General: US Should Use Deception Instead of Trying to Outspend China in the Pacific

China unlikely to attack US in the first place

Speaking at the Defense Writers Group on Tuesday, Gen. Charles Q. Brown, the commander of Pacific Air Forces, said he believes the US should rely more on trying to deceive China in the future instead of trying to simply outspend them in the Pacific.

“It’s something we’ve done in the past,” Brown noted, saying that there needs to be a cultural shift toward things that would have similar effects, but not cost as much as the “Gadget culture” is advocating.

The US is outspending every nation in the world on their military, with China a distant second. China, however, has its forces heavily centralized in its own back yard, and not scattered around the world on myriad different missions like the US does.

The go-to strategy right now is to just keep spending more and deploying more forces into the Pacific. Gen. Brown argues that China is not likely to start a war with the US if it isn’t confident it can win.

To that end, an increasing focus on electronic warfare and other operations to keep China guessing about US forces and plans would be a more practical way to deter them as opposed to having US forces in the Pacific just be that big.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.