"Wake up. America's Military Isn't Invincible:" The most uncovered story in Washington these days is the loss of U.S. military power
(Source: House Armed Services Committee; issued Jan 02, 2019)
In a recent article, Washington Post Columnist Robert Samuelson highlighted the work of the National Defense Strategy Commission and

focused on the important challenges faced by America's military. Excerpts are included below and the full column is here.

"The most uncovered story in Washington these days is the loss of U.S. military power...

"After the Cold War, Americans assumed that no other country could match the United States in its military might and technological leadership. The reality, long known in the military, is that defense-modernization programs in Russia and China, as well as advances in Iran and North Korea, threaten to leapfrog U.S. capabilities...

"The military plays two essential roles in defending U.S. international goals. The first is to deter aggression that would jeopardize American interests, because potential adversaries believe their chances of prevailing are slim to none. The second is to fight — and to win — wars to protect those same interests. In both cases, the United States' military is on a downward trajectory.

"Skeptics, please read the recent report of the congressionally created National Defense Strategy Commission, a group of civilian experts and retired military officers. Here are a few quotes from the report:

—Russia and China 'possess precision-strike capabilities, integrated air defenses, cruise and ballistic missiles, advanced cyberwarfare and anti-satellite capabilities.'

— 'If the United States had to fight Russia in a Baltic contingency or China in a war over Taiwan . . . Americans could face a decisive military defeat.'

— 'America has reached the point of a full-blown national security crisis.'

"...Look at the numbers: From fiscal 2010 to 2015, defense spending fell 26 percent, from $794 billion (in inflation-corrected 2018 dollars) to $586 billion, according to the NDSC report. Excluding the costs of Iraq and Afghanistan, the decline is 12 percent, from $612 billion to $541 billion over the same years...

"In truth, military spending is in a quiet competition with the American welfare state — Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps and the like — which now represents roughly 70 percent of budget outlays...

"Meanwhile, potential adversaries are arming themselves. The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, another congressionally created watchdog group, reports that China has recently introduced a new stealth fighter (the J-20) and its "growing ballistic and cruise missile inventory . . . can target U.S. bases and surface ships, including aircraft carriers."

"Similarly, Russia last week claimed to have successfully tested a ship-borne hypersonic missile that travels at roughly eight times the speed of sound. The United States is said to have no defense against it...

"This is not a call for war. It is a call for stopping many self-inflicted wounds. We need to stop underfunding the military, especially on research and cyberwarfare, even if that means less welfare...

"War is changing, and we need to change with it. Otherwise, we may drift into a large war impossible to win. Surely we don't need a book called 'Why America Slept'"

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