China is seeking to displace America as the dominant military power in the Western Pacific, and that puts U.S. maritime capabilities in Beijing’s cross hairs. Although the U.S. Navy has launched an ambitious program of innovation and investment to foil Beijing’s plans, several fundamental factors will make it hard for the Navy to continue dominating in the Western Pacific. First, geography is not on America’s side. Second, China is increasingly able to target U.S. military assets on land and at sea. Third, China’s nuclear weapons will deter a decisive U.S. response to aggression in wartime. Fourth, U.S. allies in the region aren’t likely to be much help in a shooting war. Finally, Washington has failed to invest adequately in needed capabilities for the better part of a generation. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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