Experts warn that China is already close to achieving technological parity with the United States military.
In a testimony presented to the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday, Air Force Space Command head Gen. John Raymond warned that the United States may soon lose its technological dominance in the domain to rivals such as Russia and China. Raymond is currently a nominee for heading the nation’s Space Force and an independent Space Command.
According to his testimony, “China particularly has been watching” as the United States integrates space into its military operations. For example, both China and Russia are capable of jamming global positioning and communications systems, while other high-end operations include directed energy devices.
Raymond said that the threat is concerning and the US needs to “move fast” to keep its edge in space and show that the nation’s space technology is “constantly evolving.”
The Senate is expected to confirm both Raymond to the position. Space Force would operate as a division from within the Air Force. Pending approval and his nomination to head of a unified Space Command and Space Force, Raymond’s command role will focus on ensuring compliance with the joint service requirements of the Goldwater-Nichols Act
“Space is a joint warfighting business,” said Raymond. “We will have service components.”
At the same time, Raymond will be in a warfighting role, and he intends to embed cells at combatant commanders’ headquarters and at US Cyber Command so they gain a greater understanding of how space technology may benefit them, training jointly in all domains.
But Raymond isn’t the only one concerned with how the US may be losing its technological superiority. A new report released by the Center for a New American Security (via Newsweek) warns that China is close to achieving technological parity with the US as part of its long-term plan to develop the world’s dominant military force.
The report goes on to explain how China’s plan includes three phases. The first part, executed in the 1990s and 2000s, involved developing methods to challenge the US from a position of inferiority until its modernization efforts grew.
Phase two involves achieving “a position of rough technological parity in guided munitions and battle network warfare.” This would allow the nation to assert dominance over local theaters. Meanwhile the development of anti-ship and hypersonic missiles would make war in the South China Sea too costly for the US to engage in.
The final stage takes place when the Chinese military has successfully surpassed the US in terms of technological sophistication. Then the country could project its power globally.
Other US military officials and lawmakers have previously tried to raise the alarm regarding China’s military advancement. The country has increased its investment into the armed forces by at least 620 percent between 1996 and 2015, according to the CNAS report.
China currently funds the second largest military budget in the world, behind the US.