A fresh study warns that the military posture of the Pentagon based on the dominance of the post-Cold War will not function against fresh Russian and Chinese policies and must be updated urgently or the US risks losing a war against either force.
According to a study by Chris Dougherty of the Center for New American Security (CNAS), released on Wednesday, America requires a “new way of war.”
“For the first time in decades, it is possible to imagine the United States fighting—and possibly losing—a large-scale war with a great power,” Dougherty warns.
While the US stays stuck in the military strategy and operations of the Gulf war of 1991, China and Russia had devised new strategies and weapons to defeat the US in war should that be needed.
Dougherty claims that Beijing and Moscow “repressed their comparative failings against the USA by taking advantage of time and geography” and established arms and strategies to address US vulnerabilities, so much so that in a regional war they could easily defeat the United States and its allies.
“The United States is a status quo power navigating a period of disruptive change,” he writes, and the way of war that emerged after the Cold War “will not work” in the present day and age.
“No amount of money thrown at the Pentagon will help if it is used to invest in “flawed concepts.” This would be a waste of resources and “an enormous lost opportunity to make better investments,” Dougherty said.
The study warns that the mere perception of a possible US defeat could “unravel” the constellation of alliances and partnerships underpinning the worldwide order that has benefited Washington since the end of World War II.
Also working at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA), a former U.S. Army Ranger, Doughtery, wrote a convincing essay on short-sighted focus on brief wars in the National Interest in 2014.
However, it remains to be seen how much impact his fresh research will have. While the Trump administration has constantly raised the budget of the Pentagon and promised to reconstruct the “depleted” army, it has had little regard for CNAS. During the Obama administration, the think tank enjoyed significant impact in Washington and has among its managers and advisory board several of its veterans.