SMA hosted a speaker session with Mr. Gerald Leverich Jr. (Director, OE Integration, TRADOC G2) as part of its SMA General Speaker Series.
For the first time in twenty years, the US armed forces are shifting from mostly carrying out counter-insurgency operations to carrying out operations in support of US interests in great power competition. Russia and China view the US as a potential military adversary and have been quickly modernizing and equipping their forces for such a conflict. Mr. Leverich stated that while his research on threats to US military power focuses on Russia and China as global actors, it also examines Iran and North Korea as regional military threats to US allies and interests. Also, while the US has been engaged in counterinsurgency efforts, its adversaries were watching and learning from its military successes and failures.
Russia’s and China’s military developments reflect their respective strengths and weaknesses. Russia has a strong military tradition and experience, while China has little military experience but a strong industrial capacity. Despite its experience gap, China’s strong industrial capability allows it to modernize and equip its forces more quickly than Russia. Furthermore, while the US has been focused on conducting counterinsurgencies, it has moved away from strengthening its traditional military capabilities—Russia and China have not. They may even overmatch the US in some areas. Russia and China have both been vastly improving in many areas including: a) electronic warfare, b) deception and ambiguity, and c) integrated air defense. Furthermore, they are beginning to rival US ability to maneuver their forces. While Russia and China have been strengthening their military forces, they have also been diplomatically active and are attempting to defeat the US by changing global cultural norms and values. Mr. Leverich commented that to best counter Russia’s and China’s military growth, the US should focus on leadership development and training in its armed forces.
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