Sunday, August 20, 2006

Tyranny of Distance

I am not convinced that light future combat systems are the answer to how we get heavily armed and robust forces to a distant theater. Heck, even Strykers are shipped strategic distances by ship and not by plane.

So our light systems will get to distant theaters no faster than traditional heavy forces. So there is no advantage in speed yet we still only get thin-skinned forces on the ground. Sure, Strykers are proving to be good vehicles in counter-insurgency with add-on armor, but they could not stand up in high intensity combat.

In small numbers, Stryker units could be airlifted for tactical evelopments, but in large numbers they cannot be airlifted as we once planned.

Really, positioning heavy forces close to potential theaters is a long-standing and superior way to go if we want survivable forces in decent numbers quickly on far shores. This is the Army's description of our prepositioned stocks and plans for them.

Light is no substitute for heavy even if light is faster. And in practice, light isn't even faster than heavy. Funny how reality works as opposed to theory.