Air power proponents have been assailing the Army’s plans to develop missiles with ranges well beyond what is customary for conventional ground systems. They say the planned capability duplicates what the Air Force already can do, is the antithesis of jointness, and is driven more by a desire to maintain budget share than address operational needs. However, there are numerous question marks about the ability of U.S. heavy bombers to function effectively in the Western Pacific during a war, and the success of Air Force plans to rectify deficiencies cannot be assumed. The Army’s proposed long-range strike systems would complicate Chinese war plans and take pressure of other joint assets. In some scenarios they could reach time-sensitive targets faster than bombers. The Army systems would be more survivable than big regional bomber bases, and the Army’s concept of operations assumes joint cooperation in areas like reconnaissance. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
Find Archived Articles: