Arlington, VA | December 6, 2023
On Wednesday December 6, the Mitchell Institute’s Col Mark Gunzinger, (USAF Ret.), testified before the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Cyber, Innovative Technologies, and Information Systems. As the Institute’s Director of Future Concepts and Capability Assessments, Col Gunzinger offered Congress historical perspectives that should inform defense innovation and investments in game-changing technologies that are needed to regain the technological advantage over the pacing threat.
In his testimony, Col Gunzinger drew from his decades of experience in force development planning to highlight the need for continuous force modernization and the value of pairing asymmetric solutions with novel operating concepts for their use. He also emphasized that continuous modernization and innovation must be accompanied by acquiring new technologies at scale and training military personnel to fully exploit their use in the highly contested battlespace of the future.
Col Gunzinger urged Congress to commit to solutions that will ensure U.S. forces will have the modernized weapon systems and supporting infrastructure needed to maintain an unquestioned edge over adversaries for the next 20 years, much as the military-technical build-up did in the late 1980s. He concluded, “China has too much at risk to consider any other course of action aside from achieving rapid knock-out blows and then prepare for an extended conflict if necessary to attrit U.S. forces to a point of insolvency. Avoiding that fate requires U.S. leaders to develop new technologies and procure them in operationally viable quantities that anticipate attrition, the scale of the Indo-Pacific theater, and concurrent operational demand in multiple theaters. It is time to be realistic about owning the problem we face, acknowledge where capacity gaps exist, and play a smart, long-term plan to net future success. Those who question the expense should consider lessons from history—ignoring them will risk incurring far greater costs that result from suffering a major defeat.”
The Mitchell Institute was grateful for this opportunity to inform Congress and the American people on the enduring importance of continuously modernizing its military forces.