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National Defense > Blog > Posts > Kendall: China and Russia Could Challenge U.S. Military Prowess
Kendall: China and Russia Could Challenge U.S. Military Prowess
By Yasmin Tadjdeh

Unless sequester is reversed, nations such as China and Russia could become more militarily powerful than the United States, the Defense Department's top acquisition official said Jan. 15.

At a time when domestic defense budgets are being slashed, Russia and China are increasing their military's budgets and modernizing equipment, said Frank Kendall, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics.

"China and Russia … are modernizing particularly fast … at a rate that I find disconcerting. China is modernizing in a very strategic and focused way. It is fielding systems that directly challenge our capabilities," said Kendall at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics' Science and Technology Forum and Exposition conference.

While Kendall does not anticipate that the United States will become embroiled in a military conflict with China, he said it is important that the United States remains the most powerful country in the world.

"I do not want to live in a world in which the U.S. is the second best power in the world militarily," Kendall said. "I want us to continue to have an unfair advantage."

Potential threats include anti-satellite capabilities, cruise and ballistic missiles, cyber-attacks and electronic jamming, said Kendall.
As Russia and China modernize and expand their arsenals of weapons, there is also the threat that they could sell and export weapons to hostile parties, he said.

Since the Cold War ended, the United States has been complacent in terms of securing its status as the number one superpower in the world, Kendall said. There is an assumption that the United States will always be at the top, and that is not the case, Kendall said.

"That complacency is a problem," said Kendall. "There is a lack of understanding of the situation and how much is changing."

Sequester-level budgets will not allow the United States to have a ready force should a conflict arise with another nation, he said. Not only will the country have a "hollow force" but its R&D funding will also be deeply strained, he said. Robust R&D projects are needed in order to keep the nation's edge, he said.

"That's not the level the department needs to defend the country," said Kendall.

Photo Credit: Thinkstock


Re: Kendall: China and Russia Could Challenge U.S. Military Prowess

Frank at 1/16/2014 8:15 AM

Re: Kendall: China and Russia Could Challenge U.S. Military Prowess

Yeah, China is pouring a lot of money into ships, aircraft, etc., so that their major combat vessels are now up to half of ours -- but their build-up is very slow when you come down to it.  As for the Russians, Kendall is exaggerating like crazy.  Yeah -- they have plans, but the figure is still 30-40 percent of funds lost to corruption and very little equipment being delivered to the forces -- which can't maintain it anyway.  Take, for instance, their "modernizing" of strategic nuclear weapons.  All their "new" ICBMs are mere variations of the TOPOL-M, designed in the 1980s -- what's new are the maneuvering warheads designed against the highly effective US missile defenses -- and these kinds of warheads are being installed on the SS-N-23 Sineva SLBMs as well as the Bulava SLBMs -- the Bulava is the only really new missile, and one can see the troubles it has had (as I was told, only its bus is common with the TOPOL-M). 
H. H. Gaffney at 1/16/2014 10:01 AM

Re: Kendall: China and Russia Could Challenge U.S. Military Prowess

VERY well said...
 Sgt. Delaney at 1/21/2014 9:01 AM

Re: Kendall: China and Russia Could Challenge U.S. Military Prowess

There is no need for China and Russia to challenge US might.
Both countries can hit back causing significant and unacceptable damage to US interests.
The US is trying to limit the destruction/damage caused by these two nations and want to be in a position  to attack with immunity and impunity.This is a no go for the US and they will   continue to  improve their military not to seek parity but to make absolutely sure the US won't escape unscathed like in ww2.
Btw,dont give the bull shit Russia and China are seeking supremacy.They want the Pentagon to think twice and very hard before unleashing US forces. 
Chinaman at 1/29/2014 5:07 AM

Re: Kendall: China and Russia Could Challenge U.S. Military Prowess

Wether these claims are true or not,it would too foolish not to acknowledge the sluggish developments in the United states army amidst the worrying rate of technological developments in other powers more specifically china,never mind russia is in a poor state economically speaking,china has both the means and prowess to cause significant damage to US allies and its interests all over the globe,while i am no war monger,i certainly believe in mr.kendall,a world without america is unsuitable,look around,ISIS,a direct consequence of poor american presence,Ukraine, lack of Significant US presence in Europe puts baltic states at heavy risk,i commend the administration to re think its position on defense,US may lose whatever its built through years of hardwork!
Nsamba Taufeeq at 11/8/2014 3:04 PM

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