A new study by the Rand Corp. warns that the US could “lose the next war they are called upon to fight, despite the United States outspending China on military forces by a ratio of 2.7 to 1 and Russia by 6 to 1.”
The US is losing ground on technology superiority, according to Gordon England, a former secretary of the Navy and deputy secretary of Defense and currently the chairman of the National Academy of Engineering. He writes:
“The Heritage Foundation recently released its index of military strength. After analyzing various essential components, Heritage ranked the capability of the U.S. Army and U.S. Marines as “marginal” and the U.S. Navy as “weak.” Reviews of our nation’s research capability — by Information Technology and Innovation Foundation and the American Academy of Arts & Science — likewise show that we’re losing ground. Assessments like these are always problematic, but they all indicate a common troubling finding: The U.S. is on a downward trend.”
The highlights of the Heritage 2017 Index of US Military Strength are summarized here.
“Achieving a 355-ship Navy is now national policy, but the goal is still a long way off,” Defense News reports.
An effective missile defense system is especially urgent. Rather than build a space-based system that could be effective against Russian and Chinese capabilities to wipe out the US, the present ground and ship-based platforms were intended to just be effective against accidental launches or attacks by an Iran or North Korea. In point of fact, these platforms are not assured of a high degree of reliability even against those reduced threats.
The necessity of a space-based system is mentioned, almost as an afterthought here, but nowhere except from defense and intelligence analyst Angelo Codevilla, here and here, have we encountered the clarion call urgently required.
Axis powers update
Russia is “Sharply Expanding Nuclear Arsenal, Upgrading Underground Facilities,” The Washington Free Beacon reports. Russia’s alarming missile expansions indicates that it
“is preparing to break out of current nuclear forces constraints under arms treaties, including the 2010 New START and 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaties. Russia violated the INF accord by testing an illegal ground-launched cruise missile.”