Center for Strategic Assessment and forecasts

Autonomous non-profit organization

Home / Defence and security / / Articles
The military-political status of the U.S. armed forces at the present stage
Material posted: Publication date: 12-03-2020
The loss of global hegemon status are associated primarily with a smoldering political and social crisis in the United States. In hard times countries are trying to save, and often this is reflected in their armed forces in connection with the sequestration of the military budget. According to the latest national defence Strategy the primary task of the Pentagon is creating opportunities for the President and diplomats conduct policy (negotiate) from a position of strength.

The ideology of the power of excellence completely satisfied with the American leadership, which has used "lead from a position of strength"[1]. However, in these documents the American experts acknowledged that "Today we go from a period of strategic atrophy and understand that our military advantages are reduced"[2].

Need to know what will cost the Americans the costs of further delaying military reform and delays in the re -[3]. "The failure of these defence tasks will reduce the global influence of the United States, the erosion of unity between allies and partners, and reduce access to markets, which, in turn, will reduce wealth and standard of living (ordinary Americans)". Without a stable and predictable investment by the government to restore the readiness and modernization of the us armed forces, they will quickly lose military advantages[4], in light of the protracted competition with China and Russia, which called in the national security Strategy and national defence Strategy the main task of the United States. This dictates the need for sustainable increase in appropriations for national defense because of the scale of potential threats.

At the same time to improve the efficiency of fracking to the American military, as required by Congress, has proved problematic, not reducing the number of programs and manufactured equipment. Accordingly, in the light of the relatively limited resources will have to concentrate on the key for America regions of the world. The NSS and SSS as a priority is designated the Indo-Pacific region, Europe and the middle East. In Europe, however, Washington must achieve "significant support from the key partners for NATO in the deployment of forces and resources on the Eastern flank of the Alliance[5] and an increase in EU defense spending that last two decades was a steady decrease in almost all over the Eurozone.

Speaking on the subject of military-technical condition of the U.S. armed forces it is worth noting the following main points.

At first glance it seems that the US army present a formidable force. The regular part consists of about 450 000 soldiers and the national guard – about 340 000[6]. However, over the past decade, the number of land forces decreased by 90,000 thousand people[7], due to the fact that Congress cut funding faster than reduced strength. In other words, in order to preserve the number of troops, had to suspend the modernization of the army. In the end, only about a third of the units has been sufficient training and provided with new equipment. The last major re-equipment of the American army passed in the 80-ies of the last century, and the main samples of American military equipment were adopted early.

The US air force are the most impressive in the world. Fleet of aircraft (LA) has a population of 13 million[8]. However, there are some problems (some of them): only 2,200 of LA[9] are combat aircraft, the rest of transport aircraft; serious age of most aircraft (about 30 years old, and in some categories over 50 years) in service, and also complications with the transition and development of new technology, the critical delay in its receipt. And F-22 and F-35 have become the "black hole" in the budget of the air force. An even more serious problem became a serious personnel deficit (1 500 3 400 pilots and mechanics)[10].

The status of US nuclear forces is satisfactory. However, there are egregious situation. Regulatory authorities officially recorded cases of abuse of alcohol and drugs in the service of the staff responsible for the maintenance of Intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM)[11]. With missiles no problem. They undergo scheduled maintenance and have been proved during test launches. The same can be said about the American strategic submarine fleet. The condition of the air component of the nuclear triad remains generally satisfactory. The available power is sufficient (90, 12 in reserve[12]), but limited.

Compared to other types of troops look best with the U.S. Navy. Their composition is listed 283 of the vessel[13]. In 2014 the Command of the naval forces of the United States deliberately began to implement the shipbuilding program, which is designed for a 30-year period and provides for the fleet of 308 warships and support vessels. Approval of the Pentagon, the elements minimally necessary to ensure the superiority of the national Navy in any area of the World ocean[14]. A pre-election statement by D. trump on the "great fleet" of America 350 the courts seem unattainable at the moment.

Undoubtedly, the increased allocation for various projects happen, especially at this point plans of the defense Department. The question is, who in the end will get priority for funding, because the money need all: army, Navy, air force, marine Corps. Apparently, we should expect heated battles of lobbyists from various branches of the armed forces of the United States in Congress.

Ways of implementation of the declared programs of modernization can be traced to only two: stretch the timing of the upgrade or increase in annual tranches on oboronno from the Federal budget. President J. trump has proposed a third way: "to put pressure" on corporations, so they dropped prices. However, the existing vicious system of procurement, the high cost of production technology in the United States, corruption and other problems to carry out its proposal to the Trump will be difficult, since even Congress was not able yet to even partially cope with this problem. According to the published plans of modernization, the Pentagon will need at least 15 years to close the gaps and regain confident technological superiority.

Alexander Petrichuk


[1] Kozin V. P. power Strategy. // RISS. URL:

[2] Summary of the 2018 National Defense Strategy of the United States of America. – P. 1. URL:

[3] M. Świerczyński Wielka słabość wielkiego sojusznika. // 16 października. URL:,1,

[4] Summary of the 2018 National Defense Strategy of the United States of America. – P. 1. URL:

[5] D. Trenin, Russia and Europe: to strive for and what to do? // Carnegie Moscow center. URL:

[6] Dunn, R. J. America's Reserve and National Guard Components. // The Heritage Foundation. 2016. URL:

[7] R. Hafemeister Who is to blame for the “too-small” military? URL:

[8] Major powers: Our Top 10 of military aviation strength. URL:

[9] C. Hoyle Major powers: Our Top 10 of military aviation strength. // FlightGlobal. URL:

[10] C. Woody, The Air Force is facing a 'quiet crisis' of manpower, but recruitment isn't the problem // Business Insider. URL:

[11] In the US, 11 air force officers suspended for possession and use of drugs // JSC "TV Center". 2014. 16 Jan. URL:

[12] The Military Balance 2018 // IISS. URL:

[13] the Status of the Navy // Official Website of the United States Navy. 2018. 27 March. URL: URL:

[14] Mishin S. Shipbuilding program of the naval forces of the United States // Foreign military review. No. 12. S. 67-73. URL:

Tags: assessment , strategy , USA

RELATED MATERIALS: Defence and security
Возрастное ограничение