The situation presents a broader challenge to the United States. The administration has heralded an era of “great power competition” with China and Russia, resulting in a competitive buildup that arms-control advocates warn is risking a full-blown arms race.
Russia is developing nuclear-armed underwater drones, nuclear-powered cruise missiles and other destabilizing weapons designed to penetrate U.S. missile defenses. China is ramping up its missile force and building out its nuclear capabilities with new nuclear submarines. And the United States is modernizing its own arsenal, while adding low-yield nuclear warheads to submarines and enhancing missile defenses. All the while, Iran and North Korea are advancing as threats.
The result is an escalatory cycle that experts say is threatening decades of progress controlling the world’s most dangerous weapons. A recent report from the Center for Strategic and International Studies warned that the decline of U.S. global influence and the rise of regional
WASHINGTON ― A bipartisan congressional panel is recommending that the Pentagon must “identify, replace, and retire costly and ineffective legacy weapons platforms,” and prioritize artificial intelligence, supply chain resiliency and cyberwarfare in order to compete with China and Russia.
The House’s Future of Defense Task Force’s 87-page report issued Tuesday echoed the accepted wisdom that the Pentagon must expand investments in modern technologies and streamline its cumbersome acquisition to or risk losing its technological edge against competitors.
The task force is co-chaired by House Armed Services Committee members Reps. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., and Jim Banks, R-Ind., both signaled they’ll champion elements of the report in future defense authorization legislation. While lawmakers are broadly in favor, efforts to retire specific platforms ofter meet resistance on Capitol Hill.
On weapons systems, the task force offered some practical steps to its ends. Congress, it said, should commission the RAND Corporation, or similar entity,