Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Keeping an Eye on the Long Game: Part LXXXV

It will be at least a year, more likely two, until we have a firm grip on the impact the mountain of immeasurable debt the USA and other nations have been burdened with due to COVID-19.

This is a completely new environment we are all simply going to have to work our way through.

Regular readers here have been reading and discussing the "Terrible 20s" for over a decade, but I did not predict this event to throw on top of it. It will be worse than we think. 

The easiest thing to know now is 355 for the USN - a near run thing anyway - is simply not going to happen. Where will we wind up in 2030? Somewhere between 240 and 270 is my bet.

Where will the rising power China be? Their plans will see an unexpected headwind, but let's look at where we thought they were going just under a month ago before COVID-19 hit. It is still good to get a Pre-COVID-19 Chinese naval modernization snapshot at the economic high water mark for both nations.

If you are a numbers guy, no need to get worried now about the PLAN being larger than the USN - especially on their side of the Pacific, we passed that point half a decade ago.

This kind of says it all;

Read it all, there is a lot of good stuff in the China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities—Background and Issues for Congress.

Numbers are not everything. They still have a lot of structural and cultural problems, but you cannot dismiss their effort, drive, and desire. They are coming at us and are just waiting for the right time and place for their coming out party.

We still have an edge, but there's no slack left. Some of their weaknesses are right opposite some of our strengths. Regardless of numbers, that won't change;
Although China’s naval modernization effort has substantially improved China’s naval capabilities in recent years, China’s navy currently is assessed as having limitations or weaknesses in certain areas, including joint operations with other parts of China’s military, antisubmarine warfare (ASW), long-range targeting, and a lack of recent combat experience. China is working to reduce or overcome such limitations and weaknesses.12 Although China’s navy has limitations and weaknesses, it may nevertheless be sufficient for performing missions of interest to Chinese leaders. As China’s navy reduces its weaknesses and limitations, it may become sufficient to perform a wider array of potential missions
The Terrible 20s are here. Better get smart, because you're not going to get fat.

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