EXECUTIVE LECTURE FORUM: Activities: 2000: Abstract: Vickers

In his address to ELF members, Director Michael Vickers, a former Special Forces Officer and CIA Operations Officer, enlightened the group on the present and future status of the United States' defense initiatives.  Mr. Vickers also highlighted the revolutionary changes taking place in the realm of military affairs.  He stressed the dominance of the U.S. military complex, stating that its strength has dramatically increased since the end of the Cold War.  In his assessment, he recognized the retreat of Soviet power from Europe and the disintegration of the Red Army as the fundamental reason for this upsurge in power.

Our speaker noted that the U.S. allocates more resources for defense than all of its likely competitors combined.  Since the fall of Communism in Europe, the U.S. has become the world leader in air, naval, land, space, and information warfare.  Also instrumental in our nation's current position is its monopoly over stealth capabilities which is ten to twenty years ahead of our nearest competitor.

However, Mr. Vickers stressed that times are changing.  He feels that a revolution will soon begin to take place in the realm of global defense, thus challenging America's position.  He argues that groundswells in economic growth and technological modernization will bring about these changes.  The United States' present course in military transformation will not change rapidly, due to the Clinton administration's nearsightedness, but Director Vickers feels that by 2025, up to half of the U.S. force structure could be fundamentally transformed, causing it to rely more on its stealth capabilities, information databases, extended range, and distribution of forces.  The days of human maintained systems will soon fall by the wayside, replaced by unmaned munitions and platforms, and a reliance on space capabilities.

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