The increasing military confidence and modernization of China and Russia are “concerning” and even “disconcerting,” according to General Lori Robinson, the head of US Air Force in the Pacific.
“I get incredibly concerned about the capability gap decreasing [between the US and other nations]. That technology gap continues to get smaller and smaller, and for us that should be very disconcerting,” said General Robinson during the Air Force Association conference this week.
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Concerns about China’s military capacity
During the Air Force Association conference, General Robinson mentioned that China worked with the United States in disaster prone areas such as Nepal after the earthquake this year. According to her, the US is collaborating with its partners in the Pacific in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR).
General Robinson noted that China’s “capacity increased over time and ours has been pretty stable.” He added that China “poses a challenge” if its capability become closer to the United States.
According to her, the US widely exceeds in aerial warfare aside from humanitarian work. “We had US E-3, Australian Wedge-tail, and a Japanese 767 performing command-and-control. It was incredible. This sort of complex flying network is a major plus in aerial warfare,” said General Robinson.
Russia is now exercising its right to fly in international space
General Robinson noted Russia increased its long-range flights, which makes the US strategy more complicated. She explained that Russia is allowed to fly in international space. She pointed out that it is “new” that Russians are exercising that right.
Political observers noted that Russia asserted its global military power when it sent bomber jets to fly close to the airspace of the United States during the fourth of July. US fighter jets intercepted Russian bombers off the coast of California and southern coast of Alaska.
The North American Aerospace Defense Command said the Russian pilots greeted the American pilots. The Russian pilots said, “We are here to greet you on your Fourth of July Independence Day.” Pres. Vladimir Putin also expressed his best wishes to Pres. Barack Obama that day.
“Putin wants to show that Russia is still a global military power and a force to be reckoned with,” said Nick de Larrinaga, Europe Editor of HIS Jane’s Weekly.
Russia is focused on massive military rearmament and modernization
In June, Putin emphasized that Russia will continue its focus on its massive military rearmament program and modernization. According to him, the Russian defense industry should set the standard for many technological and production parameters.
A previous report suggested that Putin is using secret funds to build up the country’s military.Russia spent $84 billion defense last year. Russia has approximately 4,500 nuclear warheads, and recently announced its plan to increase its nuclear arsenal with 40 intercontinental ballistic missiles.
General Frank Gorenc, commander of US Air Force in Europe recently stated that their air advantage is diminishing compared with Russia’s capabilities. He warned that the Russian government is carrying out a “very large modernization and capacity efforts.”
Russia, China hypersonic weapons
In July, Bill Gertz, a national security expert noted that some of the top US military officials admitted that Russia and China were developing highly-maneuverable, ultra-fast and elusive hypersonic arms. According to them, these hypersonic weapons pose a strategic threat to the United States.
Air Force Lt. Gen. James Kowalski said, “Since hypersonic weapons have not entered service in any country on the planet yet, they remain “something that concerns us and may be an area of discussion in the future.”
Russia was reportedly test-launching a new hypersonic attack aircraft (Yu-7), which can carry nuclear warheads and penetrate missile defense systems.In June China successfully tested its hypersonic nuclear missile Wu-14.
US to boost warfighting and technological capabilities
The United States will boost its warfighting and technological capabilities in response to claims that its technological edge against its potential enemies is declining.
According to US Air Force Secretary Deborah James, the US military has a new aerospace operating strategy.
On the other hand, Retired US Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Carl Baker told Sputnik News that the country’s military is focusing on the fields of command and control, networking and integration of sensors and data velocity.
Lt. Col. Baker said, “There are also important organizational issues that must be addressed to maintain superiority in the OODA (observe-orient-decide-act) loop cycle including decentralization of command and control facilities and inter-organizational training and operational interface.”