The United States is facing a national security and military crisis and could lose in a war against Russia or China, a bipartisan congressional panel warned in a report on Wednesday (Nov 14).
The National Defense Strategy Commission evaluated the Trump administration’s 2018 National Defense Strategy, which ordered a vast reshaping of the US military to compete with Beijing and Moscow in an era of “great-power competition”.
Meanwhile, according to the commission, China and Russia are seeking regional hegemony in an attempt to project military power globally and pursuing defense buildups aimed squarely at the United States.
“America’s military superiority – the hard-power backbone of its global influence and national security – has eroded to a dangerous degree,” the commission said.
In the report, the commission found America’s focus on counter-insurgency operations this century resulted in it slipping in other warfighting areas such as missile defense, cyber and space operations, and anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare.
“The United States has significantly weakened its own defense due to political dysfunction and decisions made by both Republicans as well as Democrats;” thus, creating “a crisis of national security for the United States,” the report added.
The commission also said that American influence across Asia and Europe is being steadily eroded and military balances have shifted in “decidedly adverse” ways that have raised the risk of conflict.
“The US military could suffer unacceptably high casualties and loss of major capital assets in its next conflict,” the commission added.
The report concludes that the Defense Department isn’t financially or strategically set up to wage two wars at once and could even lose a war against China or Russia individually.
Though the Pentagon this year has a budget of more than US$700 billion, far more than Russia and China combined, the commission said the sum is still “clearly insufficient” to meet the goals laid out in the NDS.
Commissioners made a series of recommendations including a 3-5 per cent annual increase in the defense budget.