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Technologies, Capabilities Can Reshape Joint Force

May 16, 2012
By Robert K. Ackerman
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The changes needed in the U.S. Joint Force can be achieved by adapting new technologies to most of the existing force, stated the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, USA, described how those technologies can achieve vital changes to the audience at Joint Warfighting 2012 in Virginia Beach. Looking ahead to Joint Force 2020, Gen. Dempsey said that 80 percent of that force already is programmed or in place. The remaining 20 percent is not programmed, and it can be tailored to suit requirements. "We either can change the 20 percent that is not yet programmed, or we can change the way we use the 80 percent," the general stated. Foremost among the technologies that both can define the 20 percent and change the 80 percent is cyber. Saying "Our actual cyber capabilities are beginning to resemble science fiction," Gen. Dempsey predicted that cyber "will be a standalone capability with global reach ... it will allow the 80 percent to be used differently." The military must aggressively pursue both offensive and defensive cyber capabilities throughout the entire force, integrating it from the start. Other game-changing technologies cited by Gen. Dempsey include intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance along with long-range strike; undersea technologies, in which the United States already is strong; and unmanned technologies, which are gaining in importance.

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