Complacency Threatens U.S. Military Supremacy

May 11, 2011
By Robert K. Ackerman
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The United States faces increased threats from abroad that could negate is superiority in many key military disciplines unless it re-dedicates itself to investment in progress, according to a former Defense Department official. Michael W. Wynne, former secretary of the air force, warned a Joint Warfighting Conference 2011 that the United States is dropping its guard in equipping the force for future conflict. "We have been lulled into a sort of lethargy by doing what we should be doing-exploiting the concept of total air dominance," Wynne said in using the Air Force as an example to discuss the challenge. 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. He drew from history in describing how Germany actually lost World War II in 1936, the year that the United Kingdom won it. Germany made a crucial error in canceling development of a four-engine Dornier bomber that would have won the air war over Britain. Simultaneously, British defense scientists developed the radar technology that enabled them to protect their domestic air bases when the Germans attacked with their light bombers. Not only must the United States avoid that type of mistake, it cannot count on cooperation from a future foe. "We can't expect that future competitors will make a mistake in strategy like the Germans did," he stated. "As a nation, we are turning away from consolidating our gains, Wynne stated. "We have achieved much by dominating the third dimension. "These gains did not come without standards and vision."

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