Skip to comments.Defense: They Build While We Cut (Obama is scaling back while Russia/China are building up)
Posted on 08/13/2009 5:52:59 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Russia and China, two potential U.S. adversaries in a future war, are committed to big increases in defense spending and global military adventures in the coming years, just as President Obama is forcing the Pentagon to scale back.
The imbalance has defense experts worried that re-emergent Russia and China will be able to defeat U.S. forces in an air, sea and ground conflict because they will field superior fighters, ships and tanks in the next decades.
This week, China announced its most ambitious military exercise to date. The People's Liberation Army is sending 50,000 troops to far reaches of the country to fight land battles against theoretic foes.
"In the unprecedented exercise, one of the PLA's major objectives will be to improve its capacity of long-range projection," the state-run Xinhua News Agency said.
Most troubling to pro-defense conservatives is the president's decision to terminate production of its most futuristic air superiority fighter, the F-22 Raptor, and retired in one year 200 other warplanes. Obama has also scaled back missile defense, a long-range bomber and Army ground vehicles.
His projected five-year defense spending, beginning in 2010, will not keep pace with inflation, meaning Pentagon eye-shaders will be forced to inflict more cuts in the 2011 budget and beyond.
"Shorting future defense programs, like missile defense, is a real mistake from a strategic standpoint," Larry Wortzel, a defense analyst and former military attache in Beijing, told Human Events. "Your have to worry about future relationships with China. You don't know what will happen with North Korea."
Wortzel said that in 2004 the Chinese communist party's central military commission decreed it "must develop the capability to protect China's global strategic interest. They need a more active navy so that they can project sea lanes all the way out to the Persian Gulf. There are theoretical writings inside the People's Liberation Army about long-range strike aircraft. They are thinking about becoming a more globally active military in the future and we don't know what our future relations will be."
It is not just conservatives sounding the alarm.
Michael O'Hanlon, a liberal defense analyst at the Brookings Institution, wrote in the Washington Post that Obama is providing the military with "no real growth" over the next five years.
"The administration is right to propose increasing resources for the State Department and aid programs," he wrote. "But it is unwise politics and unwise strategy to put these key elements of foreign policy in direct competition with each other, as appears to be the case in the new budget."
Although not a direct attack on Obama's defense budget, the Rand Corp. this month released a study that warned of China's growing might. The U.S. may well lose an air war with China over control of Taiwan because of Beijing's massive arms buildup.
"Chinese military capabilities have advanced rapidly over the past decade," said Rand. "China has deployed or is deploying modern fighter aircraft, such as the Su-27/J-11, Su-30, and J-10, in sizable numbers."
It added, "Our analysis of the air war indicates that Chinas growing military power has changed the nature of the fight for air superiority."
The Air Force fighter community, which opposes Obama's decision to cap the F-22 at 187 planes, fears it will not have sufficient fighters to cover hotspots in Asia and the Middle East.
Said Wortzel, "We need to keep ahead of China significantly to be comfortable in terms of our air capacity."
In addition, the report said, China has stationed so many short-range ballistic missiles on its coast (over 1,000, the Pentagon says) it could unleash a barrage that would destroy every military runway in Taiwan, knocking its air force out of the war. China could also hit two U.S. Air Force bases in Japan.
"The United States is unlikely to be able to compensate for the hundreds of [Taiwanese] fighters burning on their parking ramps, trapped behind cratered runways, or hiding in underground shelters," Rand said. "The danger to both ROCAF and USAF operations in the Taiwan Strait is sufficiently grave that a credible case can be made that the air war for Taiwan could essentially be over before much of the Blue air forces have even fired a shot.
Titled "A Question of Balance: Political Context and Military Aspects of the China-Taiwan Dispute," the Rand report could be held up as a counter to Defense Secretary Robert Gates. He often complains of his generals having "next-war-itis" funding futuristic system for possible wars instead of focusing on the one they are fighting now.
But if the Air Force does not own sufficient tactical aircraft to fend off a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, then curing the top brass of one "itis" means you may lose the patient in this case democratic ally Taiwan.
Wortzel said it is not just Taiwan control that could ignite a fight with China.
"The next conflict with China could be over how you stabilize North Korea," he said. "It could be over some mistake over the way they defend their territorial claims in the South China Sea. There's still volatility in the western Pacific even without Taiwan."
Meanwhile, Russia's new prime minister, Dmitriy Medvedev, announced in March a "comprehensive rearmament" of his military.
Russia already has tested Washington. It invaded the republic of Georgia, flies long-range bombers near Alaskan air space and is again positioning nuclear-armed attack submarines off the U.S. coast.
The Defense Intelligence Agency has briefed Congress on both Russia's and China's major military expansions.
Lt. Gen. Michael Maples, until recently the DIA director, said China is improving its F-10 air-to-air fighter, and buying sophisticated surface-to-air and anti-ship missiles.
"The Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) is increasingly building its own sophisticated aircraft, surface combatants, submarines and weapon systems while still purchasing select systems from overseas," the general said. "China is looking beyond a potential Taiwan contingency and is pursuing capabilities needed to become a major regional power. The navy already operates a large surface fleet, an increasingly modern submarine fleet, and increasingly appears likely to pursue an aircraft carrier development program. The air force is developing an extended-range, land-attack cruise-missile-capable bomber."
If that is not troubling enough, China is working to make its nuclear ICBM force more survivable meaning it is gaming how to win an all-out war with the United States.
China's defense budget has grown to nearly $200 billion. While it may be less than half the U.S.'s, Beijing's cost for some items, particular personnel, is much less than the Pentagon's. It is focusing on dominating one theater southeast Asia while Washington must budget money to defend multiple regions.
The DIA says Russia has committed $200 billion in 2007-2015 to build new conventional and nuclear weapons. It continues to export advanced arms to U.S. adversaries Syria, Iran and Venezuela, creating more headaches for a stretched U.S. military.
"Perceived Western encroachment into its claimed areas of interest and Islamic or insurgent threats along its periphery are driving Russias current military activities and modernization efforts," Maples said.
-- Mr. Scarborough is a national security writer who has written books on Donald Rumsfeld and the CIA, including the New York Times bestseller Rumsfeld's War.
Bump for later reading.
Barack “Delilah” Obama.
With socialized health care, demand will be infinite and defense spending would drop by half and we would be in extreme peril.
I am living in some other dimension, I guess.
I clearly remember Carter and Clinton doing exactly the same thing, while the Chinese and Russians kept the pedal to the metal on their military building!
Seems no one else remembers this but me. I mean, we sure don’t hear about it, that’s for sure!
(Army ‘constant budget cut survivor,’ ‘77-’97)
All according to plan, Komrades.
And will be cutting funding for the F-35 JSF. No worries.
Repeat after me:
obama is all we need...obama is all we need...obama is all we need...
There is a difference that Mr Scarborough ignores. CHINA is building up. Russia is struggling to stay afloat. Not to mention having to keep an army on the Chinese border.
Modern weapons costs big money. Total GDP for all Russia, oil money included, is less then the GDP of California. And California is broke even without buying nuke submarines.
The Democratic destruction of the military bookmark.
Why did Bush ever appoint Gates his secretary of defense? He’s done nothing but provide cover for Hussein. Gates is the one recommending these cuts, and Hussein gets to say, “I have to trust Bush’s Secretary of Defense in these matters.”
Just another piece of evidence (if any more were needed) that Barack Hussein Obama is anti-American.
Russia is about to debut its new 5th generation fighter, the Su-50 PAK-FA (late this year or early next year). China will debut the J-12 in 2012.
Russia is doing alot better than you think. They wrote their defense overlays BEFORE oil even hit $50/bbl, and they have been building up over the Putin years and continue to do so.
To be added to or removed from this list, please FReepmail me...
Also ping to Jeffhead for your China list.
Russia and China have been holding joint war games every other year since 2005. The next one is scheduled for this summer...
 Russia, China plan new joint military exercises
By MARTIN SIEFF, UPI Senior News Analyst
Published: March 26, 2009
WASHINGTON, March 26 (UPI) -- The continuing tensions over Russia's refusal to sell its state-of-the-art land warfare advanced weapons systems to China hasn't interrupted the rhythm of major joint military exercises between the two major land powers on the Eurasian landmass. The latest in the regular, biennial series of exercises between the two nations has been confirmed for this summer.
The next in the now well-established series of exercises called Peace Mission 2009 will be carried out in northeastern China, the Russian Defense Ministry announced March 18, according to a report carried by the RIA Novosti news agency.
The first bilateral Peace Mission maneuvers -- described at the time as counter-terrorism exercises -- were held in Russia and the eastern Chinese province of Shandong in August 2005. As we reported at that time, they were a lot bigger than mere counter-terrorism exercises. Warships, squadrons of combat aircraft and more than 10,000 troops were involved carrying out landings against hypothetically hostile shores. The maneuvers also involved large-scale paratroops drops. The scale and nature of those exercises suggested a trial run for a possible Chinese invasion of Taiwan with Russian support. ..."
Russia, China flex muscles in joint war games
August 17, 2007
CHEBARKUL, Russia (Reuters) - Russia and China staged their biggest joint exercises on Friday but denied this show of military prowess could lead to the formation of a counterweight to NATO.
"Today's exercises are another step towards strengthening the relations between our countries, a step towards strengthening international peace and security, and first and foremost, the security of our peoples," Putin said.
Fighter jets swooped overhead, commandos jumped from helicopters on to rooftops and the boom of artillery shells shook the firing range in Russia's Ural mountains as two of the largest armies in the world were put through their paces.
The exercises take place against a backdrop of mounting rivalry between the West, and Russia and China for influence over Central Asia, a strategic region that has huge oil, gas and mineral resources.
Russia's growing assertiveness is also causing jitters in the West. Putin announced at the firing range that Russia was resuming Soviet-era sorties by its strategic bomber aircraft near NATO airspace.
War Games: Russia, China Grow Alliance
September 23, 2005
In foreign policy its critical to know thine enemy. So American policymakers should be aware that Russia and China are inching closer to identifying a common enemy the United States.
The two would-be superpowers held unprecedented joint military exercises Aug. 18-25. Soothingly named Peace Mission 2005, the drills took place on the Shandong peninsula on the Yellow Sea, and included nearly 10,000 troops. Russian long-range bombers, the army, navy, air force, marine, airborne and logistics units from both countries were also involved.
Moscow and Beijing claim the maneuvers were aimed at combating terrorism, extremism and separatism (the last a veiled reference to Taiwan), but its clear they were an attempt to counter-balance American military might.
Joint war games are a logical outcome of the Sino-Russian Friendship and Cooperation Treaty signed in 2001, and reflect the shared worldview and growing economic ties between the two Eastern Hemisphere giants."
From the Sino-Russian Joint Statement of April 23, 1997:
"The two sides [China and Russia] shall, in the spirit of partnership, strive to promote the multipolarization of the world and the establishment of a new international order."
From the Russian News and Information Agency:
July 27, 2006
"'I am determined to expand relations with Russia,' Chavez, known as an outspoken critic of what he calls the United States' unilateralism, told the Russian leader, adding that his determination stemmed from their shared vision of the global order.":
Venezuela Set to Develop Nuclear Power With Russia
September 29, 2008
CARACAS, Venezuela President Hugo Chavez said Sunday that Russia will help Venezuela develop nuclear energy a move likely to raise U.S. concerns over increasingly close cooperation between Caracas and Moscow.
Venezuela's Chavez welcomes Russian warships
Nov 25, 2008
LA GUAIRA, Venezuela Russian warships arrived off Venezuela's coast Tuesday in a show of strength aimed at the United States as Moscow seeks to expand its influence in Latin America. The deployment is the first of its kind in the Caribbean since the Cold War and was timed to coincide with President Dmitry Medvedev's visit to Caracas the first ever by a Russian president.
More Yahoo search results for Russia and Venezuela connections:
From National Public Radio (NPR):
August 29, 2006
"Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has been visiting countries such as China, Iran and Russia as part of an effort to build a 'strategic alliance' of interests not beholden to the United States. He considers the United States his arch enemy.":
Russia's Medvedev hails "comrade" Obama
Associated Foreign Press (AFP) ^ | April 2, 2009 | Anna Smolchenko
"Russia's Dmitry Medvedev hailed Barack Obama as "my new comrade" Thursday after their first face-to-face talks"
April 1, 2009:
"Obama, Medvedev pledge new era of relations":
Obama, Chavez shake hands at Americas Summit:
Thanks for the ping, btw.
Looks like an interesting article. I’ll read it tomorrow.
>>>and they have been building up over the Putin years and continue to do so.
Not so much really. A couple of subs that were laid down under the USSR finally have been completed. Twenty years or thereabouts to build what Electric Boat builds in two. Meanwhile the submarine force shrinks as the old hulks become unserviceable and the missiles exceed their shelf life.
Der Spiegel did an interesting piece on the obsolescent nature of the Russian military.
Part 2: Pulling the Wool over the Publics Eyes
According to the dossier, the army has taken delivery on only 90 outdated tanks in the last seven years, all from the countrys only remaining tank factory, in the Ural Mountains region. Experts ridicule the much-touted T-95, which has been talked about for 15 years, as a fiction.
During former President Vladimir Putins term in office, the air force received only two new Su-34 fighter-bombers, and the Su-35 fighter jet, unveiled last year as a new model, is in fact a close cousin of an aircraft that was already airborne during former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachevs first year in office, 1985. According to the Belkovsky report, Russian designers are no less than 20 years behind their US counterparts in the development of their fifth-generation fighter jets.
Only 50 percent of all aircraft and helicopters nationwide are in operation, and the Russian military will experience a shortfall of 4,500 aircraft next year when outdated equipment is removed from service.
14:39 | 06/ 02/ 2009
MOSCOW, February 6 (RIA Novosti) - At least 200 MiG-29 Fulcrum fighters, or 70% of the total in service with the Russian Air Force, are too old to take to the skies, a Russian business daily said on Friday citing military experts.
Following a MiG-29 crash in East Siberia last December, the Defense Ministry admitted for the first time that Russia’s MiG-29 fleet was mostly outdated and not capable of performing combat duties
It took Ronald Reagan to grasp the essential truth of the Soviet military. They couldn’t afford it. They still can’t, but they bluff better then anybody.
China can afford it.
“under President Putin, the Russian leadership increasingly acted as though an improving military supported its foreign policies and conveyed the image of an active global power capable of asserting it national interests. It also supported the leaders domestic political position. In 2002 Dmitry Rogozin, the chairman of the foreign affairs committee a member of a pro-Putin faction in the Duma, stated that Russia had only two reliable alliesthe Russian army and the Russian navy. Many others in the Duma have called for renewed increases in Russian military spending as the only way to guarantee respect for Russia in international affairs.
After nearly a decade of declining activity, the Russian military began to exercise its forces in mission areas it believes were essential for deterrence, global reach and rapid reaction. Open source reporting confirmed that ground force exercise activity in 2003 doubled that of 2002; training for use of non-strategic nuclear forces continued; and Russia desired to have the ability for its Navy and Air Force to operate globally, as evidenced in their joint exercises in the Indian and Pacific Oceans in 2003.
By 2006 Russia spent about 2.7 percent of its GDP on defense, about that of advanced European countries. Military leaderss protested that this was far too little to achieve foreign policy professed goals, while civilian leaders resisted militarizing the federal budget or economy as in Soviet times.
In the new millenium, the Russian economy remained very dependent on energy and other extractive sectors, such as timber, precious metals, non-ferrous metals and steel. In 2005 the Russian economy continued its sustained steady growth. GDP grew by an estimated 6.4% to $765.5 billion. However, this represented a decline from 7.1% growth in 2004. As in 2004, high world prices for oil and natural gas continue to be the engine behind much of this impressive growth. Russia ended 2006 with its eighth straight year of growth, averaging 6.7% annually since the financial crisis of 1998, while inflation was below 10% for the first time in the past 10 years. Although high oil prices and a relatively cheap ruble initially drove this growth, since 2003 consumer demand and, more recently, investment have played a significant role. The federal budget had run surpluses since 2001 and ended 2006 with a surplus of 9% of GDP. According to 2006 estimates, Russia’s official GDP was $1.746 trillion (purchasing power parity) and $733.6 billion (official exchange rate), compared to the US GDP of $13 trillion.
According to first deputy prime minister, former defence minister (and perhaps next president), Sergei Ivanov, restraining the growth of military expenditure is a matter of deliberate state policy. Speaking in May 2007, he stated that during the next three years the share of the MOD in the budget would hardly change. It had been, and would remain, 2.62.9 per cent of GDP. Russia, he declared, had no intention of returning to an arms race. In Soviet times the share had been 30 per cent of GDP. We dont intend to increase the military budget to such a degree that it becomes a backbreaking burden on the entire economy, on social policy. We shall not step on this rake a second time.
By 2007 the Russian defense budget had almost quadrupled to $31 billion over the previous six years. In 2005 Russian defense spending rose 22 percent, 27 percent in 2006 and analysts estimate that in 2007 it could increase by an additional 30 percent. In 2007 the Russian Government approved a re-armament program through the year 2015 with a $240 billion budget. During the passage of the draft three-year budget thought the State Duma in 2007, amendments boosted social spending, not outlays on the military and security.
As of 2007 there were plans for a significant raise in compensation for military personnel. A 10% readjustment of salaries took place on Jan 1, 2007 according to position and rank; on Dec 1, 2007 another adjustment of 15% will take place, with a subsequent increase of 608.33 rubles (cost of food rations per month). As a result the amounts received by military personnel in cash will increase significantly. For example between Dec 2007 and Dec 2008 a regiment commander will receive 20,503 rubles; this includes the added food ration cost (whereas in Jan 2005 he would have received 11,261 rubles); a battalion commander will receive 17,101 rubles (vs. 9,284 rubles in Jan 2005), and a squadron commander will receive 14,792 rubles vs. 7,847 rubles. At the same time will food rations and board will remain unchanged. Further pay increases for military personnel are planned for 2008-2010: an increase of 15% beginning Sept 2008, and another of 6.8% beginning Aug 1, 2009. The amount provided in lieu of food rations is also subject to inflation adjustment.
In 2005 the average pension sum for persons discharged from the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation was 4,200 rubles; by 2009-2010 through annual increases this amount shall reach 7,500 rubles. In 2008 the federal government will spend 173.3 bln. rubles to pay the pensions of retired military personnel, which is an 18% compared with 2007. In 2009 and 2010 this amount will rise to 211.8 bln. and 245.5 bln., respectively.
In 2008 the federal government planned to set aside 8.3 bln. rubles in mortgage payments toward housing military personnel; this figure will rise to 11.7 bln. in 2009 and 14.2 bln. in 2010. The amount of down payment amount will rise from 40,600 to 82,800 rubles in 2007; amount paid on the mortgage will be adjusted annually using a deflator index. As of 2007 54,700 individuals were participating in the program; this figure will grow to reach 82,700 service men and women in 2008, and 178,400 by 2010. The federal budget for 2008 includes additional funds that make it possible to provide all members of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation with permanent housing by 2010, and service housing by 2012. Service members of other federal agencies that require military service will receive permanent housing by 2011 and service housing by 2013. In 2008-2010 a total of 156.2 bln. rubles will be appropriated to this end, including 36.5 bln. in 2008, which is double the 2007 amount.
Russia’s Defense Ministry would spend around one trillion rubles ($40 bln) of federal budget funds in 2008. “The Defense Ministry will spend a little less than one trillion rubles in 2008, which is about 20% more than last year,” Deputy Defense Minister Lyubov Kudelina said on 26 February 2008. She also said that in 2008-10, military spending would account for 15.5-16% of aggregate federal budget expenditure. Kudelina did not say how much would be spent this year on the procurement of new military hardware, but last year’s figure was over 300 billion rubles ($12 billion), 20% higher than in 2006. Russia has downsized its Armed Forces to about 1.1 million personnel, but military spending has increased dramatically under President Putin. Defense spending was set to total 1.18 trillion rubles ($45 billion) by 2010.
Russia will boost defense spending 26 percent to a post-Soviet record in 2009 as it adds weapons and raises salaries, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said 11 September 2008. Defense spending, including arms purchases and pay raises, will reach 1.28 trillion rubles ($50 billion) in 2009, Kudrin told lawmakers in Moscow. Kudrin said the new weapons component of the budget will advance 30 percent, though he declined to give exact figures because that information is classified by the military. The increase was approved before the conflict with Georgia, said Kudrin, who is also a deputy prime minister. As of March 2007 total national defence spending for 2009 had been slated to reach only 1.053 trillion rubles.
Russia’s budget spending on state defense orders will amount to 1.2 trillion rubles ($46.8 billion) in 2009, first deputy prime minister Sergei Ivanov said on 12 September 2008. The spending figure is outlined in the Russian budget for 2009-2011 which was due to be considered by Russia’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma, on September 19. The three-year budget envisaged additional spending of 170 billion rubles ($6.63 billion) in comparison to previous annual programs.”
Russian Military Budget
Russia: Military (main page):
“Modern weapons costs big money.”
Except in China were all defense and many other manufacturing plants are owned by the PLA. And except China were labor costs ar a fraction of ours.
They spend 200 billion, but what they buy, compared to to US, is many times what we get for the same money.
Perhaps knowing what a Carter-like commie Hussein is, Bush appointed Gates because Gates is sympathic to Husseins agenda. Had Bush appointed a really smart guy, Hussein would have just thrown him out and replaced the Sec Def. with some one like, maybe, Dennis Kusinich.
Just a theory.
And we will begin ramping up the Hussein Air Superiority Fighter - a really cheaply made plane - modeled after the Sopwith Camel, but with a better paint job...
Hussein and Gate are killing the USAF and the Navy/Marines is next. Last to go will be the US Army. Then we move to the all manditory, but strictly voluntary, service where people between ages 18-35 are selected in a lottery by a special board in each state to man the Civilian National Security Force.
Plenty of jobs for those restless yoots. (maybe the only jobs).
Remember that the amount spent on defense goes MUCH further in countries such as Russia and China. You would have to take the figure spent over there and multiply by 8-10 to get the same effectiveness over here. This has to do with pork, paying the people to do the job (An American worker makes 10x the wages of a Russian or Chinese one), and other inefficiencies. So, even though Russia and China spend a lot less on defense on paper, they are getting MUCH more bang for their buck.
Priorities man! He's got his priorities!
The two things Democrats in power always do, Cut Defense Spending and Raise Taxes.
It’s in their DNA, just like Lying.
Same goes for Russia. The Russian government owns all of the weapons manufacturing plants and skims off of both oil and weapons sales to fund the military besides the defense budget.
And, in Russia, Labor costs are also a fraction of what they are in the US.