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The “Bow Wave” and the Military Balance

April 5, 2016 – CSPS Student Fellow Matthew Fay examines the challenges of discerning, prioritizing, and funding a coming “bow wave” of military modernization that the U.S. will likely face in the next decade in this piece originally published by War On The Rocks.

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“The acquisition programs at the heart of the bow wave are legacy systems — new platforms that are costly and technologically advanced incremental improvements on existing platforms. According to a recent Cato Institute policy analysis by T.X. Hammes, new technologies could enable states and non-state actors to generate military power that negates U.S. military advantages at far lower cost than the Department of Defense will pay to upgrade its current force. The result is that the United States will have to either rethink the wisdom of a grand strategy that requires it to project power globally, or to rethink the current, increasingly expensive, way it does so.”


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