China has embarked on a strategy to dominate East Asia, which will require displacing America from its leading military role in the region. If that leads to war, the U.S. will need a much more capable heavy bomber fleet than it possesses today. Geographical and political barriers preclude applying U.S. ground forces directly to China, and Chinese military advances are pushing the U.S. Navy farther and farther out to sea — perhaps beyond the combat radius of their relatively short-range aircraft. U.S. land bases in the region are also vulnerable to Chinese preemption. That means much of the task of holding at risk key targets in China’s interior will fall to the Air Force’s bombers. But the bomber fleet is at a low ebb today, and only the handful of stealthy B-2s can reliably penetrate protected Chinese air space — which makes the Air Force’s Long Range Strike Bomber program pivotal in addressing the challenge China poses to America’s global power. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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