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The Kill Chain: Defending America in the Future of High-Tech Warfare Hardcover – April 21, 2020
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"Provocative, jolting, superb, and on target! The Kill Chain is all of those things and more. If you read only one book to better understand the challenges facing the US military and the promise of emerging technologies, this should be it."―Admiral James Stavridis, former Supreme Allied Commander at NATO and author of Sailing True North: Ten Admirals and the Voyage of Character
"Christian Brose has done the country a great service by writing this important and timely book. The Kill Chain is a powerful and thoughtful challenge to much of the conventional wisdom about national defense. It also offers a compelling vision for how the US military can get beyond business as usual to compete and win in this new era of great power competition. Brose's book should be read by every American."―Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR), author of Sacred Duty: A Soldier's Tour at Arlington National Cemetery
"The Kill Chain is an exceptional--and an exceptionally stimulating--guide to thinking about the military and technological revolutions that will produce a fundamental change to the character of war."―General David Petraeus (US Army, Ret.), former Commander of the Surge in Iraq, US Central Command, and Coalition Forces in Afghanistan, as well as former Director of the CIA
"Christian Brose understands like few others the serious challenges the U.S. military faces, especially in relation to China. He delivers a powerful wake-up call to the American people and our leadership--warning aptly that America's military superiority is at grave risk unless we reimagine defense. Thankfully, Brose issues a thoughtful and compelling plan for America to adapt effectively in this gripping, must-read book."―Susan E. Rice, former US National Security Advisor and Ambassador to the United Nations
About the Author
- Publisher : Hachette Books (April 21, 2020)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 320 pages
- ISBN-10 : 031653353X
- ISBN-13 : 978-0316533539
- Item Weight : 1.1 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.4 x 1.4 x 9.3 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #12,306 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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"The problem is that America is playing a losing game. Over many decades we have built our military around small numbers of large, expensive, exquisite, heavily manned, and hard to replace platforms that struggle to close the kill chain as one battle network. China, meanwhile, has built large numbers of multi million dollar weapons to find and attack America’s small numbers of exponentially more expensive military platforms."
"It requires a sweeping redesign of the American military: from a military built around small numbers of large, expensive, exquisite, heavily manned, and hard to replace platforms to a military built around large numbers of smaller, lower cost, expendable, and highly autonomous machines."
"New technologies alone will not save us. We need new thinking — an ambitious effort to reimagine the ends, ways, and means of US military power, as well as the role of our allies in this effort — to succeed in a future world where America’s military superiority will likely erode further if China’s military technological development continues."
The new technology comes in many forms. There now are missiles that fly 2 or 3 times faster than what is available now. The missiles can reach out many many thousands of miles more, enough to hit America from the other side of the world. Now computers are recently coming out on the market which are smaller and 2 or 3 times faster than previous computers. All of that combines to radically speed up the decision time for war operations. The author calls it the kill chain.
The change doesn't stop there. The tactics used by our competitors has radically changed warfare. The examples the author uses comes from Russia. He reviews their invasion of "Little Green Men" in the Ukraine turned warfare upside down. They infiltrated troops into the land. Then they merged with dissent forces already in the country. Then the war stars, but on a small scale. Before you know it Russia grabbed Crimea and neutralized a huge slice of the Ukraine. That was the first time since WWII where borders changed.
The last part of the book is the most scary. He relies on his experience in Congress. He cites several examples to show where the bureaucracy is incapable of change. The pressures of on going operations, turf wars, political desires to protect home based companies all have immobilized the bureaucracy. He also cites the case of the Army trying to get a new side arm. It took 17 million to test an off the shelf pistol. The case showed how fear of risk has layered on level after level of control and check. Those levels of course adds costs. That was just one weapons program. Can you imagine what the cost is as you expand that out to really big ticket things like carriers. It leads to the Pentagon to continue buying weapons it doesn't need and use tactics which really come out of WWII. As the Pentagon games go on the world's armies change. I think his point about the bureaucracy caught in a never ending loop also might explain other troubles across the globe.
That leads to the scary part. Is the country ready for the future? Will it defend the nation for the future? If it isn't 9/11 might be a match strike in comparison.
Top reviews from other countries
Well written in a simple and clear way for all the audience.
I really like the heads up on the current real threat...that is not the China arms or technology race..but the people (governments) guided by lobby and lazy-mind leaders not able to think out of the old-fashioned path...
Only negative aspect: The details on the US burocracy and politics are sometime too many.
I really enjoyed it