America’s Security is Threatened

America’s Security is Threatened

© David Burton 2020

America's Security

     For the sake of all humanity, it is indispensable that America should remain the strongest military power in the World. That military superiority is now coming into question.

     Despite the claim that President Trump was increasing defense spending, the facts belie such a claim. On February 10, 2020, President Trump released his defense budget request for the next fiscal year, 2021. The Department of Defense’s budget would go up slightly by 0.1% over the prior year. But the roughly flat overall budget is a plateau after sizable increases were pushed through Congress in the years since Trump took office. Let’s not forget that inflation alone (around 2% annually in recent years) more than eats up the supposed 0.1% increase in defense spending.

     Despite growing concerns about China and Russia, the Defense Department’s budget would essentially remain flat under President Donald Trump’s fiscal year 2021 budget request.
     The Army continues to shift money around to fund its top modernization priorities in its fiscal year 2021 budget request.
     The Navy is proposing cutting back its shipbuilding accounts by $4 billion.
     The Trump administration’s fiscal year 2021 budget proposal would cut Marine Corps funding by $1.4 billion and reduce the size of the active duty force.

     While artificial intelligence has become a top priority within the Pentagon, a new report by the RAND Corp. has found that the Defense Department has shortcomings in its AI posture.
     The 2021 budget would require real cuts in what our military needs. Air Force and Navy aviation take the brunt of the proposed cuts. They would force cancellation of four F-35 and F-22 fighters, two MV-22 Ospreys, four C-130J cargo planes and eight MQ-9 Reaper drones.
     The Pentagon request also strips $156 million in additional funds for the F-35, $180 million for an Air Force light attack aircraft, $650 million for amphibious assault ships and nearly $300 million for Army vehicles. Another $1.5 billion would be taken from accounts used to provide equipment for the National Guard and Reserve.
     The Trump administration plan calls for acquiring 44 vessels through 2025. Last year, the service planned to procure 55.
     Year after year, Congress has heard from Navy leaders, combatant commanders and experts about the growing demand for submarine capabilities as countries like China and Russia step up their undersea activity. They have urgently warned us that we need more submarine construction, not less, in order to mitigate the nearly 20 percent reduction in the fleet we presently face within this decade.
     President Trump’s 2021 budget exacerbates this submarine shortfall by decreasing investment in the Virginia-class program. Such a decision yields loss in capability that does not justify any short-term cost savings, particularly as Russia and China continue significant investment in their respective submarine fleets.
     The Coronavirus has created threats to the 2021 defense budget and threatens America’s security. As more and more money is needed to fight the virus, Democrats look to the defense budget as a pot of money to pay for the fight against the pandemic and to buy voter support in the 2020 election at the expense of the nation’s security. Nearly 30 Democrats (including the Squad — Reps. Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley) are demanding that the defense budget be cut.[1]

     In September 2020, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said that “The Navy needs a force of more than 355 ships — and more money for vessel construction — to compete with China(Ref. 2).

     That conclusion is based on the Future Naval Force Study led by Deputy Defense Secretary David Norquist that was delivered to Esper.
     The sea service currently has fewer than 300 battle force ships in its inventory. President Donald Trump has called for a Navy of 350 manned vessels. To achieve the larger fleet, the Navy will need more money for shipbuilding. For fiscal year 2021, the Trump administration requested $207 billion for the Navy, $19.9 billion of which would go toward shipbuilding. Congress appropriated about $24 billion for shipbuilding in fiscal year 2020. [2].

     As we enter the third decade of the twenty first century, America is confronted by Russian and Chinese capabilities that enable these countries to destroy U.S. bases and logistics networks—including those on the homeland. In addition, America remains under threat from Islamic terrorists in Iran who still label us as the “Great Satan” while moving ever closer to becoming a nuclear threat with intercontinental missile capability. North Korea is already a nuclear power.

     “China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) has already surpassed the U.S. in missile development and its number of warships and air defense systems under the Chinese Communist Party's plan to achieve dominance by 2049, the Defense Department said in a sobering report . . . [Emphasis mine]
     “ ‘The ultimate goal of the People's Republic of China, or PRC, is to develop a military by mid-Century that is equal to -- or in some cases superior to -- the U.S. military, or that of any other great power that the PRC views as a threat,’ the DoD's annual report to Congress said.
     “To that end, the PRC has ‘marshalled the resources, technology, and political will over the past two decades to strengthen and modernize the PLA in nearly every respect,’ the report said.
     "Under the national strategy pressed by Chinese President Xi Jinping, the result has been that ‘China is already ahead of the United States in certain areas’ essential to its overall aim of progressing from homeland and periphery defense to global power projection . . .
     " ‘The PRC has the largest navy in the world, with an overall battle force of approximately 350 ships and submarines, including over 130 major surface combatants’ . . .
     “That's compared to the U.S. Navy's current battle force of 295 ships.
     “In addition, ‘the PRC has more than 1,250 ground-launched ballistic missiles (GLBMs) and ground-launched cruise missiles (GLCMs) with ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometers,’ while the U.S. currently fields one type of conventional GLBM with a range of 70 to 300 kilometers and no GLCMs . . .
     “In some respects, China is also ahead on integrated air defense systems with a mix of Russian-built and homegrown systems . . .
     " ‘The PRC has one of the world's largest forces of advanced long-range surface-to-air systems’ - including Russian-built S-400, S-300, and domestically-produced anti-air systems - making up ‘part of its robust and redundant integrated air defense system’ . . .
     “Despite the advances, the PLA ‘remains in a position of inferiority’ to the U.S. in overall military strength, said . . . the deputy assistant secretary of Defense for China.
     “The 173-page DoD report ‘does not claim that China's military is 10 feet tall,’ but the Chinese Communist Party wants it to be, and has the plan and resources to reach that goal . . .
     “At an earlier Pentagon briefing on the report, {it was} said Beijing's military strategy was driven by the view that the U.S. has decided upon a long period of confrontation to counter the global spread of China's influence.
     “. . . China ‘increasingly views the United States as more willing to confront Beijing on matters where the U.S. and PRC interests are inimical.’
     " ‘The CCP {Chinese Communist Party} leaders view the United States' security alliances and partnerships -- especially those in the Indo-Pacific region -- as destabilizing and irreconcilable with China's interests’ . . .
     “The DoD report, titled ‘Military and Security Developments Involving the People's Republic of China’ comes about two weeks before Congress is set to return from recess to convene a Senate-House Conference Committee on the National Defense Authorization Act and the defense budget for Fiscal Year 2021.
     “Defense Secretary Mark Esper has acknowledged downward pressures on the defense budget to offset the enormous costs of the COVID-19 response while arguing for sustained increases of 3-5% in defense spending in future years to maintain U.S. superiority and readiness.
     “The 20th annual report on China by DoD noted the ‘staggering’ improvements in China's ability to build, coordinate and project power since the first report was issued. [Emphasis mine]
     " ‘DoD's first annual report to Congress in 2000 assessed the PRC's armed forces at that time to be a sizable but mostly archaic military that was poorly suited to the CCP's long-term ambitions,’ . . .
     “In 2000, ‘the PLA lacked the capabilities, organization, and readiness for modern warfare,’ the report said. But the CCP, it added, recognized the shortcomings and set about with determination to ‘strengthen and transform its armed forces in a manner commensurate with its aspirations to strengthen and transform China.’
     " ‘More striking than the PLA's staggering amounts of new military hardware are the recent sweeping efforts taken by CCP leaders that include completely restructuring the PLA into a force better suited for joint operations’ and for ‘expanding the PRC's overseas military footprint.’
     “The PLA has already established its first overseas military base in Djibouti, about a mile from U.S. Africa Command's main base on the Horn of Africa.
      - - -
     “Despite the progress made by China's military over the past two decades, ‘major gaps and shortcomings remain’ in readiness and operational capability, the report said, but China's leaders are acutely aware of the problems and have detailed plans to overcome them.
     " ‘Of course, the CCP does not intend for the PLA to be merely a showpiece of China's modernity or to keep it focused solely on regional threats,’ [Emphasis mine] the report said.
     " ‘As this report shows, the CCP desires the PLA to become a practical instrument of its statecraft with an active role in advancing the PRC's foreign policy, particularly with respect to the PRC's increasingly global interests and its aims to revise aspects of the international order’ . . . “ (Ref. 3).

     Concurrent with the amazing growth in Chinese military prowess, the United States has allowed itself to become captive to China’s nearly complete monopolistic dominance in the production of rare earths minerals.

     “. . . rare earths are vital to many of the major weapons systems that the United States relies on for national security. [Emphasis mine]
     “That includes lasers, radar, sonar, night vision systems, missile guidance, jet engines and alloys for armored vehicles.
      - - -
     "The United States produces minimal rare earth minerals, but, in 2018, China produced more than 70% of the crucial minerals. This is significant since rare earths are needed for use in most electronic devices, electric vehicles, wind turbines, and the aerospace and defense industries. They are essential to our modern society, and the US depends on China’s exports. Globally, rare earth production is dominated by China.
      - - -
     “While the US lists rare earths as critical materials, we have essentially done nothing to secure its supply. China still controls the vast majority of the global rare earth industry and hence controls the supply chain critical to producing high tech electronics, especially those using magnets.” [Emphasis mine] (Ref. 4)

     It has been said that generals are always fighting the previous war instead of developing tactics and strategies for the next war.

     “For most of its history, the United States has had the luxury of fighting its wars from safe havens. No major international battles have taken place on the continental United States in more than two centuries, and its offshore territory has not suffered a serious attack since Japan bombed Pearl Harbor in World War II. For the past few decades, even U.S. bases on foreign soil have faced few conventional military threats.
     "The unprecedented immunity has enabled a particular American way of war that involves massive assaults launched from nearly invulnerable and geographically removed sanctuaries. In recent wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Serbia, for example, the U.S. military used secure bases and logistics networks stretching from the U.S. heartland to the enemy’s borders. From these vast safe spaces, the military was able to pick its battles strategically and churn out air and missile strikes with industrial efficiency. As a result, the outcomes of the immediate wars - if not their aftermaths - were never in doubt.
     “In future wars, however, new technologies may enable rival great powers, such as China and Russia, to carry out precise and devastating attacks on U.S. military bases and logistics networks, even including those located within the United States itself. Advances in the fields of aerospace, robotics, machine learning, 3D printing, and nanomaterials are creating new classes of missiles and lethal drones that can be launched discreetly, travel great distances, and hamstring massed forces - all for a fraction of the cost of traditional manned weapons.
      - - -
     "The diffusion of these technologies will render the United States’ current way of war obsolete. . .
     “The U.S. military would have trouble quickly responding to such attacks because it is so unprepared for them. . .
      - - -
     “The problem may get even worse. In an effort to counter China’s and Russia’s anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) capabilities, which target the United States’ forward-deployed forces, the U.S. military is increasing its dependence on combat systems that require secure bases and logistics networks to function. . . but {this will} run ragged U.S. logistics forces . . .
     “It is past time for the U.S. military to prepare to fight without sanctuaries. . ." (Ref. 5).

     So, as the United States is constantly being militarily confronted throughout the world by nations - large and small - and by numerous terrorist organizations, we should ask the all-important question: Is America today the strongest military power in the World and are we, as a nation, doing what needs to be done to ensure that America will remain the strongest military power in the World for the foreseeable future?


  1. 2021 Defense Budget Poses Problems, David Burton, Son of Eliyahu; Article 414, 21 May 2020.
  2. Pentagon Chief Unveils New Navy Force Level Plans , Jon Harper, National Defense Magazine,
    16 September 2020.
  3. China's Military Has Surpassed US in Ships, Missiles and Air Defense, DoD Report Finds, Richard Sisk,, 1 September 2020.
  4. America’s Rare Earth Problem, David Burton, Son of Eliyahu; Article 435, 11 September 2020.
  5. In Future Wars, the U.S. Military Will Have Nowhere to Hide, Michael Beckley, Foreign Policy,
    20 November 2019.


  6 November 2020 {Article 445; Govt_86}    
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