News | Sept. 20, 2019

Power Under Parity

In this report, subject matter experts provide insights to the question: What are the long-term implications for the US of adopting an objective of strategic parity with China and Russia rather than military dominance?

Contributors note that strategic parity cannot be understood divorced from its international contexts. They reject mathematical definitions of parity. Parity does not occur when “one side has ten aircraft carriers and the other side has ten aircraft carriers." Quantified approaches lack predictive power because the United States already possesses the "supreme monopoly of military dominance at the tactical and operational level." Parity is better conceptualized as dynamic region- and domain-specific measurements of effectiveness. As a dynamic measure, parity is ultimately about self-imposed limits on where and how the United States would seek to compete with the various combinations of China and Russia emerging out of a change of American strategic culture.5 A few contributors explicitly contrast the limits embedded in adopting a strategic doctrine of parity with the alternative policy of "overmatch" with both China and Russia that would underpin a quest for dominance. READ MORE>>>