After WWI the world thought of France as one of the preeminent Continental powers, with a large army and navy, only to see it collapse like a house of cards after the Nazi's breached its vaunted Maginot Line in 1940. The United States today, much like the French with their Maginot Line, puts much faith in just a handful of our weapons systems. Without getting too geeky, here are our problem areas:
Supercarriers....we currently have 10 nuclear aircraft carriers able to project power around the world. They carry a powerful wallop, but they themselves are huge targets. In fact, there have been several incidents recently when real-world friendly naval forces, acting as "adversaries", managed to get their (old, not very sophisticated) submarines close enough to an American carrier to shoot virtual torpedoes into it. (Story here.)
In other words, it's easier than you might think for a non-state-of-the-art submarine to put a few million-dollar torpedoes into a multi-BILLION dollar aircraft carrier and send it to the bottom of the ocean. Due to the lack of a worthy adversary after the USSR collapsed in 1991, our anti-submarine warfare skills have noticeably declined.
Should we begin to de-emphasize our carriers, and accelerate building many more, and much more survivable, submarines of our own? Are we depending on our carriers too much?
As much as I like the romanticized idea of a swaggering jet jockey sitting in the cockpit of a $100M+ aircraft, maybe we should consider buying many, many more smaller, simpler, and cheaper unmanned aircraft. (Much of the complexity and cost of a manned aircraft is due to the need for "pilot survivability" components.) Look at how well our unmanned, armed drones have done! As with our carriers, are we depending too much on our "stealth" aircraft?
And finally, our "network-centric warfare" capability....we have developed a superb system linking in real time our command, control, communications, and computers (C4) with their land, air, and sea assets. This means we can respond almost immediately with any or all of our forces in a highly-coordinated counter-attack. The problem is, for this to work, everything must be connected, which is currently done through satellites in space.
Now the Chinese have successfully launched an armed satellite-killer into space and destroyed one of their own to prove its viability, and the Russians have launched a satellite into orbit which they maneuvered into close proximity to one of our satellites, presumably as a test to see if they could get close enough to blow it up. (They can.) As our satellites are unarmed and cannot defend themselves, they're sitting ducks!
So maybe we should look carefully into developing weapons and systems that are simpler, cheaper, and more likely to survive an attack by ? . We should study the history of the French Maginot Line carefully to make sure we haven't developed an American Maginot Line.
We just might have outsmarted ourselves.