Managing China’s Missile Threat: Future Options to Preserve Forward Defense
In this testimony before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, Dr. Evan Montgomery discusses the implications of China's offensive missile force. He argues that in the face of an eroding conventional military advantage in the Western Pacific, the United States faces acute challenges to its forward defense posture. Fielding offensive missile forces might partially ameliorate this problem, enhancing deterrence and improving crisis stability. While the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia prohibits the United States from testing and deploying surface-to-surface ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometers, Russia has not complied with the Treaty's restrictions and China is not a party to the Treaty. Withdrawing from or revising the Treaty could bolster U.S. Western Pacific defense posture and potentially drive a wedge between China and Russia.