Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Keeping and eye on the long game: Part XXII

"The oceans are our lifelines. If commerce were cut off, the economy would plummet,"
Who said that? Mahan, Churchill? Nope.
...says Ni Lexiong, a fellow at the Shanghai National Defense Institute and an outspoken proponent of Chinese sea power. "We need a strong navy."
Growth is the key.
China says it will spend nearly $45 billion on its military this year, an increase of about 18% from 2006.
18% a year means you double about every 4 years.
China has 76 main surface combatants and no carriers, according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies. The Chinese fleet is also untested in modern naval warfare.
Be careful. Be very careful. Outside of benign Carrier and SSN ops, so are we.

This whole WSJ article gives a solid executive summary of why a navy is critical to China in the 21st Century. It is also a reminder that as we try to get our Fleet plan on a steady footing after a lost decade - other nations get a vote on what we think the future will look like.
In 1996, during a standoff between leaders in Beijing and Taipei over Taiwanese moves to assert independence, China test-fired missiles near the island. The U.S. responded by ordering carrier battle groups to the area.

China's inability to prevent this U.S. show of military strength and support for Taiwan rankled political and military leaders in Beijing. They started to develop what is viewed by the Pentagon as an "anti-access strategy." The Pentagon says it is designed to limit the U.S. military's freedom of movement in Asia and, specifically, its ability to intervene in any conflict between China and Taiwan.
I use a less fancy name - The Porcupine Strategy.
"If we develop a strong navy with more advanced weapon systems, we have more choices. It's possible that China will join in a cooperative system headed by the U.S.," says Mr. Ni of the Shanghai National Defense Institute. "But we would also be ready to fight if we have to."
Fair, clear headed thinking by China.

At a time when the CNO states that the debunked theory of Diversity is a top priority, SES and NAVSEA junior Flag Officers send out Bu11sh1t Bingo laden Six-Sigma love letters of Homeric length, and SECNAV seems almost alone fighting against the fraud, waste, and abuse of LCS, DDG-1000, and LPD-17 - the PLAN is focused on what a once young and ambitious navy did in its rise to Maritime Dominance.

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