Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Cartwright: U.S. Force-Sizing, Basing Strategy Need Overhaul

This is an excerpt from:
Defense News, June 4, 2009

Cartwright: U.S. Force-Sizing, Basing Strategy Need Overhaul


Over the next few years, the U.S. military is likely to become engaged in a number of hot and cold conflicts, each spanning five to 10 years, meaning the Pentagon must "adjust" its decades-old force sizing and basing constructs, says Gen. James Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs. ...

... Cartwright said he continues to press for development of a new weapon that would allow Washington to take out a fleeting target in a manner of minutes.

The Marine Corps general said he has concluded conventionally armed bombers are "too slow and too intrusive" for many "global strike missions."

Cartwright for several years has advocated for a "prompt global strike" weapon, which would be ultra-fast and fitted with a conventional warhead.

Congress, due largely to worries that other nations, like Russia, would be unable to quickly determine whether an in-flight warhead was nuclear, has refused to fund the program.

Cartwright said even congressional skeptics of the idea realize there is a "military requirement" for such a fast weapon to take out fleeting targets.

The requirements for such a weapon are "starting to emerge," he said."At the low end," a PGS weapon would probably need to be launched and hit a target within "one hour," Cartwright said. "At the high end," the time frame could be as short as "300 milliseconds."

The military might need a "hypersonic" weapon that would travel in the exoatmosphere to take out a limited number of fleeting targets, he said.

Finally, Cartwright told the audience the Pentagon is examining a new concept, called "extended deterrence," something "we're trying to force into the QDR."The idea would be to field a weapon so effective that it would dissuade enemies from carrying out a specific activity, while also "not starting a nuclear arms race" and "giving allies comfort."

The options for an "extended deterrence" capability, he said, are not limited to nuclear-armed weapons.

Full article at http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=4123641&c=AME&s=LAN

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