WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The balance of military power in the Asia-Pacific is shifting against the United States, as China and North Korea challenge the credibility of U.S. security commitments and the Pentagon faces spending limits, according to a study released on Tuesday.
Researchers at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, which conducted the study for the U.S. Department of Defense, were left “concerned” that President Barack Obama’s “rebalance” of U.S. interests toward Asia might not be sufficient to secure U.S. interests in the region.
Congress required the Department of Defense to commission the report under the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act.
“Chinese and North Korean actions are routinely challenging the credibility of U.S. security commitments, and at the current rate of U.S. capability development, the balance of military power in the region is shifting against the United States,” the study said.
Pentagon leaders, and supporters in Congress, say efforts to keep pace with China’s growing military might and other international security threats have been hampered by mandatory “sequestration” budget cuts imposed across the government in 2011 in an effort to address the massive U.S. deficit.