(Presidentialwire.com)- The 19fortyfive website reports that the chorus of cautions on Chinese military capabilities is getting louder and louder among our military’s senior brass. Admiral Charles Richard, the head of the US Strategic Command, said last week that the US’s ability to prevent China is “slowly sinking.” It is sinking, he continued, because basically, they are developing field capabilities more quickly than we are.
In other words, America’s traditional deterrent is eroding alarmingly. There are several causes for this, but the military’s lack of margin is one of the most important. The force for deterrence in zero-sum budgeting for winning the war fight is not very flexible. Ageing, smaller, less prepared, and inadequately modernized forces are the end outcome.
The average age of the Air Force is 29 years old. By 2037, the Navy will only have 280 ships. The Army is getting smaller; it fell 25% short of its recruiting target. These issues, at the heart of our conventional deterrence’s waning, are not new.
In actuality, the brass has been raising the alarm for some time. The military is “still going embarrassingly slowly,” according to a former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs regarding modernization intended to compete with China. The Pentagon is “so bureaucratic, and we’re so risk averse,” complained General John Hyten.
The former military intelligence chief for Indo-Pacific Command summed up American policy toward China by saying that the US is “too late.”
The United States has “too late” to recognize a prospective foe’s deadly intent. Realizing the imminent death threat was too late. Too late to be prepared. Too late to coordinate all available rebel troops.
In light of recent comments made by Admiral Mile Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations, it is looking increasingly unlikely that the US will be able to prevent a Chinese invasion of Taiwan. “When we talk about the 2027 window [for an invasion of Taiwan], in my perspective, that has to be a 2022 window, or possibly a 2023 window; I can’t rule it out,” he said.
The Pentagon needs to leave neutral and start preparing for the “big one” in Asia. America ought to be creating a lot more of these weapons. The military must spend more money purchasing capabilities that could be used this decade. Simply said, Taiwan must be transformed into a “porcupine”.
Policymakers must wake up from America’s strategic atrophy and pay attention to military warnings. Deterrence cannot be allowed to fail. China is keeping tabs.