WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US Armed Forces have not been adequately prepared to go up against an adversary with near-peer fighting capabilities, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller said in a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies on Tuesday.
"We realize that there are a certain set of capabilities, not just for anti-access area denial, but for any sort of near-peer fight that we have not had to deal with, which is a training thing. And we don’t have the capability, which is an equipping thing," Neller stated.
Since 2001, the US military has engaged low-tech adversaries, at the expense of preparing to operate against an adversary with electromagnetic warfare capabilities, jamming technology, or even unmanned aircraft.
Raising concerns over the US warfighter’s growing reliance on information networks and space, Neller explained that US forces "have to leverage the technology we have, it gives us an operational advantage, but at the same time… you have to… be prepared for when it’s not there."
Top Defense Department officials have repeatedly raised concerns over the rise of near-peer competitors, with warfighting capabilities that fundamentally challenge existing US capabilities. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter specifically named Russia and China as prime competitors, and called for increased funds to prepare forces against technologically advanced potential adversaries.