The Pentagon’s annual report to Congress last week should be enough to alarm even the most diehard pacifists. Cross your fingers it does.
Topping the report’s worries: China has been rapidly expanding its military capabilities, is on pace to triple its nuclear warheads by 2035 and will be ready to invade Taiwan by 2027.
Yikes! America needs to step up to the challenge, by boosting defense funding — and focusing on readiness rather than wokeness.
Beijing’s nuclear stockpiles have now topped the 400 mark and are expected to pass 1,500 in 13 years. And it’s expanding other capabilities, such as in space, developing kinetic-kill missiles, ground-based lasers, orbiting robots and other tech.
Its overall goal: the ability to invade Taiwan by 2027, a “complete modernization” of its armed forces by 2035 and a “world-class military” by 2049.
In an Oct. 16 report, President Xi Jinping described Taiwan’s reunification as Beijing’s top priority, vowing to “never” renounce the use of force and to “reserve the option” to take “all measures necessary” in pursuit of that mission.
Doubt China’s intentions? Look at its record: This month, it cracked down hard on protesters furious over its insane zero-COVID lockdowns. Over the past two years, it repeatedly provoked Taiwan with flights near or over its territory, as well as with nearby live-arms drills.
It reneged on its treaty with Britain to let Hong Kong rule itself until 2047, persecutes dissidents, Uighurs and other minorities, represses its population, builds artificial islands in international waters — and has refused to cooperate in fighting COVID, making it responsible for countless deaths around with world.
Washington, meanwhile, works overtime to ensure maximum wokeness among its troops.
We’ve also been drawing on stockpiles to send weapons to Ukraine to counter the Russian invasion. Defense officials say those weapons don’t come from stockpiles reserved to ensure US readiness, yet available stores of US ammo and weapons systems for Ukraine are running low, and can’t quickly be replaced. America needs more capacity to produce this stuff quickly.
Democrats usually resist increased defense spending, demanding Republicans agree to higher domestic outlays in return. But the Dems have boosted such programs by $5 trillion-plus these last two years; President Biden should be twisting arms for a straight-up increase in defense to, among much else, sustain our ability to back Ukraine and any other allies (like Taiwan) if they’re threatened.
Most GOPers and Dems in Congress support aid to Ukraine, and worry about China is also pretty bipartisan. If the White House gets its act together, that ought to allow bipartisan agreement to do the right thing.