The Air Force’s chief, Frank Kendall, recently highlighted the escalating military advancements of China, indicating that these moves might be in anticipation of possible conflict with the U.S. Addressing an audience at the National Harbor’s Air and Space Forces Association Warfighter Symposium, Kendall emphasized that while conflict is avoidable, the U.S. must be primed for a type of warfare they’ve not recently encountered.
He stressed the importance of evolving the Air and Space Forces, lest the U.S. finds itself unprepared or potentially on the losing end of a conflict. China’s military growth is alarming, especially with the establishment of two new military sectors—one focusing on neutralizing vital assets like aircraft carriers and airfields, and the other aiming to control the information spectrum in both space and cyber dimensions.
Kendall pointed out that China has been strategically positioning its military for over two decades, gearing up to potentially challenge the U.S.’s dominance, particularly in the Western Pacific. He further highlighted that China’s military enhancements are tailored to support their national objectives, even if it means confronting the U.S.
The U.S.’s relationship with China has been strained, particularly regarding Taiwan. China regards Taiwan as part of its territory, but the U.S. has cautioned against any forceful actions by China to claim the island. In fact, the U.S. has been clear about its stance to defend Taiwan, bolstering it with advanced weaponry and maintaining diplomatic connections.
This sentiment of potential conflict with China is shared by various Pentagon and U.S. military leaders. Kendall reiterated that while the U.S. Air and Space Forces are formidable, they need to recalibrate their approach to effectively counter major global powers.
Concluding his speech, Kendall stated that the U.S. should be best prepared for conflicts dissimilar to those they’ve dealt with in recent years. He warned of the consequences of being inadequately prepared against any aggressive moves from China, particularly regarding Taiwan, which could have profound long-term implications.