MCViewPoint

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Posts Tagged ‘high-tech’

The Pentagon’s Days of Future Past – Antiwar.com Original

Posted by M. C. on April 27, 2019

None other than Robert McNamara alerted us 25 years ago that high-tech military forces and equipment are tragically limited in so-called small wars against motivated adversaries. But, the Pentagon refuses to accept this lesson.

https://original.antiwar.com/dave_foster/2019/04/26/the-pentagons-days-of-future-past/

Polish cavalry didn’t really charge tanks as the Germans rolled into their country in 1939. But they did have an outmoded military. Last War-ism played a part: Polish cavalry (along with effective code breaking) fended off the numerically superior Soviets in 1920. But the Poles weren’t the only ones who had not kept up with the times.

On December 7, 1941, the U.S. had 19 battleships and eight aircraft carriers. Eight battleships were damaged that day, two permanently. By the Battle of Midway six months later it was becoming clear that carriers were the future of the surface fleet. Yet, eight new battleships were commissioned after Pearl Harbor, showing the enduring strength of the 19th century idea. The remaining battleships played useful roles, but by war’s end the battleship’s day in the sun was over. Several were used as targets during the Bikini Atoll atomic tests in 1946. Virtually all of the rest had been sold for scrap or donated as local museums by the end of the 1940s. However, four decommissioned soon after WWII but not cut-up for scrap famously reemerged for a time in the 1980s and early-1990s, and calls for their return still happen from time to time.

The Pentagon’s reverence for the stealth is a more recent example of over-investing in a fleeting technological advantage is. Stealth, or low observability, was discovered by a Russian scientist in the early-1960s. It took decades of research and development to put into practice, but military value of stealth was short-lived… Read the rest of this entry »

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