News Analysis |
The U.S Secretary of Air Force Heather Wilson stated that the air force is too small in size to intercept the challenges which are posed between 2025-2030 time window through preliminary assessment of intelligence reports. The plan is to increase the number of squadrons to one-quarter of the existing strength, which would take it from 312 to 386 over the course of several years. However, the idea of such as expansion comes with a huge economic cost which will take time and deliberation before it comes to the implementation phase.
With 312 squadrons, the U.S air force has a minimum of 5616 planes which include fighter jets, bombers, refuel and transport aircraft. The strength might already seem to be more than enough as no other country of the world such a vast, sophisticated and hi-tech fleet of aircraft to maintain the dominance over the skies, but the U.S thinking brass feels that it could fall well short of what the China and Russia are up to.
There is already a portion of U.S senators who believe that Pentagon takes Lion’s share of U.S defense spending, as much as 1/6th, but overall the house has an overwhelming support for the resources going towards the armed forces.
The key point is the assessment which has led the U.S plan for such a far stretched threat which is more than a decade away. The part of it could be the recent military exercises carried out by Russia in collaboration with China which drew more than 0.3 million troops and equipment of all kind. Currently, both China and Russia, with their combined force are only capable of Anti-Access/Area Denial (A2/AD), a military terminology which simply means to make the unwinnable war more costly for the opponent.
But with the way Putin’s Russia has flexed its muscles, the U.S perception based on the intelligence gathering that within coming decade Russia and China might possess the potential enough to practically challenge the U.S hegemony on the battlefront. The United States of America is no doubt the leader in the general alongside military innovation and technology. But despite their weak economic strength, one thing the Soviets has never remain second was the military strength and state-of-the-art war machines.
It is the reason why that be it Russian SU-35 or its air defense systems such as S-500, soviet tech is highly demanded because of its precision and cutting-edge technology. China on the other hand, though not as innovative as the rest of two global leaders, has certainly attained the impeccable ability to imitate the existing technology. Therefore all these factors point to the fact the U.S assessment is not entirely out of proportion.
Secretary Wilson did not go into the further specifics of what type of threats, terrestrial or marine, the U.S is anticipating in the coming time, but she did say the major threat is Chinese military expansion. The U.S President Donald Trump recently announced a mighty $720 billion dollar bill to meet the shortcoming of the U.S military. His plans for an expansion and sixth branch of the U.S military “Space Force” is further going to make it difficult for the U.S air force to make the type of overhauling it is planning.
Because of the nature of the project, which is not something new at all as the both Soviet and U.S tried to militarized space during the Cold war, it is going to take a whole new level of time and resources. And once the U.S has formally initiated the project which it hopes by 2020, the Russia and China will not be lagging behind. There is already a portion of U.S senators who believe that Pentagon takes Lion’s share of U.S defense spending, as much as 1/6th, but overall the house has an overwhelming support for the resources going towards the armed forces.