...to fight and conquer in all your battles
is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists
of breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting.
- Sun Tzu, The Art of War
It's worth noting that whilst the US continues down the same path of military spending as it has since NSC-68
, the rest of the world
is busily designing a relevant
Possibly the most graphic of these moves has been New Zealand's scrapping of its air combat capability. After an earlier decision to ditch a contract for 28 American F-16 fighters, the Government decided to phase out the air force altogether. Priority in military spending will be given to the army's ability to participate in peacekeeping and other multinational operations. At this point, I can hear you thinking " New Zealand? What does it matter?", which is partly why I began with the Sun Tzu quote.
In the post-Cold War era, where the chance of fighting a war on two fronts against other superpowers is zero, the supremely excellent army needs to break the enemy's resistance without resorting to warfare. This does not negate the need for an army per se, but relies on the army's resources to be allocated away from fighting wars towards peacekeeping, and multilateral involvement - like the example of New Zealand.
The ability to Cluster bomb from a B2 until you run out of targets never wins wars. Long term and mutual involvement does.