By Tania Urooj
2022 has been a very perilous year for international relations. Russia gathered tens of thousands of soldiers near Ukraine’s borders during the first two months. Moscow ordered them to march into Ukraine at the conclusion of the second one. Meanwhile, China has become more aggressive toward the United States, notably about Taiwan. Following Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei in August, Beijing conducted a frenzied series of military drills to simulate a blockade and invasion on the island. Washington has looked for ways to arm and assist the Taiwanese government more quickly.
The United States is cognizant that both Russia and China pose a serious danger to the international system. The White House stated that “the [People’s Republic of China] and Russia are increasingly aligning with one other” in its most recent National Security Strategy, and the Biden administration devoted several pages to outlining how the United States may restrain both nations in the future. Due to Kyiv and Moscow’s ability to continue fighting and the incompatibility of their goals, Washington is aware that the conflict in Ukraine is likely to last for a long time and could worsen in ways that would involve the United States more directly in the conflict (a fact that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s nuclear sabre rattling makes abundantly clear).Washington is also aware that Chinese leader Xi Jinping, who was elected to an unprecedented third term at the 20th National Party Congress in October, may attempt to annex Taiwan while the conflict in Ukraine continues. Therefore, it is possible for the US to become involved in wars with both China and Russia at the same time.
But even though Washington claims to be focused on both Beijing and Moscow, U.S. defence planning is inadequate for the current threat. The Department of Defense decided to focus on acquiring the means to fight and win just one major war in 2015 rather than continuing its long-standing policy of being ready to fight and win two major wars. This policy change, which has been in effect since since, demonstrates. Many of the aircraft, ships, and tanks in the American military are outdated, having been acquired during the Reagan administration’s defence buildup in the 1980s.The nation’s supplies of vital tools and munitions are similarly constrained, forcing it to use a sizable amount of its own supplies to support Ukraine. When there are simultaneous disputes, these issues would be especially difficult.
The commitment would probably be substantial in both circumstances if the United States found itself engaged in two wars, one in eastern Europe and the other in the Pacific. Due to China’s expanding interests and worldwide reach, a confrontation with Beijing is likely to involve numerous theatres, ranging from the Indian Ocean to the United States itself, rather than being confined to Taiwan and the western Pacific.(China might aim to weaken American military might by launching cyberattacks or even missile strikes on the American mainland.) If the United States wants to prevail in such battles, it must build up substantial munitions reserves, accumulate high-quality equipment, and develop innovative combat strategies.
Washington should begin right away. The United States’ defence industrial base has to be strengthened and expanded, according to American leaders. In order to tackle urgent military issues like how to maintain forces in the face of a Chinese military that is becoming more and more capable and how to protect American space and cyber networks from attack, they must create new joint operational ideas. They should carefully consider the tactical parameters of a conflict spanning several theatres, including when and where to concentrate the majority of American military resources. Additionally, Washington can improve coordination and planning with American allies, who will be crucial to the result of a global military confrontation and may even prove to be decisive.
Befurbishing the democracy arsenal any conflict that breaks out simultaneously in Asia and Europe will, in some respects, be advantageous for the United States and its allies. Modern, very efficient precision weaponry have been made evident by the conflict in Ukraine, and the majority of these weapons are American-manufactured. Western technology and weapons are still the highest quality available.
However, the US must provide these weapons to both its own military as well as the armed forces of its allies and friends. Unfortunately, the United States has small arsenals and a weak industrial foundation. Restocking many of the weapons that the United States has given to Ukraine will probably take years. This shouldn’t be a shock to anyone. The National Defense Strategy Commission, which was required by Congress, cautioned that the United States lacked sufficient munitions to win in a high-intensity conflict in 2018 and argued that the nation needed to increase production. The study concluded that in order to produce ammunition and other weapons at a faster rate, Washington would need to upgrade its defence industries. For instance, it will take time and money to restart manufacture of the 18-year-old Stinger antiaircraft missiles in the United States. Over 1,400 of these weapons have already been sent to Ukraine by the United States.
It Is obvious that the United States has to speed up and expand its defence production capabilities. That entails expanding factory shifts in the near future. As time goes on, it entails launching new production lines and expanding factories. Congress will need to take action soon to improve funding for manufacturing in order to accomplish both goals. One aspect of conflict is the use of weapons and ammunition. Washington also needs to develop fresh combat strategies in order to defeat both China and Russia. The United States urgently needs new operational ideas that broaden American options and limit those of China, Russia, and other actors, according to the 2018 National Defense Strategy Commission.
The United States also possesses a benefit from World War II that it never lost: its alliances. The United States has tight ties with several of the strongest military in the world, unlike China or Russia. Additionally, most of the thriving economies around the world are connected to the United States. When it comes to everything from operational planning to defence research, Washington needs to work more closely with its allies. It must cooperate with them to expand their arsenal of weapons and ammunition. But this has all been done before by the United States. No reason exists why it cannot do so once more.
About Author: Tania Urooj is a student at the University of Balochistan studying in international relations, she works as an analyst and researcher. She is interested in case studies of international institutions and their failures and her area of specialization is international order as well as international Law, peace and security. You can contact her via email, [email protected]