Leaders today are being called upon to shape the future in a very different budget environment than ever before, and this will have an impact on the Navy and all services. The challenge, according to Adm. Gary Roughead, USN, Chief of Naval Operations, is that none of us has ever had to lead in this environment. "We are in uncharted territory," he explained at the AFCEA/USNI Joint Warfighting Conference in Virginia Beach, Virginia. And we must lead without any examples to look back upon, he added.
Joint Warfighting 2011
The most brutal facts of current reality must be confronted, and that starts at a national debt where we are borrowing 40 cents on a dollar right now.
Defense is being underfunded by between 20 and 40 precent across Europe. This is an incredible reduction in defense spending, and frankly quite dangerous, said VAdm. Robert G. Cooling, Chief of Staff Allied Command Transportation at the AFCEA/USNI Joint Warfighting Conference in Virginia Beach, Virginia. In this environment, we all need allies, even the United States. Fighting along with NATO is better than fighting ad hoc. Future operations need to be politically supportable, which means having the populace behind you, he explained.
The word cyber is frequently discussed, but depending on perspective, the definition varies. On a panel led by LtGen. Jeffrey A. Sorenson, USA (Ret.), former Chief Information Officer/G-6, Department of the Army, experts from different perspectives came together to discuss cyber in support of the warfighter.
The fiscal crisis in the United States is its primary security threat today, explained Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, USA, commander, Joint Forces Command at the AFCEA and USNI Joint Warfighting Conference in Virginia Beach. The previous decade was one of military expansion, but the next one will be a decade of contraction, he warned. But the most important thing is that "we do not get caught in the trap of doing more with less. There are still redundancies, and we have to figure out how much we need to eliminate them," he explained, but he says this needs to be done carefully within a process.
New technologies that are under development may not appear without hard decisions that must be made in a time of fiscal uncertainty.
Being successful in the era of irregular warfare will require a focus on new ways of building and preparing the force.
The most advanced military in the world must prepare for a future in which enemy technologies and capabilities negate existing advances.
Potential enemies are moving ahead with efforts to negate the U.S. high technology military through direct countermeasures or the deployment of equivalent, or peer, equipment.
The United States is not a fading power relative to China. Reports of waning U.S. influence have been greatly exaggerated.
China actually wants the United States to remain active in the Asia-Pacific region as a hedge against any other country's adventurism. And, most of the other countries in that region want the United States to remain active as a hedge against China.
Many participants in disaster relief are well-meaning players, but their efforts are hindered by complications that arise as their efforts ramp up.
The muscle of Joint Forces Command is not going away, only the overweight organization and its budget that grew fourfold since it was established, said RAdm. Ted Carter, USN, Commander, Joint Enabling Capabilities Command.
Terrorism and piracy have come together along the coasts of Africa and into the Indian Ocean.
Ships and submarines being built by the U.S. Navy today will be in service 40 to 50 years from now, according to the commander of the U.S. Fleet Forces Command. Adm. John T. Harvey, USN, explained that the Navy cannot afford to re-procure its fleet, so it must ensure that its platforms last for several decades.
No one can predict what the future holds, as too many changes are taking place in the political and natural world.
The future threat may be a hybrid threat.
Combat operations have spawned significant changes in military structure and operations.
Cyberspace security experts no longer can afford the luxury of traditional security.
Cyberspace is seeing the beginnings of the development of new types of destructive tools.