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Thursday, May 23, 2024

US’s inflated Military budget: threatened by China or just military waste?

US military is spending an All-time high amount of money on defense, blaming China's increasing power. However, the US budget is almost three times China's with the much-advanced military but the Pentagon fixation on China is never-ending.

Fareed Zakaria, an American journalist, political commentator, and Host of CNN’s GPS, uploaded a video on Twitter commenting on how the US is fixated on China.

The video begins with Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, who outlined his key concern. He said, “…And while we were focused on issues in the Middle East, China has modernized its military. And so, our goal is to make sure that we maintain a competitive edge over China or anyone else. “

“Welcome to the new age of bloated Pentagon budgets, all to be justified by the great Chinese threat”, said columnist and Host of CNN’s GPS, Fareed Zakaria.

Mr. Zakaria goes on to compare both country’s military statistics.

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“What Austin calls America’s edge over China is more like a chasm. The United States has nearly 20 times the number of nuclear warheads as China. It has twice the tonnage of Warships at sea, including 11 nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, compared with China’s two carriers, which are much less advanced. Washington has over 2000 modern fighter jets compared to Beijing’s roughly 600 according to national security analyst Sebastian Roblin” He said.

He mentioned that the US deploys this power using a vast network of some 800 overseas bases. China has three of such bases on the sea.

China spends about $250 billion on its military, which is a third as much as the United States.

Michael O’Hanlon of the Brookings Institution writes that if China were in NATO, we would berate it for inadequate burden sharing since its military outlays fall well below NATO’s 2% minimum.

According to SIPRI, US military spending remains larger than the next 10 countries put together, six of which of Washington’s close allies, America’s intelligence budget alone, around $85 billion is much larger than Russia’s total defense spending,

Compared to this, at the height of imperialism, Britain’s army budget was only twice the size of its competitors. And yet the US never imagined that this kind of spending could ever be seen by other countries as worrying or threatening.

In requesting even more money, the head of the Indo-Pacific Command, Admiral Davidson commented on China’s defense spending, “I cannot for the life of me understand some of the capabilities that they’re putting in the field unless it is an aggressive posture.”

But US has never thought how other countries might perceive the all-time high US budget, “higher than it did at the height of the Vietnam War”

Mentioning the Afghan war, Mr. Zakaria said that the size of military spending is a misleading indicator of strength far more important than the objective sought and the political-military strategy used to achieve those objectives.

The US has outspent the Taliban by 10,000 times in Afghanistan and spent more than $3 trillion, and yet has been unable to achieve its objective.

Considered two contrasting exercises of power, America’s F-35 fighter jet program, befuddled by cost overruns and technical problems will ultimately cost taxpayers $1.7 trillion.

According to a document obtained by Bloomberg, China will likely spend a comparable amount of money on its One Belt One Road initiative, an ambitious set of loans, aid, and financing for infrastructure projects across the world aimed at creating greater interdependence with dozens of countries that are important to Beijing.

The Pentagon operates in a realm apart from any other government agency. it spends money on a scale and wastes money on a scale that is almost unimaginable. Every government agency is required to audit its accounts. But for decades, the Pentagon simply floated this law in 2018, it finally obeyed, paying $400 million for 1200 auditors to examine its books, yet it still could not get a clean bill of health.

Every government agency is required to audit its accounts. But for decades, the Pentagon simply floated this law, but in 2018, it finally obeyed, paying $400 million for 1200 auditors to examine its books, yet it still could not get a clean bill of health. The Defense Department has failed to pass two more audits.

Read More: US has 1000 more troops in Afghanistan than officially revealed

Mr. Fareed Zakaria said, “Having spent nearly two decades fighting wars in the Middle East without much success, The Pentagon will now revert to its favorite kind of conflict, a Cold War with nuclear power, it can raise endless amounts of money to outpace China, even if nuclear deterrence makes it unlikely there will be an actual fighting war in Asia. Of course, there might be budget wars in Washington. But those are the battles the Pentagon knows how to win.”