U.S. political and military dominance is being eroded on a host of fronts, a panel of experts warns.
“U.S. military superiority is no longer assured and the implications for American interests and American security are severe,” concluded a report by the National Defense Strategy Commission, in a Nov. 14 report to Congress.
Threats from authoritarian regimes in China and Russia and rogue governments in Iran and North Korea are increasing, as these countries garner better access to weapons systems and capabilities to disrupt cyber links, the authors wrote.
Additionally, “transnational organizations, particularly radical jihadist groups, have also evolved and intensified,” the report stated.
This matrix of adversaries puts the U.S in “competition and conflict” with what could turn out to be too many fronts in which to prevail should the scenarios evolve into major wars on multiple fronts, the authors believe.
Compounding the problem, the authors stated, lawmakers on Capitol Hill are mired in “political dysfunction and decisions” that have “significantly weakened” defense capabilities. They particularly cite the Budget Control Act of 2011, which they said has fostered “detrimental effects on the size, modernization, and readiness of the military.”
Should worst-case scenarios emerge, the U.S. military could be faced with major wars on as many as three fronts — Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and the Western Pacific, they wrote.
These threats are compounded by the near certainty that adversaries would lodge “kinetic, cyber, or other types of attacks against Americans at home while they seek to defeat our military abroad,” they wrote.
Technological innovation, and a quick delivery of modern systems to the troops who need them, is essential, the authors wrote. Still, any solution would require more than simply adding new capabilities, they concluded. Operational concepts that provide the U.S. with more options and the ability to constrain Russia and China are needed.
In the near future, the U.S. must continue to foster a “forward posture,” aimed at deterring adversaries, the authors wrote. They also believe the nuclear deterrent is in critical need of modernization, and readiness issues among the troops themselves must be addressed as well. They also believe that the nation’s civilian leaders must take a more active role in addressing the situation.