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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Dempsey: Threat of Conflict in Asia Increasing -- U.S. Military decline hastens global instability -- By Bill Gertz, The Washington Free Beacon

Gen. Martin Dempsey / APThe risk of war in Asia will increase over the next 10 years as U.S. military forces struggle to maintain their edge amid declining budgets and increasing threats, according the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The dire assessment from Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman, is outlined in the Pentagon’s four-year strategy called the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) that was released Tuesday.

Dempsey stated in the review that he believes the U.S. military will continue to be the most advanced armed force in the world.

But he warns: “In the next 10 years, I expect the risk of interstate conflict in East Asia to rise, the vulnerability of our platforms and basing to increase, our technology edge to erode, instability to persist in the Middle East, and threats posed by violent extremist organizations to endure.”

China was not mentioned by Dempsey as the source of a future conflict in Asia. But other U.S. officials have said Beijing’s large-scale nuclear and conventional military buildup combined with warlike propaganda produced by state-run media and increasing aggressiveness in maritime disputes has increased the risk of a war with Japan and other states. North Korea also remains a potential belligerent that could trigger a war.

The QDR has limited references to the threat posed by China, stating, “China will continue seeking to counter U.S. strengths using anti-access and area-denial (A2/AD) approaches and by employing other new cyber and space control technologies.”

Daniel Russel, assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, told a Senate hearing Tuesday that China’s aggressiveness in Asia is a worry.

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