Breaking Defense: US Loses Badly in Wargames with Russia/China

In the article US ‘Gets Its Ass Handed To It’ In Wargames: Here’s A $24 Billion Fix, Breaking Defense reports that the US’s advanced military technology have some major Achilles’ heels which Russia and China have, intelligently, designed their military responses to take advantage. Many people in the US wrongly assume that American military technology is so far advanced that there is no comparison with Russian and Chinese forces. Unfortunately, that view overlooks the fact that smart opponents will devise tactics and techniques which target the weaknesses of an opponent. The US is extremely good at projecting offensive power, but after decades at the forefront of military technology the US has lost sight of the importance of defending anything from strikes. It’s like America has spent twenty years perfecting the jab and right cross, but is incapable of dodging or blocking a punch. In effect, Russia and China do not need to have more advanced weapons than the US (though they may have an advantage in missile technology) because the US cannot protect their weapons from being destroyed before they can be used.

The US keeps losing, hard, in simulated wars with Russia and China. Bases burn. Warships sink…

“In our games, when we fight Russia and China,” RAND analyst David Ochmanek said this afternoon, “blue gets its ass handed to it.” In other words, in RAND’s wargames, which are often sponsored by the Pentagon, the US forces — colored blue on wargame maps — suffer heavy losses in one scenario after another and still can’t stop Russia or China — red — from achieving their objectives, like overrunning US allies.

No, it’s not a Red Dawn nightmare scenario where the Commies conquer Colorado. But losing the Baltics or Taiwan would shatter American alliances, shock the global economy, and topple the world order the US has led since World War II…

F-35 stealth fighters are hard to kill in flight, but lined up on the runway, they’re easy targets.

big airbases on land and big aircraft carriers on the water turn out to be big targets for long-range precision-guided missiles. Once an American monopoly, such smart weapons are now a rapidly growing part of Russian and Chinese arsenals — as are the long-range sensors, communications networks, and command systems required to aim them.

So, as potential adversaries improve their technology, “things that rely on sophisticated base infrastructure like runways and fuel tanks are going to have a hard time,” Ochmanek said. “Things that sail on the surface of the sea are going to have a hard time.”

…Worst of all, Work and Ochmanek said, the US doesn’t just take body blows, it takes a hard hit to the head as well. Its communications satellites, wireless networks, and other command-and-control systems suffer such heavy hacking and jamming that they are, in Ochmanek’s words, “suppressed, if not shattered…”

Click here to read the entire article at BreakingDefense.com.