Break the Kill Chain, Not the Budget: How to Avoid U.S. Strategic Retrenchment
Technical Report,27 Jul 2015,10 Jun 2016
NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV NORFOLK VA NORFOLK United States
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In order to avoid an economic collapse and strategic retrenchment similar to what the Soviet Union went through at the end of the Cold War, the United States needs to adopt a blended defense acquisitions strategy. As the Cold War began and facing mounting Western military strength, the Soviet Union needed to grow their defense forces. The Soviets decided on an offset strategy that sought a quantitatively superior force designed to break individual links in the United States and Western kill chains. The decision had detrimental impacts on Soviet foreign policy and its economy. In contrast, the United States invested in a qualitatively superior military manifested by advanced technologies. However, unlike the Soviet Union, the United States had a sufficiently resilient economy to back the qualitative offset strategy. The United States addiction to advanced technologies enabled the asymmetric military advantage it helped build during the Cold War and enjoys today, but the fiscal reality of perpetuating such a trend is bleak. In order to escape the Cold War fate of the Soviet Union, the United States must continue to utilize existing military platforms with added off the shelf technologies, complete existing advanced programs such as the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, DDG-1000 Zumwalt class destroyer, and the Long-Range Strike Bomber, as well as increase unmanned systems utilization. Additionally, the Unites States must remain committed to investing in research and development in order to feed the American innovation machine that draws the envy of allies and adversaries alike.