Having looked at the Russian military’s cyber warfare modernization, the United States rushed to develop similar capabilities that could be used in the event of a “large force-on-force conflict in a place like Europe.”
Defense Secretary Ash Carter testified at a House Armed Services Committee hearing on the fiscal year 2017 DoD budget proposal, March 22, 2016.
On August 11, the US Army announced the creation of the Army Rapid Capabilities Office to prevent “capability gaps” that have formed within the American military in recent years.
“Our adversaries are modernizing at a rapid rate, and in some cases, our capabilities are inadequate to keep up, to maintain our edge,” Maj. Gen. Walter E. Piatt, who is in charge of the operations in the new office said in a statement. “We need to … make sure that they are offset from us, not the other way around.”
Doug Wiltsie, a director of the Rapid Capabilities Office, at the time said that it will focus on “urgent, immediate or emerging threats” defined by the commanders on the ground. Army Secretary Eric Fanning obscurely remarked that the new establishment will work on new capabilities development rather than on creating new equipment. According to Defense One citing a military analyst, many military authorities have been shocked by the pace of innovations in electronic warfare showcased in Russia’s Syrian campaign, which saw the use of “new waveforms that can disrupt an adversary’s electronics and paint enemy stealth aircraft.”
According to Fanning, “the combination of unmanned aerial systems and offensive cyber and advanced electronic warfare capabilities … provided Russian forces a new degree of sophistication.”