Milley: West Point cadets ready for robot and drone wars | New Policies

By LOLITA C. BALDOR, Associated Press

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. And he told cadets graduating from the US Military Academy at West Point that they will be responsible for making sure America is ready.

“The potential for significant international conflict between the great powers is growing, not diminishing,” Milley said in prepared remarks. are challenged in all areas of warfare, space, cyber, maritime, air and of course land.

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.

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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 that 26,000 American soldiers and Marines were killed in six weeks from October to November 1918 in the Battle of the Meuse-Argonne in World War I,” Milley said. “Consider that 26,000 American soldiers were killed in eight weeks between the beaches of Normandy and the fall 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.

Paraphrasing a Bob Dylan song, Milley said, “We can feel the slight breeze in the air. You can see the storm flags fluttering in the wind. A loud clap of thunder is heard in the distance. Heavy rain is about to fall.

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