Shepard Smith said today that the U.S. Air Force is the smallest that it has been in decades. In fact, U.S. defense spending has dropped by more than $85 billion since 2009, while Russia and China are reportedly building up their militaries.

Earlier this year, a number of defense officials even warned Congress that the U.S. could lose its air superiority.

U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh III confirmed on "Shepard Smith Reporting" today that that is indeed a strong possibility.

"The capability gap between our Air Force and other air forces is closing," Welsh explained. "You can't stand still in this business. If air forces don't stay ahead of the technology curve, they will fail eventually."

Welsh explained that the new F-35 fighter jet will help the U.S. stay ahead of the curve and keep up against other countries.

He said that the aircrafts the U.S. currently uses are not strong enough to compete with the new Chinese and Russian fighter jets.

"If we end up fighting that equipment in the future ... it will be better than anything we have today," Welsh stated. "The F-35 keeps that capability advantage on our side, which is where it should firmly be."

Watch the clip above.


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