The readership indicators for Providing for the Common Defense; Report of National Defense Strategy Commission, Part 1and Part 2 suggest that undermining the report is not a pleasant concept. This is sometimes happens when speaking truth to power. It’s not pleasant to me either.
The U.S. military needs not only the best weapons but also the best circumstances in which to fight. This acquires urgency with the pending fact that in coming years, we may face a potential adversary with greater industrial capacity than our own. This has not occurred since the American Revolutionary War, which was a defense on native soil. It was not the case in World War II, when U.S. industrial capacity alone vastly exceeded that of the entire Axis.
To say that defense of the China seas will become nonviable is not the same as to say we should acknowledge the compromised international status of those seas. It is the consequence of the choice of regional nations to advance economic integration with China in spite of competing territorial claims. It’s something to work around, if not through.
Remarkably, China sliced off a sliver of Philippine territory without deflecting a trajectory away from the U.S. towards China. Empty bellies take precedence, and there are plenty in Asia who want to be part of the China miracle, national sovereignty be damned.
The real battle involves soft power. There seems to be a new awareness that even in SE Asia, marketing of the U.S. as an alternative involves client economic opportunity first, with client security a distant second. This is precisely the game China has been playing for 20 years. Now we’re playing catch up.
We’ll continue with Markov chains and the Kolmogorov equation in a bit.