The US Army has begun to develop and field next-generation weapon systems – like autonomous killer robots, fifth-generation fighters, hypersonic technologies, laser cannons, rail guns, new squad automatic rifles, and quantum computers – in order to contend with its top rivals [Russia and China] on the modern battlefield across multiple domains—space, cyberspace, air, land, maritime, before the next round of hybrid wars break out around 2025 to 2040 timeframe.
During the Aspen Security Forum, which took place from July 18 to 21, Army Secretary Mark Esper spoke about the new Austin-based “Futures Command” as “the biggest organizational change since 1973” when the Army established Force Command and Training and Doctrine Command to counter the Soviet Union during the Cold War.
Almost half a century later, the purpose of adding a new command [Futures Command] is to maintain America’s empire of 800 military bases around the globe, along with countering new economic systems [Belt and Road Initiative and Maritime Silk Road] that Russia and China are attempting to bring online.
.@SecArmy Mark Esper describes the need for speed as the @USArmy moves systems from concept to delivery. He introduces Lt. Gen. John Murray, recently nominated to lead Futures Command. #AspenSecurity pic.twitter.com/Sas794LmqB
“It is important to note that the National Defense Strategy released earlier this year tells us that we need to be prepared for a high-intensity conflict and that we should consider strategic competitors such as China and Russia as those against us”, said Esper, emphasizing that the military is “ready for any kind of threat today”.
“In the meantime, as we implement our vision, we want to make sure that in a number of areas we can ensure that we are superior in different areas to ensure that we are able to deal with Russia, and eventually with China over this longer period,” he added.
.@SecArmy Mark Esper identifies Russia’s weaknesses (and the @USArmy’s advantages). #AspenSecurity pic.twitter.com/tbvmWyccYs
Since the September 11 attacks, the Army has concentrated on fighting insurgents across the Middle East. To pay for the warfighting, military planners cut funding for next-generation weapon programs to fund the trillions of dollars needed in Afghanistan and Iraq.
But with the Pentagon withdrawing forces from Afghanistan, the Army is pivoting back to another Cold-War style era against Russia, and now China.
Esper said the Army plans on replacing weapons that have been in service since the 1980s, with replacements sought for aircraft, tanks, Paladin artillery systems, and M4 carbine/ M249 light machine guns.
Esper told the audience to expect next-generation weapons...