The United States has yet to strike a balance between being dominant in regular warfare and being able to fight an irregular war, according to the deputy commander of the Joint Forces Command. Vice Adm. Robert Harward, USN, offered that the United States even might be losing the war in cyberspace.
Change may be good for progress, but it is not good for Navy shipbuilding. A panel of experts addressing how to "fix" Navy shipbuilding agreed that changing the design in the process is responsible for most of the ills in Navy shipbuilding. However, they disagreed on many proposed solutions-and whether oft-stated ideas would even work in reality.
Providing economic stimulus to the defense sector could be a key part of revitalizing the U.S. economy, said Linda Mills, corporate vice president and president, Northrop Grumman Information Systems Sector. Mills urged that the government take the defense industry into account as it stimulates the economy to keep and create jobs.
New qualities such as initiative, adaptability and technological knowledge are replacing traditional military criteria for leadership. Panelists discussing "how to find, develop and promote people with the right stuff" cited traits that are valuable in the information age of asymmetric warfare. However, the Navy must change its way of rating and promoting personnel if these qualities are to dominate.
Most service personnel are motivated by a sense of duty to their country, but their services must continue to focus on quality of life-personal as well as professional. These points were driven home in a panel focusing on what it takes to keep people in uniform.
Many forward deployed ships in the U.S. Navy are becoming independent command and control (C2) nodes as they adapt for more complex missions, according to the commander of the Third Fleet. Vice Adm. Samuel J. Locklear III, USN, told a luncheon audience that C4I is the key enabler for the fleet.
The U.S. Navy must re-invent, re-set and re-design to meet its mission challenges in the face of anticipated defense budget cuts, said panelists presenting "straight talk from warfare commanders." This re-engineering must include new technologies to improve system efficiencies; increased training and simulation; and improved acquisition processes.
China is moving systematically to be a world power in economics and military operations by 2050, say panelists discussing whether China is a friend or a foe. However, none of this morning's panelists from the "China: Friend or Foe" breakfast dialogue could resolve that overall issue. They noted that many of China's moves are based on supporting its long march to modernization, and it sees continued peace in East Asia as a key to achieving that goal. However, it believes it must be able to counter U.S. military power to ensure its continued progress. And, it has gone to war frequently in the past 60 years, often while at peace.
No solution to the cyberspace threat seems imminent or even obvious, according to a panel asked "What keeps you up at night?" Cyberspace enemies can attack anywhere, and they don't need to expend any extraordinary resources to be effect in the infosphere.
The only way to defeat improvised explosive devices (IEDs) is to treat them as strategic weapons, says Lt. Gen. Thomas F. Metz, USA, director, Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO). And, with that approach, networking may be the key enabler. "We are in a long war against extremists," the general stated, and he described in blunt terms the atrocities these extremists commit against innocent people, particularly women. This will be a long fight against an enemy whose weapon of choice is the IED.
|Panelists engaging in a lively discussion on force structure are (l-r) Lt. Gen. Joe Weber, USMC (Ret.); Adm. Robert Natter, USN (Ret.); Gen. Barry McCaffrey, USA (Ret.), Lt. Gen. Daniel Leaf, USAF (Ret.); and panel moderator Col. Jack Jacobs, USA (Ret.).|
Much remains to be done even though the U.S. Navy has reconstituted its fleet response plan to suit a new era in which is must do more in less time, said Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert, USN, commander of the U.S. Fleet Forces Command.