Future weapons should be cheap weapons

Oct. 8, 2009 at 11:34 AM
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 8 (UPI) -- The U.S. military arsenal of the future needs to be adaptable, relevant and more importantly, affordable, said a top U.S. military official.

Marine Gen. James Cartwright, the vice chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan created fundamental changes in the nature of warfare.

Iraq and Afghanistan were "not on anybody's list as peer competitors. Not on anybody's list to last more than 30 days in conflict," he said. "And here we are now approaching the ninth and 10th year" at war.

Cartwright said the Cold War mentality of million-dollar niche programs that are out of date by the time they reach the battlefield are a thing of the past.

The military of today, he said, needs to be fluid and adaptable enough to fight on many fronts and affordable enough for large numbers.

He cited the use of unmanned aerial vehicles in contrast to fighter jets as a relatively inexpensive option to fight the war against insurgents and terrorists.

"We've got to find a way to get this affordability equation to work in our favor," he said.

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