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Venality exposes US military's deep-seated division

爭錢奪利暴露美軍深層次矛盾

來源:China Military Online責任編輯:Liu Yuyuan
2021-05-31 17:43
The US army puts distance precision fire strike on top of its six modernization priorities

By Hui Yong and Zhai Mingfei

據外媒報道,美空軍和陸軍兩大軍種近期在遠程打擊問題上爭論不休,甚至就部隊定位問題“互懟”。美空軍認為,陸軍發展遠程精確火力是昂貴、重複和愚蠢的,應優先發展“空基遠程打擊力量”,並呼籲對陸軍“煙囱式”遠程打擊項目進行糾偏。美陸軍並不認同上述説法,美陸軍協會執行副主席羅伯特•布朗稱,空軍試圖栽贓陸軍令其感到失望,很難理解空軍某些高級軍官的認知與實際如此脱節。

Foreign media reports that the US air force and army are trading barbs recently on distance strike capability development and the position of each service. The air force deems it costly, repetitive, and stupid for the army to develop distance precision fire strike capability and demands it to put priority on its air-based distance strike forces. The army, however, disagrees with that. Robert Brown, executive vice president of the Association of the United States Army, said he was disappointed at the air force for trying to pin the blame on the army and couldn’t understand how some senior air force officers could be so disconnected from reality. 究竟是何原因讓美兩大軍種“互撕”?

What makes the two US military services lock horns?

頂層設計缺方向。美軍向來注重發展遠程打擊力量,以求維繫在全球的軍事存在,鞏固霸權地位。早在2010年,美國防部便在《四年防務評估報告》中提出“下一代遠程打擊系統”概念,試圖推動美軍“全球打擊”和“快速到達”能力全面升級。然而,受美軍高層頻繁人事變動等因素影響,上述戰略在落實過程中往往存在思路不清、重點不明等問題。

They have no direction for top-level design. The US military always attaches great importance to developing the distance strike capabilities to maintain its global military presence and hegemony. The 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) issued by the US Department of Defence (DOD) proposed to develop a “next-generation distance strike system” in the attempt to comprehensively upgrade the US military’s “global assault” and “fast arrival” capabilities. However, the frequent personnel changes at the top level of the Pentagon and many other factors have rendered the implementation of that proposal anything but smooth, troubled with unclear directions and priorities.

2020年,美軍參謀長聯席會議副主席約翰•海頓在談及遠程打擊能力問題時強調,需使攻擊手段多樣化,並提出陸軍、海軍、空軍和海軍陸戰隊均應提升這方面的能力。這種含糊其辭的説法為美軍各大軍種所詬病。美國米切爾航空航天研究所執行董事道格拉斯•伯基稱,考慮到各軍種可選方案的價格完全不同,這一提議可能對美軍打擊能力帶來潛在風險。

Speaking of distance strike capability in 2020, John Hyten, vice chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, underlined the importance of diversifying the means of attacks and urged the army, navy, air force and marines to all enhance their capabilities in that aspect. His ambiguity was slammed by all services. Doug Birkey, executive director of the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies, said the proposal may expose the military’s assault capabilities to potential risks as the options for different services vary greatly in price.

作戰理念不兼容。美軍作戰理論有着明顯的演繹性,容易導致各軍種互異甚至“互克”的解讀與實踐。近年來,美陸軍大力發展“多域作戰”理論,遠程精確火力是關鍵項目之一,也是該軍種六大現代化優先事項之首。美陸軍認為,隨着海、空軍“反介入/區域拒止”優勢漸失,陸軍遠程精確火力可為美軍未來聯合全域作戰提供更多選擇,同時注重保持相對獨立性。

Their combat concepts are incompatible. The notably deductive combat theories of the US military can easily be interpreted and acted on by different services in completely different or even contradictory ways. In recent years, the army has strongly promoted the “multi-domain combat” theory, in which distance precision fire strike is a key part and top of the army’s six modernization priorities. As the navy and air force lose their advantage in Anti-Access/Area-Denial, the army thinks its development of distance precision fire strike capabilities can provide more possibilities for future combined all-domain combats while ensuring relative independence.

美空軍雖然贊同“多域作戰”理念,但對陸軍發展遠程精確火力並不認同。一方面,美空軍認為自身已具備全時全域的快速遠程打擊能力,並在近幾次戰爭實踐中得到驗證,認為陸軍重複建設實屬浪費資源;另一方面,其也對陸軍前沿部署遠程打擊裝備和獨立實施遠程火力打擊的作戰能力持悲觀態度。

The air force agrees to the “multi-domain combat” concept but dislikes the idea of the army developing distance precision fire strike capabilities. On the one hand, the air force believes it is capable of launching all-time, all-domain fast distance assaults, which has been verified in recent battles and the army’s development of the same capabilities is simply a waste of resources. On the other hand, the air force is pessimistic about the army’s forward deployment of distance strike equipment and its ability of launching distance fire strikes independently.

利益藩籬難突破。美軍“軍種至上”的本位主義由來已久,迥異的軍種文化和價值觀導致各軍種間經常因搶戰功、爭地位等衝突不斷。近年來,美國國防預算逐年增加,但面對各軍種“吞金獸”式的經費需求,依然顯得捉襟見肘。面對這種局面,各軍種間經常上演花樣百出的奪金大賽。例如,美海軍曾試圖換裝重型艦載機,便打着升級F-18戰鬥機的名義,移花接木申請到鉅額經費,以研發F-18E/F“超級大黃蜂”戰鬥機。

Their conflicts of interests are hard to resolve. Service parochialism has been a long-standing problem in the US military. With different cultures and values, the services often contend for merits on the battleground and position in the military system. Although the US is increasing its defense budget every year, that’s still not enough to meet the services’ astronomical demand, driving them to compete intensely for a fat check. For instance, the navy once planned to commission heavy ship-borne helicopters, so it applied for an immense sum of money in the name of upgrading F-18 fighters to develop the F -18E/F Super Hornet.

由此可見,此次美陸軍和空軍就遠程打擊這一“燒錢”的高技術項目“互撕”的背後,是各軍種維護自身優勢地位、搶奪經費“蛋糕”的一己私心。

While the army and air force are battling over the money-burning high-tech project of distance strike capabilities, what’s behind is their selfish purpose of maintaining the position of strength and securing as big a share of the defense budget as possible.

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