Commander: China Building Military Quickly

A top U.S. commander has told lawmakers that China's military power is growing at a rate much faster than China (search) would seem to need for national defense alone.

Admiral William Fallon (search) — who commands U.S. forces in the Pacific — told the Senate Armed Services Committee that China's military might is growing exponentially. He calls that "disconcerting" and "unprecedented" — and he said much of the growth has come in the areas of maritime strength and aircraft attack capability.

Arizona Sen. John McCain, himself a former Navy (search) aviator, worried aloud that commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan — while "legitimate" — may be draining strength and money from the Navy and from the Pacific command.

McCain wondered whether "we may be mortgaging our future."