US military superiority “has eroded to a dangerous degree,” with “grave and lasting” consequences unless Washington undertakes swift action to reverse the adverse effect by increasing the Pentagon’s funding, according to a new reported ordered by the Congress.
The report was released on November 14th, by the presumably independent National Defense Strategy Commission. According to it the US has reached a “crisis of national security” due to a combination of political, financial and international issues and might struggle to win if faced with numerous conflicts at the same time.
The so-called independent commission is comprised of former top Republican and Democratic officials selected by Congress in July 2017, as ordered in the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act. It suggested a vast reshaping of the US military to be able to compete with Beijing and Moscow in the Cold War scenario the US itself created.
“The U.S. military could suffer unacceptably high casualties and loss of major capital assets in its next conflict,” the report states. “It might struggle to win, or perhaps lose, a war against China or Russia. The United States is particularly at risk of being overwhelmed should its military be forced to fight on two or more fronts simultaneously.”
The report also claimed that it would be “unwise and irresponsible not to expect adversaries to attempt debilitating kinetic, cyber, or other types of attacks against Americans at home” while also fighting the US military overseas.
“U.S. military superiority is no longer assured and the implications for American interests and American security are severe,” it read.
According to the report a combination of problems led to an emergency in US national security. Competitors and mainly Russia and China “are pursuing determined military buildups aimed at neutralizing U.S. strengths.”
The threats from Iran and North Korea were also mentioned as significant, since they have “developed more advanced weapons and creatively employed asymmetric tactics,” such as using intimidation and coercion.
The report also mentions dangers posed by transnational threat organizations such as radical jihadist groups have evolved and intensified, with the proliferation of advanced technology around the world “allowing more actors to contest U.S. military power in more threatening ways.”
“The United States thus is in competition and conflict with an array of challengers and adversaries,” the report claimed.
The report further blames “political dysfunction and decisions made by both major political parties,” mostly for the creation of the 2011 Budget Control Act (BCA), which led to reductions in the planned defense spending.
The commission also formally reviewed the National Defense Strategy (NDS), which the Trump administration released in January 2018. The bill was meant to drive future defense spending requests and laid out the Department of Defense’s future strategy.
The NDS is expected to strongly influence the Fiscal Year 2020 defense spending bill, which would likely focus on innovation and modernization, focused on potential conflicts with Russia and China and less on the Middle East.
The commission deemed the NDS “a broadly constructive document that identifies most of the right objectives and challenges.” However, it was also “deeply concerned that the Department of Defense and the nation as a whole have not yet addressed crucial issues such as force sizing, developing innovative operational concepts, readiness, and resources with the degree of urgency, persistence, and analytic depth that an increasingly dangerous world demands.”
The report also warned that the NDS “too often rests on questionable assumptions and weak analysis,” and is not adequately resourced.
“We believe that the NDS points the Department of Defense and the country in the right direction, but it does not adequately explain how we should get there,” the report claimed.
Overall, the way “to get there,” is expectedly to increase funding for the Pentagon. Available resources are clearly insufficient to fulfill the strategy’s ambitious goals, including that of ensuring that DOD can defeat a major-power adversary while deterring other enemies simultaneously.”
The report also warned that Pentagon saving funds by organizational reform is a bad strategy, rather it should really just receive more funding so that it can focus on both nuclear and conventional modernization simultaneously and fix long-accumulating readiness shortfalls.
Thus, the actual common issues in the US military were left completely unaddressed in the report and the solution to the presented threats was just to increase funding. There was no mention of a need of any sort of overhaul or restructuring. There was no mention of the endless requirements of increased funding for the F-35 program, which continues to show numerous problems, as well as the $13 billion USS Gerald R. Ford, which was delivered without elevators and is also becoming a money pit.