Suppose China's military spending was for "offensive" purposes. What would it say? What fraction, 10% or 90%?
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Nuclear Bananas and Russia's Tocsin
"China's military said that it needs to be stronger to face containment abroad and separatist threats at home, even as it said that relations with long-time rival Taiwan had improved. ... But despite that improvement in what has been its biggest potential hot spot, defense officials said China needs to continue to invest more in equipment, salaries and logistics to modernize its army and to fend off other threats to national unity, including separatists in Tibet and in energy-rich Xinjiang. ... China says its military budget is purely for defensive purposes and that while spending has accelerated in recent years, it's still a fraction of what the U.S. spends", Shai Oster at the WSJ, 21 January 2009.
"Critics--often labeled 'traditionalists' or 'conservatives'--concede that irregular warfare will occur more frequently in the future that interstate war. But they conclude that such conflicts do not threaten U.S. strategic interests in the way large-scale conflicts do. They fear that the Long War school's focus on small wars will transform the Army into a constabulary force", Mackubin Owens at the WSJ, 27 January 2009.
"Even as these words are written, the [US] is embracing collective suicide. I am not talking about the economic crisis. I am referring to Barack Obama's foreign policy, which promises to fulfill Nietzsche's prophecy regarding the future dominance of Russia. As reported by the major media, President Obama has set out to eliminate most of America's nuclear arsenal. We're talking about bombs mounted on intercontinental rockets that can travel anywhere on earth and wipe out hardened military targets. We are talking about weapons that can reduce an Army to radiated debris, sink fleets, and devastate cities. These are the decisive weapons of our time--terrible and awesome. ... On their side the Russians are eager to encourage U.S. disarmament. A few weeks ago a Russian general, talking on the radio, publicly advises the Kremlin to take a more soothing stance toward the Americans. Half the American nuclear arsenal doesn't work, he said, and the other half is seriously neglected. ... If Russia lays low and avoids stunts like the recent incursion into Georgia, then Russia might enjoy the dominant positioon. President Obama wants a nuclear arms reduction agreement. All Russia has to do is to sign the agrement and ignore its requirements. This is what the Russians have already done. ... As it turns out, arms reduction is too sexy. It is something that flabby and vapid people cannot resist. ... Once I heard an American senator say that a few dozen such weapons would destroy the planet. Such childish notions are not believed by Russian generals, or by those who've bothered to study the rational use of these weapons. ... If you think in strict strategic terms, nuclear war is perfectly winnable. ... The [US] is headed for disarmament. Who dares raise an alarm against this shameful stupidity?", my emphasis, JR Nyquist (JRN), 6 February 2009 at http://www.financialsense.com/stormwatch/geo/pastanalysis/2009/0206.html.
Count me a "traditionalist". The US should not fight "small" wars. I said the US army is turning into a constabulary before, 14 April 2008, link: http://skepticaltexascpa.blogspot.com/2008/04/us-army-rip.html.
Diane Feinstein made a fool of herself, showing she knows nothing about nuclear weapons, my 15 January 2009 post, link: http://skepticaltexascpa.blogspot.com/2009/01/we-aint-got-no-enemies.html. Russia's military doctrine ever since it developed the MIRVed SS-18 in about 1975, is: there is no nuclear war, but battles with nuclear weapons within a war. I see the Russian general's speech differently. He needed Putin's OK to make it. Why did Czar Putin grant it? To warn us of our strategic inadequacy if Russia and China go to war. Putin wants us, "Hope and Change" President included, on Russia's side and militarily capable. I think Russia sees China as a real threat, not the US. See also my 3 December 2008 post, link: http://skepticaltexascpa.blogspot.com/2008/12/nuclear-bananas.html. In about 1964 Mao told Khruschev China could lose 300 of its 600 million people in a war and still win. That kind of rhetoric is not lost on Czar Putin.