Adm. Harry Harris, seen here in 2016, warned Congress that the American missile-technology fallen so far behind China that the United States will not be able to win a future war against Beijing.
(Craig T. Kojima/Star-Advertiser via AP, Pool)
The top U.S. military commander in the pacific warned Congress that the American missile-technology fallen so far behind China as a result of a decades-old arms control treaty with Russia, the United States is not in a position to win a future war against Beijing.
“China’s intention is crystal clear. We ignore it at our peril,” Adm. Harry Harris, recently appointed by the President Trump be the next ambassador of Australia told the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday.
“China’s impressive military build-up could soon challenge the United States in almost every domain,” Harris warned.
Harris said that the United States blocked the settlement of the ground intermediate-range ballistic missiles because of the intermediate-range nuclear forces (INF) treaty. China is not a party to the agreement between Washington and Moscow signed in 1987, a prohibition on short and medium range ground-rockets with ranges between 310 and 620 miles and 620 3,420 km. The treaty does not cover sea-launched or air-to-air missiles launched.
Harris said that more than 90 percent of China’s ground-based missiles violate the INF treaty.
China’s pursuit of state-of-the-art hypersonic missiles that travel more than 7,500 kilometres per hour through space and would be able to break through the current U.S. missile defense shield worry the Pentagon.
“China’s impressive military build-up could soon challenge the United States in almost every domain.”
– Adm. Harry Harris
“I think that China’s hypersonic weapons development far surpasses that of us now, and I think that we are falling behind,” Harris warned.
A similar view was held by Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., vice-chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, on Tuesday, during the testimony of the nation’s spy chiefs: “I feel that we can buy of the best 20th-century military that money can buy at many of the threats in the 21st century will be in cybermisinformation, disinformation, and we should be better prepared.”
Intelligence leaders warned this week China could turn the US telecommunications networks in a spying network, warning Americans not to use some Chinese mobile phones are made by Huawei and ZTE. They are also raised alarm bells about the academics and the Chinese students sent to the US to collect secrets for the Chinese government.
Admiral Harris, who oversees 375,000 military personnel, and is responsible for the threats to the U.S., about 100 million square kilometers – half of the surface of the earth – is known as a China hawk. Last week, President Trump nominated him as ambassador to Australia.
Harris also weighed in on the other major threat to the United States in the Pacific.
He warned lawmakers not to be fooled by North Korea’s recent charm offensive during the Olympic games. Harris said Kim Jung-Un wants “reunification [South Korea] under a Communist system,” what his grandfather and father failed to do.
Harris said he rejected the idea that North Korea’s nuclear ambitions were solely about the regime to survive, but instead intended to “blackmail” South Korea and other countries in the region, including the United States.
Should war break out on the Korean Peninsula, Harris said that the number of people requiring evacuation would be “staggering.” The 200,000 American civilians would have to be evacuated from South Korea. 1 million Chinese people. The 60,000 Japanese would be asking for immediate evacuation.
“The Republic of Korea and Japan have a life in the shadow of the [North Korea]’s threats for years, and now that the shadow looks on the American homeland,” said Harris.
He and others on the House Armed Services Committee warned about being lulled into complacency by North Korea’s presence on the Olympics under a unified Korean flag. Vice-President Pence today, just got back from South Korea, explained how he gave Kim Jong-Un’s sister the cold shoulder.
I did not prevent the dictator’s sister, but I ignore her. I wanted to not believe it, it was good for the united states to its attention on the forum,” said Pence.
Harris also told lawmakers he was concerned about the growing threat of Russia and China in the space.
“We are led astray by the view of space as a kind of a fluffy panda bear thing,” said Harris. “I think the Chinese … the Russians and others, they view space as the ultimate high ground. They prepare themselves for battle in space.”
Jennifer Griffin currently serves as a national security correspondent for FOX News Channel (FNC) and is based out of the Washington D. C. office. She joined the network in October 1999 as a Jerusalem based correspondent. You can follow her on Twitter at @JenGriffinFNC.