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Hagel Assures Arms Dealers: US Must Maintain Military Dominance


September 5, 2014
Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Lolita C. Baldor / The Associated Press & Reuters

Speaking at the Southeastern New England Defense Industry Alliance, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel sought to assure arms dealers of continued US spending on advanced military technology. Hagel claimed that both Russia and China are closing the "technological gap," and that some of their new designs appear meant to "counter traditional US advantages." Hagel also told members of the NATO summit that the US goal is to always maintain the most powerful military force on earth.

http://news.antiwar.com/2014/09/03/hagel-assures-arms-dealers-us-must-maintain-military-dominance/

Hagel Assures Arms Dealers: US Must Maintain Military Dominance
Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com

(September 3, 2014) -- Speaking today at the Southeastern New England Defense Industry Alliance, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel sought to assure arms dealers of continued US spending on advanced military technology, claiming the US military dominance is being "challenged" and the US needs increased innovation to maintain its superiority.

Hagel claimed that both Russia and China are closing the "technological gap," and that some of their new designs appear meant to "counter traditional US advantages."

The US spends far more on its military than either China or Russia, and indeed amounts to a large portion of the world's military spending all by itself. China's $188 billion, though more than double what any other nation spends, is still a small fraction of America's $640 billion annual expenditure. Russia is in third place, at $87 billion.

And apart from the US insinuating itself into Chinese maritime boundary disputes in the South China Sea, the US and China are allies, with no real prospect of going to war.

As the Pentagon chief, Hagel seems to be playing up the "threats" posed by these nations, despite them not being enemies, and having much smaller budgets, as an effort to ratchet up military spending in the US, particularly new outlays on advanced armaments.



Hagel: US Needs to Maintain Military Superiority;
Needs to Invest in Innovation to Maintain Military Superiority

Lolita C. Baldor / The Associated Press

NEWPORT, Rhode Island (September 4, 2014) -- The US military's technological superiority is being challenged by other nations, including China and Russia, and in order to maintain its dominance America must be more innovative in how it develops and buys new technologies, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told industry leaders here Wednesday.

In a speech to members of the Southeastern New England Defense Industry Alliance at a conference on defense innovation, Hagel said that unsophisticated militaries and terrorist groups are acquiring destructive weapons, and Moscow and Beijing are modernizing their armed services, including their electronic warfare and special operations capabilities.

And unless the US takes these challenges seriously, he said American troops could face advanced weapons and technologies on the battlefield that will put their lives at risk.

"We are entering an era where American dominance on the seas, in the skies, and in space -- not to mention cyberspace -- can no longer be taken for granted," said Hagel. "And while the United States continues to maintain a decisive military and technological edge over any potential adversary, our continued superiority is not a given."

As examples, he pointed to advancements in precision strikes, stealth technology and wide-area surveillance several decades ago, but said those US advantages are beginning to erode.

To maintain the technological edge, Hagel said Pentagon needs to invest wisely in the face of declining budgets, including in new sophisticated commercial technologies such as 3D printing and robotics.

The department has taken steps to improve its often cumbersome and complex acquisition system. Hagel said a new phase of changes will make it easier to buy commercial products and improve the Pentagon's ability to work with industry partners.

"We must take this challenge seriously, and do everything necessary to sustain and renew our military superiority," said Hagel. "This will not only require active investment by both government and industry . . . it will require us to once again embrace a spirit of innovation" in how American buys and develops new technologies..

Hagel's speech in Newport is the first stop on a weeklong trip that includes his participation in the NATO summit in Wales, as well as stops in Georgia and Turkey.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Copyright 2014 ABC News Internet Ventures



Hagel: Russia, China Aim to
Close Military Technology Gap With US

Reuters

NEWPORT, Rhode Island (September 3, 2014) -- Russia and China are trying to close the technology gap with the US military by developing weapons systems that appear designed to counter traditional US advantages, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Wednesday.

Hagel was speaking before a NATO summit expected to bring Russia's souring relations with the West and the goals of NATO allies to strengthen defense spending into sharp focus.

Hagel said the Pentagon was renewing a push to revamp how it works with the defense industry. The goal, he said, was to promote greater innovation needed to preserve America's technological edge, even at a time of tighter budgets.

"While the United States currently has a decisive military and technological edge over any potential adversary, our future superiority is not a given," Hagel told a defense industry forum in Rhode Island.

US defense officials have watched as Moscow and Beijing have tested a string of sophisticated weapons, from radar-evading aircraft and anti-ship missiles that fly many times the speed of sound, to integrated air defenses.

While the Defense Department's spending of around $500 billion is still more than the next six or seven countries combined, research and development spending has fallen more than 20 percent since President Barack Obama took office.

In contrast, China and Russia have been rapidly increasing their security spending and have passed new technological milestones in recent years.

"China and Russia have been trying to close the technology gap by pursuing and funding long-term, comprehensive military modernization programs," Hagel said. "They are also developing anti-ship, anti-air, counter-space, cyber, electronic warfare and special operations capabilities that appear designed to counter traditional US military advantages."

Leading US weapons manufacturers, including Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Northrop Grumman, have urged the Pentagon to continue investing in research and development of new weapons and technologies despite less military spending.

Frank Kendall, the Pentagon's chief weapons buyer, said he had been asked to lead an initiative that would take a longer-term look at research and development spending.

"When you cut R&D [research and development] you are delaying modernization. Period," Kendall told the ComDef 2014 defense conference in Washington.

) Russia and China are trying to close the technology gap with the US military by developing weapons systems that appear designed to counter traditional US advantages, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Wednesday.

Hagel was speaking before a NATO summit expected to bring Russia's souring relations with the West and the goals of NATO allies to strengthen defense spending into sharp focus.

Hagel said the Pentagon was renewing a push to revamp how it works with the defense industry. The goal, he said, was to promote greater innovation needed to preserve America's technological edge, even at a time of tighter budgets.

"While the United States currently has a decisive military and technological edge over any potential adversary, our future superiority is not a given," Hagel told a defense industry forum in Rhode Island.

US defense officials have watched as Moscow and Beijing have tested a string of sophisticated weapons, from radar-evading aircraft and anti-ship missiles that fly many times the speed of sound, to integrated air defenses.

While the Defense Department's spending of around $500 billion is still more than the next six or seven countries combined, research and development spending has fallen more than 20 percent since President Barack Obama took office.

In contrast, China and Russia have been rapidly increasing their security spending and have passed new technological milestones in recent years.

"China and Russia have been trying to close the technology gap by pursuing and funding long-term, comprehensive military modernization programs," Hagel said. "They are also developing anti-ship, anti-air, counter-space, cyber, electronic warfare and special operations capabilities that appear designed to counter traditional US military advantages."

Leading US weapons manufacturers, including Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Northrop Grumman, have urged the Pentagon to continue investing in research and development of new weapons and technologies despite less military spending.

Frank Kendall, the Pentagon's chief weapons buyer, said he had been asked to lead an initiative that would take a longer-term look at research and development spending.

"When you cut R&D [research and development] you are delaying modernization. Period," Kendall told the ComDef 2014 defense conference in Washington.

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.

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