Page 82

66 CSBA | TOWARD A NEW OFFSET STRATEGY

The current defense program is heavily skewed toward operations in low-medium threat environments even though threat trends clearly indicate that A2/ AD challenges will proliferate and intensify over time.

In addition to these R&D and procurement initiatives, it would also be useful to craft a series of field and fleet experiments—including extensive use of surrogate and prototype platforms—to “demonstrate” selected U.S. denial and punishment capabilities both to bolster deterrence and shape adversary investment decisions. One of the more striking aspects of Table 1 summarizing primary GSS elements is that in terms of both force structure and procurement, the current defense program is heavily skewed toward operations in low-medium threat environment even though threat trends clearly indicate that A2/AD challenges will proliferate and intensify over time. As mentioned previously, the airborne fleet is severely lop-sided toward short-range and non-stealthy aircraft. Similarly, submarine capacity is shrinking relative to surface ship capacity, when the intensifying threat environment would suggest a growing need for the opposite. This is especially troubling because the platforms that are built today will remain in the force for 20–50 years—over which time, A2/AD and other threats will surely intensify and become more widespread. In addition, many of the potentially high pay-off, cost-imposing GSS investments enumerated in Table 2 immediately above are currently either unfunded or resourced at a relatively low level.

Rebalancing the Current Defense Portfolio to Enable the GSS Concept Table 3 attempts to assess, albeit subjectively, the relative ability of many of the air-maritime GSS elements discussed above to carry out key missions across the range of threat environments anticipated for 2025 and beyond. Green indicates a capability relevant across the entire threat spectrum; yellow indicates a significant capability in higher-end environments that would be more robust in benign threat environments; orange reflects a capability that would be limited in A2/ AD environments, but more robust in low-to-mid level threat environments; and red indicates essentially no capability for the relevant mission.

Profile for Center of Strategic and Budgetary Assessments

Toward a New Offset Strategy  

Exploiting U.S. Long-Term Advantages to Restore U.S. Global Power Projection – This report provides a preliminary outline for an offset stra...

Toward a New Offset Strategy  

Exploiting U.S. Long-Term Advantages to Restore U.S. Global Power Projection – This report provides a preliminary outline for an offset stra...