In a speech on Friday, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said the next “major war” the US military fights will look “very different” from recent conflicts.
Austin made the comments at a change of command ceremony for US Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM), which oversees US military operations to confront China in the region. While China was not mentioned in Austin’s speech, the Pentagon recently cited Beijing as the top “threat” facing the US to justify the $715 billion budget it is requesting for 2022.
The 2018 National Defense Strategy outlined the US military’s shift in focus away from counterterrorism in the Middle East towards so-called “great power competition” with Russia and China. Austin echoed in his speech, calling his time as the head of US Central Command as his service in the “old wars.”
“I’m a civilian now, but I’ve spent most of the past two decades executing the last of the old wars,” he said. “But the way we’ll fight the next major war is going to look very different from the way we fought the last ones.”
Austin said future conflicts will be different due to advances in technology. “Galloping advances in technology mean changes in the work we do to keep the United States secure across all five domains of potential conflict — not just air, land, and sea but also space and cyberspace,” he said.
Likely referring to Russia and China, Austin said, “potential adversaries are very deliberately working to blunt our edge.” He said this means the US must invest in “cutting-edge capabilities” of “all domains,” including artificial intelligence.
INDOPACOM has its hands out to Congress for an additional $27 billion in funding over the next five years. The command wants to build an air-defense system for the US base in Guam and position a network of long-range missiles near China’s coast, among other things.
Adm. Chris Aquilino is the new commander of INDOPACOM, replacing Adm. Phillip Davidson. During Senate confirmation hearings in March, he hyped the threat of a potential Chinese invasion of Taiwan to justify the increased budget for his new command.
36 thoughts on “SecDef Austin Says Next Major War Will Be ‘Very Different’”
Guess he never heard rumsfeld bragging how his way of war was “the future”…
Nothing new under the sun.
Yeah, his light strike force, bombing. However, we have to pick a soft target. Iraq filled the bill.
It will be different because the United States will be pounded into rubble … and the rest of the world will cheer.
Keeping other countries as an enemy is essential to stimulate American economy.
Like a funeral parlours survival,depends on people dying. In American economy,creating wars is the stimulation.
At the end of WWII the CEO of General Motors said that because the war economy was great for business, the U.S. should have a permanent war economy.
We continued the formula set by British Empire. Continuous warfare, and continuous mountains of state debt. Britain, at the end of Napoleonic wars in 1815 , having been continuously at war for 65 years, was in massive debts. Sudden move to peace time economy resulted in massive economic crisis in 1925. The corrupt elite lived in splendor, having survived the scare of French revolution — lived of generously provided loans supplied by then internationalized finance. The industrial revolution came to an end — even though they did not grasp it at the time. As factories are booming, and exports exploding, mercantilism came to an end, trade liberalized. But with money being tight and loan repayments hitting lower classes to the point of breaking — inventiveness dried up. Workshops were the source of all inventions, and now the big industries started their triumphant march, exporting British ware. The key moment was — failure to support transition to steam engine in shipping. America had legally supported theft of British intellectual property, but the success in steam shipping was a genuine American triumph.
And so it goes on. Now China is doing what US did to British industrial revolution.
But Britain did most of the damage to itself. Private companies took all the profits, and in 19th century, British naval commanders were more motivated by capturing enemy ships and enriching themselves through their share of the loot. Thanks to this practice, US survived was of 1812 with Britain. After British captured Washington, US President and military fled and all city public buildings were burned — there was no more loot there, so the naval commanders descended on rich trading city of Alexandria just down the river — and looted it. There was no strategy that called for keeping the capital under control, insuring that enemy remained in disarray. Nope, privateering led them into battle at Baltimore, where they lost. These are but a tiny examples of what happened to British empire when they were at height of their power. They were lucky several times, like in Napoleonic wars.
But debts were severe and luck abandoned them in WWI. Millions of poor, malnutrition-weakened people died in European slaughterhouse. Britain never really recovered from WWI adventure. Propping up Hitler was a bad idea, fairly desperate. Hitler was supposed to destroy weak Soviet Union. Did not go to plan.
The resulting Soviet Union win produced two major changes in Europe. United States was undisputed leader of Western world. Having massive manufacturing base in the nearly devastated world allowed it to engage in reconstruction — there were no competitors left.
Second major change was creation of states with — for the first time in Western history — working people oriented. Work hours, health care, retirements — private and state, education. All were to COUNTER Soviet Union benefits to employees. And for the first time population in the Europe and US actually lived well. US manufacturing and exports insured that state had surplus, and could afford progress in infrastructure, science and technology. Anti-colonialism was a drive to reduce European colonial influence and strengthen US commercial influence globally. Soviet progress in science and technology was easily dismissed. US in the fifties and sixties had cream of the crop European scientists. Everyone from around the globe was attracted to opportunities,
Having no real competition, US evolved from manufacturing and scientific powerhouse into private interest competition, as Britain once did. Financing took off in a diminished industrial output situation and forever wars became economy.
But we do have competition now. Russia has never lost Soviet scientific foundation, and China simply applied US formula in taking over British industrial revolution.
It is currently not important so much to know your enemy as it is to know ourselves. All we need to look at the current two boy-men, Musk and Bezos, compete via twitter for the NASA-awarded lunar module production. NASA will keep working on it, until the peacocks sort it out — then the peacocks will get the MONEY, to “produce” the module. And we proudly call this our COMMERCIAL space program! We give them all the technology , facilities and expertise — they get the money, and our elite can brag how WE unlike bad China and Russia have our space program run commercially, not by state funded corporations. While we fund every penny of Musk Space-X. Now Bezos is unhappy. He wants some of that NASA money, and personal fame.
All private corporations producing for military are state funded. Only taxpayer has never seen any profit from this investment. Thus the economy of forever wars. Until exhaustion.
I didn’t know that, thanks.That’s why perhaps General Motor cars are not so great and including the designs,not intentionally surely,newer the less,braking down on the road those cars or “not up the the scratch”not like German car technology,then if accident happens then,I guess creat jobs for ambulance,hospitals, mechanical work, insurance so on so forth,
tacticsof US Command place ateas of conflicts in others back yard, as far from US lands and peoples as possible.
US and its European allies, NATO members or not have gained almost complete control by their financial/ resource and military perioroty over almost every nation south of their Southern. borders.
This next war will be a voluntarily US/Brit and Israel llies launched war over economic/ trade blocks, US led New World Globalist order, versus Russian and Chinese matoonal sovereignty of each.
There are but 5 truly sovereign nations outside of the new world orbit and of them two will fall soon, Venezuela.and Iran with N. korea of no use even unto self
Russia is stoll a vastly poor 2nd world econpomy and and primative 1050-60 living conditions for vast proportions of populaceits high trch is amost solely military but very dmnblottle on commercial- industrial or economics.
Its military manpower and equipmrnt os arpund 1/4 of that arrayed by US Nato and alloes and moght last 1month on full bore conventional warfare.
US and allies would find it far easier to kill millions of Russians than in rrst of wotlds targeted of brown or black of skin
Russia only barely exist without complete US dominance such as in Ulraine and Syria and Russians havr kissed US Euro butts fpr 30 years now.
China is greatest danger to New World Order but it wants mpre a place at futiter powers table and can be bought if only gradually.
Russoa beinh easiest sleeping dpg to kocl is most lokely to get blowwn all to hell on shortest timr so mostlokely to be easiest targets.
US and NATO have over 100 molitary basrs from whichcam hitRussia within an hour.
Isn’t it fun to play war with other pepples lives and us lemmings are quite safe, thryvgot lpts of proxies willing to die for themm.
America 40 million living in poverty , homeless , no health care ect ect ect , Once the USD is replaced and it will be America will become a banana republic. hence the militarization of the police force , , national guard , and soldiers on the streets NOW to try and prevent a civil war.
This is EXACTLY how these head in the clouds warriors think. They have not seen Russia and want to believe it is dilapidated sixties style. Anybody who has been there in the last few years, seen cities, such as St.Petersburg — knows better.
Russia is a target. That is undeniable.
But for reasons that American public is not quite aware. We are corporate state, and all of our military prowess comes from corporate claims of their capabilities. We know how it matters very little what actually pilots think about it. We know jus how little faith is placed in Patriot missile defense. None of it matters, as our Secretaries of Defense come from a proud line of civilian military-industrial complex lobbyists. And they know how to defend the prowess of corporate products.
The key is — corporations compete, and they work for themselves. When it comes to military technology, we do not have a home team. These guys are countries unto themselves.
This is why we have ideologically feverish groups of warriors, who are music to corporate ears. These groups are unfortunately for us impenetrable when it comes to their REAL MOTIVES. And that has NOTHING to do with US security.
Luckily, they now have new DOCTRINE — US GLOBAL PRIMACY. How clever — avoiding the word SUPREMACY.
And under that rubric, ideological feverishness of Russia hating groups can hide without having to expose themselves and their Russia-hating agenda. Still, they are not fooling anyone.
They need to be mindful that it is wise to think through what you wish for. Because when it comes true, you cannot blame anyone else. Particularly not that guy over there, Secretary of Defense.
Huh…… I thought the idea was for there not to be a next major war.
Yes, but in all of human history there has always been a next war, and within a decade or so. We can know that must change, and still our soldiers must know it never has changed.
We must change that, but not pretend it isn’t so.
1. Assuming that because something has happened multiple times in the past that it will continue to be the case in the future is a logic failure. Only in the cases that involve the physical properties of the universe is this true. Wars are a result of human actions, not properties of the universe.
2. Assuming that major wars WILL happen has deterministic effects. Multiple examples of this. Belief has causal effects in human action.
3. While there may be utility in thinking there MAY be major wars in the future, that utility is in avoiding situations that result in major wars.
I did not know we were still in 1981. What next, nuclear shelters in your basements?
At least investing in nuke shelters gets you added storage in your house … the F35 and similar gets us nothing.
Can a warmonger, who is openly planning future wars, claim to be a civilian? See above: “I’m a civilian now….”
There is something seriously wrong with this notion.
Good. It’s about time. I was becoming board with the same old eternal anti-terrorist city destroying drug wars. Novelty is important in war. Surprise the tax payers and they will gladly seek ecstatic transport to the promised land of pie in the sky.
(1) “position a network of long-range missiles near China’s coast, among other things”
(2)But the way we’ll fight the next major war is going to look very different from the way we fought the last ones.
See any massive contradiction here? Just another dumbass old warrior who loves war like its herion…Gotta have a foe to justify faux values.
Shooting for the next star on his shoulders.
You’d think the moron would have used a little tact and threw in some words like “if the unthinkable happens” instead of talking about it as if it’s the weather forecast.
We would have known exactly what he meant, and so would everybody else. So would that have helped?
I am just discouraged.
He is in the business of selling war. He’s moronic to try and sell it so bluntly.
Is he moronic or a genius to do so? I have not heard large scale outrage by the American public toward warmongers in the media. HRC, W, and Obama are in the media lecturing us everyday. If something is exposed they whitewash it, blame it on Russia/China, and/or rewrite history.
This is true, those warmongers are indeed accepted or even revered. But I think using language that strikes less fear in your audience is a better way of selling those wars. The people you mentioned use/used bullsh*t instead of bluntness.
Subtleties maybe lost. It makes it more clear when they are blunt.
American “Diplomate:” “We implemented crippling sanctions on a country to starve its people then we bombed them because they are ruled by a ‘dictator.'”
It might well be fought on Pompeo’s front yard.
Who is next? Aruba?
We got to have some enemy out there, real or imagined.
Well he`s a bit late to the party China / Russia are well in front and will stay there in fighting a tech war .
No! – the next major war will be like all of the others – some jackasses will start it; the rationale for starting it will be stupid; the rich will make money off of it; the poor will be expected to do all of the fighting and bleeding; valuable stuff will be destroyed recklessly; and those that risked nothing will strut about as if they won the whole deal. Nothing will be different.
True, but then sometimes the crazy people who start it misjudge their chances and lose
Right, in the next war the targets won’t be helpless victims, mostly unaware of the attack until it strikes. They’ll be aware and able to fight back.
It will be war, not assassinations.
i have an idea. :Lets go to UN and make it a really place of equality by giving it more power over these nutjub gangs that want to do nothing but bully,steal and harm those who dont kiss their ass…Seriously time to grow up kiddes
Soon they’ll rename it WorldCOM
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