"In an interview describing his defense strategy, Panetta said he has helped craft an approach that hedges bets against a range of potential enemies. “It really does provide maximum flexibility,” he said. “The military is going to be smaller, but it is going to be more agile, more flexible and more deployable so that it moves fast and stays on the cutting edge of technology.” Panetta’s vision is notable for some of the big questions left unanswered. A highly touted promise to shift the military’s focus to Asia has produced little in the way of major new deployments. Nine months after it was unveiled, there is scant evidence of how it will be implemented." Washpost
Jaffe, the author of this article seems to believe the popular drivel about a "new era" in warfare. In this gospel, there are are "generations" of warfare and "evolution." Rubbish. Tevhnology changes. War does not. War is a social process reflecting the ambitions of leaders and peoples. There has always been guerrilla warfare. There has always been land mass warfare involving force on force combat between main forces. There has always been naval warfare. It was important before Mahan wrote his book and it continues to be. Is air power new? No. Airplanes project into the third demension capabilities that have always been extent in artillery, catapults, and other forms of missile throwing.
It is impossible to closely predict the exact nature of future warfare. Very few people have really clear crystal balls and those who do are too smart to attempt that kind of prediction. Pompous prognosticators like Eliot Cohen want to run the armed forces in place of the flag offciers. Their conceit is that they think that surely the professoriat know better than the "blockheads" in uniform. Based on that conceit the professors want to have the lead in re-designing the armed services, services they never served in and know only from books and libraries.
Panetta seeks a smaller, more flexible ground force (US Army and USMC). Does Panetta intend to have massively effective naval and forces? Thats a good idea. I applaud his "humility." pl