The Patriot Files Forums  

Go Back   The Patriot Files Forums > Other Conflicts > Cold War

Post New Thread  Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 07-02-2017, 03:17 PM
Boats's Avatar
Boats Boats is online now
Senior Member
 

Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 7,512
Arrow The Chinese Military's Secret Weapon against America

The Chinese Military's Secret Weapon against America
By: Zachary Keck - 7-1-17 - National Interest
RE: http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the...-america-21400

(Photo of aircraft on site only)

As Alexander de Tocqueville observed nearly two centuries ago, Americans are by nature an optimistic people. This optimism has often been a source of national strength, propelling us to seek ever greater heights.

In certain instances, however, optimism can be dangerous. One such instance is in dealing with China’s rise. Many Americans have failed to grapple with the magnitude of China’s rise, confident that Beijing will go ultimately go the way of the Soviet Union or Japan in the 1980s. Those making this case can marshall some impressive statistics to bolster their case that America remains far and away the most powerful country in the world. One of the more popular data points they use is defense spending: specifically, that America still spends about four times as much as China on its military.

But comparing the raw numbers is misleading in a number of ways. Some of these are relatively well known: for example, it is generally acknowledged that America is a global power with its military assets dispersed around the world, while China can concentrate its armed forces in Asia. Similarly, military spending fails to account for what is often called the “tyranny of distance.” That is, to project military power in Asia, the United States must cross the largest ocean in the world. By contrast, China is located in the center of the action. And, as anyone who works in Washington understands, proximity to power is a power unto itself. Being so close to the battlefield also enables China to implement an anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) strategy by using its territory to deploy large amounts of missiles, aircraft, surveillance systems and radar. In effect, these are unsinkable aircraft carriers.

Other ways that U.S. and Chinese defense budgets fail to capture the real balance of power in Asia are less well known. One factor that many observers overlook is personnel costs. Despite having a larger military, China’s military spends far less than the United States on personnel. And, once personnel costs are taken into account, the gap between U.S. and Chinese military spending is less than the raw budget numbers suggest.

America rightly takes care of the men and women who serve in the armed services. The costs of doing so, however, are astronomical. According to the Pentagon’s own estimates, nearly half of the entire defense budget is consumed by military and civilian personnel costs. Half of the FY 2015 budget would equal out to about $298.5 billion. In other words, the Pentagon spends more on personnel than any other country—including China—spends on its entire military. Indeed, the U.S. military’s personnel costs are more than the combined defense budgets of all other NATO members.

China’s military is less transparent, making it harder to accurately gauge how much it spends on personnel. However, most experts believe that personnel costs consume about one-third of the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) budget. By that figure, China’s military spent about $48.6 billion on personnel costs in 2015. The discrepancy in personnel costs between China and the United States is even greater when one considers them on a per-soldier basis. The PLA is estimated to have a total of 2.3 million people in active service, compared to just 1.4 million for the U.S. armed services. That means China spends just over $21,000 per active duty member of their military. The comparable figure for the United States is more than $214,000.

The impact this has on each country’s respective military budget is staggering. When personnel costs are removed from the U.S. side, military spending decreases from $597 billion to $298 billion. By comparison, China’s military spending drops from $145.8 billion to $97.2 billion. In other words, when personnel costs are taken out of the equation, China’s military spending goes from about a quarter of America’s to nearly a third.

Labor costs work in China’s favor in other ways as well. For instance, the PLA’s procurement costs are lowered by the fact that Chinese factory workers make less than a quarter of the wages of their American counterparts. Exchange rates are another subtle advantage that lowers China’s military costs. Just as a Big Mac is nearly twice as expensive in America as it is in China, Beijing can purchase much more domestic weapon systems with the same amount of money as Washington.

To be sure, as China grows richer some of these advantages will decline. Labor costs have been rising steadily in China over the past decade, and personnel costs for the Chinese military will rise accordingly. Still, personnel costs are not stagnate for the U.S. military either. Indeed, the U.S. House Budget Committee has noted,

Since 2001, the cost per service member in the active-duty force has increased by 41 percent, excluding war funding and adjusting for inflation. If personnel costs continue growing at that rate and the overall defense budget grows with inflation, military personnel costs will consume the entire defense budget by 2039.

Of course, higher personnel costs ensure America’s service men and women are the finest in the world, which is one of its greatest advantages against China. Still, the difference in cost is another reason why comparing the raw figures of U.S. and Chinese defense spending does not come close to capturing the real balance of power between their forces.

Zachary Keck is the former managing editor of The National Interest.
__________________
Boats

O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

"IN GOD WE TRUST"
sendpm.gif Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 07-02-2017, 03:19 PM
Boats's Avatar
Boats Boats is online now
Senior Member
 

Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 7,512
Arrow China dispatches military vessels & fighter jets to warn off US warship sailing near

China dispatches military vessels & fighter jets to warn off US warship sailing near disputed island
Published time: 2 Jul, 2017 16:59 - Edited time: 2 Jul, 2017 17:56
RE: https://www.rt.com/news/395005-china...sputed-island/

China has sent military vessels and warplanes to “warn off” USS Stethem, a guided-missile destroyer, that sailed near a disputed island in the South China Sea, according to Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang.
“Under the pretext of ‘freedom of navigation,’ the US side once again sent a military vessel into China's territorial waters off the Xisha Islands without China's approval,” the spokesperson said in a statement, adding that such US behavior “violated Chinese law and relevant international law, infringed upon China's sovereignty, and disrupted the peace, security and order of the relevant waters.”

"China dispatched military vessels and fighter planes in response to warn off the US vessel," the statement reads

“The Chinese side is dissatisfied with, and opposed to, the relevant behavior of the US side,” Lu added, saying that the US is "deliberately stirring up troubles in the South China Sea, as well as running in the opposite direction from countries in the region who aspire for stability, cooperation and development.”

The US Navy did not officially confirm the operation. The US Pacific Fleet spokesman, Lt. Cmdr. Matt Knight, told Fox News that the fleet conducts “routine and regular FONOPs, as we have done in the past and will continue to do in the future,” without specifically mentioning the Sunday incident.

However, an unidentified US Defense Department official earlier told Reuters that the US Navy destroyer USS Stethem came within 12 nautical miles of Triton Island, which is a part of the Paracel Islands located in the South China Sea between China and Vietnam.

The head of US Pacific Command, Admiral Harry Harris, recently criticized China’s activity in the region. "China is using its military and economic power to erode the rules-based international order," he said in a speech delivered on Wednesday in Brisbane during the joint US-Australian military exercises.

"Fake islands should not be believed by real people," he added, as reported by Fox News.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington-based think tank, said in its recent report that “Beijing has undertaken substantial upgrades of its military infrastructure in the Paracels” and particularly started building new facilities on Triton Island.

It was the second such operation conducted by the US during Donald Trump’s presidency. On May 24, the US Navy guided-missile destroyer, the USS Dewey, came within 12 miles of the Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands – another disputed archipelago that lies in the southern part of the South China Sea.

At that time, the Chinese Defense Ministry also sent two frigates to “warn off” the US vessel and said that it was “firmly opposed to the US behavior of showing force and boosting regional militarization.”

The Paracel Islands are contested by China, Taiwan and Vietnam while the Spratlys are also additionally claimed by the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei. China claims sovereignty over a large part of the South China Sea, a region crucial for China’s maritime trade.

China has already built runways, aircraft hangars, radar sites and hardened surface-to-air missile shelters on its artificially-created islands in the region, according to photos analyzed by the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

Beijing’s actions have sparked concerns in Washington and the US Navy, which is fiercely opposed to this Chinese initiative, has deployed additional warships in the disputed zone, conducted maneuvers near China’s artificial islands, and flown over them, claiming it has been done in the interest of the “freedom of navigation.”

In response, China called Washington’s involvement in the dispute the “greatest” threat to the region.

In early June, China and the US both held exercises involving air and navy forces, in another episode of confrontation over the disputed South China Sea. The US sent two B-1B Lancer supersonic bombers to fly a 10-hour mission from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, which was conducted in conjunction with the US Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer the USS Sterett.

A day earlier, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) conducted its own air and navy exercise off Hong Kong. The patrol mission involved three helicopters and two Type 056 corvettes, the Qinzhou and the Huizhou, the Defense Ministry reported.
__________________
Boats

O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

"IN GOD WE TRUST"
sendpm.gif Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is On

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:32 AM.


Powered by vBulletin, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.