published : 2023-09-12

America's Readiness for War with China: A Warning from Air Force Secretary

Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall raises concerns over US military's focus and preparedness

Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall delivering a keynote address at the Air & Space Forces Association's 2023 Air, Space & Cyber Conference. (taken with Nikon D850)

Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall has issued a stark warning, addressing the United States' readiness for a potential conflict with the People's Republic of China.

Speaking at the Air & Space Forces Association's 2023 Air, Space & Cyber Conference, Kendall emphasized that China poses the greatest challenge to the United States, surpassing the threat of violent extremist organizations.

The secretary suggested that the US military has become too specialized in combatting asymmetric warfare against terrorist groups since the attacks on September 11, 2001, and may not be adequately prepared for a more organized and formidable adversary.

Aerial view of the Western Pacific region, highlighting the strategic importance and potential conflicts with China. (taken with DJI Phantom 4 Pro)

China, on the other hand, has been strategically building its military capabilities over the past two decades, specifically aiming to compete with and potentially prevail against the United States in the Western Pacific region.

Kendall stressed the importance of deterrence as a priority going forward, highlighting that war is not inevitable.

To address the evolving threat landscape, Kendall called for a thorough examination of the structure and operations of the Department of the Air Force, emphasizing the need for potential major changes to align with the National Defense Strategy.

Military personnel engaging in training exercises, preparing for potential conflicts against organized military forces. (taken with Canon EOS 5D Mark IV)

His vision includes optimizing the Air Force and Space Force to provide integrated deterrence, support campaigning, and ensure enduring advantage in potential conflicts with China or Russia.

In conclusion, Kendall's warning serves as a wake-up call, urging the United States to adapt and enhance its military capabilities to counter the re-optimized forces of China. By acknowledging and addressing these challenges, the US can strive to preserve peace and maintain its strategic position in the world.