The United States and its allies face many hot spots on the maritime frontiers of what is known as the Eurasia region, which includes the continents of Europe and Asia, so how prepared is it to address that?
This is what the writers, retired university professor and coordinator of the Mac kinder Forum in the United States, senior researcher at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, Leonard Schoenberg, and the founding physicist of four successful startups in the field of semiconductors and communications, Michael Schoenberg, tried to answer through an article in The Hill, in which they reviewed the difficulties facing the United States in particular and Western countries in general in this region.
As for China, the two writers mentioned that it had abandoned the principle of “one country, two systems” under which Hong Kong retained its independence, and Chinese leader Xi Jinping announced that Taiwan would join China by force if necessary.
Apparently, according to the authors, Beijing is building the necessary military capacity to invade or blockade Taiwan, threatening the United States’ dependence on Taiwan for advanced electronics and semiconductors and using it as a place to contain Chinese ambitions in the Pacific.
Not only did China expand, according to the authors, but now it claims in the East China Sea the Japanese Senkaku Islands, and has built artificial islands in the South China Sea to assert its sovereignty over the main shipping lanes.
Regimes such as Iran and North Korea also pose a growing threat to US allies. Tehran, according to the authors, sponsors Houthi rebels in Yemen, fuels Shiite resentment in the Gulf states and Iraq, dominates Lebanon and Syria through Hezbollah, and threatens shipping through the Gulf of Hormuz, and North Korea It is a conventional threat to South Korea, and its nuclear program is aimed at the United States itself.
What can the United States do in light of these challenges? To answer this question, the authors say that Washington was claiming at the height of the Cold War that it could fight two major wars and one small war, but that military capacity gradually deteriorated compared to the capabilities of its opponents.
One of the main indicators of the loss of that military capacity, according to the two experts, is the size of the US Navy, as it had in the late eighties about 600 naval ships, but that shrank a lot and it only had 101 ships spread all over the world and its entire naval fleet no longer increased. On only 297 ships.
This means, according to the authors, that Washington no longer has enough ships to meet the challenges off the coast of China, let alone deter other forms of aggression in the many trouble spots in Eurasia, and indeed, in the near future, the United States will not have any aircraft carrier deployed as part of the fleet Seventh in the Asia-Pacific region, despite China’s declared intention to invade Taiwan, according to the authors.
When assessing the threat facing the United States, US national security experts should consider the possibility that their adversaries will take coordinated action, the authors say.
What if the United States and its allies faced a simultaneous 4-front war against Ukraine, Taiwan, and Israel, with North Korea attacking South Korea, using its nuclear deterrent while the Iranians closed the Strait of Hormuz? And what if all this coincided with cyber attacks on the financial and physical infrastructure in the United States?
The answer to those questions depends, according to the authors, on answering the following questions: Does the United States have the military capacity to respond to such simultaneous challenges, and is it ready to use nuclear weapons to defend its allies and support its treaty obligations? And if tough choices must be made, which of these conflicts will the United States prioritize?
The authors conclude that if the United States is to avoid a multi-front war, it must be prepared to fight and win conventional conflicts in several places simultaneously, and must invest in strengthening the ability of its allies to defend themselves.