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U.S. Army Seeks Additional Firepower Amid Global Security Crisis

“We have big gaps in land forces,” said David Johnson, a military analyst at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. Almost every Chinese, Russian or Iranian surface-to-surface weapon outranges the U.S. Army’s current rockets and missiles, he said last week at a national security strategy conference in Washington, D.C. These countries make anti-tank guided rounds that could penetrate American armor, said Johnson. “We are the only advanced military without active protection in tanks to stop rockets or rocket-propelled grenade fire.” The Army’s artillery vehicles date back to the 1960s. No new tank is on the drawing board, as the plan is to keep the Abrams main battle tank until 2060, Johnson said. This is not just a budget issue, but also one of military strategy. “We need to be brutally honest about who are we going to fight, and get the capabilities we need,” he said. “We haven’t done that.”…One hot-button issue has been the lack of long-range firepower in the Army, a problem that could haunt land forces in a war in Eastern Europe, Johnson said. “The greatest challenge for the Army is being overmatched” by Russian artillery and rockets. “Every one of their tanks can shoot antitank guided missiles that outrange our armor by two kilometers,” Johnson insisted. “We haven’t fought this kind of adversary since World War II.”The United States has a huge advantage in air power, but in a potential conflict in Eastern Europe, a “key component is ground-based fires” that would devastate enemy positions and open up the airspace for the U.S. Air Force, Johnson said.

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Read the full article at The National Interest.