The Pentagon Should Freak Out: Russia and China Are Winning Wars in Simulations

The Pentagon Should Freak Out: Russia and China Are Winning Wars in Simulations

David Axe

Security,

What can be done?

Key point: America’s reliance on large, vulnerable installations and big ships is becoming a hindrance.

The U.S. military keeps getting its butt kicked in war games, one analyst told Breaking Defense reporter Sydney Freedberg, Jr.

It would cost $24 billion a year to fix the worst problems, the same analyst said.

“In our games, when we fight Russia and China, blue gets its ass handed to it,” David Ochmanek, an analyst for the California think tank RAND, said as part of a March 7, 2019 panel discussion at the Washington, D.C.-based Center for a New American Security.

“It turns out U.S. superweapons have a little too much Achilles in their heels,” Freedberg quipped.

According to Ochmanek, American bases are vulnerable to attack by long-range missiles. So are large warships sailing the open seas. “Things that rely on sophisticated base infrastructure like runways and fuel tanks are going to have a hard time,” Ochmanek said. “Things that sail on the surface of the sea are going to have a hard time.”

American forces’ over-reliance on large, vulnerable installations and big ships renders moot the high-tech qualities of the stealth aircraft that fly from the bases and the ships, said Robert Work, a former deputy defense secretary who also sat on the CNAS panel.

“In every case I know of, the F-35 rules the sky when it’s in the sky, but it gets killed on the ground in large numbers,” Work said, according to Freedberg.

The increasing vulnerability of U.S. forces to missile strikes helps to explain why the U.S. Navy has proposed to decommission one aircraft carrier decades earlier than it previously had planned, Freedberg explained.

Of course, it’s possible the Navy’s proposal to mothball USS Harry S. Truman is a ploy to extract extra funding from Congress.

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