Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Drones and Stealth Technology are 'escaping' from the US.  The People's Republic of China are actively working on both and have, in fact, started to offer Drones on the international arms market.  As these proliferate the current structure, tactics, strategy, and material of a nation-state's armed forces is obsolete.  

As an example:

Near the top of the line, the Predator B, or MQ9-Reaper, manufactured by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, costs about $10.5 million. By comparison, a single F-22 fighter jet costs about $150 million.

Further it costs around $2.6 million to train a fighter pilot versus $135 thousand to train a UAV pilot.  Thus, for the cost of one plane a nation-state can acquire a squadron of UAVs carrying the same combat payload.

Fact:  high value ground forces: armor, artillery, aircraft carriers, etc., are highly vulnerable to air attack.  

The World War II Battle of Midway effectively ended Japan's capability to win the Pacific War when they lost three aircraft carriers in six minutes.  It's not only the loss of "force projection" the financial costs are staggering.  The approximate cost of a carrier fleet is around $14.5 billion and another $9 billion - or so - for the aircraft the carrier carts around.    The approximate cost of turning that fleet into fish habitat is $750 million.

Roughly the same 'cost of force' to 'cost of destruction' for armor, artillery, etc.

Thus, high-tech warfare is ruinously expensive to nation-states operating medium-tech forces.  Which means current US military forces are, to all intents and purposes, so much scrap.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Mon Nov 28th, 2011 at 02:15:50 PM EST

Others have rated this comment as follows:


Occasional Series