Small Wars Journal

U.S. Military Edge Has Eroded to ‘a Dangerous Degree,’ Study for Congress Finds

U.S. Military Edge Has Eroded to ‘a Dangerous Degree,’ Study for Congress Finds by Paul Sonne and Shane Harris – Washington Post

The United States has lost its military edge to a dangerous degree and could potentially lose a war against China or Russia, according to a report released Wednesday by a bipartisan commission that Congress created to evaluate the Trump administration’s defense strategy.

The National Defense Strategy Commission, comprised of former top Republican and Democratic officials selected by Congress, evaluated the Trump administration’s 2018 National Defense Strategy, which ordered a vast reshaping of the U.S. military to compete with Beijing and Moscow in an era of renewed great-power competition.

While endorsing the strategy’s aims, the commission warned that Washington isn’t moving fast enough or investing sufficiently to put the vision into practice, risking a further erosion of American military dominance that could become a national security emergency. 

At the same time, according to the commission, China and Russia are seeking dominance in their regions and the ability to project military power globally, as their authoritarian governments pursue defense buildups aimed squarely at the United States…

Read on.


If one sought to prevent -- as best one could -- expansionist great nations (such as of those of the U.S./the West) from achieving their "transform and incorporate other states and societies" mission/goal,

Then one would think that causing these such expansionist great nations to have to, simultaneously, contend with both "resisting transformation and incorporation" great nations and small -- and contend with both "resisting transformation and incorporation" state and non-state actors -- (and, thus, having to be prepared to, and/or actually having to fight, both large wars and small); this would be a most excellent "containment" idea.

In this regard, one would think that this such "containment" activity could cause the expansionist great nations to have to choose between "fishing" (dealing with one's "resisting transformation and incorporation" great nation rivals) or "cutting bait" (dealing with one's "resisting transformation and incorporation" lesser entities).

(Russia and China's military build-ups to be seem more in this "cause the U.S./the West to fish or cut bait"/"containment" light?) 

Either that, or the expansionist great nations could simply withdraw from the "transform and incorporate" field of battle?  (This, of course, leaving this such "field" open to others -- to pursue their "transform and incorporate" interests.  


There are serious political competitions underway for regional and strategic dominance. These extend beyond military battlefields and are fought across a variety of domains – political, economic, informational, and cultural. Is the United States finally ready to compete? ...

... Yet in virtually every theater of the world, local and regional competitions over ideas, economic systems, and societies affect America’s ability to protect and advance its interests.


Given that -- in international politics as in most other things -- "turn about" is certainly "fair play," should we not now, accordingly, see such great nations as Russia and China -- via such things as their military build-ups -- giving us a taste of our own "containment" medicine; this, as relates to our "transform and incorporate other states and societies" ambitions/activities post-the Old Cold War? 

(By way of this such "containment" medicine, Russia, China -- et. al -- hoping to cause what happened to the Soviet Union to now happen to the U.S./the West also?)