General John Hyten has urged the US to rethink its military strategy in light of the results of the drill which he claimed “failed miserably”. The Pentagon refused to provide the name of the wargame as it remains classified, but a defence official told Defense One, the drill took place last October and revolved around a battle for Taiwan.
On Monday, Gen. Hyten told an audience at the launch of the Emerging Technologies Institute China is capable of reading US manoeuvres.
He said: “Without overstating the issue, it failed miserably.
“An aggressive red team that had been studying the United States for the last 20 years just ran rings around us.
“They knew exactly what we’re going to do before we did it.”
The October drill was reportedly a test for a new warfighting strategy, but the concept drew heavily on the same ideas the US has used for decades.
Following the loss, Gen. Hyten has urged the US to be ready with an overhauled version of the Joint Warfighting Concept by 2030.
Gen. Hyten explained China had been studying US tactics for years and has a numbers advantage.
“Imagine what our actual competitors have been doing for the last 20 years, with probably even more focus, with larger numbers,” Mr Hyten said.
“So we had to take a step back and look broadly and say: ‘OK, what did we miss?’”
READ MORE: China tells US it risks ‘bringing harm to people in Taiwan’
One key reason for the loss was due to the aggregation of forces which acted as a double edged sword.
Pooling ships, aircraft and ground forces together bolstered the military power in one area but also made them sitting ducks.
Further, Gen. Hyten explained the US has an overreliance on information to win wars.
“We basically attempted an information-dominance structure, where information was ubiquitous to our forces,” explained Gen. Hyten.
“Just like it was in the first Gulf War, just like it has been for the last 20 years, just like everybody in the world, including China and Russia, have watched us do for the last 30 years.
“Well, what happens if right from the beginning that information is not available? And that’s the big problem that we faced.”
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News of the US strategic overhaul comes as the US bears completion of its withdrawal from the Middle East.
Earlier this month, Joe Biden announced an end to military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
According to Gen. Hyten, the withdrawal will allow US forces to be redirected to tackle the threats posed by China and Russia.
The remarks also come a month after president Xi Jinping threatened foreign powers would “get their heads bashed bloody” if they attempt to interfere with Chinese affairs.