Firstly, one or more necessary enablers of the capabilities may prove more technically challenging than anticipated or even impossible. Secondly, even if the requisite capabilities could be realized quickly and cheaply in the abstract, this does not mean they necessarily will be in practice. The history of U.S. defense procurement in the post-Cold War period is littered with examples of technologically ambitious systems that consumed huge development budgets without becoming operational realities.
Implementation of the new capabilities may simply be flawed or delayed for all-too-familiar mundane reasons. The denial strategy also hinges on presidential resolve, as Montgomery pointed out. Even if the capability works, if the United States fails to use it promptly, the effect could be the same as if it didn’t exist. Finally, defining the problem in narrow operational terms simply invites the adversary to devise an alternative mode of attack. Explicitly signaling that U.S. leaders think of the problem this way makes it makes it clear for the other side how to begin planning accordingly.

Because of these considerations, the national security establishment may need to contemplate some kinds of near-peer conflict that it would rather not think about if it is to minimize the chances of defeat. If a near-peer conflict is not terminated on terms favorable to the United States and its allies in its opening phase, then there are two basic possibilities. The first of these is that the adversary managed to accomplish some or all of its goals in the opening phase of the war, but that the United States and its allies have refused to give up the fight. This presumably means a transition to a protracted war, possibly one of attrition. Even if the status quo ante could not be restored, Washington decision-makers might still feel it necessary to pursue such a conflict. Rationales for this could include a desire to shore up the faith of other allies in U.S. security guarantees and to impose costs on adversaries to deter them from further aggression. Unfortunately, U.S. strategy has not planned seriously for protracted near-peer conflict since the early Cold War. Being prepared for this contingency could demand considerable preparation and significant opportunity costs, but these may prove the best defense investment budget planners could make in the case of high-level conflict.

The second way that a protracted near-peer conflict might begin would be if the United States and its partners successfully parried an initial assault but the adversary refused to retire, initiating a protracted war on their own terms instead. While it seems like Western analysts have neglected this scenario, it seems all too plausible in some of the contingencies of interest (such as a Chinese invasion of Taiwan). Such a campaign might allow an aggressor to attain their goals even if these eluded them at first. For example, if a U.S. denial campaign depended upon an inventory of some hard-to-replenish resource (such as precision-guided munitions) and these assets were depleted in the opening phase of the war, the adversary might be able to regroup and mount another more successful attack before the United States could reconstitute its denial capability. Moreover, the failed initial attempt would also provide learning opportunities that might be exploited to neutralize U.S. advantages in the rematch. And, even if an adversary campaign of attrition fails to achieve its objectives, the United States and its partners might have to deal with its consequences.

It is much more unpleasant to envision losing than winning — but this does nothing to change the fact that defeat is an increasingly plausible possibility in a war with Russia or China. Brad Roberts has argued forcefully that the United States should have clearer “theories of victory,” but, in addition to “theories of victory,” defense planners need to have “theories of defeat” in order to turn those theories into self-negating prophecies. In order to forestall defeat, the Pentagon may need to envision how it could lose. Defense intellectuals could contemplate all the diverse ways U.S. forces might be defeated instead of one or two specific ways in which they would prefer to win. At the very least, planners could begin formulating contingency plans to continue the fight should the opening phase of a near-peer conflict fail to go as desired. An essential first step could be to start taking the prospect of protracted near-peer conflict seriously. Whether or not U.S. policymakers want such a conflict, one may be imposed upon them — and at present, America is woefully underprepared for it.
Work's purposed missiles prevent defeat.

 

jsport

what do you know about surfing Major? you're from-
Joined
Jul 27, 2011
Messages
3,757
Reaction score
1,438

Indeed, the divide between commercial cyber and technology companies and the military is so severe, Roper said, that the two are “annexed.” His solution is to lower the barriers to entry—and exit—into the Pentagon workforce.

“If there were opportunities to come into the government for limited tours of duty, where [innovators] could solve significant challenges and then easily go back to the private sector where their skills are refreshed, I think we would see a completely different dynamic within the government,” said Roper, now the CEO of drone logistics company Volansi.

While the military cannot hope to offer the same pay and benefits as a private company, “innovators and entrepreneurs gravitate to problems,” Roper added, and government should work to make itself an attractive, flexible place where those people can go to wrestle with those problems.

Roper isn’t the only one pushing for changes in how civil and military service are understood. Chief of Space Operations Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond and other leaders within the U.S. Space Force have touted the benefits of a new approach that will allow part-time service among individuals who are already working in the space industry.

The importance of flexibility in the workforce to leverage talent isn’t just a theoretical benefit, added Mark Sirangelo, a member of the Defense Innovation Board and a former executive vice president with Sierra Nevada Corp. Speaking alongside Roper at the virtual forum, Sirangelo pointed to how China handles its workforce.

“If we don’t look at how … we bring the best of the best to the upcoming issues and potential fight that we might have, we’re going to have a challenge here,” Sirangelo said. “And I think one of the things that at least I’ve seen that China has been doing is, they have significant human capital—that’s not news to anyone—but I think the other piece of that, though, is career tracking that capital, so that the experience and longevity and understanding gets to be maintained.”

Between the Defense Department and private industry, Sirangelo said, the U.S. has to develop its own human capital plan to leverage its strengths.

That plan will feed into a larger strategic approach in competing with China—and just like it should emphasize flexibility and collaboration between industry and government, the broader strategy can’t be too rigid, Roper said.

“If we have the fastest and most agile system in the world, then we can deal with the most uncertainty, and that will have a deterrent factor for the U.S.,” Roper said. “And we don’t have that today. So we’re on the losing side of the strategy, and we must get to the winning side. The answer is not going to be airplanes, ships, [or] ground vehicles. The answer is going to be the fastest and most agile system, to build whatever. The future is too uncertain to say, ‘We know how to beat China in 2030, 2035.’ … If you don’t know what the future is, be agile.”
 

jsport

what do you know about surfing Major? you're from-
Joined
Jul 27, 2011
Messages
3,757
Reaction score
1,438

jsport

what do you know about surfing Major? you're from-
Joined
Jul 27, 2011
Messages
3,757
Reaction score
1,438

Indeed, the divide between commercial cyber and technology companies and the military is so severe, Roper said, that the two are “annexed.” His solution is to lower the barriers to entry—and exit—into the Pentagon workforce.

“If there were opportunities to come into the government for limited tours of duty, where [innovators] could solve significant challenges and then easily go back to the private sector where their skills are refreshed, I think we would see a completely different dynamic within the government,” said Roper, now the CEO of drone logistics company Volansi.

While the military cannot hope to offer the same pay and benefits as a private company, “innovators and entrepreneurs gravitate to problems,” Roper added, and government should work to make itself an attractive, flexible place where those people can go to wrestle with those problems.

Roper isn’t the only one pushing for changes in how civil and military service are understood. Chief of Space Operations Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond and other leaders within the U.S. Space Force have touted the benefits of a new approach that will allow part-time service among individuals who are already working in the space industry.

The importance of flexibility in the workforce to leverage talent isn’t just a theoretical benefit, added Mark Sirangelo, a member of the Defense Innovation Board and a former executive vice president with Sierra Nevada Corp. Speaking alongside Roper at the virtual forum, Sirangelo pointed to how China handles its workforce.

“If we don’t look at how … we bring the best of the best to the upcoming issues and potential fight that we might have, we’re going to have a challenge here,” Sirangelo said. “And I think one of the things that at least I’ve seen that China has been doing is, they have significant human capital—that’s not news to anyone—but I think the other piece of that, though, is career tracking that capital, so that the experience and longevity and understanding gets to be maintained.”

Between the Defense Department and private industry, Sirangelo said, the U.S. has to develop its own human capital plan to leverage its strengths.

That plan will feed into a larger strategic approach in competing with China—and just like it should emphasize flexibility and collaboration between industry and government, the broader strategy can’t be too rigid, Roper said.

“If we have the fastest and most agile system in the world, then we can deal with the most uncertainty, and that will have a deterrent factor for the U.S.,” Roper said. “And we don’t have that today. So we’re on the losing side of the strategy, and we must get to the winning side. The answer is not going to be airplanes, ships, [or] ground vehicles. The answer is going to be the fastest and most agile system, to build whatever. The future is too uncertain to say, ‘We know how to beat China in 2030, 2035.’ … If you don’t know what the future is, be agile.”
 

jsport

what do you know about surfing Major? you're from-
Joined
Jul 27, 2011
Messages
3,757
Reaction score
1,438

jsport

what do you know about surfing Major? you're from-
Joined
Jul 27, 2011
Messages
3,757
Reaction score
1,438

Three options were developed.

  1. The first is called "Proportional Reductions" and is described as "deterrence by denial," which relies on combat troops "denying or reversing military gains in regional conflicts." However, under this plan, personnel numbers are eventually reduced by 20%.
  2. Another is called "Coalition Defense" and the CBO described it as "deterrence through punishment." This option reduces "conventional forces, such as brigade combat teams and fighter aircraft, and increases in long-range strike capabilities, such as cruise missiles, anti-ship missiles, and air defense missiles." Or, "Put another way, the objective in Option 2 would be to inflict high military, economic, and diplomatic costs for military aggression."
  3. And the last path to $1 trillion in cuts is called "Command of the Commons," and it emphasizes "freedom of navigation in sea, air, and space around the world" while also "avoid[ing] the use of large ground forces to seize and hold territory in regional conflicts in favor of engaging enemies at standoff ranges." In terms of manpower, "DOD would retain a slightly larger naval force than in Option 1, but that force would be reconfigured to better maintain U.S. control of sea-lanes."
FWIW: None of these would be as painful as reductions in the 1990s or the early 2010s. "Although substantial," CBO warns, "a reduction that reached 15 percent by 2031 would be smaller than both the 1990s' budget reductions (a 30 percent decline in annual budgets between 1988 and 1997) and the 18 percent decline in annual budgets between 2012 and 2015 that followed enactment of the Budget Control Act of 2011." Read the full report, here.
A second opinion: This is "an extremely timely reminder" of what's possible "for considerably less money than is being contemplated by either Congress or the Biden administration," said William Hartung, who directs the Arms and Security Program at the Center for International Policy.
"At a time when Congress is seeking to add $24 billion to a Pentagon budget proposal that far exceeds spending at the peak of the Korean or Vietnam wars, the CBO analysis offers an opportunity to step back and take a closer look at how much is actually necessary to protect the U.S. and its allies," Hartung continued. "At a time when the greatest risks to our lives and livelihoods are not military in nature, saving a trillion dollars that could be devoted to preventing pandemics, addressing climate change, or reducing racial and economic injustice is no small matter."
 

Similar threads

Top