Friday, April 19, 2013

Long Live the Revolution

There seems to be a cadre of national security and military affairs analysts who believe the movement started in the 1990's known as the Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA) is dead and good riddance.  This incorrect notion is at partially fueled, I suspect by their disdain for Secretary Rumsfeld, perhaps its most high profile proponent.  Anyone who has been paying attention for the last ten years should know that even if the label RMA has fallen out of favor, the tenets of the philosophy continue to be implemented including increased reliance on air power, smart munitions, networked command and control capabilities and smaller, lighter ground forces.

Its true that Secretary Rumsfeld made a lot of enemies at the Pentagon, but many of them parted ways with him years before 9/11 or OIF.  For example, there were a number of high-ranking officers in the Army who pushed very hard for the canceled self-propelled cannon known as the Crusader.  Soldiers understandably want heavy fire power to support their operations, but the secretary and other argued that big, heavy cannons were becoming less necessary in light of the advances in attack helicopters, attack planes and smart munitions.

If the detractors lost faith in RMA because it did not turn out to be a sliver bullet or a panacea then shame on them for not having more realistic expectations.  There is no magic, just hard decisions and hard work that will hopefully result in the most effective military possible.

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