A new report is saying that the United States military has reached crisis mode. The country could “struggle to win” or just as easily lose a war to either Russia or China.
The U.S. “could suffer unacceptably high casualties and loss of major capital assets in its next conflict,” the National Defense Strategy Commission says, according to NBC News. The historic military supremacy of the U.S. has eroded drastically, leaving the country likely unable to fight more than a single war at a time, according to a congressionally chartered report released Wednesday.
“U.S. military superiority is no longer assured and the implications for American interests and American security are severe,” said the report, which was issued by the National Defense Strategy Commission, an independent agency whose board is appointed by the House and Senate Armed Services committees. The report concludes that the Defense Department isn’t financially (brace yourselves for the solution: higher taxes) or strategically set up to wage two wars at once and could even lose a war against China or Russia individually.
Johnny Michael, a spokesman for the Defense Department, said the agency welcomed the report, calling it “a stark reminder of the gravity of these issues, and a call to action.”
“The department will carefully consider each of the recommendations put forward by the commission as part of continuing efforts to strengthen our nation’s defense, and looks forward to working with the commission and the Congress to do so,” he said. –NBC News
“China and Russia, seeking regional hegemony and global power projection, are pursuing military buildups aimed at neutralizing U.S. strengths,” wrote former Undersecretary of Defense Eric Edelman, the commission’s co-chairman. At the exact same time, “the United States has significantly weakened its own defense due to political dysfunction and decisions made by both Republicans as well as Democrats,” he wrote, citing defense budget cuts “with pronounced detrimental effects on the size, modernization, and readiness of the military.”
“U.S. forces will need additional resources to train to high levels of proficiency across a broader and more technologically challenging range of potential missions than in the recent past, particularly those missions focusing on advanced military threats from China and Russia,” the commission wrote, according to the report by NBC News.
The report concluded with a fear-mongering 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.