The next U.S. administration will face an increasingly emboldened and aggressive China — one that has shown a growing willingness to use coercive measures to stake its territorial claims from the South China Sea to Taiwan to the Indian border region. Although neither Washington nor Beijing wants a war, there is a real risk that miscalculation could cause a crisis to spiral into a conflict between these two nuclear-armed powers.
Few U.S. national security challenges are of greater consequence and urgency than preventing conflict with China and promoting a peaceful Asia-Pacific region.
To prevent conflict, the United States must maintain the military capability to deter China by demonstrating the ability to deny the success of such aggression or impose costs so high that Beijing steps back from the brink. The problem is this: If the Pentagon's own reported war games and analysis are to be believed, the current force may well be insufficient to deter or defeat Chinese aggression in the future.
Read the full article in NBC News.
More from CNAS
CommentarySharpening the U.S. Military’s Edge: Critical Steps for the Next Administration
The Bottom Line The United States is losing its military technological advantage vis-à-vis great power competitors such as China. Reversing this trend must be DoD leadership’...
By Michèle Flournoy & Gabrielle Chefitz
CommentaryA Joint Warfighting Concept for Systems Warfare
Future combat between peer and near-peer adversaries will be characterized, dominated, and decided by the collision of opposing systems of systems....
By Robert O. Work
CommentaryAir Force Structure in the Next National Defense Strategy
At present, the Air Force is both too small to meet current combatant command requirements and too large to remain ready and modernized under its current budget....
By General Mike Holmes, U.S. Air Force (Ret.)
CommentaryMoving Beyond A2/AD
The next National Defense Strategy should reconceptualize the military challenges China and Russia pose....
By Chris Dougherty