Major Powers: Pentagon Adjusts Combat Training, Indicating Preparedness for Potential Conflict with China, Russia Improved combat training methods have been implemented by the Pentagon, suggesting the military’s readiness for potential confrontations with China, Russia, and other significant global powers.

Title: US Military Shifts Priorities and Prepares for Potential War with China

In recent years, the United States has shifted its foreign policy focus from Afghanistan to the potential threat posed by near-peer adversaries such as China and Russia. Recognizing the need to adapt to a different kind of conflict, the US military, particularly the Air Force, has reevaluated its training and doctrine. This article will discuss the changing priorities within the Pentagon, the challenges of preparing for a war with China, and the potential consequences of engaging in such a conflict.

Section 1: Shifting Priorities

The United States Air Force Secretary, Frank Kendall, recently acknowledged that the most critical war to prepare for might not be the type of conflict the US has been focused on for the past two decades. The war on terrorism, which primarily involved guerrilla warfare and sociological tactics, greatly differed from the potential war with a fixed nation like China or Russia. Military veterans, who experienced the complexities of the war on terrorism, recognize the need for a shift in focus and training methods to prepare for a more traditional conflict.

Section 2: The Growing Threat of China

China has been systematically reoptimizing its forces over the past 20 years to compete with the US in the Western Pacific. While the US was heavily involved in the Middle East, China quietly prepared for a potential conflict with the United States. Their efforts included the creation of two new military branches that specialize in countering attacks from aircraft carriers and focusing on information dominance in space and cyber. The US must be prepared for a different kind of war, one that it has no modern experience with.

Section 3: The Challenge of War with China

Preparing for a potential war with China is a daunting task. To comprehend the magnitude of the challenge, Phil Klay, in his Vanity Fair article, highlights the devastating consequences that a hot war with a nuclear-armed adversary could have on humanity. Limited war scenarios, even without the use of nuclear weapons, would result in significant losses on both sides. The nature of modern warfare and the potential scale of conflict raise questions about the possibility of adequately preparing for such a war.

Section 4: Assessing Preparedness

War games between the US and China have been conducted to assess the potential outcomes of a conflict. Unfortunately, the results have not been encouraging. A war game conducted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) concluded that a war with China would result in approximately 5,000 American service members’ deaths, a staggering number in a short period. This illustration underscores the challenges inherent in a potential conflict. Additionally, the CSIS warns that the US defense industrial base is not adequately prepared, lacking surge capacity and modern contracting procedures necessary for a major war.

Section 5: Cultural Implications

Beyond the practical challenges, the article examines the cultural factors that may impact the US’s ability to weather a conflict with China or Russia. The Gallup poll findings on declining American patriotism, religious beliefs, and community involvement raise questions about the willingness of future generations to fight for their country. These figures are a cause for concern, as a lack of love for one’s country and a sense of duty may hinder recruitment efforts and undermine the military’s ability to field a strong and motivated fighting force.

As the United States prepares for the possibility of a war with China, the military must adapt its priorities, training, and doctrine. However, the challenges posed by such a conflict, including nuclear deterrence and the human costs involved, raise doubts about the feasibility of fully preparing and fighting a war with a near-peer adversary. Cultural shifts within the US further complicate matters, emphasizing the importance of nurturing a sense of duty, patriotism, and community involvement within the younger generation. As the military and policymakers navigate these complexities, the consequences of engaging in a potential war with China remain a topic of concern.