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

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

  1. AndrewS
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    AndrewS Senior Member
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    But it wasn't overreach, until the EU/USA challenged Russia in Ukraine. Now that interference has left Russia, Ukraine, EU and the USA all worse off than at the beginning.

    Russia could have expected the EU/USA to respect Russian influence in Ukraine, because now Russia has been forced into the arms of China, which is a far greater long-term strategic challenge to the USA and Europe.
     
    #11 AndrewS, Nov 5, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2017
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  2. plawolf
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    Oh come on, it’s a bit rich to say Russia is ‘overreacting’ when it reacts to western instigated regime change to install a pro-western and rabidly anti-Russian regime in a neighbouring state.

    Would you say the US is overrating or overreaching if it reacts to Russia and/or China toppling the government’s of Mexico and/or Canada to put in place anti-American puppet states?

    Cause and effect are reversed. Which cake first? The West’s regime change in Ukraine and it’s attempt in Syria or Russian electoral interference with western elections?

    And with Trump in the White House and doing ‘tremendous’ damage to US reputation and global standing with every tweet and
    speech, it is also hard to argue that Russian electoral interference has not been effective.

    As for the long game, well America’s European allies are hardly falling over themselves to splash out on arms to prepare to fight the ‘evil red commie Russians’ are they? With the UK set to dive head first over the hard Brexit cliff (a calamity of a decision also potentially decisively influcenced by Russian money and other forms of interference), the most hawkish and pro-American voice is removing itself from the EU decision making process. So if anything, Europe is increasingly a liability to the US, draining resources to face down the Russians since the Europeans have little interest in confronting Russia when as far as most Europeans are concerned, Russia is not the one going out of its way to make trouble.

    With China’s rise drawing more and more US resources and attention away from Europe towards the Pacific, as well as Russia being a key component of China’s Belt and Road economic initiative set to tie all of Central Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe together into a vast economic block, Russia’s long term prospects doesn’t look nearly as bad as you make it out to be.
     
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  3. Jeff Head
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    Jeff Head General
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    Continuation of discussion on Type 055 Thread.
     
  4. Janiz
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    Janiz Junior Member

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    Well, you should check your facts because US shifted their military business more towards Central Europe with the backbone being Bulgaria-Romania-Poland line in the recent years. It's true they don't mind the Western Europe like they did in the past and you're still living in the Cold War era way of thinking about Europe. Those countries are moving forward fast on economic level and they never had it as good as it is now in their recent history. And US military presence there is more then welcomed because US Army soldiers there mean in case of open conflict with Russia (who else is there?) they US won't sit around and do nothing. It seems like US want to get rid of Germany with their non-stop bitching about this, that and nurture more decentralized Europe out of Paris-Berlin traditional relationship in the past 60 or so years.

    As for Ukraine - it's a flawed state indeed. Russia just don't want to see NATO troops some 300 km away from Moscow in case of Ukraine becoming a fully independent state because they will turn towards west as Russia has nothing to offer on any level. So it's logical that if there's NATO troops around, it should be in Poland and Baltic states at best. Can you blame Ukrainians for that? Millions of them moved abroad recently (after the Donbass conflict started) and they can see with their own eyes in what state their country is being in Russian sphere of influence. They realize that they had more potential and were better off than, let's say, Poland in 1990 but now countries like I mentioned are enjoying huge success, mean more and more on European stage while Ukraine became a piss-poor, god-forgotten flawed state in the past 25 years. Ukrainians know for sure that's the effect of opening to the Western Europe and getting rid of mainly Russian influence they had in the past as nothing good comes out of that. What will you tell them - don't get into others affairs and obey the stronger with your protectionists? The same goes for Georgia.

    You're living in the past with your outdated views on Russia. It's not a superpower like it was just 30 years ago. They're at their lowest point in the past 400 years and the future isn't too bright for them. They can't decide about anything else than what's going on around it's borders as the times when they could realy take over all of Europe on military level are long gone (though it was still possible when Mr Putin started his career for example).

    You're getting the 'pivot' idea wrong in the basics - it's not 'out of Europe and into Pacific' but it's 'out of Middle East and into Pacific'. US is shifting their affairs in Europe like I wrote above but it's surely not leaving Europe.
     
  5. longmarch
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    longmarch Junior Member
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    Complaining about interference is just democrats throwing tantrums over their election loss, while boasting US being an open society. Countries interfere with each other all the time. Don't tell me US didn't interfere with Russian politics.

    I think Putin is just being Russian. I don't have the exact quote but I think he said recently that being Russian means you are willing to take a loss when defending yourself, something like that. That's why people say don't poke the bear. That's an image they want to impress, even at weak times. I think Putin did it well as a true geopolitical master, given the resources they have. It's a price they are willing to pay.

    Ukraine to Russia is probably similar to NK to China. When US pushed its troops deep into NK, China had no choice but to react, even though China was much weaker and loss was all but certain to be astronomical for a newly founded government.

    What happens to Libya, Syria and Ukraine is EU shooting their own feet by blindly following US. Not for those stupid moves around Mediterranean, UK might have stayed in EU. They should thank Putin for stopping things going to the worse.

    What happened in Ukraine was extraordinary and Putin did the unthinkable by his opponents. US weak hands were over confident and end up with a loss for Ukraine and Europe. Maybe they just don't care.

    What Putin did in Syria was also remarkable. He waited until Europe turned the tide towards immigration before committing military resources, that's strategic patience. To this day I still admire his confidence and wonder how long he would have waited had ISIS didn't launch those stupid terrorist attacks in Europe. Had he interfered too early in Syria, for sure those ideological minded European leaders would impose more sanctions against Russia, which can only degrade the situation. Compared with what Putin has done, those European leaders are still in their kindergarten.

    Now back to China. Of course military spending to GDP ratio matters. It's a measurement of your perceived threat and an indicator of your strategy. China has made it's intention clear, that is to modernize its military and have a military that matches its economic status, which is world's second largest economy.

    China's economy is well above 10 trillion US$, a 2% spending would make it well over 200 billion. China's economy is close to two thirds of US economy, matching US spending level would make it around 400 billion. In reality it's more around 150 billion.

    China also stated its goal is to have a modernized military by 2035. By that time China's economy would be on par with US. I don't think this is a goal that aggressive that requires build up at arms race level.

    In the last a couple of days there has been some fanfare in Chinese media about conventional powered EM CAT. It's all but certain that China's next carrier after Shandong will be such a one. What this tells you is that China cares more about doing things right for the longer term, rather than following some short term buildup schedule. This is strategic confidence and patience.

    Now, from the stand point of a small European country with few traditional external threat, building 4 055 at the same time might be excessive. But remember that China is situated in one of the most geopolitically complicated region in the world. China has been patient and playing catch-up. Now it's just a time of China being ready to follow through its stated moderate goal, and whatever message it sends, is simply a byproduct. It's true that few country has this kind of capacity, and US may want to play it up to form some kind of anti-China alliance. But it remains to be seen how many countries would blindly follow other than Japan. Don't make the same mistake as the Europeans.
     
  6. Janiz
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    Janiz Junior Member

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    lol, I don't know what you're reading but all that Russia was able to do to prevent Ukraine going pro-EU was a war and getting parts of Donbass out of Ukraine. Russia lost governemnt in Kiyev, EU and US got few houndreds km closer to Moscow while Russian damage control was able to revert that by 100-200 km away at best. Given their current situation that might be a good result but they probably won't be able to revert those changes. In Kiyev resides pro-Western government, they got huge EU backing in expertise and some money (first aim is to improve infrastrucutre - roads and rails). Russia can't buy any more love as there's simply no money for that.

    But the bigger loss for Russia is growing Poland. They will face huge demographical problems soon with waning population - but they (and other Central European countries) strongly opposed taking immigrants from North Africa/Middle East. Instead they took up more than a million (!) of Ukranians as the workforce to counter it. Fellow Slavs living in the same culture for centuries is perfect way for them comapred to Germany/France/UK, isn't it? Even the language is similar. At the same time they managed to keep unemployment levels on the record low figures (compare those numbers to Italy or Spain if you would like to). They took a great strive to get themselves out of situation where they were 100% dependent on Russian natural gas etc. They started imprting it straight from Arab countries and now, together with Denmark they're starting the project of Baltic Pipe to get it from Norway to diversify it even more. It was strongly opposed by Germany but it looks like it will happen after all. Some ignorant people think that Russia is seen as a gateway for China into Europe - well, it might take a part of the cake but probably only a small portion of it. The project of Via Carpatia (you should google it!) already started with contracts to build it. It will connect Baltic countries (Baltic Sea) through Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Greece up to the Bosphorus. Not that bad, isn't it? Plus a buffer in the form of the 'new' Ukraine.

    So it's time to start thinking about Europe different from what it was 15-20 years ago - wealthy Western Europe and other poor states at the end of the world. Central Europe wasn't sleeping and they made good effort to get their standards up. They're great benefactors of the current European economic system and don't want to change it for now. There are countries within EU itself who don't like this idea (like Germany mainly as EU was their creation) but it's pretty stable for better or worse.

    It seems like US started to notice that and would like that to see in the coming future. The recent unprecedented US Army deployment in that part of Europe shows that they want to adapt to changes in this part of the world. PRC stands on the backlines as it's secondary target for their geopolitical position. After all it plays for the great when US is the world's policeman as they don't have to dirty their hands where the objectives are common.

    So please, take notice of the changing world as it's not ending in SCS, Korean Peninsula or Sino-Indian border.
     
  7. delft
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    delft Brigadier

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    Immediately after the war US with half of the World's industry sought to contain the Soviet Union or even conquer it. So despite the huge loss of industry USSR built a conventional and nuclear deterrent. It took time. Until the mid-fifties ordinary reconnaissance aircraft flew over Eastern Europe and parts of USSR to be followed by U-2 aircraft. US won suzerainty over West European countries by means of the Marshall Plan ( I recently saw a comparison of Marshall Plan and BRI! ) and put them into NATO, using violence in Greece. In South Korea they installed the bloody dictator Singman Rhee. Soviet Union and from 1955 Warsaw Pact was always weaker than NATO and much too weak to conquer Western Europe. And if it had conquered Western Europe what would have been the advantage? It wasn't 1870 any more.
     
  8. delft
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    delft Brigadier

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    The first aim is to reduce corruption and that isn't going well at all. Ukraine is still as bad as Russia under Yeltsin.
     
  9. AndrewS
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    AndrewS Senior Member
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    Just a few comments.

    As of October 2017, China's GDP is 12.5 Trillion USD at current exchange rates, rather than the 10 Trillion USD mentioned.
    Plus in terms of actual output, China's economy is $23 Trillion USD at PPP exchange rates.

    In Asia, outside of Japan, only President Aquino of the Philippines blindly followed the USA. Yet his successor has completely reversed course. In general, the countries in Asia recognise that China is already more important than the USA in many ways, and has the potential to be so much larger that it displaces the USA. So there is a lot of hedging and balancing behaviour ref China-USA.
     
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  10. AndrewS
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    AndrewS Senior Member
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    The Russian invasion of Ukraine has made NATO membership impossible. That is now strategic fact.

    Yes, an independent Ukraine would be better off as part of the European Union in the long-run, as Russia can't match what the EU could provide. But will that ever happen? If that was ever to proceed, Russia would just start up the war again.

    Yes, in the long-run Russia is a slowly declining power. The smart thing would have to been to indulge them, but now Russia has been forced to align with China.

    And in terms of the changing world, remember that Asia has recently grown to encompass significantly more economic activity than the US+Europe combined. Yet Asia is still a fast growing region which has the potential to grow much larger.
     
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