A bipartisan Congressional commission has urged the United States to significantly accelerate its military and nuclear modernization efforts in light of a rapidly intensifying global environment and the possibility of simultaneous war conflicts with China and Russia.
The commission, comprising six Democrats and six Republicans, warned that the contemporary global stage is “fundamentally different [to] anything experienced in the past, even in the darkest days of the Cold War.”
The assertion followed a comprehensive year-long review of the U.S.’s military stature and capabilities, marking the first in-depth analysis since a major review that took place 14 years ago in 2009.
The report shows that the U.S., currently standing on the precipice of confronting “not one, but two nuclear peer adversaries” – namely, China and Russia – is unprepared for a scenario where each adversary has ambitions potent enough to alter the international status quo forcibly.
The commission asserted that while a major nuclear conflict’s risk remains relatively low, the possibilities of military conflicts and the use of nuclear arms have insidiously grown, signaling potential perils even against the U.S. homeland.
Commission chair Madelyn Creedon and vice chair Jon Kyl penned a pointed introduction in the report, highlighting the immediate need to enhance the U.S. military apparatus to be adeptly prepared for possible simultaneous confrontations with China and Russia.
In its recommendations, the commission emphasized the imperative of fully and urgently executing a nuclear weapons modernization program initiated in 2010 and expected to unfold over 30 years.
The commission noted that this program should envelop all facets of the nuclear arsenal, from warheads and delivery systems to nuclear command, control, and communications.
Moreover, it has recommended amplifying the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons across Asia and Europe, manufacturing more B-21 stealth bombers and Columbia-class nuclear submarines, and optimizing emergent technologies such as hypersonics and Artificial Intelligence.
The report advocates for fortifying the conventional forces of the U.S. and its allies to maneuver through the intricate and potent threats that have emerged in the geopolitical arena since the last comprehensive review in 2009.
While U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken declared last year that the U.S. is “not looking for conflict or a new Cold War” and is “determined to avoid both,” the commission’s report resonates with a sense of urgency and assertiveness, emphasizing that the “challenges are unmistakable; the problems are urgent; the steps are needed now.”