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MigBuster

Military rich list - wonder who spends the most!

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Moscow: Last year, the three nations with the world's biggest military expenses were the United States ($547 billion), the United Kingdom ($59.7 billion) and China ($58.3 billion).

 

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) published these figures in its 2008 annual report. There are other estimates, but they are not radically different. Many research organizations and the media tend to base their comparison of countries' military might on their defense budgets, although their estimates are often disputed, sometimes by the objects of their studies.

 

Although such comparisons are very relative, they are a point of departure for analyzing the military potentialities of different countries. Reports of international institutions which study the strategy and national military potentials, such as the London-based Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS) and SIPRI, are considered the most accurate.

 

Only recently, China's defense budget was a little over $20 billion. What stands behind its leap in military expenses? What war machine will it have in the future? Many countries, above all China's next-door neighbors, are interested in answers to these questions.

 

The growing economy is the main catalyst of China's boosting military potentialities. Its industrialized export-oriented economy (China is increasingly becoming the world's producer of absolutely everything - from man-made flowers to cars) requires adequate military protection.

 

Despite successes in the last few decades, China's armed forces are still rather backward, which is another incentive for increasing military spending. Its ground forces are relatively numerous but it does not have enough modern military hardware; its army air defense system is weak, and its artillery is insufficiently mobile. The same is true of China's air force. Most of its combat aircraft are copies of Soviet war planes of the 1950s. The number of modern aircraft is negligible.

 

Moreover, China's industry is not developed enough to produce modern aircraft independently. It cannot manufacture a number of important aggregates at the level of the leading aircraft-building powers.

 

Thus, its engines for combat aircraft are still below their Western and Russian counterparts in economic fuel consumption and overhaul period. In order to close the gap, China will have to make considerable investments, primarily to modernize its industry. China's airlift force is also weak. It does not have enough medium and heavy military transport aircraft.

 

The development of the navy in China is impeded not only by its rather backward industry but also by the fleet's second-rate role in its military potential. As distinct from the majority of industrially advanced countries, China's fleet is not an independent branch but part of its People's Liberation Army (PLA).

 

This subordinate position, that is, orientation to army tasks, limits the Chinese fleet to coastal missions. It primarily operates in territorial waters and a 200 mile-long economic zone.

 

For actions in the open sea, China has a very limited number of multi-purpose nuclear-powered submarines and shore-based Xian H-6 (Tu-16 licensed copy) missile-carrier aircraft. But this situation is changing, and the PLA's navy is expected to receive its first aircraft-carriers in the coming decade. Escorted by an adequate number of frigates or destroyers, they will be able to operate in far-away waters.

 

As other nuclear powers, China's strategy is largely based on the nuclear deterrent. At present, it is equipping its nuclear forces with new DF-31A missiles, which can destroy targets at a distance of 11,000 km.

 

It is also introducing into its fleet nuclear-powered missile carriers of the 094 type, which are harder to detect than their predecessors (092-type submarines) and equipped with JL-2 missiles capable of hitting targets on other continents.

 

Experts believe that all in all, China now has 300-400 nuclear charges. This amount is much below the Russian or U.S. potentials but the situation is gradually changing.

 

On the whole, China's armed forces are capable of carrying out any regional missions, but in strategic potentialities (that is, in nuclear deterrent, and ability to transfer troops over considerable distances) they are lagging behind even their Russian counterpart, which is not at its prime at the moment, to say nothing of the United States.

 

This situation is most likely to remain the same in the next 10 to 15 years. After all, China is not going to have tough military confrontation with anyone.

 

The opinions expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.

 

 

from Article

Edited by MigBuster

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Interesting article...thanks! I was surprised by how much the UK spends...I thought it was significantly less.

 

Also, before anyone makes a big deal about the amount of money spent by the US on defense...spending as a percentage of GDP (gross domestic product) is around 4%...which is roughly 'slightly above average' in terms of world numbers in percentage. And is still lower than at almost anytime in the last century (the exception being the mid to late 1990s).

 

In other words...we spend a lot...but we make a lot...

 

FastCargo

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but we make a lot...

FastCargo

 

 

And owe a helluva lot more to.....(drum roll)......CHINA ! :biggrin:

Edited by Atreides

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Really,what does China have to worry about?

If anybody starts anything with them,they also would have to deal with WalMart,Home Depot,Lowes,etc

 

:rofl:

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Interesting article...thanks! I was surprised by how much the UK spends...I thought it was significantly less.

we've got a no. of major acquisition projects on the go (Typhoon, JSF, Astute class SSNs, 2 new largish carriers etc.) not to mention the costs of all the services having a far larger % of forces actively deployed than normal peacetime operations & all the associated additional costs that go with that.

Still, I notice that the article is marked Moscow & yet Russia isn't mentioned despite them seriously cranking up their rearming ...

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Interesting article...thanks! I was surprised by how much the UK spends...I thought it was significantly less.

 

Also, before anyone makes a big deal about the amount of money spent by the US on defense...spending as a percentage of GDP (gross domestic product) is around 4%...which is roughly 'slightly above average' in terms of world numbers in percentage. And is still lower than at almost anytime in the last century (the exception being the mid to late 1990s).

 

In other words...we spend a lot...but we make a lot...

 

FastCargo

 

You're right. Whilst higher than "the average", the US have a lot of operations to cover, what committments does China have? China MASSIVE increase in spending recently seems to have no justification. Dig a little deeper and you will see that the Chinese think the last 300 odd years of European/US dominance is an abberation, and that they will regain their place as numero uno. Remember, they had a bureaucracy when we were still wearing bearskins...

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