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The Old Order Changeth…

Is it the end of US military domination over the entire world? Is it possible for Russia or China to emerge as the most powerful nation? A panel of the US Congress recently issued such a warning! Apart from opposition Democrats, representatives of President Donald Trump’s Republican Party are the members of this panel which has mentioned in a report that the government should increase defence spending, or else the country would have to face dire consequences.

The main task of the panel – comprised of top former Democrat and Republican officials – is to advise the government on defence-related issues after verifying the steps taken by the government to strengthen national security. Almost all the members of the panel have strongly criticised the Trump administration’s defence policy, as they believe that the US’ involvement in war against terror has started affecting the national security. They also believe that the so-called US involvement in war against terror in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria is responsible for the growth in activities of Russia and China’s respective defence sectors. According to the report, Moscow and Beijing have become strong enough to beat Washington in a war.

President Trump

The report clearly stated that the US concentrated only on war against terror in the 21st Century and didn’t improve the quality of its missile defence system, and cyber and space operations. Washington also failed to improve its anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare capabilities. The report said: “America’s military superiority – the hard-power backbone of its global influence and national security – has eroded to a dangerous degree. Many of the skills necessary to plan for and conduct military operations against capable adversaries – especially China and Russia – have atrophied.
Members of the panel further criticised the previous, as well as the current government, for lowering the defence budget (since 2011). They are of the opinion that the American influence has been steadily eroded in Asia and Europe, and the military balances have shifted in “decidedly adverse” ways that have raised the risk of conflict.

Russian President Vladimir Putin

The panel has expressed serious concern over the current global geopolitical scenario, saying that “the US military could suffer unacceptably high casualties and loss of major capital assets in its next conflict“, if the situation remained same. On the US’ war preparedness, the report stated that the US “might struggle to win, or perhaps lose, a war against China or Russia. The US is particularly at risk of being overwhelmed should its military be forced to fight on two or more fronts simultaneously“.
In the current financial year, the Pentagon has a budget of more than USD 700 billion. Although the figure is far more than Russia and China combined, the panel believes that the sum is not enough to meet the goals set by the National Defence Strategy (NDS). Meanwhile, the panel members have made a series of recommendations, including an increase of 3-5% in the defence budget.

Chinese President Xi Jinping

It is possible that the admission by the Congress members that the US is getting weaker may be indicating a forthcoming change in the world order.

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