The shift from slo mo — counterinsurgency operations — to high intensity combat is a major challenge for the US military and its allies. It is a culture shift, a procurement shift and an investment shift. But mobilization is even more important than modernization.
To get ready for this shift, our weapons inventory needs to become more robust. In visiting US bases, a common theme we hear is the challenge of basic inventory shortfalls.
The Trump Administration came to power promising to correct much of this. But there simply is not enough time and money to do readiness and training plus ups, mobilization and rapid modernization.
As a businessman, Donald Trump might take a look at how the Pentagon actually functions as an effective business in equipping the force. Having highlighted the question of allied spending, he might be pleased to learn of significant allied investments in new combat systems which his own forces can use, saving American taxpayers money and enhancing our military effectiveness at the same time.
One way to augment US forces would be to do something which might seem to be at odds with the Make America Great notion. As one of my Danish friends put it well: “I have no problem with the idea of making America great again. For me, the question is how?”
One way would be to leverage existing allied capabilities which, if adopted by the US forces, would save money but, even more importantly, would ramp up the operational capability of the US forces and their ability to work with allies in the shortest time possible. It would also allow the US to target investments where possible in break through programs which allies are NOT investing in.
It is time to take a global view as the coming of the F-35 and the P-8 have made it very clear that global technology is a key element for shaping 21st century high-intensity combat forces, even if some of their leaders seem to be at odds.