Nearly half of the US military is confident that during the year 2019 their country will be involved in a serious armed conflict, according to the Military Times.
According to a recent survey, 46% of participants do not doubt that the military confrontation will occur next year.
As a comparison, in 2017, only 5% of the US military expected an armed conflict, while 50% discarded a war scenario and 4% did not respond.
As for the most likely enemies, US soldiers mostly mentioned Russia and China. Respectively, 72% and 69% of those interviewed chose these two countries.
In addition, about 57% are concerned about the presence of Islamic extremists in the United States. In particular, 48% highlighted a possible threat by the terrorist groups ISIS and Al-Qaeda.
In the event of a war, US territory will not be able to protect itself from Russian and Chinese weapons, said the commander of Pacific Command, General Terrence O’Shaughnessy, back in August.
“We’re in a changing security environment,” O’Shaughnessy said. “We used to think about the sanctuary we had with oceans and friendly countries to our north and south, but that’s changing with adversaries that are actually able to reach out and touch us now.”
In this connection, the general asserts that it is necessary to completely change the US defense policy.
“We have to think about our defense in different ways than we have in the past. That means we need to fundamentally re-think when we say homeland defense how we’re going to do that against a peer competitor,” O’Shaughnessy said.
At the same time, he assured that the Pentagon is already looking for ways to deal with the brand-new weapons of Russia and China. In particular, the US military is attempting to increase the military’s defense capabilities, including by modernizing the F-16 fighters so they can intercept cruise missiles.
On March 1, 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke of a range of new armaments that Russia has recently begun to produce, including hypersonic weapons. The Russian leader later said Russia could use nuclear weapons only as a retaliatory measure.
In addition, the Russian leader spoke about the creation of the Avangard missile system, 20 times faster than the speed of sound.
The US military responded immediately to Putin’s speech. Thus, John E. Hyten, head of the US Armed Forces Strategic Command, said that the United States needs to develop an orbital positioning radar system to deal with hypersonic weapons.
According to him, the Pentagon recognizes that terrestrial detection systems are insufficient. So, the US needs to allocate “only” several billion dollars for the creation of an orbital radar.