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Has Ukraine war and China's aggression left US military's superiority shaky?

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Strangely, the US military has been highly underfunded for the past many years. There has been a gradual downward trend in the capacity and operational readiness of the US armed services.

One of the recurrent themes of the United States foreign policy in the post-Second World War landscape has been to maintain its military superiority and use it to lead the contemporary international political order. Will Washington be able to retain its top military status in the future?

Knowledgeable sources say the US position in this regard is being shaky. The army, the space force and navy, air force are not in good shape in the country today. The Pentagon is struggling to keep all its forces appropriately equipped against potential threats from China and Russia.

Has Ukraine war and Chinas aggression left US militarys superiority shaky?

The United States has so far done little to rein in the rapidly advancing aggressive armament programmes of Iran and North Korea. Tehran and Pyongyang might gang up with Moscow and Beijing against Washington and allies in future.

Strangely, the US military has been highly underfunded for the past many years. The rising inflation and material costs have affected adversely the process of military modernization. There has been a gradual downward trend in the capacity and operational readiness of the US armed services.

In its recent annual "Index of US Military Strength," prominent US think-tank Heritage Foundation says, "The current US military force is at significant risk of not being able to meet the demands of a single major regional conflict... The force... is certainly ill-equipped to handle two nearly simultaneous major conflicts."

Strains in US-China ties intact Strains in US-China ties intact

The report calculates that the possibility of a two-front fighting for the United States has increased in the recent past, for Russia has continued its war on Ukraine and China grown increasingly aggressive in the Pacific.

The sources add strategic minerals are crucial for US defence production. The rare earth minerals are a must for its production, from F-35 fighter jets, missiles, and tanks to mobile phones and radio communication. But the USA has of late been selling off its minerals stockpile. Its mineral stockpile stood at nearly $42 billion in 1952. It plummeted to just $888 million in 2021. The US today has only one rare earth's mine.

Pertinently, communist China has aggressively been tapping raw materials, such as titanium, tungsten and cobalt. Today it is the world's third-largest exporter of titanium. It is sitting on 90 per cent of the rare earth minerals. For rare earth minerals, the US depends on China, its potential military challenger.

(Jagdish N. Singh is a senior journalist based in New Delhi. He is also Senior Distinguished Fellow at the Gatestone Institute, New York)

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of OneIndia and OneIndia does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

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