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US Military "losing its competitive edge"
by Jonathan Marcus, diplomatic correspondent BBC News
A panel of experts has issued a hard-hitting and sober assessment of US President Donald Trump's National Defense Strategy.
"The global role the United States has played for many generations rests upon a foundation of unmatched military power," its report says.
"Today however, our margin of superiority is profoundly diminished in key areas."
"There are," the study insists, "urgent challenges that must be addressed if the United States is to avoid lasting damage to its national security."
The National Defense Strategy Commission was tasked by Congress to give an independent, non-partisan review of the Trump administration's defence strategy. It was chaired by Eric Edelman, a former Pentagon official in George W Bush's administration, and Admiral Gary Roughead, a former chief of naval operations. These are insiders who know their way around a defence budget, as well as the corridors of the Pentagon.
"The security and wellbeing of the United States are at greater risk than at any time in decades," the report asserts. "America's military superiority has eroded to a dangerous degree."
President Trump's arrival in office coincides with a far-reaching shift in US military priorities - away from counter-insurgency operations and the war on terror, towards a new focus on potential conflict against so-called peer competitors like Russia or China.
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