Estrategia - Relaciones Internacionales - Historia y Cultura de la Guerra - Hardware militar.

Strategy – International Affairs – History and culture of War – Military Hardware.

Nuestro lema: "Conocer para obrar"
Nuestra finalidad es promover el conocimiento y el debate de temas vinculados con el arte y la ciencia militar. La elección de los artículos busca reflejar todas las opiniones. Al margen de su atribución ideológica. A los efectos de promover el pensamiento crítico de los lectores.

Our maxim: “understanding before action”
Our purpose is to encourage the knowledge and the debate of issues connected with art and military science. Selection of articles attempts to reflect different opinions. Beyond any ideological ascription. In order to impulse critical thought amongst our readers.

martes, 7 de julio de 2015

EE.UU.: ¿Vuelven las guerras convencionales?

New U.S. Military Strategy Signals Return of State-Based Threats.

Richard Weitz |Tuesday, July 7, 2015 

On June 30, the Pentagon issued the latest iteration of the National Military Strategy (NMS) of the United States. The new version, the first update to the strategy since 2011, depicts today’s international security environment as being more challenging for the United States due to the unprecedented reach of globalization, the diffusion of military technologies and the rise of revisionist great powers.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey 
and Defense Secretary Ash Carter brief the press at the Pentagon, July 1, 2015.

The NMS establishes U.S. military objectives and explains how the Pentagon will achieve them. It describes the overall global security environment in which the U.S. military operates as well as the threats and opportunities that affect U.S. national interests in important regions and issue areas.

“Since the last National Military Strategy was published in 2011, global disorder has significantly increased while some of our comparative military advantage has begun to erode,” Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, wrote in a foreword. “We now face multiple, simultaneous security challenges from traditional state actors and transregional networks of sub-state groups—all taking advantage of rapid technological change.”

The 2011 NMS identified four U.S. military objectives: to counter violent extremism, to deter and defeat aggression, to strengthen international and regional security, and to improve military forces and capabilities for the future. The three main U.S. military objectives in the 2015 text are similar: to deter, deny and defeat state adversaries; to disrupt, degrade and defeat violent extremist organizations; and to strengthen our global network of allies and partners. The missing fourth element—developing future capabilities—is discussed in several places in the text.

For the first time since the Cold War, the 2015 NMS says that some other state actors present more of a challenge to U.S. security than nonstate actors like terrorists. “The probability of U.S. involvement in interstate war with a major power is assessed to be low but growing,” the document says. “Should one occur, however, the consequences would be immense.” The 2015 NMS specifically lists four “revisionist” states that potentially threaten global security and the United States by failing to adhere to global norms and institutions. Iran, North Korea and China already appeared in the 2011 iteration. They are prominently joined in this year’s version by Russia.

Given this high-consequence if low-probability threat, the strategy calls for a change of strategic focus. “For the past decade,” the report reads, “our military campaigns primarily have consisted of operations against violent extremist networks. But today, and into the foreseeable future, we must pay greater attention to challenges posed by state actors.” However, the same language appears in the 2011 NMS and the 2012 Defense Strategic Guidance—and if anything the Pentagon has since then increased its attention and other resources devoted to the Middle East.

As I argued last week, China and Russia employ some similar “hybrid” tactics in their political-military strategies of expansion. The Pentagon describes their approach as combining “conventional and irregular forces to create ambiguity, seize the initiative, and paralyze the adversary . . . ” Some nonstate actors also have enough resources to pursue their own hybrid tactics, waging sophisticated propaganda campaigns along with using terrorist methods.

The NMS does not really address how to counter these hybrid threats. The strategy insists that, “If deterrence fails, at any given time, our military will be capable of defeating a regional adversary in a large-scale, multi-phased campaign while denying the objectives of—or imposing unacceptable costs on—another aggressor in a different region.” But such a massive military campaign may be less useful than more targeted uses of force and especially the employment of nonmilitary power assets that could be used to counter nonkinetic threats to European allies.

The document depicts the nature of the threat from violent extremist organizations (VEOs) as evolving. Compared to al-Qaida, which over the years has remained more centralized and has tightly controlled its targeted attacks, the so-called Islamic State (IS) has attracted many other groups to align with it for inspirational rather than ideological considerations and exercises less operational control over the attacks carried out under its name. Dempsey said the U.S. would continue to respond to this evolution by building local and regional networks to combat IS. Interestingly, whereas the text discusses the potential for criminal organizations to finance VEOs, there is little reference to terrorist groups financed or sponsored by states.

Both the 2011 and 2015 documents express concern about the diffusion of militarily relevant technologies, but the 2011 version was more worried by their spread to regional troublemaker states, like Iran, and to nonstate actors. In contrast, the 2015 version seems more concerned with the growing capabilities of Russia and China to negate the offsetting advantages the United States has developed over them during the post-Cold War period.

In terms of policy recommendations, a clear theme of the text is the need to strengthen international partnerships. Furthermore, the Pentagon wants a responsive capability for the rapid regeneration of forces—for instance, by making sure the U.S. Reserve components are operationally accessible and deployable—in the face of declining active-duty troop numbers. The Defense Department has also launched a new offset strategy and taken other initiatives to restore its technological leads. In addition, the Joint Force wants improved enabling capabilities useful for a variety of missions, such as those relating logistics, mobility, planning and command-and-control capabilities.

Dempsey argues that, “as a hedge against unpredictability with reduced resources, we may have to adjust our global posture.” But what those adjustments might look like is left unexplained. The discussion on the need for significant changes to the U.S. military personnel system and culture is clearer, with an emphasis on having agile and culturally sensitive leaders. Finally, Dempsey observed in the press conference rolling out the new strategy that, due to budget constraints and public opinion that is increasingly averse to potentially entangling military interventions, any policies must be fiscally and politically sustainable.

The current concise text is revealing for the changes it reflects in the Obama administration’s military thinking between 2011 and 2015. The most prominent of these are the growing perception of a Russian threat in particular, and a state-based threat more generally. If the document has a weakness, it is its confusion with regard to how the Pentagon can counter hybrid threats, whether from state or nonstate actors, that by their very nature are only partly kinetic. It also seems to underestimate some U.S. advantages—such as the unique richness of its current friendships and alliances, a great-power asset that both China and Russia lack—and remains vague regarding the role of new partners, such as India.

Nevertheless, the latest strategy offers few surprises. It reflects current U.S. military policies more than it shapes future ones, even if it allows that unexpected events, like the recent emergence of the Islamic State, could end up requiring a change in orientation.

Richard Weitz is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and a World Politics Review senior editor. His weekly WPR column, Global Insights, appears every Tuesday.

No hay comentarios: