Future Trends

Joint Chiefs Chair Stresses Urgent Need to Modernize US Military Capabilities

Military modernization

Joint Chiefs Chair Stresses Urgent Need to Modernize US Military Capabilities

Gen. Mike Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, sought to draw parallels between the current era and the years separating the two World Wars, which saw unprecedented advancements in weapons technology. The last time the military failed to master new technological advances after World War I, the loss of life in the next war was on “a scale that’s difficult to fathom,” he said.

America’s highest ranking soldier in active service warned that the Department of Defense must quickly modernize in a number of areas or risk suffering extremely high casualties in the next great power conflict, National Defense Magazine reported. There are up to 50 technologies that will converge within the next 15 years, which, when combined, promise to “fundamentally change the conduct of war,” he added.

Defense technologies where the U.S. cannot afford to be left behind include long-range precision fires, 5G communications technology, hypersonic weapons, microelectronics, space, cyber, artificial intelligence, shipbuilding and nuclear systems, Milley said.

The four-star general highlighted the game-changing potential of robotic systems, saying that unmanned technology will be an increasingly large part of the joint force.

Speaking at the Navy League’s annual Sea-Air-Space conference in National Harbor, Maryland, on Monday, Milley stressed that the Pentagon will need to significantly advance its capabilities as it faces a potential conflict against advanced adversaries like China.

Milley warned that the U.S.-led world order is under stress, noting China’s growing military, economic and diplomatic influence. He said that the most populous country in the world will be a major agent of change to the current international order.

Milley admitted that it is not easy to strike the balance between “preserving present greatness and future modernization.” He noted the budget strain that the services face as they pursue their modernization priorities while dealing with the upkeep of legacy systems.

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Category: Future Trends