Is the US at risk of losing a war to Russia or China?

This new report says so.

Matt Saintsing
November 14, 2018 - 3:24 pm

Dave Bredeson | Dreamstime

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The United States military is in decline, and at risk of losing a war against a rising China or Russia, according to a report released Wednesday.

“The security and well-being of the United States are at greater risk than at any time in decades,” the authors wrote. “America’s military superiority—the hard-power backbone of its global influence and national security—has eroded to a dangerous degree.”

The National Defense Strategy Commission made up of a dozen former top national security experts hand-picked by Congress, assessed the Trump administration’s 2018 National Defense Strategy. They found the need for the Pentagon to re-focus its priority from counter-terrorism to competing with rising confrontational nations like Russia and China.

“Russia and China are challenging the United States, its allies and its partners on a far greater scale than has any adversary since the Cold War’s end,” the report reads.

“If the United States had to fight Russia in a Baltic contingency of China in a war over Taiwan, Americans could face a decisive military defeat.”

Overall, the report lauds the administration’s strategic goals but cautions the United States as not moving nearly fast enough to thwart a national security emergency.

According to the commission, both China and Russia are pursuing military supremacy at home, and are aiming to project it more globally.

And it could mean losing more troops in battle.

“The U.S. military could suffer unacceptably high casualties and loss of major capital assets in its next conflict,” according to the report. “The United States is particularly at risk of being overwhelmed should its military be forced to fight on two or more fronts simultaneously.”

Despite a sizeable $716 billion defense budget this year, the commission argues, the effort of top American defense officials remains under-funded. But money may not be a useful measure of a nation’s lethality, given that the American defense budget is four times that of Beijing’s and more than 10 times that of Moscow’s.

“Yet even if America were to fund the Department of Defense lavishly,” the authors write.  “And even if all the other recommendations in this report were to be implemented, that would not be sufficient to address the threats and challenges facing the country today."

Still, the commission recommends Congress lift the arbitrary budget caps on defense spending over the next two years. Such limits on spending have burdened the military’s ability to train for the fight today while planning for the wars of tomorrow.

And while the report doesn’t provide an exact dollar amount required, it concludes that “available resources are clearly insufficient to fulfill the strategy’s ambitious goals. Including that of ensuring that (the Pentagon) can defeat a major-power adversary while deterring other enemies simultaneously.”

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