McCain, Forbes Endorse Call for Review of Platform-Munitions Mix

Two of Congress’s top defense experts Wednesday praised the new Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessment study that calls for reconsideration of the platform-munitions mix for US strike missions, noting longer range defenses being fielded by potential adversaries. Senate Armed Services Chairman Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.), chairman of the House Armed Services seapower and projection forces subcommittee, said the focus of defense spending on major platforms avoids the question of whether the services are buying enough of the right munitions. “Our ability to deliver precision-guided munitions is diminished as rivals and potential rivals have made advances in both defensive and strike capabilities,” McCain told a Capitol Hill briefing on the study. “The gap between yesterday’s assumptions and today’s reality is measured in the risk to America’s soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines.” Forbes agreed that, “for so long it has been easy for us to get caught up in the platforms,” so that “we don’t ask the question, do we have enough bullets? Sometimes we just need someone to ask, do we have enough bullets, the right bullets? That’s what this report does.” Both noted that despite longer-range enemy defenses, most of the United States’ precision munitions are short-range. (For more on the study read, Re-Think the Weapons Mix, You Gotta Build Them, and More Decoys, Please.)