by Caitlin Doombos, New York Post
The US military may not be able to win one war — let alone two — as the Pentagon struggles to keep its forces equipped against potential threats from China and Russia, according a new report on American military strength.
Years of underfunding and “poorly defined priorities” has led the military to become “weak relative to the force needed to defend national interests on the global stage,” the conservative Heritage Foundation said in its annual “Index of U.S. Military Strength.”
“[T]he current U.S. military force is at significant risk of not being able to meet the demands of a single major regional conflict,” the report said. “The force would probably not be able to do more and is certainly ill-equipped to handle two nearly simultaneous [major conflicts.]”
At the same time, the possibility of two-front fighting has increased as Russia continues to wage war on Ukraine and China grows increasingly aggressive in the Pacific, according to the report.
“In the aggregate, the United States’ military posture can only be rated as ‘weak,’” the report said.
Across the services, the report rated only the Marine Corps as “strong” in the think tank’s assessment of force capacity, capability and readiness. While the Army achieved a “marginal” rating, the Space Force and Navy were labeled “weak” and the Air Force bottomed out at “very weak.”
“In general, the military services continue to prioritize readiness and have seen some improvement over the past few years, but modernization programs, especially in shipbuilding, continue to suffer as resources are committed to preparing for the future, recovering from 20 years of operations and offsetting the effects of inflation,” the report said.
That spells serious trouble as the US gears up to face a rapidly growing and increasingly aggressive Chinese military, Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) said Tuesday.
“The particular problem with that is if you look at our priority theater, the Indo-Pacific, the two priority services are the Navy and the Air Force – and those seem to be the ones that are doing the worst,” the House Armed Services Committee member told reporters.
The Marine Corps was the only service rated as “strong” by the “Index of U.S. Military Strength.”The Heritage Foundation
To strengthen its might, the US must be willing to invest in military hardware – ships, missiles and other weaponry – to supply the force with the equipment needed to prepare for future conflict, according to the report.
“At present, the [Biden] administration’s proposed defense budget for [fiscal year] 2023 falls far short of what the services need to regain readiness and to replace aged equipment,” the report said, “and Congress’s intention to increase the proposed budget by 5[%] accounts for barely half of the current rate of inflation, which is nearing 10[%].”
Part of the issue is the Biden administration’s diplomacy-first mindset of “substitut[ing] soft power for hard power,” which Gallagher called “naïve at best.”
The armed forces also have capacity problem – not having enough personnel, weapons and other equipment to fight a war. The report rates the Navy worse than its sister services, dropping its capacity rating two notches from “marginal” to “very weak” – the lowest on the scale.
“I fear as you look at the geopolitical environment, we are going to find ourselves in a competition with China or Taiwan within the next few years if we continue down this path of naive disarmament,” he said.
Gallagher based his timeline on that of former Navy Indo-Pacific commander Adm. Phil Davidson, who told lawmakers last year that China could try to take control of Taiwan by 2027.
At the center of the hard-power problem is the Navy’s shrinking fleet size, according to the report. To fight in two wars, the think tank said the Navy would need about 400 ships – a drastic bump from the current 292 ships the service said it had as of last week.
In 2018, Congress passed a law mandating that the Navy reach a target of 355 ships “as soon as possible.”
Instead, the service has cut ships faster than they’ve built them.
But even as vessel numbers have dwindled, Navy operations have not slowed – creating an additional hurdle to growing the fleet, Heritage senior defense researcher Dakota Wood said Tuesday. The US has about half the ships it had during the Cold War, but the number of ships at sea at any given time – about 100 – has not changed since at least the early 1990s.
“You’re working your ships twice as hard, the crews twice as hard, maintenance problems mount, so when it finally gets into the [ship]yard, there’s more work that has to be done than was anticipated,” Wood said.
Meanwhile, the Chinese navy already has 355 ships and plans to add about 65 more by 2026, according to the Pentagon’s annual China military report published in November. By 2030, China is expected to have 460 ships.
“The British Royal Navy … is down to a mere 17 or 18 surface combatants total,” Wood said. “China’s adding almost the equivalent of the British Royal Navy to its own fleet almost every year, certainly every two years.”
But the Navy alone cannot fight off impending threats from China and Russia – the Heritage report demonstrates that the entiire military must invest more in hard power, Gallagher said.
“The lesson is we have to rebuild our munitions industrial base,” Gallagher said. “The Defense Production Act could be modernized and used for actual defense purposes, not for baby formula.”
A Pentagon spokesman declined to comment on the report’s specifics, saying he had not seen it, but called the US military “the strongest fighting force the world has ever known.”
“Every day around the globe, the men and women of our armed forces safeguard vital US national interests by backstopping diplomacy, confronting aggression, deterring conflict, projecting strength and protecting the American people,” said the spokesman, Air Force Brig Gen. Patrick Ryder.
Source: New York Post – US military rated as ‘weak,’ may not be able to win one war, as tensions grow with China, Russia
Relying on the UK or the USA in the long-term is foolish, because, for their and your defiance of God, and rejection of the Sovereignty of Christ, they are going to lose WW3, as is prophesied in Revelation 11 about the Two Witnesses – Britain and America – the TRUE Israel. Gibraltar’s Choices on War Strategies & God’s Protection