The U.S. Army is finally getting enough money to fund an adequate modernization program. Army leaders have big plans for how they will build a more lethal, survivable and mobile force. However, it would be a big mistake to try leaping into the future without continuing to upgrade the service’s existing combat systems. First, wars could occur long before next-generation weapons are fielded. Second, bold ideas for how to equip the future forces could falter and never come to fruition. Third, money for new initiatives could become less available due to burgeoning deficits within a few years. Fourth, enemies will exploit any capability gaps in the current force. Finally, there are plenty of opportunities for enhancing the performance of systems such as the Bradley fighting vehicle and Paladin self-propelled howitzer. Bottom line: the Army needs to keep its existing weapons current with the threat until next-gen weapons have been fielded to avoid running big risks. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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