The future of war (essay no. 15): We will lose it because we are an aging empire wedded to an outmoded style of war
By Adrian Bonenberger Best Defense future of war entrant
We've already fought the war-after-next, and lost. Called "The Millennium Challenge 2002," it was a simulated war game designed to showcase a high-tech, integrated U.S. Navy's ability to crush smaller, less sophisticated foes (widely assumed to be Iran) in the Strait of Hormuz. What happened instead was a simulated disaster: Overwhelmed by hundreds of small groups operating according to pre-established, decentralized directives and empowered to think for themselves, the U.S. side quickly lost an entire aircraft carrier support group, as well as numerous aircraft. The notional enemies used basic radar, primitive cruise missiles, rockets, motorcycle couriers, and strategic initiative to achieve total surprise, following up their initial advantage with another wave of de facto missiles -- explosives-laden motorboats that were too numerous and speedy for the lumbering Navy ships to engage effectively.