Tag Archives: Strategy

Why America Needs An Army with Tanks


Leaders from the U.S. Army Armor School, Fort Benning, GA, explain why armored vehicles are anything but obsolete.

By BG Leopoldo Quintas and CPT Nicholas Simpson, U.S. Army Armor School

Recently, critics have argued that the tank is a relic of the Cold War era made obsolete by advanced aircraft and unmanned systems. This argument ignores the unique and necessary capabilities provided by mobile protected firepower. Even in a fiscally constrained environment, the main battle tank continues to play a critical role in maintaining peace and winning conflicts. As an integral member of the combined arms team, the tank serves as a component of the Army’s ability to gain, sustain, and exploit control over land, resources, and people. The tank’s enduring qualities of mobility, protection, and firepower provide versatility and tactical agility in both combined arms maneuver and wide area security environments.


An Evolutionary Vision

Army Special Ops Looks to the Future Armed with Lessons Learned from the Past


By USASOC Public Affairs

The U.S. Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) is the Army component of the Joint Special Operations Command. Among the most diverse organizations in the U.S. military, USASOC brings a broad range of competencies and disciplines to support geographic combatant commanders and ambassadors worldwide. Established in 1989 to enhance the readiness of Army special operations forces, USASOC’s mission is twofold: organize, train, and equip Army Special Operations Forces (ARSOF) units and soldiers and deploy them worldwide to meet the requirements of war plans, geographic combatant commanders, and ambassadors.

Over the past 12 years, the lessons USASOC learned from Iraq and Afghanistan led to the creation of a strategic framework for change called ARSOF 2022. This blueprint focuses on specific areas that needed improvement to better enable theater special operations commands and joint force commanders to conduct SOF campaigns worldwide.


The A-10’s Swan Song?

Should the USAF replace the long-serving Warthog with the F-35?

By George Jagels

An A-10 Thunderbolt in Afghanistan. Beloved by troops and acknowledged as highly capable, the Warthog might leave the arsenal in the next 15 years. (USAF)

An A-10 Thunderbolt in Afghanistan. Beloved by troops and acknowledged as highly capable, the Warthog might leave the arsenal in the next 15 years. (USAF)

Aerospace is one of the few areas where beauty and utility often coexist, but there are exceptions. The Air Force’s main ground attack aircraft, the A-10 Thunderbolt, serves as one: The aesthetically unpleasing “Warthog” flies low, slow, and does the humble work of close air support and tank killing. I do not mean to imply this work is not heroic, as recent reports[1] highlighted two Warthogs rescuing 60 soldiers in Afghanistan through use of their devastating 30mm cannon and conventional bombs. A-10 pilots are also credited with destroying 4,000 Iraqi vehicles in 1991[2]. To use a DoD watchword, this is a “proven” platform. So why does the Air Force want to retire a third of its Warthog fleet (and eventually all 349) without a similar replacement?

The USAF has actually been trying to do this since the late eighties. A variant of the F-16, called the A-16, was tested to replace the A-10, but Congress squashed the effort in November 1990[3] (right around the time the Thunderbolt scored a major success in the Persian Gulf). Since then, the Warthog has flown thousands of sorties and undergone upgrades to lengthen its life by decades. The plane can loiter for long periods and sustain absurdly extensive damage without crashing[4]. In 2006, a British Army major vented after a botched air support operation by Harriers in Afghanistan, “I would take an A-10 over [a] Eurofighter any day.”[5] At a cost of around $13 million (in 1998 dollars) per plane[6], it seems to be an ideal aircraft in budget-constrained times. Current plans do indeed call for many upgraded A-10s to stay in service until 2028.[7]