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U.S. Navy Is Removing Life Support For Shipbuilding Industry
Manufacturing News | July 8, 2005 Vol. 12, No. 13

Posted on 07/11/2005 10:19:47 AM PDT by mr_hammer

Manufacturing News July 8, 2005 Vol. 12, No. 13 812 Words Page 1

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U.S. Navy Is Removing Life Support For Shipbuilding Industry

The United States shipbuilding industry is on the verge of losing most of its component suppliers due to severe cuts in naval shipbuilding budgets and Department of Defense procurement rules that encourage acquisition managers to buy products from the lowest-cost commercial suppliers overseas, claims the American Shipbuilding Association.

Next year's proposed budget for naval ships is $3.2 billion less than the amount appropriated in 2005, says Cynthia Brown, president of the American Shipbuilding Association. Since 2001, defense spending has increased by 28 percent, which does not include supplemental appropriations, yet the naval ship procurement budget has declined by 33 percent. If present budgetary trends continue, the U.S. naval fleet will drop from 288 ships today to fewer than 200 ships by 2015.

The situation is becoming increasingly difficult for the six major shipyards, but it is even worse for U.S. equipment suppliers. "The Department of Defense has been working to repeal and weaken laws that require ships and certain ship components to be manufactured in the United States," said Brown in prepared testimony to the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. "The reliance on U.S. manufactured equipment is dissipating in response to pressure from DOD to open competition to foreign sources and to lower military specifications in an effort to reduce costs. DOD has been urging defense contractors to rely more on commercial off-the-shelf systems rather than systems built to military specifications. This emphasis on contracting with the lowest-cost producer is forcing all member companies of the defense shipbuilding industry base to source more of its material, components and systems foreign."

In most naval ship subsystem and component categories there is only one U.S. manufacturer remaining, Brown notes. Eighty-percent of the components manufactured for the Virginia Class submarine come from sole sources. "Production rates are not high enough to sustain more than one company and the companies left are struggling to stay in business," says Brown, whose membership includes the six major shipyards and 70 suppliers.

The U.S. industry, which employs 350,000 people, is producing six ships per year. (Market leader, Hyundai Heavy Industries of South Korea, produced 60 ships last year.) U.S. production is set to decline to four next year, due in part to the high cost of steel, a result of booming demand in China. The Navy says nine or 10 ships need to be built each year in order to have a 300-ship armada.

While the direction of the U.S. naval shipbuilding industry remains on a downward slope, the situation is the opposite in China. China is aggressively investing in its shipbuilding capacity. It is expected to have a submarine fleet that is twice the size of the U.S. fleet of 33 subs by 2010. It has started building a new class of destroyer that is "believed to match the air defense capability of the DDG-51 class," says Brown. "In 1989, China had essentially no shipbuilding industry or market share. In a little over a decade, China has invested in its shipbuilding industry to become the third largest builder of commercial ships behind South Korea and Japan."

China now has the capacity to produce 16-million deadweight tons a year. Its China State Shipbuilding Corporation recently announced a $3.6-billion shipyard construction project on Changxing Island. "Once completed, the shipyard is expected to have the capacity to produce more than 4.5-million deadweight tons a year, making it the largest shipyard in the world," says Brown.

China is also investing heavily in its component suppliers. It has stated that it wants 100 percent of all systems, components and materials to be produced in China.

"More and more manufacturing of ship components and systems will migrate to China as DOD encourages foreign sourcing in its efforts to find the cheapest sources," says Brown. "This has already begun with regard to materials for naval components. The manufacture of entire components and systems will migrate to China in the next several years under current DOD policy with respect to outsourcing."

The United States needs to address China's naval security challenge, Brown asserts. "If the industry is reduced further, the U.S. will have to reconstitute the industry if it is to counter the threat from China," she says. "Reconstitution of facilities and the skilled workforce, if possible, will be extremely costly and will take a decade."

She recommends that DOD's shipbuilding budget be sustained at between $15 billion and $16 billion a year, and that 12 combatant and logistics support vessels be built each year. At current rates, China will surpass the U.S. in naval vessels in 2015, based on the conservative estimate of China adding 12 ships per year. By 2024, China is projected to have more than 300 naval vessels, to about 180 for the United States.

The U.S. Congress should also require that naval ships and their components be manufactured in the United States, says Brown. "This action will ensure America's independence in determining its own destiny."


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: china; dod; manufacturing; military; navy; outsourcing; shipbuilding; shipyards; usn
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1 posted on 07/11/2005 10:19:48 AM PDT by mr_hammer
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To: mr_hammer

Can't possibly see any good to this given China's recent Naval build up. Not good, not good at all!


2 posted on 07/11/2005 10:21:58 AM PDT by mr_hammer (The Supreme Court took my home and all I got was this stupid t-shirt!)
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To: mr_hammer
I wonder what safeguards DOD takes to assure that foreign made components don't have embedded codes that could shut down critical systems with a transmitted command?
3 posted on 07/11/2005 10:25:37 AM PDT by Truth29
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To: Truth29

You mean like we did to the Soviet oil pipeline industry?


4 posted on 07/11/2005 10:27:19 AM PDT by SubMareener (Become a monthly donor! Free FreeRepublic.com from Quarterly FReepathons!)
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To: mr_hammer

This is great news! We'll be able to save a bundle by buying warships on the cheap from the Chi-Coms. Maybe if we offer a bonus package, they'll deliver our new ships before the war breaks out.


5 posted on 07/11/2005 10:28:18 AM PDT by the gillman@blacklagoon.com (Google search North American Community.)
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To: mr_hammer

There is no US ship building industry.

There was even a lame effort to build two US built cruise ships but that fell flat due to corruption and union thugs.

In the end US ship building has gone the way of the US merchant marine.

It just costs too much to flag a ship with a US flag. The navy deals were just a way to keep the knowledge if not the capacity alive.


6 posted on 07/11/2005 10:31:13 AM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE!)
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To: mr_hammer
These guy's know what their doing, right?
7 posted on 07/11/2005 10:38:08 AM PDT by Realism (Some believe that the facts-of-life are open to debate.....)
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To: longtermmemmory

The union thugs and the Democratic legislators they got elected created what they thought was the "ideal" laws and regulations. Now their actions are coming back to bite them in the a**.

The unions, socialists all, are responsible for this decay.


8 posted on 07/11/2005 10:40:52 AM PDT by Spktyr (Overwhelmingly superior firepower and the willingness to use it is the only proven peace solution.)
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To: Truth29

I was thinking the exact same thing.


9 posted on 07/11/2005 10:41:47 AM PDT by Chicos_Bail_Bonds
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To: mr_hammer
U.S. Navy Is Removing Life Support For Shipbuilding Industry

It's just plain murder!!!  Someone ping the Terri activists!

10 posted on 07/11/2005 10:44:29 AM PDT by softwarecreator (Facts are to liberals as holy water is to vampires)
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To: mr_hammer

Why don't we just outsource our entire military overseas?

I'm sure the Chinese would be willing to provide us an Army to fight themselves.


11 posted on 07/11/2005 10:47:20 AM PDT by dsc
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To: Truth29

Why not ask the Clintons?


12 posted on 07/11/2005 10:52:27 AM PDT by polymuser
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To: longtermmemmory
The Jones Act has effectively been dismantled with CN's acquisition of US Steel's Great Lakes Fleet division. The guys in Duluth who dispatch ore, stone and coal cargoes even have email addresses that end in ".ca."
13 posted on 07/11/2005 10:56:54 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (Scratch a Liberal. Uncover a Fascist)
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To: Spktyr

and oddly the american merchant marine union sits on a pension fund of several hundreds of millions.

Unions are never about workers or jobs, unions are about controling and profiting from the administration of pension monies.


14 posted on 07/11/2005 10:57:01 AM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE!)
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To: mr_hammer; neutrino; hedgetrimmer; Paul Ross; GOP_1900AD; indthkr
ARTICLE..."DOD has been urging defense contractors to rely more on commercial off-the-shelf systems rather than systems built to military specifications. This emphasis on contracting with the lowest-cost producer is forcing all member companies of the defense shipbuilding industry base to source more of its material, components and systems foreign."

A couple comments...

IMO...COTS (COMMERCIAL OFF THE SHELF) has been oversold to military management.

There never is truly 'off-the shelf' when it comes to high performance equipment that has to meet stringent quality and performance criteria. Most high performance stuff is build to order...as nobody keeps stock on it. Many times somebody buys COTS...then pays top dollar to have it tweaked and modified to meet specs.

COTS does have a place however, particularly in ground based test equipment and simulation and analysis racks. It can and should be used effectively for that purpose.

I feel it should never be used in situations where man safety is required....many times there is not the attention to detail, analysis, and paper trail given to the product.

My main concern however, is the push by DOD to remove the requirements to have top shelf military gear designed and manufactured in this country. That IMHO is a big, serious, troubling move.

I have stated before on threads that as engineering and manufacturing capability diminishes in this country...our military capability would diminish as well. Well...DOD has a way out...in theory.

In practice...supply and design chains will be a bitch...and we are going to end up with an OEM military and defense capability...just like our buddies in the EU and elsewhere.

Removing the requirements to design and build here will further accelerate the demise of engineering and manufacturing in the US...which in turn will accelerate the demand for offshoring...which will further drive engineering offshore...and so on....and so on...

Notably absent from the OEM craze will be two of our biggest adversaries...Russia and China....they will continue with their own proprietary manufacturing and development efforts.

Ultimately...we will accept Madame Albrights cogent observation that we shouldn't really BE the only world superpower...after all...it just isn't fair.
15 posted on 07/11/2005 11:06:15 AM PDT by Dat Mon (will work for clever tagline)
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To: Dat Mon

Don't forget Bill Clinton crowing that America isn't "the big dog on the block" anymore.


16 posted on 07/11/2005 11:09:45 AM PDT by hedgetrimmer
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To: mr_hammer

The Navy League is a good organization to join if you want to do something to stop the decline of the maritime industries in the United States.

They are very concerned about the Merchant Marine,ship building capacity in the US and the shortage of American mariners and seafarers. They have a strong caucus and are working with Congress to correct some of these deficiencies.


17 posted on 07/11/2005 11:15:14 AM PDT by hedgetrimmer
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To: mr_hammer

But China is no threat to us! Just ask President Bush and all the senators who voted for normalizing trade relations with the Chicoms.


18 posted on 07/11/2005 11:22:29 AM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (G-d is not a Republican. But Satan is definitely a Democrat.)
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To: dsc
Why don't we just outsource our entire military overseas?

Lets start with the government. If we become a Chinese colony we would be just fine. (The level of sarcasm contained in this comment would ordinarilly involve the use of language inappropriate to these forums)
19 posted on 07/11/2005 11:23:11 AM PDT by ARCADIA (Abuse of power comes as no surprise)
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To: Dat Mon

I am quite afraid you are right!


20 posted on 07/11/2005 11:33:48 AM PDT by mr_hammer (The Supreme Court took my home and all I got was this stupid t-shirt!)
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To: Dat Mon; navyvet; Submariner; Starwind; Light Speed; doug from upland; Travis McGee; Jeff Head; ...




Good post.

Pinging.

21 posted on 07/11/2005 11:49:27 AM PDT by Paul Ross (George Patton: "I hate to have to fight for the same ground twice.")
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To: mr_hammer

Who needs a Navy anyway, certainly not the free traders that have destroyed US industries. Keep shooping at Wal-mart folks. Go Free Trade Go! And don't forget to keep voting GOP too.


22 posted on 07/11/2005 11:53:11 AM PDT by jpsb (I already know I am a terrible speller)
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To: ARCADIA

"(The level of sarcasm contained in this comment would ordinarilly involve the use of language inappropriate to these forums)"

Sarcasm is the coolest thing ever.

Can you believe some people don't like it?


23 posted on 07/11/2005 11:54:20 AM PDT by dsc
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To: mr_hammer

Reminds of me of the Soviet Union's waining days. We're falling apart.


24 posted on 07/11/2005 11:55:32 AM PDT by G32
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To: mr_hammer

How soon before someone suggests nuking China...?


25 posted on 07/11/2005 11:55:40 AM PDT by rahbert
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To: mr_hammer
China is aggressively investing in its shipbuilding capacity. It is expected to have a submarine fleet that is twice the size of the U.S. fleet of 33 subs by 2010.

We only have 33 submarines?

26 posted on 07/11/2005 11:55:49 AM PDT by wideminded
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To: longtermmemmory

".....due to corruption and union thugs."
Anything to back this up?


27 posted on 07/11/2005 11:59:37 AM PDT by em2vn
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To: rahbert

Hey...lets nuke China...lol


28 posted on 07/11/2005 12:00:00 PM PDT by Blue Scourge (Team Charleston...second to none...)
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To: Blue Scourge

It starts in 5 minutes.


29 posted on 07/11/2005 12:04:00 PM PDT by HereInTheHeartland
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To: mr_hammer

I still don't understand why we're so afraid of China. So what if they build up their military ? So did the Soviet Union, and look what happened to them. Let them waste their money.

So long as China has a communist government, they will forever experience internal difficulties and never be able to focus totally on external issues. China will never attack us, because they could never sustain their supply lines. History tells us that.

Don't you think the threat of not being able to sell us stuff will shape their foreign policy ? We've lived a long time without Chinese goods. We can live without them in the future if we want. Without our trade they have major problems (as do we, but that's another discussion). Why should we build up our military to match them ? Does anyone here ever think we'd go to war with a nuclear China (thank you bill clinton) ?


30 posted on 07/11/2005 12:48:35 PM PDT by cinives (On some planets what I do is considered normal.)
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To: mr_hammer
There is some pork involved in defense contracting, which is one reason military hardward is so expensive. In many cases, off-the-shelf hardware is plenty good for military applications. For example, computers on a Navy ship can usually be commerical machines purchased from Dell or HP. Usually you don't need a high-spec machine made in low volumes at high cost by a company like IBM. It's a matter of using good sense: the most critical components on the ship, such as the AEGIS system components, generally need to be built to military specs. But the PC's that sailors use to send email to shore can be bought off the shelf. Remember, there's a trade-off between quantity and cost. When you build everything on a ship to military specs, it may perform better in certain situations but it's so expensive that the Navy doesn't have enough of these ships. Sometimes too, it take longer to procure spare parts for mil-spec components, resulting in lower readiness and more ships stuck in port for maintenance.

I trust that Rumsfeld is just working to implement a sensible policy that uses off the shelf components where they can be used reliably and with a major cost reduction. I would bet that we're generally avoiding Chinese sources and buying overseas from suppliers in Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, etc. (Obvious reason is that the Chinese would cut off supplies in the event of a military conflict with them.)

31 posted on 07/11/2005 1:07:49 PM PDT by defenderSD (Suddenly the raven on Scalia's shoulder stirred and spoke. Quoth the raven...."Nevergore.")
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To: mr_hammer

Somebody find Milton Friedman and have him explain why this is a good idea. He did so well with the volunteer army...


32 posted on 07/11/2005 2:55:19 PM PDT by Meldrim
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To: Dat Mon

You are correct. Off the shelf works fine for field rations and oil filters. The more technical/capability specific, the fewer suppliers. It will be interesting to see the cost that foriegners will be charging us to move military freight oversease once the vessels are getting attacked.


33 posted on 07/11/2005 2:58:32 PM PDT by Meldrim
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To: dsc

I've been a sarcastic SOB all my life. I even throw in a dollop of cynicism!

I also like to tell outlandish lies to gullible people.


34 posted on 07/11/2005 3:00:44 PM PDT by montomike (Gay means happy and carefree...not an abomination against nature's check valve.)
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To: defenderSD
"I trust that Rumsfeld"

I trust that his judgement has not improved much since he supported Ford over Reagan in 1976. He's done nothing to clean out the Clinton era bureaucrats that were installed in the Pentagon. Apparently, he is sold on send/sailing the gals into combat as well. The US will pay a price for this someday, but likely it will be nobody in his family paying the price.

35 posted on 07/11/2005 3:03:35 PM PDT by Meldrim
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To: jpsb

We don't need a navy when we can fly 60 year old Buffalos out of Kansas. Right?


36 posted on 07/11/2005 3:03:57 PM PDT by johnb838 (A chill wind.)
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To: dsc

I think out sourcing out military to china is a thought, china could fight the war on terror, and we could have our troops here patrolling our borders...


37 posted on 07/11/2005 3:39:22 PM PDT by JoanneSD
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To: mr_hammer


.

MATSON:

Last American Flag Steamship Line

Purchases American Built Container Ships

http://www.Matson.com

.


38 posted on 07/11/2005 4:32:25 PM PDT by ALOHA RONNIE ("ALOHA RONNIE" Guyer/Veteran-"WE WERE SOLDIERS" Battle of IA DRANG-1965 http://www.lzxray.com)
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To: mr_hammer

Perhaps ships and the shipbuilding industry are going the way of horse-drawn carts and buggy-whip manufacturers.


39 posted on 07/11/2005 4:37:53 PM PDT by RightWhale (withdraw from the 1967 UN Outer Space Treaty)
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To: mr_hammer

http://www.manufacturingnews.com/

This site hangs black crepe. Most articles are pessimistic, sky-is-falling stories.
Which may be true. But it's very depressing.


40 posted on 07/11/2005 5:17:29 PM PDT by Graymatter
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To: Paul Ross

Thanks for the ping!


41 posted on 07/11/2005 8:19:04 PM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: cinives
China will never attack us

China has already begun to attack us. The attack is political, so far. China is not your friend.

42 posted on 07/11/2005 9:18:50 PM PDT by Colorado Doug
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To: Dat Mon
"My main concern however, is the push by DOD to remove the requirements to have top shelf military gear designed and manufactured in this country. That IMHO is a big, serious, troubling move"

I think we may see this push realized by our recent defense agreement with India (see thread). If our joint arrangement becomes just another greed-fest as we witnessed in the commercial technology sector (as opposed to a way to bring a new and potentially important ally into the fold), then IMO we'll be on a path to real decline in our domestic technology capability and infrastructure.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1433833/posts

"Removing the requirements to design and build here will further accelerate the demise of engineering and manufacturing in the US...which in turn will accelerate the demand for offshoring...which will further drive engineering offshore...and so on....and so on..."

Just as you've noted the non-linear growth in China's technology and manufacturing infrastructure, the postive feedback loop you describe above will create a simultaneous non-linear decline in our capability. A recipe for disaster to be sure.

Ultimately...we will accept Madame Albrights cogent observation that we shouldn't really BE the only world superpower...after all...it just isn't fair.

A few days ago there was a really funny post on FR about 400 sheep who apparently flung themselves over a cliff to their deaths (supposedly a true story). Maybe the sheep thought they could fly! Likewise, sometimes I wonder if Countries, Civilizations, etc. can, or have, committed collective suicide by convincing themselves of similar delusions, like for example that Free Trade is "free" for everybody in perpetuity.
43 posted on 07/11/2005 9:28:34 PM PDT by indthkr
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To: mr_hammer; Travis McGee; Jeff Head; Alamo-Girl
Notice it still appears we have some Panda-huggers in the defense dept., many who should know better (Adm. Blair, Analyst David Finkelstein, etc), still saying that regarding China as an enemy "would be wrong." No, they are our very good buddies and nascent allies. Yeah right:

U.S. Attitude Shifts as China’s Military Improves
By WILLIAM MATTHEWS, Defense News, July 11th, 2005

In 1991, U.S. precision weapons, night vision, stealth and other technologies dazzled the world by obliterating the Iraqi Army in four days. Among those most profoundly impressed by the U.S. accomplishment was China.

Awed by the power of U.S. technology, the Chinese military launched a sustained effort to modernize and reorganize its military, said David Finkelstein, an Asia expert at the Center for Naval Analysis.

A decade and a half later, it’s Americans who are beginning to be awed by what China has achieved.

The Chinese military has acquired an assortment of new weapons: Russian submarines and jet fighters, destroyers with state-of-the-art phased-array radar, airborne early warning aircraft, cruise missiles and wake-homing torpedoes, among others.

Stressing quality over quantity, China has cut the size of its military, yet increased its capability, Finkelstein said. It has developed new command-and-control doctrines and new standards for training troops.

Chinese military leaders “know what’s broken and what has to be fixed to make themselves a more capable, professional institution,” Finkelstein said July 7 during a discussion on the Chinese military at the Heritage Foundation, a Washington think tank.

China’s Ultimate Goal?

The question for the U.S. military is: What does China plan to do with its improving military power?

For U.S. military planners, who are conducting the Defense Department’s Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), Finkelstein said,”it would be prudent to assume” that China will continue to improve its military.

But it would be a mistake to assume that China inevitably harbors hostile intent toward the United States, he said.

That seems to be the assumption President George W. Bush and his administration are making, another expert said.

As recently as December, former Secretary of State Colin Powell referred to the U.S. relationship with China as the best in 30 years. But since then, there has been a noticeable shift in the way top administration officials discuss China, said John Tkacik, a research fellow in China policy at the Heritage Foundation.

In June, for example, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld questioned continued increases in Chinese military spending.

“Since no nation threatens China, one must wonder: Why this growing investment?” Rumsfeld said.

Finkelstein contends that China perceives that it has legitimate defense needs. China fears Japan, wants to protect the access of its burgeoning industries to shipping lanes, and has reasons to worry about the aspirations of Asian neighbors such as India.

Tkacik offers this answer: China is preparing for a major war over Taiwan.

The U.S. military should pay attention to China’s military advances, said Daniel Gouré, vice president of the Lexington Institute, a defense research center in Arlington, Va. “There aren’t many uses for these advanced weapons except against an equally large and capable foe,” he said

Gouré cautioned against those who have advised that the QDR focus on the war against terrorism. China and its role as a rising world power are at least as important as the war on terrorism, he said.

The forces needed to check the military power that China may become are substantially different from those optimized for the global war on terrorism.

Among the U.S. capabilities that have a clear impression on China is the ability “to go downtown,” Gouré said. China is pursuing defenses against the capabilities that enabled the United States to strike with impunity in Belgrade and Baghdad, he said.

If the Chinese succeed, the United States will be unable to operate aircraft other than stealth planes anywhere near China, Gouré said.

For the U.S. military, that creates a clear role for planes like the F/A-22, the B-2 bomber and a B-2 follow-on, he said. It also could increase the requirement for electronic warfare capabilities and very high-speed or hypersonic strike aircraft, he said.

In response to the Chinese military buildup, Gouré said U.S. planners conducting the QDR should give consideration to:

• Maintaining a strong nuclear attack submarine fleet. Talk of reducing the fleet raises questions about how the Navy would maintain an adequate undersea presence in Asia.

• Equipping aircraft carriers with better early warning aircraft, long-range unmanned aerial vehicles and stealthy F-35 fighters.

• Keeping ship-based ballistic missile defenses in the region.

“And we need a ground force capable of taking the war to China if that becomes necessary,” he said. It may not be necessary — or possible — to march the U.S. Army’s 3rd Infantry Division into Beijing, Gouré said. But U.S. military planners should consider “putting U.S. troops on Chinese soil in ways that are persuasive.”

There’s another threat the United States has yet to address: cyber defense.

“There’s a lot of talk these days about the terrorist cyber threat. That pales in comparison” to the ability of countries like China “to put 10,000 or 20,000 trained people on the hacking circuit if they want to do so,” he said. That “is something you simply cannot ignore.”

If all that sounds daunting to the United States, it may be more daunting to the Chinese, according to Finkelstein.

China’s military modernization is occurring amid extraordinary economic growth, modernization and change in its society. In recent weeks, for example, riots have erupted among farmers over land disputes, students over rising university fees and peasants over the growing gap between rich and poor.

For Chinese government officials, “the biggest problems lie not beyond the water’s edge, but right at their doorstep,” Finkelstein said.

“The big story is about whether the Chinese Communist Party will succeed or fail in managing the rise of China at home,” he said. •

44 posted on 07/12/2005 12:56:12 PM PDT by Paul Ross (George Patton: "I hate to have to fight for the same ground twice.")
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To: Graymatter; RightWhale; ALOHA RONNIE
The bad news is not expected to stop there. The principal profiteers from the outsourcing, foreign companies, WANT STILL MORE...even the business from the US Taxpayer!! Check this out:

BAE Chief: Lower U.S. Tech Transfer Rules
By WILLIAM MATTHEWS , Defense News, July 11, 2005

The chief of Europe’s largest defense company is urging the U.S. government to ease rules that restrict foreign access to defense U.S. technology.

Dick Olver, chairman of London-based BAE SYSTEMS, said export controls imposed by the State Department are hindering the development of high-tech weapons such as the Joint Strike Fighter and “data fusion” technology that promises to improve battlefield situational awareness.

In addition, “buy American” sentiment in the House of Representatives in recent years threatens to further limit the ability of foreign companies to sell to the U.S. military. Olver called it “misguided.”

If buy American legislation prevails, it “would impair the United States’ defense capabilities because it would prevent the U.S. taking full advantage of the global market,” Olver said in a July 12 address at the Woodrow Wilson Center, a public policy research institute.

BAE has a particular interest in lowering the barriers that inhibit technology transfers and buying from foreign defense suppliers. Since 1999, the company has bought about a dozen U.S. defense firms. In March, BAE paid $4.2 billion to buy United Defense Industries, the maker of Bradley fighting and Marine Corps amphibious vehicles, naval guns, missile launchers and precision munitions.

BAE employs 35,000 American workers and expects to keep expanding in the United States, Olver said.

But even a “trans-Atlantic company” like BAE must get State Department approval before an American branch of the company can share sensitive technology with a British branch.

One result, Olver said, is that the United States has a hard time getting access to expertise it needs on short take-off and vertical landing — a key feature in one version of the JSF.

“We have been asked to lead the testing of this technology and to carry out operational modeling of mixed short takeoff and conventional takeoff options. But we can only do this if we receive the right approvals,” Olver said.

BAE has hit a similar roadblock with data fusion technology. The company has developed ways to combine data from multiple sources to create a detailed picture of a threat, he said. “Combined with U.S. capability, we believe we would be cutting-edge. But we are waiting for approval to contribute what we know in order to develop more capable, interoperable solutions.”

One of the big losers because of U.S. export controls is the United States, Olver said.

Controls deny the United States access to tens of thousands of skilled engineers, scientists, companies and technology, he said.

One aim of U.S. technology transfer restrictions is to deny militarily important technology to U.S. enemies and potential adversaries. But Olver said strict British prohibitions mean “there is no possibility” that critical U.S. technology would be re-exported to prohibited countries such as China.

COMMENT:

Sigh. This is such GARBAGE. We have more, and better skilled aerospace and electronics engineers now selling real estate and insurance for lack of employment BY OUR OWN DEFENSE INDUSTRY!!!!!!

And the "Global Market" is most assuredly not a good reason for furthering this abomination any further. The plane is either built entirely so as to DEFEND AMERICA...or it shouldn't be built.

If it's solely a flying pig farm, for the benefit of our allies, or merely to stymie the french fighter (much as I like to embarass them that's not a good enough reason to spend $220 billion U.S.), then it badly needs termination.

Put the money into the F-22...which is mostly American at least. And a TRUE air superiority machine. It rocks. Restored funding would let Lockheed get the economies of scale needed to really optimize our investment in this plane. The numbers would be there...


45 posted on 07/12/2005 5:08:42 PM PDT by Paul Ross (George Patton: "I hate to have to fight for the same ground twice.")
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To: Paul Ross
We have more, and better skilled aerospace and electronics engineers now selling real estate and insurance for lack of employment BY OUR OWN DEFENSE INDUSTRY

True. Many have chosen to not apply leather to pavement over and over looking for the next engineering position and have settled for the job security and continuity of working in a coal mine or driving a cab.

46 posted on 07/12/2005 5:15:56 PM PDT by RightWhale (withdraw from the 1967 UN Outer Space Treaty)
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To: RightWhale
Further evidence that the phoney free traders do not BEGIN to comprehend the havoc they wreaked on our competitiveness with their demented policies....is shown here. His whole post is beyond the pale, but then he concludes in post 355 with this gem: "an example is boeings 787. Boeing cannot raise enough RD developemt funds here, so they must look for foerign investors"

This guy has no idea how gaping is his knowledge deficit. He doesn't know what he doesn't know.

Very disturbing. My conclusion: He must be a product of a very recent public education...

47 posted on 07/12/2005 6:17:58 PM PDT by Paul Ross (George Patton: "I hate to have to fight for the same ground twice.")
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To: Paul Ross

A factoid: The transcontinental and spur railroads of the mid to late 1800s were partially funded by European investment. There was a huge crash in railroads four years after the continent was spanned when business didn't go quite right and European investment dried up. It wasn't all bad, but it was dislocating for a few years while the American economy reoriented itself.


48 posted on 07/12/2005 6:24:37 PM PDT by RightWhale (withdraw from the 1967 UN Outer Space Treaty)
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To: wideminded

I think the number is 55 at the moment. The 33 is a 2010 projection.


49 posted on 07/12/2005 6:28:44 PM PDT by Doohickey (The more cynical you become / the better off you'll be)
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To: Paul Ross

Thanks for the ping!


50 posted on 07/12/2005 7:29:52 PM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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