Sustaining America’s Precision Strike Advantage

The U.S. military has enjoyed an enormous advantage in precision strike over the past 25 years. The success of America’s precision strike operations has not gone unnoticed, however. Potential enemies have invested in active and passive defenses that could force the U.S. military to fly more strike sorties and expend larger numbers of precision-guided munitions (PGMs) in future wars. In Sustaining America's Precision Strike Advantage, Mark Gunzinger and Bryan Clark assess the implications of a “salvo competition” between two adversaries that are both equipped with PGMs and capabilities to defend against precision strikes. The report concludes that attempting to compensate for an enemy’s defenses by using much larger numbers of the kinds of PGMs DoD has procured over the last 14 years may be infeasible. Instead of a “simply more” approach, the authors propose the Defense Department adopt operational concepts and field a new generation of offensive PGMs that will maintain its precision strike advantage in future salvo competitions.

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Slides from report release event on June 24, 2015. 

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