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Report warns of eroding U.S. military supremacy

2018/11/15 14:42:20

Image taken from Pixabay

Washington, Nov. 14 (CNA) The United States may not be able to deter adversaries in large-scale conflicts with rivals like China and Russia, as its military superiority has "eroded to a dangerous degree," a report suggests.

"America's military superiority -- the hard-power backbone of its global influence and national security -- has eroded to a dangerous degree," said a report submitted by the National Defense Strategy Commission to the U.S. Congress Wednesday, reviewing a National Defense Strategy (NDS) released by the Pentagon in January.

The commission is co-chaired by Eric Edelman, a former U.S. undersecretary of defense for policy from 2005-2009, and Gary Roughead, a retired admiral who was the 29th chief of naval operations from 2007-2011.

Noting that changes in the U.S. and elsewhere are diminishing the U.S. military advantage and threatening vital U.S. interests, while authoritarian competitors -- especially China and Russia -- are seeking regional hegemony and the means to project power globally, the U.S. is in competition and conflict with an array of challenges and adversaries, the report said.

"If the nation does not act promptly to remedy these circumstances, the consequences will be grave and lasting," it warned.

Although the Pentagon said it plans to employ force "unpredictably" or "creatively" at the operational level, the commission said that based on its analysis, "the deterrent or coercive value of this approach appears limited."

"If China were to attack Taiwan or Russia were to attack the Baltic states, for instance, it seems unlikely that the U.S. could force its adversary to back down by applying pressure -- military or otherwise -- in secondary areas."

In the event of large-scale conflict with Russia or China, the U.S. may not have sufficient remaining resources to deter other adversaries in one -- let alone two -- other theaters, the report pointed out. "

The U.S. military could suffer unacceptably high casualties and loss of major capital assets in its next conflict. It might struggle to win or perhaps lose, a war against China or Russia," it warned.

(By Rita Cheng and Flor Wang)
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