An Arms Race Toward Global Instability

MIN READFeb 20, 2018 | 17:00 GMT

U.S. and South Korean jets fly over the Korean Peninsula during a joint exercise in July 2017.

The Pentagon has released a series of documents emphasizing the importance of beefing up the U.S. defensive capabilities to address those of Russia and China.

(South Korean Defense Ministry via Getty Images)

The United States is gearing up once more for a struggle between giants. On Jan. 19, the Pentagon released a new National Defense Strategy, the first in 10 years, in which it called strategic competition the "central challenge to U.S. prosperity and security" as Russian and Chinese military capabilities expand. U.S. Secretary of State James Mattis echoed that concern Feb. 2 in the preface of the Nuclear Posture Review, arguing that the United States could no longer afford to pursue a policy of nuclear arms reduction given the steady growth of the Chinese and Russian nuclear arsenals. The U.S. Ballistic Missile Defense Review, due for publication soon, is expected to emphasize the same key points, namely that the United States should bolster its missile defenses to better repel threats as strategic competition builds....

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