The military-political leadership of the United States is preparing to respond to any likely challenges to America
Specialists of the Joint Forces Development Directorate of the Chiefs of Staff Committee (CLS) once again carried out an assessment of the situation in which the US military would have to act in 2035. 14 July this year they published an analytical report titled “2035 Common Action Space: United Aircraft in a Confronting and Messy World” (ENP-2035). The 52 pages of this document consider all aspects of the situation in the world that affect the country's national security. The preface to the new forecast estimates indicated that they were designed to ensure that the US military "purposefully prepared for the effective protection of the United States, the interests of theirs and their allies in the 2035 year."
SAFETY ON PLANET-2035
The situation in the world that will emerge by 2035 year, according to the authors of the report, will be determined by "two different, but interrelated sets of challenges." The first of these are the intentions of states and non-state leaders that are increasing their military capabilities and using all the power capabilities at their disposal to implement their norms and rules of the world structure with measures that cannot be accepted by America.
The second set of challenges includes the destabilization of the international order by the actions of poorly developed states that will not be able to maintain internal stability in their territories and ensure effective management of their development.
These challenges to international security will have a negative impact on the situation in the world, which will be mainly favorable for the United States, but to a certain extent will not meet their national interests.
The competition of countries in the establishment of international rules for the coexistence of nations and the ever-increasing regional chaos often intersect with each other and cause armed clashes, different from the traditional conflicts involving regular military formations. The competitive behavior of different states is characterized by the unequal interpretation by the conflicting parties of the causes of each particular conflict, the lack of transparency of their intentions and inadequate legal formulation of the policy. All of these factors, says the ENP-2035, will be the cause of the vaguely expressed, but aggressively realizable political goals of the countries opposing America and non-state associations. The US armed forces in the next two decades will have to interact with all their opponents in precisely such conditions.
During the period considered in the report, many modern norms and principles underlying the system of international relations will be under constant pressure. In a world where a single authority does not exist, the rules can maintain their strength only if different states follow them and help strengthen them. However, in the future, countries gaining strength will not be able to satisfy the ability of world institutions to properly perceive their growing defenses and international influence. Moreover, they will strive to change their political attitudes, expand economic opportunities and strengthen military capabilities. Such actions will cause some damage to the United States, its allies and partners, as well as the interests of many countries of the world community. Some strong states will strive to isolate from existing international norms and rules and to form the political spaces they need to create threats to their neighbors and force them to act in their own interests.
The emergence in 2035 of the year of stronger US-rivaling countries, the emergence of more dangerous threats and greater internal financial uncertainty will complicate America’s ability to unilaterally implement certain measures on a global scale and make them less effective. Therefore, Washington will follow the policy of concluding collective security agreements with all countries possessing the necessary military capabilities, as well as ideologically and culturally compatible with America. Although the strategic importance of such alliances is likely to only increase, changes in the situation in the world will increasingly reduce the ability to manage such associations.
It is very likely that in the emerging multipolar world, the United States will have to face potential adversaries who have the ability to make significant defense allocations and are able to organize their own military alliances. However, due to the fact that in the foreseeable future, prices for energy resources will still remain at a low level, many of their producers will not be able to exert the same political and financial influence on countries that lack hydrocarbon raw materials. The emergence of competitive regional states and the creation by them of military associations of their armed forces to solve common tasks may lead to increased friction among allies and partners of the United States. Constant support by America of countries loyal to it may induce the authorities of some regional states to take measures to destroy ties with their neighbors in the United States. At the same time, any agreements between the White House and the major powers hostile to America can repel from the USA those allies and partners who will no longer see in them a reliable defender of their sovereignty and national interests.
In the future, noted in the ENP-2035, some countries will more actively use coercion and force to influence their regional neighbors in order to change the situation in their favor. Potential opponents of the United States may prevent their new military structures from being maintained in various regions of the world in proper condition, which may lead to a certain loss of American influence on local and regional scales and hamper the implementation of Washington’s strategic guidelines.
The intention and ability of some countries to defend their regional superiority is determined by a number of emerging trends, the most important of which is the creation of national nuclear forces. In the coming two decades, countries that currently have only rudimentary nuclear capabilities can form full-fledged strategic nuclear forces and try to eliminate the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty weapons (Non-Proliferation Treaty). They will be able to equip tens and hundreds of nuclear warheads with intercontinental ballistic and cruise missiles of various bases, including sea (including on submarines), as well as to create other types of means of atomic wars.
Loss of monopoly on violence
It is quite probable that in the future the countries of the world will have to face such a fact as the emergence of terrorist, opposition to the legitimate government of associations and criminal groups of biological, chemical and even nuclear weapons. On the basis of modern technology, using the opportunity to freely acquire the necessary materials and hire specialists, they can create weapons of mass destruction (WMD) at their own expense. However, the most likely way for all these groups of weapons of mass destruction to be to acquire is to seize such weapons from states that will not be able to provide effective control over their use and storage.
It is likely, the authors of the ENP-2035 indicate that Russia will continue to use the threat of the use of force to protect its interests and maintain the status of a great power. China, in turn, can formulate a more dynamic and adaptive maritime strategy, which makes it possible to make irreversible Beijing’s rights to the islands of the East China and South China seas irreversible.
The social and cultural picture of the world in future 20 years may also undergo significant changes. Large regions may appear on Earth in which various countries assert their right to violence. At the same time, their intentions will not be determined by geographic location and national identity, as is currently the case.
The groups opposing legitimate governments will be able to unite on a global scale, and national identity will lose its modern meaning. The economic development of many economically weak countries today will allow millions of people on Earth to get out of poverty and provide them with more comfortable living conditions. However, the comfortable existence of regional social communities, with insufficiently effective and formalized legal management, can lead to social discontent of the population, increased violence and even the emergence of rigid interethnic ideologies. The result of all these transformations could be the breakup of some states and the loss of power by some legitimate governments.
The growth of the welfare of the world community can lead to a decrease in the degree of accessibility of various countries and their population to food, water, energy and other resources. And this, in turn, can give rise to instability, lead to social conflicts and cause the fall of the governments of some countries. At the same time, certain elements of decaying or unstable government structures in certain conditions will contribute to the growth of unrest, which will create favorable geopolitical conditions for more organized and aggressive countries with interests in unstable regions.
According to experts, by 2035, the population of the Earth will increase by 1,8 billion people and will be 9 billion. This increase will occur mainly due to the urbanization of many areas of developing countries. Such an increase in the population of the Earth and the migration of the population can put the ruling structures of some states in conditions when they will not be able to effectively manage their resources and provide for the needs of their fellow citizens.
In the next two decades, as indicated by the authors of the forecast in question, further redistribution of powers in the scale of specific countries will occur. The state-centered models of countries, under which coercion and violence are still under the control of the ruling structures that retain supreme power, will be replaced by multi-level, distributed models of government. For such forms of governance, there will be a struggle for power and influence between various institutions, groups and individuals. During the period considered in the ENP-2035 period, a certain part of the economic, informational and ideological powers of the states will pass to non-state entities. Therefore, many elements of state structures and mechanisms of their management will lose their effectiveness and importance. This will allow informal associations in various countries to lead them and significantly increase their role and ability to regulate many internal and external processes.
In such conditions, it will be extremely difficult for many countries of the world to maintain their monopoly on the use of force. Non-governmental and private organizations in the conditions of weakening state power will increasingly resort to violence while defending their political, social, ideological and economic interests. Collective actions and movements of the population, the organization of which previously took months and years, will acquire the necessary form within just a few hours. Small groups and even radical-minded individuals can gain enormous influence and, using decentralized communications networks and many other technologies of the future, including the military, will have the opportunity to adversely affect the political and social stability in a given country.
All of these circumstances will require the United States military leadership to take all measures to create such aircraft by 2035 that will effectively ensure the national security of the country and protect its citizens from attacks of likely adversaries.
PENTAGON TROOPS IN FORWARD BATTLES
In the future, the US military will have to face numerous and often unforeseen challenges to the country's national security and the stability of the situation in the world. The strategic, operational and tactical tasks of the American troops in countering emerging threats will be very numerous and will include many different aspects. These tasks will also be determined by the specific period of time, place and conditions of operation of the units of the American troops.
In this regard, the military contingents of the American armed forces by the 2035 year will have to fully possess a number of new quality properties. First of all, they will have to adapt as soon as possible to changes in the situation and adapt to the conditions in which they are to fulfill their functions. US armed forces should be used in such a way that they can influence the course of events or mitigate to some extent the negative consequences of actions or successes achieved by their opponents, as well as control and neutralize the spread of influence of the opposing countries.
Although the United States is not always interested in countering conflicts in various regions or stopping violent political actions in some countries of the world, their forces should remain in constant readiness for action that will eliminate the possibility of scaling up clashes.
The threat of warfare in the United States will increase significantly in the future. Therefore, the US armed forces must be prepared to take measures to minimize the consequences of enemy strikes on its territory and on diplomatic missions in foreign countries. To accomplish these tasks, troops must have reliable communications, command, surveillance and reconnaissance, logistics and engineering units. In the case of attacks with the use of weapons of mass destruction, they will need well-trained units of specialists in the field of protection against weapons of mass destruction and effective means of disinfecting personnel and equipment.
In the future, some of the most aggressive countries against the United States will try to destroy the system of alliances and partnerships created by Washington or change the existing norms of international law in their own interests. Therefore, the Pentagon needs to take effective measures to strengthen the existing military alliances and create new ones. At the same time, the leadership of the American armed forces should have a clear understanding of the actions, goals and objectives of the enemy. The US military must be prepared to conduct information wars and to influence certain sections of the world community. In addition, the United States Department of Defense should be ready to conduct joint operations with the allies, constantly conduct joint exercises with them, and also create new bases for the deployment of American and allied forces and their support systems.
Pentagon chief Ashton Carter (pictured left)
Opponents of the United States in the coming 20 years will seek to change the political situation in the world by conducting cyber attacks on the US, its allies and partners. For this reason, the types and type of troops of the US armed forces must be fully prepared to prevent such attacks or to limit their consequences. Relevant troops should ensure the protection of government databases and civilian information networks. For this they need reliable information protection systems. These units will have to interact with non-traditional military partners, such as private companies and cyber-activists, in order to timely open and prevent cyber attacks by American opponents.
The humanitarian disasters of the future can be enormous. The United States simply will not have the necessary capacity to eliminate their negative effects in full. However, the Pentagon’s military contingents must be prepared to evacuate their fellow citizens and the most affected residents of the disaster zones and to provide the necessary humanitarian assistance to the local population. They will also be obliged to ensure the protection of all military installations in these areas in order to exclude the possibility of conducting force actions by anti-government groups. In addition, US troops must be prepared to prevent any attempt to use weapons of mass destruction in the face of unrest.
In certain situations in the future, the military-political leadership of the United States may make decisions on countering the aggressive activities of certain states and independent associations opposing them in open, hidden or in both forms. In these cases, the US armed forces will have to assume the role of controller of the contradictions that arise, resist adverse changes in the international situation for the United States and more actively and effectively suppress their opponents. American troops will have to solve a very large range of tasks, starting with deterring the enemy in his intentions to use force or armed resistance to aggression, and ending with the exception of the possibility of the opposing side using already seized objects in their own interests.
In some cases, the federal authorities may be forced to take measures to prevent the aggressive actions of opponents of the United States, aimed at changing the world order. Therefore, the US military by 2035 should be able to block all their attempts and hinder the implementation of their plans. The armed forces of the future will have to have all the necessary capabilities to conduct operations aimed at depriving the enemy, even with a very powerful military and nuclear potential, the ability to perform the tasks assigned to them.
In the most dangerous situations, some opponents of the United States will pursue strategic goals unacceptable for America. In such cases, the combat capabilities of the US armed forces should ensure the creation of conditions for the parties to oppose America to take the current situation as a situation of complete balance of power.
In some cases, the consequences of destabilization in some regions of the world can be so dangerous for the national security of the United States that Washington will have to take effective measures to establish a long-term order in them. Therefore, the US military should be able to maintain regional stability by force and to establish a system of military control in disadvantaged areas of the planet. This will allow the insurgents to break the legal governments of each of the affected states, destroy their militias and ensure that the opponents of such countries recognize the legitimacy of their authorities and the sovereign integrity of the territory.
In the conclusion to the forecast of American experts on the situation in the world in 2035 and the conditions of functioning of the American armed forces, it is stated that “although wars are in themselves a stable feature of human existence, their character is constantly changing. All changes in the nature of wars should be under the scrutiny of the military and political leadership of the United States. The conditions for action by the future AF should be presented in the interrelated categories of emerging challenges in such areas as world order, social geography and technology.
The rival states and powerful non-state formations will constantly strive to change the rules on which the world order is based. At the same time, weak countries will increasingly be unable to support it. Moreover, the expected scientific and technical progress is likely to lead to the establishment of new parities between the United States and many of the opposing sides. This could lead to the empowerment and effectiveness of measures taken by opponents of America to harm its global interests.
Therefore, the military and political leadership of the United States should clearly understand the potential scale of future strategic national and military tasks in the categories of forthcoming conflicts. This will make it possible to more accurately form the likely areas and lines of action of national armed forces. However, the future tasks of the US Armed Forces, the authors of the report “2035 Common Action Space: United Armed Forces in a Confronting and Disordered World” state, should not be viewed as a clearly formulated, strictly defined and specific list of types of actions in the future. Politicians and the military should proceed from the fact that these tasks are only a starting point for dialogue between them.