U.S. Army leaders believe their service could be engaged in major conventional conflict with Russia, Iran or North Korea sometime in the next five years. It isn’t ready. Having fought terrorists and insurgents since 9-11, many of the skills associated with high-end conventional combat have languished, if not atrophied. So have capabilities in areas like electronic warfare. Which means the Army needs to rebuild for the kind of conflicts it might soon be called upon to fight in places like Eastern Europe and Northeast Asia. But given the short timeline — war could break out tomorrow — the emphasis needs to be on things that can be fixed quickly, like rebuilding stocks of precision munitions, providing combat vehicles with active protection systems, and bolstering the firepower of under-armed troop carriers. I have written a commentary on why the Army needs more modernization funding for quick fixes at Forbes that you can read here.
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