World Powers (Incl China) Economic Geo Political Influence and their Military spending

Discussion in 'World Armed Forces' started by FORBIN, Nov 5, 2017.

  1. FORBIN
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    FORBIN Lieutenant General
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    Exact and some still tell me recently there is no arms race :D
     
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  2. AndrewS
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    AndrewS Senior Member
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    But it isn't an arms race :)

    China's military spending is roughly 2% of GDP on the military, which is comparable to the UK or France. Furthermore that level of Chinese military spending has been stable for the past 20+ years to the present day.

    In comparison, the US is currently devoting 3.3% and Russia is over 5%.

    So if it was a real arms race, China would be spending way more.
     
  3. FORBIN
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    FORBIN Lieutenant General
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    I am not agree :) different for Russia GDP inferior...
    France i know... exactly 1.8 % brut with pensions veterans etc... net 1.6 % not enough :mad:

    And each year Chinese Mil Budget increaseof minimum 7 % often 10 since more than a decade.

    Edit : it is not as during Cold war especialy 1980's US and Soviet armies was much more powerful than actual Chinese Army, many weapons and units no comparison a big arms race
     
    #3 FORBIN, Nov 5, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2017
  4. Richard Santos
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    Richard Santos Junior Member
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    Arms race is not a one to one spending contest. One only engage in arms race in the theater that one seeks to doiminate, while making sure one is reasonably protected against the opponent’s retaliation.

    China is still far from being a global military power, and China is only seeking to dominate the west pacific in the narrow sense. The US is a global power, and seeks to maintain dominance in the west pacific in the broader sense, as well as the Indian Ocean, the Mediterranean, and North Atlantic, with sufficient reserves to deploy to establish dominance in any of the world’s other parts on short notice.

    So for the time being China only needs to outspend the part of US defense spending that could be brought to bear in the narrow west pacific without jeopardizing US dominance elsewhere.

    So the % GDP comparison is worthless. China is engaged in an arms race with the US, And China is astutely leveraging the fact that it is still a rising power that has as yet accumulated relatively little commitments outside its own immediate region, and exploiting the fact that as the Long established global power, the US is overstretched with many critical commitments besides its hitherto peaceful contest with China, and much of america’s Military spending can not be brought into play in its contest with China. The last thing China should do is to expand and diversify its global interests too quickly that its interests overlap with many of america’s Interests around the world, and much of americ’s arms investments for other parts of the world would automatically be brought into play.

    While USSR had a weak economy and limited real global interests outside of its immediate environs st the end of WWII, Stalin sought to engage in comprehensive arms rave with the US, seeking to gain parity with the US and contest US supremacy in every theater the USSR can access. This was stalin’s Big geopolitical mistake. For ideological and internal political reasons the USSR could never back away from that overambitious position after stalin’s Death without making it look like world communism is losing ground to the USA. Sticking to a comprehensive arms race that required comparable total military spending eventually brought down the USSR.

    Putin, astute as he might be, appears to have, whether by design or accident, landed himself and Russia in the same trap again. His position require the commitment of a larger percentage of a smaller resource pool than his opponent.

    China, on the other hand, has done a better job, and have hitherto comported itself such that in its disagreement with the world’s premier power, it needs to commit a smaller percentage of its own resource pool than its opponent.
     
    #4 Richard Santos, Nov 5, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2017
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  5. plawolf
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    plawolf Brigadier

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    Good post and generally agree for the most part except the last.

    Russia under Putin has not been trying to engage the West worldwide, but rather it was the west that came knocking on his door.

    In Ukraine, Russia was prepared to play ‘by the rules’ and was winning after Yanukovych agreed to sign with Russia over the rival deal offered by the EU.

    As far as Putin was concerned, it was the west that broke all the rules first when they regime changed Yanukovych immediately afterwards.

    Similarly, Russia felt the West was attacking its own vital interests by trying to regime change Assad, with an eye of removing Russian military bases in Syria.
     
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  6. AndrewS
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    AndrewS Senior Member
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    No, the % of GDP being spent on the military is a relevant indicator of ambition.

    China doesn't currently have dominance in the Western Pacific, just deterrance.

    But China could easily decide to increase military spending to a modest 2.5% of GDP from 2% today. That would accelerate China's ability to deter or dominate the Western Pacific, and would be an indication of an arms race.

    ---

    On Putin, I think he was actually looking to just maintain what influence Russia already had on its immediate neighbours, rather than deliberately get into a global competition with the US and Europe.

    But when the US and Europe started to peel away Russia's neighbours, Russia felt this was a core national security interest and also broke the deal made after the end of the USSR.

    After all, Russia faces a European Union which is economically the same size as the USA, and which is 10x larger than Russia. Ukraine (with 50million people) joining the European Union would have meant the EU sharing a long Russian border. So the EU-Russia economic disparity would be similar to that between the USA-Canada. What does that mean for Russia's economic independence?

    And a Ukraine in the EU would presumably join NATO from a military perspective. European Russia accounts for the vast majority of the population, economy and industrial left. Yet European Russia only has 110 million people and Moscow is only 500km from Ukraine.

    Russia rightly sees this as a strategic threat to its independence.
     
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  7. Richard Santos
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    Richard Santos Junior Member
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    It doesn’t matter how comes he to find himself in this position. Russia can not win from this position.

    When you say the West came to his door to put him in this position, then it must be said he is complicit because he has set Russia’s geopolitical goal (dominance in Ukraine) in a way that inevitably puts Russia in this no win position. He overestimated how much of the old Soviet empire the Russia of today has the capacity to maintain sway over.

    He is trying to outflank the west through election interference and exploiting western state’s domestic political faultlines. But because these have been exposed before they have achieved any decisive effect, I don’t think in the long run these efforts will bail Russia out of the untenable position of being a poor country with weak value added economy and moribund demographic trends that must devote larger percentage of its economy to defense than its rivals just to keep up.
     
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  8. AndrewS
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    AndrewS Senior Member
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    Just 2 points.

    Russia could have maintained influence in Ukraine, if the EU/USA had decided to leave it alone.

    And yes, Russia is trapped now in a competition with the EU/USA. But Russia does have enough nuclear weapons as a trump military card. Russia is losing out from an economic perspective, but they should be able to maintain enough military and economy strength to resist. But now they have no choice but to turn to China, as China doesn't threaten Russia's core heartland in Europe and also doesn't want to see Russia fall.
     
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  9. Richard Santos
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    Richard Santos Junior Member
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    It is more often an indication of rashness, diplomatic failure, defense spending set for the purpose of domestic political grandstanding, and immature geopolitical outlook. The cunningly ambitious with a long term plan would seek to devote less of his economy to the military than his opponent so his opponent exhausts first, unless he is seeking to fight a war he is confident of winning in the near future. Thus At other times it is a relevant indicator of the imminence of war.
     
    #9 Richard Santos, Nov 5, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2017
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  10. Richard Santos
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    Richard Santos Junior Member
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    To expect other to leave you alone when you overreach is the epitome of wishful thinking.
     
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