Senior editor at The Epoch Times, Jan Jekielek, and co-chairman of the Center for American Security at America First Policy Institute, General Keith Kellogg, spoke at the Conservative Political Action Committee’s (CPAC) 2023 conference in Washington D.C. on issues facing the United States military.
Jekielek raised concerns about the military’s readiness for current challenges, citing the conflict with Russia and China’s regime as potential issues.
Kellogg, however, stated that no one should count out or bet against the American military. He noted that this is despite his awareness that the military might have some “issues,” including the possibility that it is detrimentally progressive.
He emphasized that the military’s job is to fight and deter enemies, and he’s not sure that is the focus of the military currently.
Regarding Russia, Kellogg had recently been in the country and spoke to those on the committees covering the issue. He said that the United States needs to secure its borders before others, and that Ukraine is currently a major issue.
He highlighted that America may have forgotten that it has issues in the Middle East, China, and Russia. Kellogg also stated that until Russia is off the stage, the United States can’t focus on China.
Regarding China, Kellogg thinks the threat from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is huge for America. He cited China’s leader Xi Jinping’s comments about the East and West being “irreconcilable,” showing his desire to push the United States away from the first line of Pacific islands, including Japan, the Philippines, and Taiwan.
According to the general, China is trying to have complete influence over the area and has been very aggressive in acquiring it.
Kellogg said that under Trump, the United States looked at “decoupling” as a way of moving away from having so many businesses in China, and the $350 billion trade deficit between the United States and China means America has, in reality, funded their government and military.
Jekielek also raised concerns about China’s engagement in unconventional warfare, including psychological and financial warfare. He questioned Kellogg as to whether the U.S. military is moving fast enough to understand that a war is being fought without shots being fired.
Kellogg stressed that everyone has to understand that “frisk is a province of war.”
According to the general, the current administration doesn’t seem inclined to take on risk, and this could be a problem in supporting those who stand up to our enemies abroad.
The general spoke about what he is most concerned about, saying: “What keeps me awake at night is the lack of presidential decision-making … The concern I’ve got is they don’t have the adults in the room.”
Kellogg emphasized that the United States should do everything it can in Ukraine to provide assistance in standing up against the Russian army and negotiating with Russia’s leadership.
“There’s nothing wrong with taking a strategic adversary like the Russians off the stage,” Kellogg said. “Because then, for the first time in 21 years, we can face the predominant threat facing the United States, and that’s China.”