If you think the Covid collapse will hit the US hard (and it is and will) it will be even harder on Russia and China. All those arguing RF and PRC would militarily pass us need to recalibrate. Russia won’t be able to afford most of its nuke and conventional modernization plans.
obviously, things already fielded and in production will continue, but new novel systems, sustainment, upgrades will all suffer in both countries. These are tectonic shifts in capabilities development and we need to avoid inertia driving our own strategy.
I was skeptical of factors feeding new arms race - Russia has newer weapons so we must upgrade, or China (10% of our arsenal) is growing so we have to surge, but entire construct needs to be reassessed. The $1.7 trillion US will spend on nuclear over next 30 years unsustainable.
DoD liked to say nuke spending as only 4% of Defense budget and fraction of GDP, but defense budget will come down in era of economic collapse and recession/depression. Defense spending also diverts critical funds from pandemic and recovery.
Ironically, massive defense spending now makes us less safe and secure, and makes it harder to defense our way of life. We have to change the way we think about security and spending. And it is not happening yet.
If you doubt that, ask why DoDo is asking for billions for new nuclear submarines in the last Covid-response stimulus bill and why DoD is fast tracking over $150 billion in new nuclear programs to single source contractors years before decisions were due.