Two military leaders admitted at the TechNet Augusta conference this week that the United States is falling behind in its electronic warfare capability.
“When it comes to electronic warfare, we are outgunned,” Maj. Gen. John Morrison, the commander of Fort Gordon and the Army Cyber Center of Excellence, said during a Tuesday presentation at the conference held in Augusta, Georgia. “We are plain outgunned by peer and near-peer competitors.”
This sentiment was seconded by Lt. Gen. Paul Funk II, the commanding general of III Corps, who addressed the TechNet audience via video teleconference, adding that the U.S. is also outranged in EW.
Russia ― and to some extent, China ― have exhibited advanced and stunning capabilities in the electromagnetic spectrum.
“If we don’t win the cyber/EW fight, then the maneuver fight may not matter because we may not get to it,” Maj. Gen. Wilson Shoffner, the director of operations with the Army‘s Rapid Capabilities Office noted in June. He said at the time that the decisive fight may well be the electromagnetic spectrum as opposed to maneuver.
Bottom line: Electronic and cyber warfare will play a vital role in any future conflict, so the United States cannot afford to go cheap or easy with its cyber- and EW research and development. It is a gap we can close, and probably in short order because we have the technological ability to do so, but only if Congress and President Trump prioritize it and allocate the resources.