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.
[wpedon id=”4696″ align=”left”]
The American empire is coming to an end. The U.S. economy is being drained by wars in the Middle East and vast military expansion around the globe. It is burdened by growing deficits, along with the devastating effects of deindustrialization and global trade agreements. Our democracy has been captured and destroyed by corporations that steadily demand more tax cuts, more deregulation and impunity from prosecution for massive acts of financial fraud, all the while looting trillions from the U.S. treasury in the form of bailouts. The nation has lost the power and respect needed to induce allies in Europe, Latin ...
It is unreasonable to ask taxpayers to pay billions more dollars for NATO’s budget because they get less and less peace, security and stability, says Jan Oberg, director of Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the bloc’s security spending would see its biggest increase since 2014, by 4.3 per cent in 2017. This is a response to US President Donald Trump‘s criticism of NATO countries failing to increase military budgets.
Stoltenberg also said the alliance has combat-ready forces along Russia’s border.
“NATO’s four multinational battle groups in the Baltic countries and Poland are now fully operational, ...
The US media has done it again. In a breaking news story on Fox News on Friday, September 28, 2007, Fox reporter Catherine Herridge used the term “former Yugoslavia” twice in the Fox story “Terrorist 007”. The term Yugoslavia was used deliberately to conceal the fact that the Al Qaeda terrorist known as Terrorist 007, or Irhabi 007 in Arabic, Younes Tsouli, had ties to Bosnia and to Bosnian Muslims who planned terrorist attacks.Fox News sought to conceal this Al Qaeda connection to Bosnia by using the term “former Yugoslavia” in place of “Bosnia”. This was deliberate and planned. Someone ...
“A famous American family” made its fortune from the Nazis, according to John Loftus’ documented historical analysis.
The Bush family links to Nazi Germany’s war economy were first brought to light at the Nuremberg trials in the testimony of Nazi Germany’s steel magnate Fritz Thyssen. Thyssen was a partner of George W. Bush’s grandfather Prescott Bush:
From 1945 until 1949 in Nuremberg, one of the lengthiest and, it now appears, most futile interrogations of a Nazi war crimes suspect began in the American Zone of Occupied Germany.
Multibillionaire steel magnate Fritz Thyssen-the man whose steel combine was the cold heart of the Nazi war machine-talked and ...
When the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was created 70 years ago in 1949 it was formed as a blatant military instrument for waging the Cold War, a war that the US, Britain and other European allies had newly embarked on. NATO’s public relations cant about “peace and security” is but Orwellian rhetoric.The supposed allies of the Soviet Union hastily went from an ostensible joint purpose of defeating Nazi Germany during the Second World War to initiating hostility towards Moscow. Already in 1946, British war-time leader Winston Churchill was fulminating about “an Iron Curtain” descending across Europe, in language adapted from ...
In light of Sergey Lavrov’s recent statements reflecting Russia’s disappointment with the West and the country’s intention to “stop judging ourselves on the basis of marks given by the collective West or individual Western countries”, it might have been expected that the Russian foreign minister’s mid-December Balkan mini tour would be a good chance to see how this new Russian awakening was going to be reflected in practice. Especially in Bosnia and Herzegovina (B-H), perhaps the most famous hamlet in the Potemkin village built by Western “humanitarian interventionism” during the, thankfully, relatively brief unipolar moment lasting approximately two decades after ...
Syria is being bombed as part of a “counter-terrorism campaign” allegedly against the Islamic State, an elusive “outside enemy” based in Raqqa, Northern Syria.
While the ISIL is said to be “threatening the Western World”, the evidence confirms that the Islamic State is supported and financed by the Western military alliance, together with Turkey, Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states. Amply documented, Al Qaeda and its various affiliates including the Islamic State Caliphate Project are creations of Western intelligence.
Moreover, whatever the justification, the bombing of a sovereign country is an illegal and criminal act under international law. It constitutes a war of ...
TerminologyA meaning of the term Great Power(s) (GP) in global politics from the beginning of the 16th century onward refers to the most power and therefore top influential states within the system of the international relations (IR). In other words, the GP are those and only those states who are modelling global politics like Portugal, Spain, Sweden, France, the United Kingdom, united Germany, the USA, the USSR, Russia or China. During the time of the Cold War (1949−1989) there were superpowers as the American and the Soviet administrations refered to their own countries and even a hyperpower state – the ...
Origins 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.
Right now the US mainstream media is obsessing over Donald’s alleged womanizing and female groping soap opera as the Clinton’s/MSM’s pruriently entertaining smokescreen, neatly designed to cover up Hillary/Bill’s serial raping and her criminal lead role as enabler/strong armed intimidator of past victims.Meanwhile, barely noticed in a virtual media blackout in the West are at least a half dozen high alert, significant international developments this last weekend that all strongly indicate the extreme danger of a nuclear war breaking out at any time against Russia and its Eastern alliance. Again, do not pay attention to the US deceivers behind their Oz-like curtain ...
SINCHON COUNTY, North Korea–Over the past few years the Korean people have been able to expose the truth about a number of atrocities by Washington’s military forces during the 1950–53 Korean War. Many others, however, remain covered up and receive virtually no mention outside the Korean peninsula. One such massacre took place in Sinchon, a city located in what is today North Korea.During the Socialist Workers Party and Young Socialists leadership delegation’s visit to the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK), we toured the Sinchon Museum, which documents what north Koreans consider the worst atrocity to have taken place in ...
The Serb holocaust during the WWII in the Independent State of Croatia is not a misnomer, an accusation, and even less a speculation. It is an historical fact. Rabid nationalism and religious dogmatism were its two main ingredients. During the existence of Croatia as an independent Catholic State, over 700,000 men, women and children perished. Many were executed, tortured, died of starvation, buried alive, or were burned to death. Hundreds were forced to become Catholic. Catholic padres ran concentration camps; Catholic priests were officers of the military corps which committed such atrocities. 700,000 in a total population of a few ...
Author’s note: a draft version of the article was originally written at the end of December 2015 and published in March 2016. This is the extended article’s version.On April 24th, 2016 Serbia faced three-level elections: for the national parliament, local municipalities and Vojvodina’s autonomous provincial administration. The elections did not cover Kosovo province as current Serbia’s pro-NATO/EU’s government already two years ago de facto recognized in its negotiations with the EU and Pristina’s government that this province is not any more an integral part of the legal and administrative system of the Republic of Serbia. Nevertheless, these elections were in ...
“My conscience leaves me no other choice than to break the betrayal of my own silences…I know that the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today is my own government.” The Reverend Martin Luther King, Recipient of the Nobel Peace prize.“The United Nations which was created to prevent the scourge of war has become an instrument of war.” Former U.S Attorney General Ramsey ClarkIntroductionWashington, D.C. White House tape recordings, April 25, 1971President Nixon: “How many did we kill in Laos?”National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger: “In the Laotian thing, we killed about ten, fifteen thousand”President Nixon: “See the attack in ...
Fake news is simply a new, Trump-popularized descriptive for media lying that occurs in 2 basic forms, lying by omission and lying by commission. Lying by omission is far, far worse than lying by commission because the latter can at least admit refutation and public debate.
Western Mainstream media impose a huge burden of fake news on Western societies through entrenched and pervasive lying by omission. Indeed the most egregious and pervasive Mainstream media lie of omission is suppression of reportage of such lying by omission. The unimpeded, remorseless, corporate-dominated Mainstream media, politicians and pliant intellectuals are now going further, and ...
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 ...
Edward S. Herman died on November 11, 2017, at the age of 92. Fortunately, it was a peaceful death for a supremely peaceful man. In all he did, Ed Herman was a tireless champion of peace.Ed Herman could be considered the godfather of antiwar media critique, both because of his own contributions and because of the many writers he encouraged to pursue that work. Thanks to his logical mind and sense of justice, he sharply grasped the crucial role and diverse techniques of media propaganda in promoting war. He immediately saw through lies, including those so insidious that few dare ...
THE GLOBALIZATION OF NATOAuthor: Mahdi Darius NazemroayaClarity Press (2012)ISBN: 978-0-9852710-2-2 Pages: 411 with complete indexAvailable to order from Global ResearchThe world is enveloped in a blanket of perpetual conflict. Invasions, occupation, illicit sanctions, and regime change have become currencies and orders of the day. One organization – the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) – is repeatedly, and very controversially, involved in some form or another in many of these conflicts led by the US and its allies. NATO spawned from the Cold War. Its existence was justified by Washington and Western Bloc politicians as a guarantor against any Soviet and ...
On the eve of the Conference on Cyprus, we feel compelled to express our views on the Cyprus negotiations on behalf of the Hellenic American Leadership Council (HALC), the International Coordinating Committee Justice for Cyprus (PSEKA), the Federation of Cypriot American Organizations (FCAO), the American Hellenic Institute (AHI), the American Hellenic Council (AHC), the Hellenic Federation of New Jersey, and the Coordinated Effort of Hellenes (CEH). Our community has worked with successive US Administrations on behalf of a workable and lasting solution on Cyprus. In 2004, when we warned that the flawed Annan Plan was headed in the wrong direction, ...
On August 9 , presidential elections were held in Belarus with five candidates bidding to be head of state. According to the Central Election Commission, the incumbent president, Alexander Lukashenko, won in the first round with over 80% of the votes. Mass protests began in Belarus right after the announcement of the preliminary election results. People went to the streets, expressing their dissatisfaction with the results of the elections that they believe were unfair. Mass protests turned into riots and there were clashes between rioters and the police. Many people were detained and injured, and two protestors died.Representatives of the ...
For 68 Years NATO Failing to Create a Peaceful World
“Yugoslavia” Again: Terrorist 007
Bush Family Links to Nazi Germany
NATO 70 Years Old… Still Vigorous in Aggression
Lavrov Exposes Neocolonialism in Western Poster Child Bosnia-Herzegovina
The Criminalization of Parliamentary Democracy
The Great Powers and Global Politics
The Thanksgiving Day and the Native Americans
War between US and Russia Could Be Sooner than Later: “The Danger of a Nuclear War”
The U.S. War Crimes against North Korea: Sinchon Massacre by the U.S. Military Exposed
Documentary Movie: “God and Croats” (English Subtitle)
Serbia: Parliamentary Elections for the NATO/EU’s Membership
The Social and Economic Achievements of North Korea
Mainstream Media: Fake News Through Lying by Omission
Trump, Empire and Our Long Retreat to Tyranny
Thank You, Edward S. Herman (1925-2017) – Tireless Champion of Peace
NATO: Proudly Delivering Death Since 1949 – A Book Review
A Letter From the Greek American Community on the Cyprus Talks
Poland and Lithuania are Escalating Events in Belarus as they did with Maidan
FOLLOW US ON OUR SOCIAL PLATFORMS