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Understanding the Long-Range Strike Debate

Policy Paper by Mark Gunzinger, Luka Autenried, and Bryan Clark via the Mitchell Institute

There is broad consensus on the need to increase the U.S. military’s long-range strike capacity. There is also significant debate over which investments would result in the greatest return for America’s warfighters. This policy paper compares the ranges, costs, target suitability, and other attributes of long-range surface-launched missiles with precision-guided weapons that can be delivered at scale by strike aircraft in peer conflicts. It offers insights and recommendations, to frame the debate on how DOD should maximize its long-range strike capacity in an era of flat or declining defense budgets while providing theater commanders with multiple options for creating effects on targets over long ranges.

READ THE POLICY PAPER