WASHINGTON DC – US General Mark Milley warned that China will remain the main obstacle to the United States Armed Forces for a century.
“I think China is the main challenger to US national security for the next 50, 100 years,” General Mark Milley said at the hearing for confirmation as head of his country’s Joint Chiefs of Staff on 11 July .
The top US military commander still predicted that when a historian looked back and read a book about our era in the year 2191, “the central theme” of 21st century history will be “the relationship between the United States and China.”
In Milley’s opinion, Beijing learned by watching “closely” the US wars in the Middle East and uses this knowledge to “very quickly” improve its Armed Forces in all areas: land, sea, air, space and cyber dominance.
“They watched us very closely in the First Gulf War, Second Gulf War, watched our capabilities, and in many, many ways they have mimicked those. And in many, many ways they have mimicked those and they have adopted many of the doctrines in the organisations, etc.,” he added.
‘Adversary and not enemy’
However, the US must make sure that it does not lose its advantage over other countries and, specifically about China, which is “an adversary” and not “an enemy.”
“I want to make that clear. They are an adversary, I would say, they are our competitor. But that’s different than an enemy. An enemy in military language means they are in an active armed conflict. You are at war. We’re not there. We don’t want to be there,” Milley said.
“We want peace, not war with China. But having said that, I think that the best way to do that is to make sure that we are prepared. China is improving their military very, very rapidly… they are outspending us in research, development and procurement. You would never think that but they are,” he said.
“The United States need to make sure that we do not lose our advantage that we have relative to other countries specifically to China,” Milley said.
“China went to school on us. They watched us very closely in the first Gulf War, the second Gulf War, they watched our capabilities. And in many, many ways they have mimicked those and they have adopted many of the doctrines in the organisations, etc.,” he told the lawmakers.
After becoming army chief of staff in 2015, Milley helped oversee the army’s transition from large-scale counterinsurgency campaigns to places like Iraq and Afghanistan, instead focusing on the challenges of Russia and China.