The Changing Military Balance

Where do we get the word juxtapose? Originally a French verb, juxtapose combines the Latin root, jucta, meaning next to, and poser, to place. In current English juxtapose means "to place side by side, especially for comparison or contrast."

So let's take a few recent news articles and just juxtapose them. The first side of this comparison comes from the Australia, via WikiLeaks.

Australia's intelligence agencies believe China is hiding the extent of a massive military build-up that goes beyond national defence and threatens regional stability, the latest WikiLeaks cables show.

A strategic assessment by the agencies found that China's military spending for 2006 was $90 billion - double the $45 billion budget publicly announced by Beijing, Fairfax newspapers report.

"China's longer-term agenda is to develop 'comprehensive national power', including a strong military, that is in keeping with its view of itself as a great power," a copy of the secret assessment provided by Foreign Affairs officials to the US embassy in Canberra said.

And we read in Bloomberg News that China has a few surprises in store for the US Navy.

Advances in Chinese military technology, including a new anti-ship ballistic missile and possibly a radar-evading fighter plane, are drawing scrutiny from Pentagon officials days before Defense Secretary Robert Gates is due to meet with his counterpart in Beijing.

Vice Admiral Jack Dorsett said yesterday that the Pentagon had underestimated the speed at which China has developed and fielded a ballistic missile that may be capable of hitting a maneuvering U.S. aircraft carrier. Dorsett said it was too early to tell whether the U.S. also has misjudged China's capability to build a stealth fighter jet.

U.S. intelligence in particular misjudged China's progress developing the technology necessary to sense and attack a maneuvering vessel,  [and in addition] the Chinese have tested the DF-21D missile over land a sufficient number of times to conclude that "the missile system itself is truly competent and capable," Dorsett said. Dorsett heads the Navy's Office of Naval Operations for Information Dominance, which includes Navy intelligence.

None of us wants to read the words "U.S. intelligence in particular misjudged China's progress developing the technology...." Do you think there will be any consequences stemming these serious misjudgments?  Chances are that this Administration will pat Dorsett on the back and promote him for another job well done.

One the other side of our juxtaposition, we find this from the Washington Post:
Under direction from the White House, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates on Thursday announced that the Pentagon will cut projected spending by $78 billion over the next five years and shrink the size of the Army and Marine Corps. The changes mean that the military would see annual budget increases that barely exceed inflation in coming years and that its budget will effectively remain frozen in 2015 and 2016.

Even as he has told military officers to brace for hard times, Gates has sought to spare the Pentagon from the budget ax by taking preemptive measures. Over the past two years, he has eliminated dozens of expensive weapons programs, and he more recently sought to persuade lawmakers that the military had adopted a newfound thriftiness that would justify modest but steady annual budget increases.

Defense officials had hoped those savings would be enough to fend off challenges to their total spending levels. But in recent weeks, the White House privately told Gates to come up with the ADDITIONAL [emphasis added] $78 billion in budget cuts over the next five years.

Gates said the armed forces would have to start cutting where military leaders say it really hurts -- troop strength. Starting in 2015, the Army must trim the number of soldiers on active duty by 27,000 and the Marines by 15,000 to 20,000. The reductions will save a projected $6 billion over two years and are timed to coincide with planned troop withdrawals from the war in Afghanistan.

Did you did catch the punishment meted by this spiteful Administration?  Obama and his socialist thugs are kicking the Corps in the cojones for opposing the repeal of DADT.  The Marines, our best trained, fast deploy troops are to be cut from 35,000 to 20,000 active duty soldiers. That is a 43% drop in our finest hardcore bastards-on-the-ground troops.

Ya gotta love the WaPo and how they just slip in the phrase, "White House."  Let's all be clear; all these cuts come from the our Adolescent-in-Chief, and reflect his deeply felt, scarily naïve, socialist, one world, lets-all-get-along, kumbaya-my-lord, head-to-butt-feathers-buried-in-the-sand, approach to any national security issue.

We outspend the Chinese about five to one in military appropriations, but only two to one in military spending as a percent of GDP. Yet the Chinese seem to be spending wisely on those weapons systems that could most affect the Navy carriers, our most lethal and effective means to project power over the horizon. As we juxtapose these articles we find broad outlines of national military policy from the US and China. One country is building toward a future regional projection of power, another is cutting back, seemingly more focused on soft core video tapes produced five years ago, than planning for the inevitable conflicts with Marxism and radical Islam in our own hemisphere and Asia.