No Toys, No Victory

US Army leaders recently conducted a “deep future” war game to play out a military conflict 15 years from now, coined “Unified Quest,” and held at the U.S. Army War College in Pennsylvania

Here’s the scenario they used: There’s been a chemical attack inside the United States and the terrorists responsible for the deadly attack are from a nuclear-armed landlocked nation surrounded by some less-than-supportive neighbors.

The U.S. military has strong ties with one of the enemy’s bordering neighbors, who also happens to have a port, and through a “coalition of willing” and a U.N. Security Council vote approving military action, others bordering nations offer access as well. The Marines swoop in, followed by several divisions of a now smaller Army. Navy ships steam toward the region.

The U.S. is still facing budget constraints in 2030 and the Army and is leaner, “doing more with less,” but there have been investments in new innovations on the battlefield in the Army’s “best-case” scenario. There are
* ground combat vehicles that weigh just 30 tons
* helicopters that can fly faster and longer
* extended-range missiles and ammunition with advanced sensors
* hybrid-powered rechargeable equipment and
* a massive vertical lift aircraft capable of moving an entire battalion.

It takes the Army just five days to get in. Their mission is to secure and stabilize the enemy’s cache of chemical weapons. There’s plenty of combat, but within 24 days, there’s a cease-fire and the WMDs are secured, yet the enemy regime remained in power. (The war game ended there and did not address whether U.S. soldiers stayed to hold their gains or do any post-conflict nation-building operations or simply turned around and went home.) There were major shortages of fuel, however, and being lighter and more maneuverable paid off at first, but the Army’s tail quickly became difficult to build and sustain.

That was one scenario.

But knowing that most of these imagined and costly new weapons and vehicles are unlikely to debut on the battlefield in the next years, the Army simultaneously war gamed a second 2030 scenario without their wish list. The results were markedly different. This time, the Army took four weeks to enter the imaginary country, and after 85 days of combat, the WMDs were lost.

What’s interesting to note is that the enemy the Army sees itself fighting at all. Despite the Pentagon’s much-touted pivot to the Asia-Pacific region, the Army’s future adversary resembles Syria and Pakistan
more than China or North Korea.

The Army wants to move faster at setting up secure communications without all the bulky equipment that comes with it. One official said he wants to find a way to harness private-sector capabilities with military-grade security, a future where a soldier can talk to his commanders with just an iPhone

Countries with Nuclear Weapons Now

Wikipedia list of countries with nuclear weapons

The five nuclear-weapon states under the NPT
United States
Russia
United Kingdom
France
China

Non-NPT nuclear powers
India
Pakistan
North Korea

Undeclared nuclear powers
Israel

Countries with NATO sharing of nuclear weapons
Belgium
Germany
Italy
Netherlands
Turkey

Background list of landlocked countries

Wikipedia list of land locked countries

Afghanistan
Andorra
Armenia
Austria
Azerbaijan
Belarus
Bhutan
Bolivia
Botswana
Burkina Faso
Burundi
Central African Republic
Chad
Czech Republic
Ethiopia
Hungary
Kazakhstan
Kosovo
Kyrgyzstan
Laos
Lesotho
Liechtenstein
Luxembourg
Macedonia
Malawi
Mali
Moldova
Mongolia
Nagorno-Karabakh
Nepal
Niger
Paraguay
Rwanda
San Marino
Serbia
Slovakia
South Ossetia
South Sudan
Swaziland
Switzerland
Tajikistan
Transnistria
Turkmenistan
Uganda
Uzbekistan
Vatican City
Zimbabwe

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