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US losing military superiority edge to China, Russia: Officials

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This file photo shows a Russian mobile nuclear intercontinental ballistic missile launcher.

The Pentagon is deeply concerned about the rapid military technological advances made by China and Russia at a time when US military superiority edge is steadily eroding, senior defense officials have warned.  

“Our [the US] military’s long comfortable technological edge…is steadily eroding,” US Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work stated at a Center for a New American Security conference on Wednesday. “We still believe we have a margin, but the margin is steadily eroding and it’s making us nervous.”

Work said that the US was nervous about the military rise of China and Russia, especially their advances in modernizing their nuclear weapons, anti-ship and anti-aircraft missiles, long-range strike missiles, as well as their capabilities in cyber and electronic warfare.

The Pentagon official said that militaries of US adversaries, especially Russia, have seen big growth since 2001, a period when military spending by US allies has declined.

Major US weapons manufacturers, including Lockheed Martin Corp. and Boeing Co. have repeatedly urged the Pentagon to increase investments in key military technologies.

Work said that the United States and its NATO allies needed to take bold steps to stay ahead of rapid weapons development by Russia and China.

General Jean-Paul Paloméros, NATO’s supreme allied commander of transformation, said at the same conference that the transatlantic alliance is “closely monitoring” Russia’s development of advanced weapons systems which “could deny our access to some strategic part of the alliance, or our ability to deploy our forces where and when it is needed.”

At a separate hearing on Wednesday, Pentagon arms buyer Frank Kendall expressed concern about “the increasing risk of loss of US military technological superiority.”

"We're at risk and the situation is getting worse," he told the House Armed Services Committee.

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