Precision Strike’s Evolution

Global proliferation of precision-strike capabilities may challenge the US military’s ability to project power overseas in coming decades, asserts Barry Watts, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. In a new CSBA report, Watts addresses how the spread of precision weapons, advanced sensors, and targeting networks in countries such as China, Russia, and Iran, may alter the ways of war. The United States has had a monopoly on long–range precision-strike capabilities for nearly two decades, but will likely see China begin to catch up in that regard, writes Watts. The Chinese military “is developing precision-strike capabilities, including very accurate ballistic missiles with maneuverable reentry vehicles and conventional warheads, he notes. Watts also warns of the danger that anti-access, area-denial capabilities will create, particularly in Asia and the Middle East. The United States, going forward, will either have to find alternative ways to project power or accept greater limitations on its ability to intervene in global matters, he writes.