U.S. could lose war against Russian Federation or China, warns panel

A CH-7 HALE Stealth Unmanned Reconnaissance Aircraft — just one element of the threat posed by China’s upgraded military capacity

For years, the White House has ignored warning signs regarding the USA military's depleting stance as a powerhouse on the world stage, as China and Russian Federation continued to seek military dominance in their region and globally, The Washington Post reported citing a new analysis published Wednesday by the National Defense Strategy Commission.

"The US military could suffer unacceptably high casualties and loss of major capital assets in its next conflict", the commission found.

"The prolonged, deliberate buildup of overwhelming force in theater that has traditionally been the hallmark of American expeditionary warfare would be vastly more hard and costly, if it were possible at all", the authors add. "Put bluntly, the USA military could lose the next state-versus-state war it fights".

In February of a year ago, Gen. Daniel Allyn, vice chief of staff of the Army, sounded the alarm declaring that only three (about five percent) of the 58 U.S. Army Brigade Combat Teams (BCTs) are capable of immediately joining the fight in the event of a major conflict.

The U.S. military budget jumped to $716 billion this year, more than four times China's military budget and more than 10 times Russia's, the Post notes.

The bipartisan commission identified Iran, North Korea, Russia, China, transnational criminal groups, and terrorist organizations as top threats facing the United States.

Under the BCA, the USA substantially slashed defense spending "with pronounced detrimental effects on the size, modernization, and readiness of the military", the report noted.

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The Trump administration issued a new National Defense Strategy this year and, while the commission agreed with its aims, it said there wasn't enough urgency and the strategy "too often rests on questionable assumptions and weak analysis". This includes lifting budget caps on defence spendings and allocate proper resources and in the right measure. It consists of 12 former top Republican and Democratic officials.

In April, Adm. Harry Harris, then-chief of U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM), cautioned lawmakers that China's "impressive military buildup" may soon enable the People's Liberation Army (PLA) to challenge America's military dominance in the Indo-Pacific region "across nearly all domains".

In their report, the panel found America's focus on counter-insurgency operations this century resulted in it slipping in other warfighting areas such as missile defense, cyber and space operations, and anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare.

Money saved from planned Pentagon reforms will prove insufficient to see through the kind of investment the military needs to see through the new national defence strategy, the commission found.

Commissioners made a series of recommendations including a 3-5 per cent annual increase in the defence budget.

Without singling out Mattis, the commission warned that "responsibility on key strategic and policy issues has increasingly migrated to the military", and urged Congress to exercise oversight to "reverse the unhealthy trend in which decision-making is drifting increasingly toward the military on issues of national importance".

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