America has long enjoyed uncontested military dominance in the Indo-Pacific. But the traditional basis of its power is now eroding, straining under rapid technological change and China’s own pursuit of military supremacy. This dangerous dynamic could see the United States fail to deter, or even lose, a future war with China — a potential that carries grave implications for Australia’s security and regional stability.

Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be this way. As Christian Brose argues in his new book The Kill Chain: Defending America in the Future of High-Tech Warfare, the US military can maintain a competitive edge provided that it quickly embraces advanced technologies and pursues entirely new ways of thinking about 21st-century warfare. This will not be an easy or uncontroversial task. But it is only by developing a more effective “kill chain” that America will be able to deter aggression and maintain stability in our increasingly contested neighbourhood.

To discuss these issues, USSC hosted a webinar event featuring Christian Brose, Chief Strategy Officer of Anduril Industries and former Staff Director of the Senate Armed Services Committee under Senator John McCain, in conversation with Ashley Townshend, Director of Foreign Policy and Defence at the United States Studies Centre and co-author of Averting Crisis: American Strategy, Military Spending and Collective Defence in the Indo-Pacific