Firing Line: Conversation #4 March 2017
a. AUSA News - ”Congress needs to complete defense funding bill.”
At the recent AUSA Global Force Symposium and Exposition, Karl F. Schneider, Army’s second-highest-ranking official, said that the “real threat” facing the Army is “persistent uncertainty in funding.”
b. AUSA Five Things – “Swarms of battlefield robots are coming, but they won’t be alone.”
AUSA Five Things: A Weekly Tip Sheet for AUSA Members, dated March 20, 2017: “No Autonomous Warriors.”
The Army’s future is all about using unmanned systems, with operational strategy for 2025 and beyond calling for swarms of battlefield robots on the ground and in the air. But robots won’t be alone. ‘We’re not going to do these things totally autonomously,’ Robert Sadowski, roboticist chief at the Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center. ‘We are always going to have soldiers involved in the process.’
What to watch: The mechanics and engineering of unmanned systems have evolved to have potentially multifunctional platforms that can be switched on the fly by downloading a simple software application.”
c. AUSA Moderator – “Fundamental shift in the character of warfare in the next 10 years.”
“The Army’s chief of staff said Tuesday that in about 10 years, the service must be ready to fight in megacities, a type of warfare that will require future units to resemble today's special operations forces.
Speaking at the Future of War Conference 2017 hosted by New America in Washington, D.C., Gen. Mark Milley said that the character of warfare will likely go through a fundamental shift over the next decade.
The world's population is steadily moving toward living in megacities. Currently, there are about a dozen of these huge urban areas with populations of more than 10 million. By mid-century, ‘we are going to have at least 50 or more,’ Milley said.”
d. AUSA Five Things – “Does the Army need more base closings?”
AUSA Five Things: A Weekly Tip Sheet for AUSA Members, dated March 20, 2017: “Reduced Excess.”
“Last year, the Defense Department estimated the Army had 33 percent excess infrastructure to its requirements but Army officials now say that was too high. “We assess that we have anywhere from 18 to 21 percent in excess infrastructure,” said Lt. Gen. Gwendolyn Bingham, deputy chief of staff for installation management. ‘What we have is about 161 million square feet of excess but it is not all contiguous space.’
What to watch: The Army continues to push for another round of base closing, something Bingham expects would cut just 4 or 5 percent of the excess infrastructure. There is no significant support in Congress to approve the legislation needed to have another base closing commission.”
THIS WEEK'S POLL QUESTION:
(TO VOTE: SCROLL DOWN TO THE FOOTER OF THE PAGE)
Does climate change represent a significant national security threat?
- Not sure