WASHINGTON: Don’t try to shoot down each arrow as it comes; shoot the archer. That’s a time-honored military principle that US forces would struggle to implement in an actual war with China, Russia, North Korea, or Iran, warns a new report from thinktank CSIS.
New technology, like the Army’s IBCS command network – now entering a major field test — can be part of the solution, but it’s only part, writes Brian Green, a veteran of 30 years in the Pentagon, Capitol Hill, and the aerospace industry. Equally important and problematic are the command-and-control arrangements that determine who makes the decision to fire what, at what, and when.
Today, the military has completely different units, command systems, doctrines, and legal/regulatory authorities for missile defense – which tries to shoot down threats the enemy has already launched – and for long range offensive strikes – which could keep the enemy from launching in the first place, or at least from getting off a second salvo, by destroying launchers, command posts, and targeting systems. While generals and doctrine-writers have talked about “offense-defense integration” for almost two decades, Green says, the concept remains shallow and incomplete.