The Pentagon’s logistics system is antiquated and not at all prepared to resupply American troops engaged in a major conflict with a great power like Russia or China, according to a disturbing new report.
TheÂ Washington Free Beacon noted that the report from the Pentagon’s Defense Science Board found that the system for moving forces, weapons, and supplies over long distances has significantly deteriorated and must be upgraded rapidly in order to be ready to fight a major war.
A special task force was commissioned to study survivable logistics, evaluating current military airlift, sealift, and prepositioned equipment and supplies. The task force discovered major shortfalls in the Defense Department’s ability to sustain “high-end” conflict.
Since the end of the Cold War, the United States has not fought an adversary capable of the catastrophic disruption of military supply chains and deployment of personnel and materiel,” an unclassified summary of the report said.
“As a result, the [joint logistics enterprise] has suffered neglect and chronic underfunding relative to other DoD priorities.”
What’s more, the ability of a major power to disrupt the U.S. logistics system has substantially increased via the use of long-range missiles and “gray area” capabilities such as cyber attacks.
“Competitors and adversaries have already disrupted commercial logistics information technology systems,” said the report. “Military and commercial networks are at risk.”
“Conflict against a strategic competitor will demand a dispersed and survivable logistics structure and robust IT systems capable of not only defending against cyber-attacks, but also safely sharing logistics information across military and commercial elements,” the report added.
The task force noted that before any major conflict with a great power, the current U.S. logistics system must be upgraded, and quickly, in order to maintain American power projection.
“Without a demonstrably resilient and survivable logistics capability, U.S. deterrence will suffer and the ability of the U.S. military to operate globally will be at stake,” said the task force’s report.
“Survivable logistics is the key enabler underpinning all U.S. military power,” Craig Fields, chairman of the Defense Science Board, told the WFB. “Without the ability to provide our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines with the resources needed to win on the battlefield, the development of advanced tactics and technologies will not have the opportunity to matter.”
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