Top military officer says US needs new, high-tech weapons for future wars: ‘We are already challenged’

WASHINGTON (AP) – The top U.S. military officer challenged the Army’s next generation of soldiers on Saturday to prepare the U.S. military for future wars that may have little resemblance to it. like wars today.

Army General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, paints a bleak picture of a world becoming more unstable, with major powers intent on changing the global order. He told graduates at the United States Military Academy at West Point that they would be responsible for making sure America was ready.

“The world to which you are being entrusted has the potential for considerable international conflict between great powers. And that potential is increasing, not decreasing,” Milley told the practitioners. “Any superiority that we, the United States, enjoyed militarily for the past 70 years is rapidly coming to an end, and the United States has, in fact, been challenged in every area of ​​war. , space, cyber, maritime, aviation and of course land. ”

The US is no longer an invincible global power, he said. Instead, it is being tested in Europe by Russia’s aggression, in Asia by China’s strong economic and military growth and North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats. , and in the Middle East and Africa by instability from terrorists.

Parallel to what military officials are seeing in Russia’s war with Ukraine, Milley said future warfare will be complex, with elusive enemies and urban warfare requiring primary weapons. long-range accuracy and new advanced technology.

The United States has rushed to deliver new, high-tech drones and other weapons to the Ukrainian military – in some cases, the equipment is only in the early stages of testing. Weapons such as the shoulder-launched kamikaze Switchblade drone are being used against the Russians, even as they are still evolving.

And as the war in Ukraine has moved – from Russia’s unsuccessful battle for Kyiv to a fierce urban battle for towns in the eastern Donbas region – the demand for different types of weapons has also increased. . The first weeks focused on long-range precision weapons such as the Stinger and Javelin missiles, but now the focus is on artillery and tank artillery shipments.

And over the next 25 to 30 years, the basic nature of war and its weapons will continue to change.

The US military cannot cling to old concepts and weapons, Milley said, but must urgently modernize and develop forces and equipment that can deter or, if necessary, win a conflict. global breakthrough. Graduating officers will have to change the way US forces think, train and fight, he said.

As the leaders of the Army of tomorrow, Milley said, newly minted lieutenants will fight tanks, ships and robotic planes, while relying on artificial intelligence, synthetic fuels, manufacturing, and more. 3-D and human engineering.

“It is your generation that will shoulder and shoulder the responsibility of maintaining peace, containing and preventing the outbreak of war between great powers,” he said.

To put it bluntly, Milley described what failure to prevent great-power wars looks like.

“Consider for a moment that 26,000 – 26,000 – soldiers and marines were killed in just six weeks between October and November 1918 in the Battle of Meuse-Argonne during World War I,” Milley said. “Also consider that 26,000 American soldiers were killed in eight weeks in the summer of 1944 from the beaches of Normandy until the liberation of Paris.”

Recalling the 58,000 Americans who lost their lives in the summer of 1944 alone at the outbreak of World War II, he added, “That’s the human price of a great power war. Butcher’s bill. ”

Thinking back to his own graduation, Milley paraphrased a popular Bob Dylan song at the time: “We could feel the breeze in the air. And right now as we sit here on the plains at West Point, we can see hurricane flags blowing in the wind. We could hear the loud clapping of thunder in the distance. The rain is about to fall.” Top military officer says US needs new, high-tech weapons for future wars: ‘We are already challenged’

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