Ex-NATO commander: US falling behind on military modernization

Ex-NATO commander: US falling behind on military modernization
© Getty Images

A former NATO commander says the U.S. is falling behind countries such as Russia and China when it comes to modernization of its armed forces.

"We've taken it for granted. For 25 years we had the best ... armed forces in the world," retired U.S. Army Gen. Wesley Clark said in an interview with John Catsimatidis that aired Sunday on New York's AM 970.
 
"The United States has mostly put its military modernization on what's called a 'warm idle.' We've done some research, we’ve looked at what we need. But we have not bought the stuff that is cutting-edge," he said.
ADVERTISEMENT

The retired general argued that the U.S. has been mostly focused on bombers, missiles and other combat-related expenses for ongoing conflicts in the Middle East.

"But Russia ... they have produced a new generation of armored forces," Clark said. "They have a T-14 tank that’s got active protection on it ... It has got things we don't have and armor we don't have."
 
"It's the tank we would like to have in 2030. We are that far behind."

The former general also described a new Russian air defense system that is being used by China, saying, "It changes the air-ground dominance where the United States could easily get air supremacy in the past."
 
"The Chinese have their second aircraft carrier visibly under construction. My sources tell me there will be two more Chinese carriers built in this decade," he added.
 
Clark also asserted that "China will have regional air superiority over the United States" without additional defense spending, but noted that such investments are dependent on U.S. economic growth.