(National Sentinel) Threats rising: Earlier this week, a bipartisan committee appointed by Congress released a report that should chill all Americans to the bone.
The National Defense Strategy Commission, an independent entity whose board is appointed by the House and Senate Armed Services committees, concluded in a 116-page report that the United States’ military superiority advantages have so eroded over the past decade that it’s very possible and, in some scenarios even likely, America could lose a war to a major power competitor like Russia or China.
That’s largely because the U.S. military has focused on fighting small, brush-fire wars like those in Iraq, Afghanistan and, to a lesser degree, Syria and Libya for near 20 years.
Meanwhile, as the American military was distracted by insurgencies, the Russian and Chinese militaries were rebuilding, modernizing, and focusing squarely on modern, large-scale warfare. And both countries’ militaries have made substantial progress in developing and fielding conventional, electronic, cyber, and nuclear forces that are either on par with American capabilities or very close.
“U.S. military superiority is no longer assured and the implications for American interests and American security are severe,” said the report, as reported by Great Power War. “The U.S. military could suffer unacceptably high casualties and loss of major capital assets in its next conflict.”
The lengthy report concludes with a warning.
“The costs of failing to meet America’s crisis of national defense and national security will not be measured in abstract concepts like ‘international stability’ and ‘global order.’ They will be measured in American lives, American treasure, and American security and prosperity lost. It will be a tragedy — of unforeseeable but perhaps tremendous magnitude — if the United States allows its national interests and national security to be compromised through an unwillingness or inability to make hard choices and necessary investments.
“That tragedy will be all the more regrettable because it is within our power to avoid it,” the panel said.
After years of neglect by the Obama administration, epitomized by years’ worth of “continuing resolutions” to fund military operations rather than formal budgets that gave Pentagon planners the opportunity to secure funding to develop weapons systems that take years to field, the GOP-controlled Congress and the Trump administration approved substantial spending increases for the Defense Department.
Much of the funding thus far has gone into rehabilitating badly worn equipment, upgrading systems, and maintenance. There has been some weapons procurement and development, but frankly, in many areas of warfare, the U.S. military has lost its edge or is about to.
“The security and well-being of the United States are at greater risk than at any time in decades,” the report notes. “America’s military superiority—the hard-power backbone of its global influence and national security—has eroded to a dangerous degree.”
The Trump administration, with an eye on the ballooning federal deficit, has actually proposed spending cuts for the upcoming DoD fiscal year budget, along with every other Cabinet-level department of at least 5 percent or more.
But Democrats are set to take control of the House where all spending bills must constitutionally originate. And historically, Democrats have been spending-averse when it comes to funding the military (as the Obama administration proved).
The National Defense Strategy Commission’s report makes it crystal-clear, however, that now is not the time to substantially reduce military spending.
As Great Power War notes, the American people are not prepared for their military to lose a war:
The cold, hard reality contained in this report — the conclusions of which will never reach the vast majority of our population, in large part because the holidays are upon us and people are focused on them along with their busy daily lives — is that America most definitely can and very well might lose a conventional war, or at least the initial battles, against a great power like Russia or China.
And frankly, were that to happen, most Americans would be shocked in disbelief, as well as unprepared for what will have to come next — mass mobilization and transformation of the current economy into a wartime economy.
That is, if we’ll have enough time to do that.
That last point is important. Modern major power warfare would occur at a blistering pace. What’s more, due to the dearth of home-grown defense industry capabilities and the length of time it takes to build modern warplanes, warships, submarines, and other systems, America could not quickly replace capital assets like aircraft carriers, B-2 bombers, and warplanes.
So far, Democrats seem oblivious to this reality. They are running around taking part in global warming protests and vowing to investigate the president at every turn. Few of them, if any, have publicly addressed this report and its implications. And they are set to take the reins of power in the lower chamber where Pentagon funding bills could die in less than two months.
Republicans did not fulfill all that they promised as a party, but they were at least true to their pledge — along with the president — to rebuild our military. Americans should demand that the new Democratic House majority pick up that gauntlet before the country wakes up one morning in the not-to-distant future to the news that a quarter of its fighting force has been decimated in battle against a well-prepared China or Russia.
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