America has been at war for decades. Its aircraft and warships are aging rapidly. Equally threatening, Congress may force deep military spending cuts as deficits worsen – at a time when the US military is being ordered to keep China bottled up on the Asian mainland.
China need only build its military power close to home. The United States must project and maintain its naval and air power 10,000 km across the Pacific Ocean, a hugely expensive, complex undertaking that gives cash-rich China an important, even decisive advantage.