Saturday, August 08, 2009
The Balance of Power
I pose the following question: Is it possible that the nature of warfare has changed to a degree where tank warfare is obsolescent, if not obsolete?
If your opponent has air supremacy, your armor is nearly useless. (This has been true since about 1943.)
If you have air supremacy, your armor is able to execute blitzkrieg/mobile warfare tactics with impunity. Note that doctrinally, armor's proper target is infrastructure and infantry, not other armor. (This is also not new.)
If air superiority is the best you can do, armor is still worthwhile, though not particularly safe.
That is, if you are Armenia, armor is useful against Azerbaijan but not against Russia. If you are the US, armor is useful in any open warfare scenario.
For limited warfare, armor has limited utility, being mostly useful for breaking up insurgent hard points.
Fighting Arabs can result in overconfidence. The Israelis have a history of trusting armor too much and leading attacks with unsupported tanks. This bit them in the rear in 1973 and again (I suspect) in Lebanon three years ago.