US Military Hard Up while Chinese Military Has Unlimited Budget

U.S. service chiefs testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee / AP

U.S. service chiefs testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee / AP

The following full text of Washington Free Beacon’s article tells us how hard up US military is, but at the same time Chinese military has unlimited budget (see the relevant section of my book “Space Era Strategy: The Way China Beats The U.S.”):

Service Leaders: Military Can’t Defend Homeland if Sequestration Persists

Budget cuts risk force’s ability to counter threats from adversaries like China, Russia

September 15, 2016 4:32 pm

The leaders of the four U.S. military services said Thursday that their forces will not be able to defend America if sequestration continues.

In testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, leaders of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force agreed that budgetary constraints and uncertainty have forced the services to invest in current readiness at the expense of other priorities.

Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.), a Navy veteran and the chair of the Armed Services Committee, asked each of the service leaders if they believe they “would have the resources and ability to defend this nation against present and future threats if we continue down this path of sequestration.”

They all replied no.

Thursday morning’s hearing was convened to spotlight long-term budgetary challenges facing the U.S. military and featured testimony from Gen. Mark Milley, chief of staff of the Army; Adm. John Richardson, chief of naval operations; Gen. Robert Neller, Commandant of the Marine Corps; and Gen. David Goldfein, chief of staff of the Air Force.

In opening remarks, each of the service leaders explained that sequestration and budgetary uncertainty have forced them to make trade-offs, prioritizing readiness to meet current commitments at the expense of modernization. They emphasized that budgetary constraints threaten the U.S. military’s ability to provide adequate forces in the event of a conflict with global competitors such as China and Russia.

Defense spending has been squeezed each year as a result of the 2011 Budget Control Act, which has been projected to cut $500 billion from defense spending in the decade after its passage. The Defense Department has also weathered billions of dollars in cuts as a result of sequestration, which went into effect in 2013.

McCain noted during opening testimony that the current defense budget is more than $150 billion less than it was in fiscal 2011.

“Rising threats and declining budgets have lead to shrinking military forces that are struggling to sustain higher operational tempo with aging equipment and depleted readiness, and doing so at the expense of modernizing to deal with the threats of tomorrow,” McCain said. “Our services are cannibalizing themselves to keep up with recent deployments.”

Military officials and government reports have consistently shed light on the negative effects of budgetary constraints on the force. According to a Government Accountability Office report issued earlier this month, the military has reported persistently low readiness levels amid continued demands on forces. The Pentagon also lacks a comprehensive plan to rebuild readiness across the services, according to the report.

Milley said that the Army will be challenged to sustain current counter-terror operations for several years while simultaneously rebuilding its “capability in ground combat against higher-end, near-peer, great power threats” given budget constraints. He said that any future contingency operation with an emerging competitor would “likely require significant commitment of U.S. Army forces on the ground,” which the service would struggle to provide.

“Currently, the Army provides 52 percent of all the global combatant commander demand for military forces, and we provide 69 percent of all the emerging combatant commander demand, and currently we have 187,000 soldiers committed in 142 countries globally conducting the nation’s business,” Milley said.

“To sustain current operations at that rate and to mitigate the risks of deploying an unready force into future operations, the Army will continue to prioritize and fully fund readiness over end strength, modernization, and infrastructure. In other words, we are mortgaging future readiness for current readiness,” Milley said.

Richardson characterized the current challenges facing the Navy as a “triple whammy,” citing high demand for naval forces abroad, budgetary uncertainty, and declining resource levels and budget controls. The naval chief said that the “high-op tempo” at which the Navy has been operating since the September 11, 2001, terror attacks has worn out its ships and sailors.

“Funding levels require us to prioritize readiness only for our deploying units. These are ready for full-spectrum operations, but we are compromising the readiness of those ships and aircraft that we will have to surge to achieve victory in a large conflict,” Richardson said. “We have also curtailed our modernization in a number of areas critical to staying ahead of our potential adversaries.”

Neller stated that the Marines’ future readiness will be compromised if current budget projections hold.

“Based on the current topline and the future budget projections, and though we are meeting our current requirements, I believe we are now pushing risk in the long-term health of the force into the future,” Neller said.

Goldfein called on Congress to provide sustained funding so the Air Force can pay for new aircraft, modernize its “aging nuclear enterprise,” and have the flexibility to retire aging weapons and buy new technology to counter the advancements of America’s adversaries.

He also said that the projected manpower for the service for fiscal 2017—420,000 airmen, 317,000 of whom will be active duty—will not be enough to deter and defeat threats from competitors.

“Based upon current and projected global demands for air power to deter and if required defeat challenges presented by China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea, and violent extremism, we respectfully request your support to grow our force to 321,000 active-duty airmen by the end of fiscal year 2017,” Goldfein told lawmakers.

He called for the repeal of sequestration and said that predictable, sustained funding was “essential” to the success of the Air Force.

“Current global security demands remind us that America’s joint team must be ready to engage anytime, anywhere across the full spectrum of conflict, all while defending the homeland and providing a safe, secure, and reliable strategic nuclear clear deterrent,” Goldfein said.

The House and Senate are currently in negotiations over fiscal 2017 defense policy legislation that could boost the defense budget by $18 billion through a war funding account.

Source: Washington Free Beacon “Service Leaders: Military Can’t Defend Homeland if Sequestration Persists”

Note: This is Washington Free Beacon’s article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.

Source: Chan Kai Yee “Space Era Strategy: The Way China Beats The U.S.”


22 Comments on “US Military Hard Up while Chinese Military Has Unlimited Budget”

  1. Fre Okin says:

    American should ask Def Sec Carter, Hillary, Obama, even adm Harris, if they can afford to Pivot To Asia. Just One Spark is all it take to drive the Stake Into The Heart Of The Beast and Completely exposed US as Too Poor To Fight and thus cannot win. America is broke. Ex House Speaker Boerhner know that and speak Honestly about US dire situation. Current Debt/GDP over 1:1 ratio and US should be technically bankrupt using Greece bailout standard. The Pentagon should downsize Drastically to save the Republic. Better spend money for Pensions and Health Care for military men instead of making war machines and Pivot To Asia.

    The root cause of America downhill slide is the ill advised Bush Iraq War and further adventurism in Afghanistan. Per Harvard Study, the Total Cost for US war adventurism is $4-6 Trillion dollars, about 25-30% of GDP!


  2. Simon says:

    It is hardly a surprise why American military is hard up despite having the worlds biggest military budget.
    A 1TB memory card made in China cost 10 cents to manufacture, the Chinese government pays 12 cents. It will cost American government around $2k.
    Many memory cards such as Sandisk are made in China. This goes for everything else.


  3. Tyler says:

    How does cost efficiency compare between China and the US, and who did China model it’s manufacturing practices after.

    frequently, in the news, I read about the tremendous budgets America invests in its most of its programs. You say China has unlimited funds, but how do Chinas programs budgets compare to the US’s,

    The soviet Union, though suffering from money constraints when compared to the US who 50% of the worlds GDP at the end of world war two, managed many remarkable scientific achievements that were decades ahead of its American counter parts. And managed feats believed to be impossible in the west.

    Watching a documentary, a man mentioned in Russia, when drawings are complete and submitted to manufactures, the manufacturers own the drawings, modifying the drawing to suit the design.

    In America, drawings are submitted and manufacturers build each part exactly to specification of the drawing, which forces them to put a lot effort into tight tolerances and more complicated manufacturing techniques.

    What pratice does china employ and why enables their technology to gain ground on the US?


    • Joseph says:

      Your problem is that you watch Western documentaries. Of course they will emphasize their superiority as well as assumed objectives.
      The Soviet Union managed to acquire technological advancement through hard work out of desperation of the American, which they presumed hostile to them. While the American only relied on talent poaching for their scientific advancements. Many US feats were not actually from US, but commercialized in the US as ‘American’ for money. The American may be adept capitalist, but it is what they are, just capitalist. If you look at the school children in the Soviet Union and Asian countries, they studied and very hard to the that is unthinkable by Western students. While the West loves to make up some scientific ‘reasoning’ that studying more is bad for children, we think that our children do not study enough and push them to study more.
      As with American popular believe that anyone would want to gain ground with the American, shocking news for you, we don’t want to gain ground with the American. We just be ourselves, trying to be better. Some even think that gaining ground with the American is unachievable. It was the Americans who lose ground themselves, which make gaining ground to the American is a mere bonus for us. But of course your documentaries will make something up to make you feel better. In that case you better as your documentary makers to explain. After all, it was not really ‘us’ in your documentaries.


      • Tyler says:

        I’m not entirely sure what you’re trying to say, Joseph.

        If this documentary was biased, it was biased in a way to justify the use of the Russian RD-180 rocket engine in American space launches as they said it was vastly superior in efficiency and performance. And admitted it was impossible to match late 1960’s Soviet technology in America, today.

        The only thing I took from the documentary was my comment of manufacturing habits of Soviet Union, and the manufacturing habits of America which coincides with what I’ve seen being being a guy who worked in American Aerospace industry.

        True, US public schools are weak. They are adept at producing athletes, and not much of everything else. But not every person attends public school and I don’t think public schools are the only reason for Americas failures. It must be a hand full of practices and culture that contribute to our failure.

        In the case of Rocket engines Where Russia was doing things America thought impossible. Note, I said impossible and not unknown, which means Americans considered the same idea at one point, only to cower away from it. Therefore, it has to do with the culture of American methods more than it does public schooling. It’s also important to note, public schooling was designed in the interest of producing humble despondents of a foreign master. Poor public schooling we have today is a result of America’s business friendly culture, just like many examples of its lack of competitiveness with Foreign tech.

        Education, creativity, ambition, leadership, resources all must have impacts on one another to play a role in whats achievable.

        I think it would be interesting to know the differences in these cultures between Soviet Union, Russia, USA and China.


        • Joseph says:

          Western documentaries IS bias, especially when it it about Asian. They’d always see everything in their own perspective, not ours. Do you think that manufacturing habits they potray in the documentaries are the real one? In one place perhaps, but in every place? Seriously? The habit of Western documentaries is to present the best of them against the worst of us. I’ve seen many Western manufacturing practices tours over the year. Some were up to standard, most were more horrendous than our worst. Dirty, messy, unrefined. Nothing like that I watched on documentaries (National Geography, Discovery, HC). And their explanation was typical ‘who’s going to pay the cost of those miracle manufacturings practice? You? We do it for real, not for some TV shows’.
          And no, I don’t think your public school is to blame for your failure. It is your entire education system. In the West, only prestigious schools get beneficial curriculum. Not everyone gets the chance to test their talents. Only those who can afford gets to study. Those gifted poor will never know their talents. But in Asia, every school, public, private and prestigious gets the same curriculum. Then it is up to the students if they can make use of that privilege. Everyone graduates educated, talented or stupid alike.
          It is easy to make excuse about those physical prowess to substitute brain power. How many under-educated students manage to become athletes? For what I know, even most Western athletes come from prestigious schools where their parents pay expensive trainers. Do you think Mike Phelps came from public school on disadvantage background?


          • Tyler says:

            I question if you have even read anything I’ve written. For someone who clearly disagrees with western bias, you haven’t certainly exerted your own bias to try and discredit me as a pawn blinded by western lies for not arguing in extreme examples. A thing to consider about yourself, coming from someone who relies on all the wrong material to understand the world, is we ended up in the same forum together. Maybe you should rethink your own information outlets, because it’s clear you’re at risk of being sucked into a biased pro-western style information spiral with me in the same place.

            I said I watch documentaries, but I never said I watched them on state side braodcasting and I never said it was a western documentary.

            I never said American manufacturing habits were good or get better results, I merely stated

            “In America, drawings are submitted and manufacturers build each part exactly to specification of the drawing, which forces them to put a lot effort into tight tolerances and more complicated manufacturing techniques.”

            Which is consistent with what I’ve seen. A lot of focus is put into tolerances and it is true that every process to build a aerospace component had to be done exactly as the original designers dictated. The system I built was riddled with problems that no one knew how to solve and everyone in the company had nothing but bad things to say about it. My company could not change the process without the designers approval. As a Russian stated in a Russian documentary, “Americans build airplanes like they build fine watches…”

            You are still roughly right about American education. but you can’t deny that America has a very strong sports culture. Just like Kenya, which has strong cultural ties in running, which wins them olympic medals, America, too, has very competitive athletic culture and brings home more medals than everyone else. Getting drafted onto a professional team is the only way most poor Americans dig their way out of poverty and go to a good college. Parents know it and students know it. Don’t tell me all professional athletes attend private schools in well-off neighborhoods. Because that isn’t true.


            • Joseph says:

              Oh I am biased, all right? I am trying hard to be. That’s the only way to deal with biased people. I actually learn a great deal for being bias from those pro-Westen biases. True that was not the way I was brought up, but those pro-Western biased people were not brought up like us. I haven’t been to respected forum where people would argue respectfully. Everytime it is always Western bloggers attacking us with biased ferocity, and our bloggers trying to counter with accurate facts that were simply dismissed. I would not bother to do the defending. I prefer to do the attackings, to play the devil role. Not that I don’t have plenty of ammunition around to use anyway. In a sense, I do not get sucked to that pro-Western bias tendency. I let my self in. My people has a saying, in tiger den you have to be a tiger, in sheep herd you have to be a sheep. To deal with biased people I have to be more biased than them.
              I know what you mean to that drawing submitting and that complicated manufacturing process. I dealt with American manufacturing people before. But I did not see any of them do the highly-disciplinized manufacturings, only some clumsy procedures following a simple checklist. Imagine when I found out that some of those people showing me around were actually illiterate. In where I come from, not well educated is understandable. But illiterate, seriously? Unthinkable. I mean, how hard it is to learn to read? It was more shocking because we believed American/White people were always smarter than us. And those guys actually operating machinaries. Those guys recognized the words in the checklist, but they cannot read. They would rely on their literate comrades to read words they didn’t know and memorizing it, not reading it. And they’d say something about doing high quality manufacturing thing, in which they believe only they can do it and boasted that we would not have a clue of what they were doing, but it is generally nothing special to me. But that was what I consider the worst manufacturing tour I had been in America. Of course I haven’t been to all manufacturing facilities in America. Not an airplane manufacturer anyway as I never buy an airplane. I believe, however, that Russian manufacturer had never been to US to see airplane manufactured, or do you show people around how you make airplane?
              Still, do you think Michael Phelps come from disadvantaged background? Or Venus Williams? Or Tiger Woods? How many US Olympic athletes actually come from disadvantaged background compared to the rich ones? The American got more medals in Olympic simply because they sent more athletes than anyone else. Yes, I heard about those poor Black people played NBA, football or some sort and getting rich. However, Asian countries are not generally obsessed to gambling or gambling-related sports. So sports do not really have future appeal in Asia, only hobby. Even in sport-obsessed America, do you train every American children to do sports? What would happen to those who do not make it? We trained every children compulsory to our national curriculum, disregarding weather they have talent or not. It does not produce stardom, but it provides what we believe necessary skills in life. Sport people have to retire at some point. And what would they do next? Opening cafes? or sport clubs? Many of our school graduates would know only little about biology, geology, physics or chemistry taught in school, but they will find some kind of useful applications to do small business which will employ others. And those employed are expected to have at least similar school-level knowledge. Many in China even grow their business from an unassuming small filthy garage into multi-billion company able to employ top university overseas graduates. That’s what we call ‘Asian Dream’. We know many will not make it, but even we surprise how many have made it. And this is only the small benefit of empowering our school children with knowledge. Imagine what our university graduates can do.


              • Tyler says:

                The part you’re not getting is I’m not pro-western, I do not agree with what the west is doing. If that is true, then you would have to admit my posts are not bias as you couldn’t properly identify my own personal stance on the matter.

                Go back and read what I wrote. There’s no denying that any country has unique cultural practices which contribute to what and how different technologies enter the development stage. Like I said, education isn’t the only reason, there must be multiple cultural barriers in America that dictate how innovation is done. If it wasn’t true, there would be no impossibilities before concepts(like closed cycle rocket engines) and poached intellectuals would have gotten comparable results. Which didn’t happen..

                If you look at my posts, you’ll see I was trying to understand why America is unable to stay ahead or was unable to keep up(get ahead), depending on what example is used. Re-worded in a way you might understand, can’t innovate as well as others have.

                It was 1967 the first black child attended a white school. Black people are a disadvantaged background in America. Every right people in America have, people fought for and in many cases had to die for. The fact is, there is a tremendous sport scene in America and talented people, disadvantaged or not, get scholarships and opportunities. They even poach foreign talent, like Yao Ming.

                Good for Asian countries, I hope they find the correct answers and set an example for the rest of the world. If they do, I hope America can learn from it and follow.


    • chankaiyee2 says:

      As for China’s unlimited budget, please read my book. There are certainly quite a lot to say about cost efficiency, I mentioned some in my book but not enough I will write in details in my third book. Anyway, it is not related to this post.

      US generals said that they were hard up, but whether they really are is still a question as the US has a huge budget. Perhpas it is a trick to ask for more. Who knows?

      Anyway there has to be a wise strategy in using the funds. I do not see any wisdom in their spending. Perhaps, you are better informed and may tell me some. Thanks.


      • Joseph says:

        Oh US generals were hard up, all right. They should be. After all, it is their wages that is on they line. They may use China as excuse, but when it fails, don’t expect those angry generals to just go on strike, they may go on riots, or even toss grenades onto US congress or oval office.


    • Steve says:

      As for your last sentence question…China employs the highest quality or degree of innovative
      scientific research and engineering skill based on Chinese cutting edge technology. For instance, China’s world’s first 10 mach plus hypersonic HGV are now protected by another China’s world’s first Quantum Satellite Communications Technology. This is imperative to prevent the evil empire of US hackers from stealing the state of the art China’s invention including numerous state technological secrets.


  4. Joseph says:

    Welcome to the apocalyptic future the American always predict in their apocalyptic movie. Time for American elite that McCain represents along with the rich and powerful to abandon the broken country to those dumb Irish working class to start their Mad Max existence, just as they did Europe a century ago. I just wonder, where would they go now. Mars has not been successfully colonized, Africa was lost to China, Siberia was lost to Putin, and Brazil was lost to Zika virus. Even worse, Philippines was lost to Duterte. The future does look bleak for them indeed


    • Joseph says:

      Wherever they go, make sure that they take that Washington free bacon of theirs. Either its beacon or bacon, it is not free outside Washington.


  5. ron says:

    “The U.S. Army Lost Track of $6.5 Trillion”

    maybe they should solve that problem first.


    • Joseph says:

      ‘Lost’? Unlikely. If they check their accounting with McCain’s backers, Haliburton, they’d find their lost $6.5 Trillion. It is unbelievable that the American do not even know such thing.


      • Steve says:

        They must have misread $6.50……maybe the ‘trillion’ was accidentally omitted.


        • Joseph says:

          Considering that Halliburton charges a 6.5c toilet paper roll for $65, it is unlikely that $6.50 would matter. Soon the US navy would ask their personnel to bring their own toilet paper, just like Portuguese navy. It may seem comical, but with $65 per roll, every roll means a great deal. I wonder what the US navy pays for a box of Fruit Loops. No wonder that they give only chocolate bars for field rations. A simple packed meal could be more expensive than buffet at luxury restaurants.


  6. Steve says:

    Another boring article — And what a joke, the US Government is taking action of legal possession of assets until its own debt has been paid or until other claims has being met. Will the US treasury pay off All its $19 trillion debts. Of course not, instead the US will continue printing its toilet dollars and borrow more money to service its path of sequestration. The US cannot afford to repair and built new infrastructures of roads, bridges and railways. The US are the instigators of military conflict worldwide and are worried in case they have a conflict with the China and Russia alliance.?

    Strange things have happened when it should not. Will there be a military coup in the US..?


    • Hiro Watanabe says:

      Even now, people are afraid to do business with the U.S. unless there are acceptable collaterals. The U.S. dollar is not worth the paper it is printed on. I would be a very very wary supplier to any American buyer. The country is bankrupt. It is but a greedy foreign fool who continues to seek to do business with the U.S.


      • Steve says:

        Well said, And soon the world will be waking up to a post dollar world, a shift of geopolitical and geo-economic to the East. The US is bankrupt, but greed is greed and a lot of fools are still chasing the American dollar.


      • Joseph says:

        And just a few years ago, the American was mocking Iran to switch their currency trading from USD to Euro. Not that Euro is much better either, but it is at least still better than USD.


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