Table: Maintaining the Edge
The U.S. military has made big strides since the Gulf War a decade ago, as demonstrated in Afghanistan. But fighting future wars will require smart preparation:
CHALLENGE: Tracking enemy and allied forces
SOLUTION: Manned reconnaissance aircraft such as the JSTARS should be augmented by drones such as the Predator, which can also fire missiles.
CHALLENGE: Improved targeting
SOLUTION: Smart bombs such as the JDAM as well as upgraded communications links that relay real-time coordinates on targets will reduce misses.
CHALLENGE: Need for rapid response
SOLUTION: Rather than upgrading more heavy tanks, focus on light armored vehicles like the LAV-3 and troop-carrying aircraft such as the C-130J.
CHALLENGE: Lack of access to nearby bases
SOLUTION: Cut back on purchases of 2,100 new Air Force fighters. Instead, build more long-range bombers, like the B2, and more carrier-based jets.