02 August 2012

A Look at How Pentagon's ONA Developed the Seeds of AirSea Battle

It's an interesting article about how looking forward beyond the GWOT developed into current AirSea Battle fad.

In recent months, the Air Force and Navy have come up with more than 200 initiatives they say they need to realize Air-Sea Battle. The list emerged, in part, from war games conducted by Marshall’s office and includes new weaponry and proposals to deepen cooperation between the Navy and the Air Force.

A former nuclear strategist, Marshall has spent the past 40 years running the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment, searching for potential threats to American dominance. In the process, he has built a network of allies in Congress, in the defense industry, at think tanks and at the Pentagon that amounts to a permanent Washington bureaucracy.

While Marshall’s backers praise his office as a place where officials take the long view, ignoring passing Pentagon fads, critics see a dangerous tendency toward alarmism that is exaggerating the China threat to drive up defense spending.

“The old joke about the Office of Net Assessment is that it should be called the Office of Threat Inflation,” said Barry Posen, director of the MIT Security Studies Program. “They go well beyond exploring the worst cases. . . . They convince others to act as if the worst cases are inevitable.”

Marshall dismisses criticism that his office focuses too much on China as a future enemy, saying it is the Pentagon’s job to ponder worst-case scenarios.

“We tend to look at not very happy futures,” he said in a recent interview.

It's worth reading the rest, too.

By: Brant

1 comment:

Brian said...

Yes, that was an interesting article - Mr. Marshall has been around a long time and perhaps it's time for some new blood. I also did not know that Andrew Krepinevich was the author of those early papers. He certainly seems to be doing well for himself too.

It wasn't the writer's fault, but the effect of the story was spoiled for me by the caption of the little photo gallery that accompanied the story on the page:

"Although the People’s Liberation Army has no history of meddling in domestic politics, it did help the Communist Party win control of China."

Breathtaking ignorance.