Four-star General John E. Hyten, the outgoing Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, warned on Thursday that China’s military progression is “stunning” and that the communist country will “surpass” the United States if “we don’t do something to change it.”
“Calling China a pacing threat is a useful term because the pace at which China is moving is stunning,” Hyten said. “The pace they’re moving and the trajectory they’re on will surpass Russia and the United States if we don’t do something to change it. It will happen. So I think we have to do something.”
“It’s not just the United States but the United States and our allies because that’s the thing that really changes the game,” Hyten added. “If it’s the United States only, it’s going to be problematic in five years. But if it’s the United States and our allies, I think we can be good for a while.”
Hyten explained that the United States is only making “marginal progress” in response to the growing China threat because “the Department of Defense is still unbelievably bureaucratic and slow.”
Hyten’s warnings resemble comments made by House Intelligence Ranking Member Devin Nunes (R-CA) on Wednesday who warned that “The politicization of our national security apparatus is utterly destructive.”
“We’re facing an array of pressing challenges, including but not limited to China’s increasing aggressiveness towards Taiwan alongside its systemic campaign of intellectual property theft, espionage, currency manipulation, corporate corrosion, and cyber crimes against the United States and our allies,” Nunes said.
“China’s testing of hypersonic missile which, according to press reports, took the intelligence community by surprise… Unfortunately, we can’t counter hypersonic missile launch with better pronoun usage,” Nunes said. “The politicization of our national security apparatus is utterly destructive.”
China recent test of a hypersonic missile was described by the top U.S. military official as a near “Sputnik moment.”
“What we saw was a very significant event of a test of a hypersonic weapon system, and it is very concerning,” Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Bloomberg Television. “I don’t know if it’s quite a Sputnik moment, but I think it’s very close to that. It has all of our attention.”
The Wall Street Journal explained, “‘Sputnik moment’ refers to the Soviet Union’s 1957 launch of the first artificial satellite, named Sputnik, which shook the U.S.’s view of its own technological superiority and national security.”
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