Why the Gap In Military Superiority Is Closing?
China and Russia are still behind the U.S. militarily. But they are both showing surprising breakthroughs that – sometime down the road in the future – could threaten U.S. hegemony.
The Washington Times reported last month:
Defense Secretary Ashton Carter on Wednesday warned Russia and China are quickly closing the military technology gap with the U.S. as inconsistent military budgets and slower innovation threaten America’s lead in the military world.
“It’s evident that nations like Russia and China have been pursuing military modernization programs to close the technology gap with the United States,” he continued. “They’re developing platforms designed to thwart our traditional advantages of power projection and freedom of movement. They’re developing and fielding new and advanced aircraft and ballistic, cruise, anti-ship and anti-air missiles that are longer-range and more accurate.”
The SecDef issued this warning before Russia stunned the U.S. with its long-range missile and electronic communications-jamming capacities.
How could this be happening, when U.S. military spending dwarfs that from the rest of the world?
There are six reasons …
1. Corruption and Pork. America spends a large percentage of it’s defense spending on unnecessary military programs that:
The generals say aren’t helpful and don’t even want
Redundant personnel, programs and systems which don’t increase our war-fighting capacity
Equipment which is built and then immediately mothballed before it is ever used
Money is being thrown away on ridiculous things like a Homeland Security seminar called “Did Jesus Die for Klingons Too?” and mansions and personal chefs for generals
Indeed – as many lottery winners and star athletes will tell you – it’s easy to piss away even huge sums of money over a couple of years’ time without discipline.
And plain old corruption is wasting huge sums and dramatically weakening our national security.
How much are we talking about?
Well, here’s some indication: $8.5 trillion dollars in taxpayer money doled out by Congress to the Pentagon since 1996 … has never been accounted for.
2. Fighting the Wrong Wars. A closely-related issue is that the war-fighting assets are being squandered, spread thin and distracted by fighting wars which decrease our national security.
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were the most expensive in U.S. history, costing between between $4 trillion and $6 trillion dollars.
And we spent additional boatloads of money carrying out regime change in Libya, Syria and elsewhere.
But these wars have only caused ISIS and the Taliban to flourish.
Indeed, the majority of our defense spending is – literally – making us less secure because we’re spending money to fight the wrong wars:
We’re overthrowing the moderates who help insure stability
We’re arming and supporting brutal dictators … which is one of the main reasons that terrorists want to attack the U.S.
We’ve fought a series of wars for petrochemicals, instead of security
We expend huge sums of money on mass surveillance … but top security experts agree that mass surveillance makes us MORE vulnerable to terrorists (we’re targeting the wrong guys)
3. Never-Ending War Destroys the Economy. We’re in the longest continuous period of war in U.S. history. The Afghanistan War has been going on for 14 years … as long as the Civil War (4 years,), WW1 (4 years) and WW2 (6 years) COMBINED.
Wars which drag on are horrible for our economy. A weak economy – in turn – makes it more difficult to sustain a leadership role in defense in the long-run.
And Americans are sick and tired of war. If our national security was actually threatened, it might be hard for the government to rouse our commitment and motivation.
4. More Bang for the Buck. China has the world’s largest economy when measured by “purchasing power parity” … meaning how much Chinese can buy in their their local currency in their local economy. Andsee this.
Therefore, China can buy locally-produced military parts and services more cheaply than the U.S. can.
As Bloomberg noted last year:
The lowest-paid U.S. soldiers earn about $18,000 a year. In comparison, in 2009, an equivalent Chinese soldier was paid about a ninth as much. In other words, in 2009, you could hire about nine Chinese soldiers for the cost of one U.S. soldier.
Even that figure doesn’t account for health care and veterans’ benefits. These are much higher in the U.S. than in China, though precise figures are hard to obtain. This is due to higher U.S. prices for health care, to higher prices in general, and because the U.S. is more generous than China in terms of what it pays its soldiers. Salaries and benefits, combined, account for a significant percentage of military expenditure.
But labor costs aren’t the only thing that is cheaper in China. Notice that China’s gross domestic product at market exchange rates is only two-thirds of its GDP at purchasing power parity. This means that, as a developing country, China simply pays lower prices for a lot of things. Some military inputs — oil, for example, or copper — will be bought on world markets, and PPP won’t matter. For others, like complicated machinery, costs are pretty similar. But other things — food or domestically manufactured products — will be much cheaper for the U.S.’s developing rivals than for the U.S.
Those who follow global security issues have known about this issue for a long time. But somehow, this fact hasn’t penetrated the consciousness of pundits or made its way into pretty, tweet-able graphs.
5. Theft. The U.S. Naval Institute, Fiscal Times and others document that the Chinese have greatly accelerated their weapons development timeline by spying on the West and shamelessly copying our military inventions and designs.
If the NSA and other spying agencies had used their resources to stop foreign governments from stealing our crown jewels – instead of using them to gain petty advantages for a handful of knuckleheads – we’d be a lot better off today.
6. Geography. Russia is almost twice the size of the U.S. Russia and China together are so massive – forming such a giant swath of land-based territory, so much closer to the Middle East than America is – that it gives their militaries an advantage.
Bloomberg points out:
The U.S., situated in the peaceful, relatively unpopulated Western Hemisphere, is very far away from the location of any foreseeable conflict. China isn’t going to invade Colorado (sorry, “Red Dawn” fans!), but it might invade Taiwan or India.Simply getting our forces to the other side of the world would require enormous up-front expenditures.
The National Interest notes:
“Defeating China in these scenarios [Taiwan and South China Sea] could nonetheless be difficult and costly for the United States’ primarily as a result of the geographic advantages that China enjoys, as well as specific systems capabilities.”
A recent RAND report, “The US China Military Scorecard,” … argues that China is catching up to the U.S., is becoming more assertive and confident, and has geography on its side.
And Russia’s proximity to Ukraine, the Baltics and other neighboring countries gives it a huge advantage.
Postscript: Sadly, because we’ve squandered our resources, war games show that the U.S. is no longer invincible.
Originally published on 2015-10-05
Source: Washingtons Blog
Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection & Pinterest.
Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!
Donate to Support Us
We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.
Тhe world is at a dangerous crossroads. The United States and its allies have launched a military adventure which threatens the future of humanity. Major military and covert intelligence operations are being undertaken simultaneously in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia and the Far East. The US-NATO military agenda combines both major theater operations as well as covert actions geared towards destabilizing sovereign states.America’s hegemonic project is to destabilize and destroy countries through acts of war, covert operations in support of terrorist organizations, regime change and economic warfare. The latter includes the imposition of deadly macro-economic reforms ...
On October 20, 2011, Libya’s Muammar al-Gaddafi was brutally murdered by a mob of NATO-backed ‘rebels’, after first being beaten and violated in the most barbaric fashion. History leaves no doubt that not only was the Libyan leader murdered on this day but Libya itself.The regime-change crew who dominate Western governments have a long indictment sheet against their names. Since 9/11 they have wrought havoc and human misery on a grand scale in their determination to reshape and own a world that has never been theirs to own. Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya – Syria currently embroiled in a pitiless conflict for ...
French president Macron’s call for the creation of a “European Army” and the implicit end of NATO alliance reflects the changing global order, the credit for which must, in the first place, go to the US president Trump, who, through his series of actions, has unwittingly done enough damage to the alliance to force the EU to wean away from the so-called western alliance and project itself as an independent player in the international arena. On the one hand, the concept of a “European army” affirms the growing distance between the US and its allies in Europe, and on the ...
Save SaveOrigins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection, Public Domain & Pinterest.Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!Donate to Support UsWe would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.
After the catastrophic attacks of September 11 2001 monumental sorrow and a feeling of desperate and understandable anger began to permeate the American psyche. A few people at that time attempted to promote a balanced perspective by pointing out that the United States had also been responsible for causing those same feelings in people in other nations, but they produced hardly a ripple. Although Americans understand in the abstract the wisdom of people around the world empathizing with the suffering of one another, such a reminder of wrongs committed by our nation got little hearing and was soon overshadowed by ...
Hitler was a very good student. Those who read Mein Kampf will find therein many good words about America. More precisely, not about the whole of America, but about the numerous attempts of the American socialists to change the foundations of the American way of life.The ideas of forced sterilization and forced abortion were adopted by Hitler from the founder of feminism, American socialist Margaret Sanger. Madame Sanger even founded a special clinic to promote mass abortions of black people to reduce their number with the aim of completely eradicating blacks in America. This organization still exists–it is called Planned ...
When the civil war in Ukraine started, the question that arised is whether there are similarities between Ukrainian and Yugoslavian civil wars. So let’s compare these two countries, one that is falling apart – Ukraine and the other one that doesn’t exist anymore – Yugoslavia.Multinational countryYugoslavia was a multinational country with different national and ethnic groups coexisting together and two dominant nations Serbs and Croats. Ukraine is also quite a diverse country with Ukrainians, Russians (around 20% of Ukrainian population) and few minorities (Rusyns, Romanians, Hungarians) living together. Once the Yugoslavia collapsed, in a newly created ex-Yugoslav republic Croatia and ...
Seeing through the Official Lies on Ukraine.
“We can no longer find any willingness on the part of Poland to conduct serious negotiations with us. These proposals for mediation have failed because [of ] – – Polish mobilization.” (Adolph Hitler, 1939)
These are the words of Adolph Hitler just before invading Poland and then the Soviet Union. I have replaced Poland with Russia (see below) to show the analogy of US and Nazi pretexts.
“We can no longer find any willingness on the part of Russia to conduct serious negotiations with us. These proposals for mediation have failed because [of ] – – ...
“Neocons” believe that the United States should not be ashamed to use its unrivaled power – forcefully if necessary – to promote its values around the world. Some even speak of the need to cultivate a US empire. Neoconservatives believe modern threats facing the US can no longer be reliably contained and therefore must be prevented, sometimes through preemptive military action.Most neocons believe that the US has allowed dangers to gather by not spending enough on defense and not confronting threats aggressively enough. One such threat, they contend, was Saddam Hussein and his pursuit of weapons of mass destruction. Since ...
Kosovo obtained part independence when America and many European nations gave the go ahead for the creation of this new nation. However, it is clear that things are not plain sailing because many other nations did not support this elitist adventure, therefore, the wider international community was ignored. Therefore, today we have a situation where some nations support this new state, however, the majority of nations in Africa, Asia, and South America, have not given their consent.
Also, the Russian Federation, Spain, and some other European nations, refuse to accept this American led adventure. Therefore, what does the future hold for Kosovo ...
First of all, taking into consideration the particular region of the Balkans in the context of Russia's national interests, we should consult official documents reflecting the wishes and intentions of the government. It is therefore necessary to consider Russia’s foreign policy doctrine.
Foreign policy strategy
The Russian Federation's previous foreign policy doctrine was made public on July 15th, 2008.
Russian objectives were marked as the following:
- Impacting global processes in order to establish a just and democratic world order based on collective principles in solving international problems and on the rule of international law, primarily the UN Charter provisions as well as equal ...
Partisans and Ustashi together in Bosnia, 1942Article by Vladislav B. Sotirovic: “Anti-Serbian Collaboration Between Tito’s Partisans and Pavelić’s Ustashi in World War II”, Balkan Studies, Vol. 49, 2014 (2015), ISSN (print) 0005-4313, ISSN (online) 2241-1674, Thessaloniki, Greece, pp. 113−156© Vladislav B. Sotirović 2015Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection & Pinterest.Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!Donate to Support UsWe would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.Authentic ...
Having already violated every tenet of international law in its proxy jihadist war against Syria, including the seizure of one-third of the country, the United States invoked a Non-Law, a Law That Never Was, to justify its missile strikes against fictitious “chemical warfare” facilities. Syrian President Assad “kills his own people,” said Trump, leader of the nation whose police kill more of its “own people” than any country except (fellow white settler state) Brazil, and whose prisons entomb one-quarter of all the world’s inmates. (One out of every eight prisoners on the planet is an African American.)
On the Saturday morning ...
Is your money that good? Will it buy you forgiveness? Do you think that it could?” (Bob Dylan, b. 1941, Masters of War)
On Tuesday 6th of September, twenty-four hour monitoring by Yemen’s Legal Centre for Rights and Development (LCRD) recorded the bombings by the Saudi led “coalition”, armed by the US and UK and advised by their military specialists, thus collusion and co-operation of both countries render them equally culpable for the carnage.
Yemen has a population of just 24.41 million (2013 figure) and according to the Rural Poverty Portal:
“ … is one of the driest, poorest and least developed countries in ...
Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection, Public Domain & Pinterest.Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!Donate to Support UsWe would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.Save
The Balkans have returned to the forefront of European geopolitics as a result of the New Cold War, with the US and Russia facing off in a proxy war over the planned Balkan Stream pipeline through the region. The geopolitical circumstances have evolved since the 1990s, when all of the former Yugoslavia was lumped together as the Western Balkans. In order to accommodate for the changing strategic reality in the region, it’s necessary to carve the Central Balkans out of the idea of the former, and the new division of the Balkans into Western, Central, and Eastern regions simplifies the ...
There has been a lot of worry about the Constitution and basic democratic rights since Trump’s election. And worry we should. But, Trump did not fall from the sky, he is a product of our history.
Over the long course of human history, there has been nothing more hostile to democracies and constitutional republics than empire. Empires destroys republics from the inside out.
And, empires demand and create enemies. In the opening act of our empire we fought our race enemy: the natives we tried to assimilate or eliminate. In the climactic scene of empire building after WWII we fought another “red ...
Over the past several years, analysts and commentators have noticed a rising tide of domestic support for the Croatian homegrown Nazi movement of the Second World War, the Ustashe, which actively exterminated Serbs, Jews, and Roma in the territory it controlled from 1941-45. Far from condemning this alarming development, the Croatian government, the European Union, and non-state actors within it have tacitly and actively supported the rising tide of sympathy towards the Ustashe.This disconnect between the ostensible “European values” of human rights and tolerance that the European Union claims to represent, and its tacit support of trends towards extremist politics ...
US-backed forces overthrow Goulart in Brazil (1964) Left-wing nationalist Joao Goulart became the democratically elected president of Brazil in September 1961, setting alarm bells clattering in the liberal Kennedy administration. Goulart began implementing structural reforms in the massive resource-rich South American country, that would help integrate the general population into society. (1) The United States was loathe to sit helplessly by as this movement came within “our hemisphere”, as President John F. Kennedy described it. Goulart, also known as “Jango”, was hostile toward US capitalist democracy that seeks to primarily serve elite powers.Shortly before his death, Kennedy had been preparing the groundwork to oust Goulart, ...
GR Editor’s Note
Publicly available military documents confirm that pre-emptive nuclear war is still on the drawing board of the Pentagon.
Compared to the 1950s, the nuclear weapons are more advanced. The delivery system is more precise. In addition to China and Russia, Iran, Syria and North Korea are targets for pre-emptive nuclear war.
Let us be under no illusions, the Pentagon’s plan to blow up the planet using advanced nuclear weapons is still on the books.
Should we be concerned? Blowing up the planet through the use of nuclear weapons is fully endorsed by presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who believes that nuclear weapons ...
Neoliberalism and the Globalization of War: America’s Hegemonic Project
Hillary Clinton and the Brutal Murder of Gaddafi
On the Geo-politics of “European Army”
Photo Evidence of Russian Terror over Crimean Muslim Tatars Today
US has Killed More than 20 Million People in 37 “Victim Nations” since World War II
50 Shades of American Fascism
Eight Reasons Why Ukraine is New Yugoslavia
Ukraine, America’s “Lebensraum”: Is Washington Preparing to Wage War on Russia?
Neocon 101: What do Neoconservatives Believe?
Kosovo and the Crisis of Ignoring International Law and Global Opinions
Russia’s Geopolitical Interests in the Balkans
Anti-Serbian Collaboration Between Tito’s Partisans and Pavelić’s Ustashi in World War II
White Lies and Black Disbelief in a Fading Empire
The Unspoken War on Yemen
Mark Twain on the Americans
New Strategic Calculus for the Balkans
Trump, Empire and Our Long Retreat to Tyranny
The European Union, Moral Hypocrisy, and Stroking Tension in the Balkans
Forgotten “Anniversaries” of U.S. Sponsored Military Coups against Democracy
Declassified Documents Reveal Pentagon’s 1950s Planned Nuclear Holocaust