What's Next After Our 1-4-2-1 Defense? Small, Tactical, Sub-Launched Nukes
The New York Times today reports in Pentagon Weighs Strategy Change to Deter Terror that senior Pentagon planners are challenging our old strategy requiring U.S. military readiness to fight two wars at once. Concern that troop and weapons concentrations in Iraq and Afghanistan is limiting Pentagon ability to deal with other potential needs, was underscored by Gen. Richard B. Myers, JCS chairman, in a classified risk assessment to Congress this spring.
The Pentagon's sweeping study, called Quadrennial Defense Review, is due to be completed early next year.
The 2005 Quadrennial Defense Review is unique in four ways. It will be the first QDR undertaken: during wartime; by an experienced Secretary of Defense who led one previously; in a post GWOT environment; and when power wielded by China is seen as a cause for concern by planners, legislators, and policymakers.
"Whether anybody believed we could actually fight two wars at once is open to debate," one senior military officer said. "But having it in the strategy raised enough uncertainty in the minds of our opponents that it served as a deterrent. Do we want to lose that? We don't want to give any adversary the confidence that they could take advantage of us while we're engaged in one major combat operation."
"The current military strategy is known by a numerical label, 1-4-2-1, with the first number representing the defense of American territory. That is followed by numbers representing the ability to deter hostilities in four critical areas of the world, and to swiftly defeat two adversaries in near-simultaneous major combat operations The final number stands for a requirement that the military retain the capability, at the same time, to decisively defeat one of those two adversaries, which would include capturing a capital and toppling a government."
Shifting longterm emphasis toward combatting counterterrorism focuses more heavily on civilian capabilities with huge military impact. Emphasizing a single war plus a better counterterrorism effort dictates lighter, more agile Special Ops units and employment of more language, intelligence and covert communications specialists.
That said, here is the prediction based upon current ability and future need to use STSLN (small tactical submarine launched nukes) from America's Arsenal of Democracy.
Advantages of submarines: stealth, deterrence, payload, command and control, weapons safekeeping. Advantage of aircraft: non-stationary targeting.