Might the U.S. lose a struggle with China? That alarming chance was one of many final issues I ever mentioned in particular person with my previous boss, Sen. John McCain. In late 2017, we had simply left a briefing that he had requested me to rearrange for his colleagues about China’s rising arsenal of precision-strike missiles, long-range sensors, counter-space capabilities and different superior weapons. Each senator was invited to the briefing; a couple of dozen confirmed up. They obtained a miserable dose of actuality.
One briefer was a senior Pentagon official within the Obama administration named David Ochmanek. Final 12 months, he spoke publicly concerning the many struggle video games he has carried out for the Division of Protection. “After we battle China or Russia,” Mr. Ochmanek stated, the U.S. navy “will get its ass handed to it. We lose lots of people. We lose lots of tools. We often fail to realize our goal of stopping aggression by the adversary.”
‘Future generations of Individuals are going to look again and ask how we let this occur.’
As Sen. McCain and I sat in his workplace after the briefing, we talked concerning the waning of the navy dominance that the U.S. has loved since World Struggle II. We spent the night imagining how a struggle with China would possibly unfold. He nervous that our ahead bases in Asia could possibly be lowered to smoking holes within the floor, our plane carriers and different ships knocked out of the battle and presumably sunk, our communications networks shattered, our satellites jammed and shot out of orbit, and maybe 1000’s of Individuals misplaced in motion. “Future generations of Individuals are going to look again,” Sen. McCain stated, “and ask how we let this occur.”
The message was clear: If we don’t reimagine America’s outdated mannequin of nationwide protection and harness rising applied sciences to construct a distinct sort of navy, we are going to fail to discourage the subsequent struggle—and even lose it.