The networked, unmanned vehicle Third Offset Strategy is absolute garbage. It’s a concept put forth by a
military that’s floundering and has no clue about
the future of warfare. Want proof? US
I covered this in a recent post (see, "Respond or Leave") and we’ve now seen it demonstrated again. The USS Mason may have been attacked again, for a third time (1), after the retaliatory Tomahawk strikes on some radar sites. Wait, what now? “May” have been attacked? Were they or weren’t they?
Burke destroyers are fitted with the miraculous, all-seeing, all-knowing Aegis radar system, EO/IR/laser sensors, electronic warfare systems, signals analysis software, and helos for aerial surveillance. All this is backed up by a network of other sensors in the region from surveillance aircraft, other UAVs, other ships, satellites, etc., all contributing to a digitally fused composite picture of the battlespace capable of counting the buttons on an enemy’s shirt. We have layers of Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) software, regional analysis monitoring and software, various intel group’s analysis, unit and regional command staffs that monitor and analyze activities, and so forth. Despite all this, we’re not sure whether the Mason was attacked? It may have been? We’ve spent a gazillion dollars on all this equipment, software, sensors, and analysis and our best assessment is that there may have been an attack?
Note that our befuddlement takes place in an environment unhindered by any electronic countermeasures. In other words, we had “clear skies”, electronically, and still don’t know if an attack occurred.
Despite this continued confusion, we’re going to base our entire future military superiority on this exact system of networks, sensors, and unmanned vehicles? Recall the recent seizure of the two
riverine boats and crews in the middle of the most
heavily surveilled region in the world and yet no one had any idea where they
Let’s face it – our dreams of a Third Offset Strategy consisting of perfect battlespace awareness is just a fantasy conjured by people who have no idea of what war is or how to win one. We’re seeing the proof of the fundamental failings of networked sensor systems on a daily basis but refuse to acknowledge it.
Having shredded the fantasy of the Third Offset Strategy, let’s now turn to the other disturbing aspect of the recent Mason incidents. Does this sound at all familiar? You all study military history or you wouldn’t be on this blog, right? Recall the
incident where the USS Maddox and USS Turner Joy
spent several hours on Gulf of Tonkin 4-Aug-1964 fending off attacks from North Vietnamese torpedo boats. The attacks were indicated by radar, sonar,
and radio signals – except that it later turned out that the purported attacks
never happened. That incident led, in
part, to the involvement in US . Vietnam
Yeah, but that was a long time ago, you say. Now we have sophisticated sensors. That couldn’t happen today. Cause now we have sensors that apparently can’t say if earlier missile attacks were shot down or just, mysteriously, dropped into the water short of the
Sensors that can’t say whether the Mason was again attacked or not. Were any of the purported attacks on the
Mason real or was it a case of a nervous crew seeing what they expected to see
(recall the US airliner shootdown)?
Fifty some years apart, generations of electronics improvements, and we
still can’t distinguish reality in a small, localized battlespace. Fifty years ago, that confusion dragged us into
Vincennes and now this incident(s) is dragging us into Vietnam . We should
remember our history and tread very, very cautiously before jumping into yet
another ill-considered venture. Yemen
(1)USNI News wesite, “CNO Richardson: USS Mason ‘Appears to Have Come Under Attack’, Sam LaGrone,