Research on the Force XXI
--Interview with Dr. Douglas V. Johnson, Senior Fellow of the Army War College (May 1, 1998) 访美国陆军军事学院战略研究所高级研究员道格拉斯•约翰逊博士
MR. CHEN BOJIANG: The U.S. Army has begun research on the Force XXI1 and the Army After Next2 for several years. What is the main purpose and highlights of this research? What is the progress on this research?
DR. JOHNSON: My area of focus is the future, but it’s also American doctrine and American military history. My particular task at the moment is development of this army after next idea, looking forward to the year 2025,and trying to discern the shape of things and consider what requirements we might have.
The purpose is to take advantage of what we believe may be a revolution in military technology, and change the organization and the equipment in the Army, so that it is abreast of the latest most effective technologies. Whether this will nean we have a smaller force or not is very unclear; but we do know hat we can increase the capability for the force that we do have through the technologies, which are maturing now in very interesting ways.
If you go back into our “Army” magazine-it’s a magazine that the Association of the United States Army3 publishes in a monthly basis Go back to 1950, and you will see systems in there or drawings of weapons which we are now beginning to see become reality. And what it’s saying to us is that it’s taken about 40-year for the technologies to mature.
We believe that this 40-year cycle4 is going to get shorter, maybe to 30, maybe to 20, maybe even down to 10 years. But we know that part of it is technology, part of it is politics and part of it is money that’s available. So we’re trying to investigate now as many new technologies as we can to try to decide which we want to invest money in now so that we can develop as quickly as possible, so we don’t have a 40-year lag in the real generation of equipment.
The Force XXI is an investigative5 process by which we test and experiment as many things as we can. The objective is out at about 2010 to have Army XXI.
The Force XXI is going to look an awful lot like today’s army in terms of the equipment. The equipment will be better. We’ll still have 70-ton M-1A - whatever -Abrams tanks, but they’ll be able to do a lot more things a lot better.
The Army After Next will focus on the period from 2010 to, maybe 2025, maybe beyond 2025. This period will witness great loops. Things are not going to look like today. At least that’s how we’re thinking of it now.
The first time we looked at it we said we want to have flying tanks. Well, we’ve looked at that, and we’ve said, not by 2025. We can’t do that. But we might be able to have a vehicle which weighed, let’s say, 15 tons, but it could move 100 miles an hour, maybe 50 miles an hour cross country. It wouldn’t necessarily have a gun on it, but it would be able to, through a whole system of sensors - it would be able to attack targets out at ranges of 10, 20, maybe even 30 kilometers, with about a 0.99 probability that it would kill them. But it wouldn’t be a direct fire weapon, it would be an indirect fire weapon, with a fire-seeker head6 on it or something like that. It would have a couple of missiles on board for self defense in case it came around the corner and met a tank. Because it’s a 15 tons, you know, that it can’t stand up to any kind of modern tank today, and it would just be blown away.
We would like this thing to be able to fly. We still want that flying tank, but we know we’re not going to be able to get it. So we want to get it down to some much lighter weight, so that we can move it about the battlefield more rapidly. Now, that’s one line of thought7.
There is another line of thought that says, that’s interesting, and that’s also a waste of money. In fact, the war that you’ll be fighting out here in 2025 will all be with computers, maybe. Instead of a 15-ton vehicle, maybe you’ll have a 4-ton vehicle but it will be robotic, and it will be controlled by a broadly distributed set of sensors, and it will be able to do great and wonderful things. And there are other variations on this thing.
But what this is going to look like out here, we’re not sure. We’ve run three war games, and each one has been very different, and I expect that we will run at least one game a year, devoted to what this thing is for the next 10 years. And we’re going to investigate wider and wider areas.
What do we really want? We want fast-moving, agile8, all-weather fire power, that has a very good capability. Well, is that a helicopter? For right now the answer is yes, that’s the helicopter. But out here could it be something else?
By the year 2010, we will have helicopters, tanks, some of these sensor nets, overhead communications9, and lots of other things, and they will be really good, but you’re still going to have this 70-ton behemoth10 tank, so your ability to move it around strategically is going to be very limited. And there will be places in the world where you can’t move it tactically very well.
So this is sort of the structure, the basic underlying structure that we look at. Normal, incremental progression out to about 2010, and then hopefully somewhere in the next 15 years beyond that, a leap as these emerging technologies mature, and we have to figure out what we can really do.
WORDS AND EXPRESSIONS 词汇提示
1.the Force XXI“21世纪陆军”
2.Army After Next“后天的陆军”
3.the Association of the United States Army 美国陆军协会
4.cycle  n.周期
5.investigative  a.调查研究的
6.a fire-seeker head 火力探头
7.one line of thought 一种思路
8.agile  a.灵敏的
9.overhead communication 空中通讯
10.behemoth  n.庞然大物
QUESTIONS AFTER LISTENING 听后答题:
1. What is Dr. Johnson’s area of focus?
A.It is the security situation.
B.It is the future of Army.
C.It is the missile.
D.It is the nuclear weapon.
2. What is “Army” magazine?
A.It is a magazine that the U.S. Army publishes on a monthly basis.
B.It is a magazine that the U.S. Army publishes on a quarterly basis.
C.It is a magazine that the Association of the U.S. Army publishes on a quarterly basis.
D.It is a magazine that the Association of the U.S. Army publishes on a monthly basis.
3. How long has it taken for the technologies to mature?
A.About 20 years. B.About 15 years.
C.About 25 years. D.About 40 years.
4. What does the Force XXI mean?
A.It means an investigative process.
B.It means a decision-making process.
C.It means a nurturing process.
D.It means a proving process.
5. When will the objective of the Force XXI be out?
A.At about 2010. B.At about 2020.
C.At about 2015. D.At about 2025.
6. What period will the Army After Next focus on?
A.It will focus on the period from 2010 to 2020.
B.It will focus on the period from 2000 to 2010.
C.It will focus on the period from 2010 to or beyond 2025.
D.It will focus on the period from 2020 to 2025.
7. What did they want the first time they considered the equipment of the Army After Next?
A.Flying boat. B.Flying tank.
C.Flying truck. D.Flying robot.
8. How many times did they run war games?
A.Four. B.Five. C.Three. D.Seven.
9. What did Dr. Johnson expect about the equipment development of the Army about 2010?
B.Great breakthrough in new weapons.
C.Similar things like today.
D.Normal, incremental progression.
10. What did Dr. Johnson expect about the equipment development in the next 15 years beyond 2010?
A.A leap in missile technology.
B.A leap in tactical nuclear weapons.
C.A leap in precision weapons.
D.A leap as the emerging technologies mature.
KEYS TO THE QUESTIONS 参考答案：
1.b 2.d 3.d 4.a 5.a 6.c 7.b 8.c 9.d 10.d