Mr. Chairman and Members of the Commission, thank you for inviting me to testify at today’s hearing. I will confine my comments to the Commission’s questions on the overall context of the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC’s) emerging use of orbital systems to support military modernization efforts such as the country’s emerging anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) capabilities in the western Pacific, including the impact of the PRC’s space program on the Chinese concept of Comprehensive National Power (CNP). Regarding the role that the PRC’s space assets might play in U.S.-China conflict scenarios in the 2012-2020 timeframe, I will assess the likelihood of such conflicts occurring and argue that China’s own growing military use of space may constrain their counterspace options in the long run to a greater extent than some of our war gaming has suggested.
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Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for the opportunity to appear before you today, and to share my views on this important issue. My testimony is intended to provide a context within which one might assess Joint Forces Command’s (JFCOM’s) mission for joint concept development and experimentation in the wake of the command’s disestablishment.
The South China Sea is a region of growing strategic interest for many countries in the world, including the United States. More than one-third of the world’s seaborne trade flows through its contested waters.
As fiscal year 2010 draws to a close and the economy struggles to recover from the deepest recession since the Great Depression, the federal government faces a number of fiscal challenges. The budget deficit is projected to exceed $1.4 trillion due in part to increased spending on fiscal stimulus programs and a sharp reduction in tax revenues due to the recession. But underlying the current fiscal situation is a structural deficit that the economic downturn only exacerbated. As Congress and the administration focus more attention on reducing the deficit,all areas of the budget, including defense, have come under increased scrutiny.
As the economy struggles to emerge from the deepest recession since the Great Depression, the federal government faces a dire fiscal situation. The budget deficit is projected to reach as high as $1.6 trillion in FY 2010 due in no small part to increased spending on fiscal stimulus programs and a sharp reduction in tax revenues due to the recession. But underlying the current fiscal situation is a structural deficit that the economic downturn only exacerbated. A telling indicator of this is that one of the fastest-growing items in the budget is net interest on the national debt. Given current projections, before this decade’s end the federal government will spend more on net interest payments than on national defense for the first time in modern history. And as Congress and the administration focus more attention on reducing the deficit,all areas of the budget, including defense, will come under increasing pressure.
Mr. Chairman, distinguished members of the subcommittee, I welcome the opportunity to discuss our strategy in Afghanistan and to place it within the context of our overall strategic position.