Daily Archives: March 4, 2012

China and Russia Embark on Military Buildup as America Stands Down

Return of the former Soviet Union

and Vladimir Putin

From the Washington Post:

By , Published: February 20

MOSCOW – Less than two weeks before presidential elections, Vladimir Putin laid out his ambitious plans Monday for modernizing and strengthening Russia’s defense forces over the next decade, in the face of a threatening world and a powerful United States.“For Russia to feel secure and for our partners to listen carefully to what our country has to say,” he wrote, Moscow must spend about $775 billion by 2022 for new armaments and a more professional military.
Two weeks before Russia holds its presidential election, hundreds of motorists circled central Moscow to demand that Prime Minister Vladimir Putin allow free elections. Saturday night, pro-Putin motorists hit the streets. (Feb. 19)

“We see zones of instability and artificially maintained, managed chaos emerging,” the current Russian prime minister wrote in a lengthy article that was one of a series of presidential campaign platforms. “Furthermore, we see how some are purposefully provoking such conflicts in the immediate vicinity of Russia’s borders.”

He said Russia’s military response to the U.S. missile defense shield would be “effective and asymmetrical.”

The promise to increase defense spending and modernize Russia’s forces is not new. On Monday, Putin said Russia will put more than 400 intercontinental ballistic missiles into service over the next 10 years, as well as eight nuclear submarines, 600 advanced aircraft, 2,300 tanks and an array of other equipment. Analysts, on the left and right, were skeptical that he can accomplish such a buildup.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/putin-promises-big-russian-buildup/2012/02/20/gIQAzITMPR_story.html

China Boosts Military Spending

China has announced that it will boost military spending by 11.2 per cent this year, in a move likely to cause concern about Beijing’srapid military build-up and stoke regional tensions.The increase was announced on Sunday by Li Zhaoxing, the spokesman for China’s parliament, and will bring official spending on the People’s Liberation Armyto 670.3bn yuan ($110bn) for 2012, after a 12.7 per cent increase last year and a nearly consistent series of double-digit rises across two decades.

“China’s limited military power is for the sake of preserving national sovereignty, security, and territorial integrity- Li Zhaoxing,
Chinese parliamentary spokesman

China’s public budget is widely thought by foreign experts to undercount its real spending on military modernisation, which has unnerved Asian neighbours and drawn repeated calls from the US for China to share more about its intentions.

Li said the world has nothing to fear, and the money spent on the PLA paled in comparison with the Pentagon’s outlays.

“You can see that we have 1.3 billion people with a large land areas and a long coastline, but our outlays on defence are quite low compared to other major countries,” Li said before the annual session of the National People’s Congress, the Communist Party-controlled legislature that will approve the budget.

“China’s limited military power is for the sake of preserving national sovereignty, security, and territorial integrity,” said Li, a former foreign minister. “Fundamentally, it constitutes no threat to other countries.”

Budget ‘tops $100bn’

Asian neighbours have been nervous about Beijing’s expanding military, and this latest double-digit rise could reinforce worries in Japan, India and Southeast Asian nations.

“China’s military capabilities plus its creeping assertiveness, its new kind of aggressiveness in the region, I think those are causes for concern,” Richard Bitzinger, a military expert and senior fellow at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, told Al Jazeera.

“I think what’s most significant, for me at least, is the fact that they finally topped $100bn in defence spending.”

China’s growing military capability has been a growing concern among Asian countries in recent years

Bitzinger said the “ultimate cumulative effect is that it has basically propelled the Chinese into the second largest defence spender in the world, behind the United States”.

Obama has sought to reassure Asian allies that the US will stay a key player in the area, and the Pentagon has said it will “rebalance toward the Asia-Pacific region”.

“China shares its land border with 14 countries; it used to make sense that a country in such a position maintains strong conventional forces,” said Kazuya Sakamoto, a professor at Osaka University in Japan who researches international security.

“But in this nuclear age, it does not really make sense China, a nuclear-armed country, continues to build up its military at such a pace.”

Obama’s proposed budget for the fiscal year of 2013 calls for a Pentagon base budget of $525.4bn, about $5.1bn less than approved for 2012.

China’s defence spending was 1.28 per cent of its gross domestic product in 2011, while the US and Britain both devoted more then two per cent of their economies to their military forces, Li, the Chinese parliament spokesman, said.

Japan and China have disputed over islands each claims in the East China Sea; Vietnam, the Philippines and other nations have challenged Beijing over claims to swathes of the South China Sea that could be rich in oil and gas.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
 http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia-pacific/2012/03/20123453834563438.html

America’s Manchurian Candidate

Obama Response:

START Treaty

Disarming America’s Nuclear Deterrent

Why was he reading this book before he was Elected President? The Post American World?

Any Questions?