The Obama administration foresees 21st century wars fought with fewer
boots on the ground and more drones in the air, while the Pentagon
continues buying weapons from the last century.
In his Feb. 12 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama
said America no longer needs to deploy tens of thousands of troops to
occupy nations or meet the evolving threat from new extremist groups.
Cyber-attacks are the “rapidly growing threat,” he said.
While the increased military spending of the last decade helped the
Pentagon advance several battlefield capabilities, the Defense
Department still has “too many programs that are not appropriate and do
not provide the next-generation capabilities” needed, said Barry
Blechman, co-founder of the Stimson Center, a Washington policy research
Blechman cited the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter as an
example of a weapons program that “provides some marginal improvement
over existing F-16s, but nothing compared with the amount the Pentagon
is planning to invest in it.” The program, which includes variants for
the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps, could be cut or scaled back,
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