Joint Concept For Competing: The Best Way For The Pentagon To ‘Compete’ With China?

1945 – Last month the Joint Chiefs of Staff published a directive entitled Joint Concept for Competing, aimed at defining strategic competition and explaining how the U.S. armed forces will go about it. But because the concept’s framers define it as “adversary agnostic,” it’s hard to judge how commanders and their political masters will put it into effect at particular places and times.

For the Sake of Ceremony: Should the US Navy Continue Its Airborne Forward Air Controller Program?

War on the Rocks – The current trajectory of the forward air control program indicates declining relevance due to neglect, changing operational paradigms, and preservation for the sake of tradition. Naval aviation’s commitment to this mission and alignment with previous tenets are atrophying, and the program’s future is at a crossroads. 

Fighting DMO, Part 5: Missile Salvo Patterns and Maximizing Volume of Fire

CIMSEC – There is more to the lethality of a volume of fire than sheer numbers. Missile salvos can take on different patterns, both in how the missiles are arranged within a single salvo, and how multiple salvos can be arranged together into a combined volume of fire. These patterns reflect how the aspects of concentration and distribution apply to the weapons themselves, and how these configurations apply within salvos and between salvos. Different patterns will affect how a volume of fire takes shape and can multiply the threat it poses. Commanders and autonomous missiles can leverage these patterns to increase tactical advantage by changing how salvos are maneuvered throughout key elements of the fight. These patterns have considerable tactical implications for defending against missiles and maximizing offensive volume of fire.

Navy will extend service life of destroyer Arleigh Burke

Defense News – After decades of service, the guided-missile destroyer Arleigh Burke — the first of its class — appeared likely ready to retire. Commissioned in 1991, the warship may have in recent years started mapping out its shadowbox for when its reaches the end of its expected 35-year service life, in fiscal 2026. But Big Navy has other plans. Naval Surface Force Atlantic announced this week that the Arleigh Burke will continue plying the seas through fiscal 2031, when the ship will be 40 years old.

The Navy Isn’t Too Woke – It is America

CIMSEC – In the 1970s and early 1980s, it was not uncommon to find critics on the left disparaging military servicemembers in terms that cast them as immoral and bloodthirsty agents of the American war machine. These attacks were unjustified and well beyond reasonable debate about the size and shape of, or even the need for, the armed forces. They fed a distorted narrative about American military life that deterred many young people from even considering service. Critics on the right who claim without evidence that the military is now corrupted by wokeness are committing the same sin. In fact, the military is full of smart, dedicated, and tough men and women. The true corruptors are those who refuse to rise above partisan politics to serve the nation and a greater cause.

Fighting DMO Part 4: Weapons Depletion and the Last-Ditch Salvo Dynamic

CIMSEC – The concentration and distribution of a force will flex and evolve as its platforms suffer depletion. As commanders look to employ mass fires, they must be mindful of how to spread depletion across the force, how to interpret the adversary’s expenditures, and how inventory pressures can be manipulated through the last-ditch salvo dynamic.

China Maritime Report No. 26: Beyond the First Battle: Overcoming a Protracted Blockade of Taiwan

China Maritime Studies Institute – If there is a war over Taiwan, an extended Chinese blockade is likely to determine the outcome. While a blockade might include intercepting ships at sea, the primary focus would be on sealing airfields and ports, particularly on the west coast of Taiwan. China could sustain that type of blockade indefinitely. Penetrating a prolonged blockade and keeping Taiwan alive would require a serious U.S. investment in systems and operational concepts that we currently do not have. Unless we make that investment, we may win the first battle, defeating an attempted landing. But we cannot win the war.

More Than “Wet Gap Crossings:” Rivervine Capabilities are Needed For Irregular Warfare and Beyond

CIMSEC – From the Seminole Wars to Vietnam and Iraq, American riverine capability has been critical for irregular warfare and beyond, but assembling the brown-water navy has always been an ad hoc process. The ongoing conflict in Ukraine has demonstrated how important rivers and the riverine environment are to larger, more conventional conflicts in today’s era, characterized by strategic competition as well as irregular conflict.

Fighting DMO Part 3: Assembing Massed Fires and Modern Fleet Tactics

CIMSEC – Assembling massed fires from distributed forces will be a complicated challenge. It will involve mixing and harmonizing the kill chains of different payloads, platforms, communities, and services. Each of these factors comes with a variety of its own dependencies and pitfalls. As the services look to operationalize mass fires, they must be mindful of how too much complexity and too much sensitivity to tight coordination can threaten to yield brittle operational designs.

Fighting DMO Part 2: Anti-Ship Firepower and the Major Limits of the American Naval Arsenal

CIMSEC – As navies look to evolve during the missile age, much of their ability to threaten other fleets will come down to how well they can mass missile firepower. The ability to combine fires against warships heavily depends upon the traits of the weapons themselves. These traits offer a valuable framework for defining the aggregation potential of individual weapons and the broader force’s ability to mass fires.

Uncle Sam’s Canoe Club: Developing a Maritime Militia for the United States

CIMSEC – A U.S. maritime militia force in the Indo-Pacific will not win a war outright, but it does offer the low-cost ability to impact the balance of power at sea. As storm clouds brew in the Indo-Pacific and long-term planning within the U.S. defense establishment continues to be fraught, low cost, high yield maritime capacity of any stripe should not be left on the table.