Milley tells West Point cadets that technology will transform warfare
WASHINGTON (AP) — The top U.S. military officer challenged the next generation of Army soldiers on Saturday to prepare the U.S. military to fight future wars that may bear little resemblance to today’s wars.
Army Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, painted a grim picture of a world that is becoming increasingly unstable, with major powers determined to change the world order. He told cadets graduating from the US Military Academy at West Point that they will be responsible for making sure America is ready.
“The world in which you are mandated has the potential for significant international conflict between the great powers. And that potential is growing, not diminishing,” Milley told the cadets. United, have benefited militarily for the past 70 years, it is closing fast, and the United States will, in fact, we are already challenged in all areas of warfare, space, cyber , sea, air and land courses.
America, he said, is no longer the undisputed world power. Instead, it is being tested in Europe by Russian aggression, in Asia by China’s dramatic economic and military growth and North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats, and in the Middle East and Africa by the instability of terrorists.
Drawing a parallel to what military officials see in Russia’s war on Ukraine, Milley said future warfare will be very complex, with elusive enemies and urban warfare that requires long-range precision weapons and new advanced technologies.
The United States has already sent new high-tech drones and other weapons to the Ukrainian military – in some cases, equipment that was only in the early prototype stages. Weapons such as shoulder-launched Switchblade kamikaze drones are used against the Russians, although they are still evolving.
And as the war in Ukraine has moved – from Russia’s unsuccessful battle to take kyiv to a fierce urban battle for cities in the eastern Donbass region – the need for different types of weapons has also increased. increased. The first few weeks focused on long-range precision weapons such as Stinger and Javelin missiles, but now the focus is on artillery and increased howitzer shipments.
And over the next 25 to 30 years, the fundamental character of war and its weapons will continue to change.
The U.S. military, Milley said, cannot cling to old concepts and weapons, but must urgently modernize and develop the force and equipment that can deter or, if necessary, win in conflict. global. And graduating officers, he said, will have to change the way US forces think, train and fight.
As the leaders of tomorrow’s army, Milley said, the newly created second lieutenants will fight with robotic tanks, ships and planes, and rely on artificial intelligence, synthetic fuels, manufacturing 3D and human engineering.
“It will be your generation that will bear the burden and assume the responsibility of keeping the peace, containing and preventing the outbreak of a war between great powers,” he said.
In blunt terms, Milley described what it looks like to not prevent wars between great powers.
“Consider for a moment that 26,000 – 26,000 – soldiers and Marines were killed in just six weeks from October to November 1918 in the Battle of the Meuse-Argonne in World War I,” Milley said. “Also consider that 26,000 American soldiers were killed in the eight weeks of the summer of 1944, from the beaches of Normandy to the liberation of Paris.”
Recalling the 58,000 Americans killed in the summer of 1944 as World War II raged, he added, “This is the human cost of great power warfare. The butcher’s bill.
Thinking back to his own graduation, Milley paraphrased a popular Bob Dylan song of the time: “We can feel the light breeze in the air. And right now, as we sit here on the plain of West Point, we can see the storm flags waving in the wind. A loud clap of thunder is heard in the distance. Heavy rain is about to fall.
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