The End of U.S. Maritime Dominance? Not So Fast Argues Naval Strategist

In a new research paper I came across, Geoffrey Till, a top-notch historian and naval strategist, looks at the notion that this is shaping up to be China’s century, not America’s, and that the maritime decline of the U.S. is a foregone conclusion. He contends that predicting the rise and fall of great power maritime dominance is a bit trickier and harder to measure than many claim.

The debate itself is being driven by economics, of course; China’s GDP witnessed an astonishing 10-fold increase between 1978 and 2004. A “highly effective” government stimulus program and massive credit expansion meant China recovered quickly from the financial crisis; the U.S. has not. In 2000, U.S. GDP was eight times larger than China’s; now it’s only four times larger. “Historically, growth in GDP has a high correlation with naval expenditure,” writes Till.

The other major driver is China’s “growing and absolute dependence on overseas commodities, energy and markets.” That fact alone means China “has little choice but to become more maritime in its orientation.” Some of China’s naval modernization can be seen as making up for decades of neglect.

What about the naval balance? While the Navy’s planned expansion to 313 ships may never happen, its current level of 280 ships seems overwhelming, says Till. Numbers of ships don’t tell the whole story. Borrowing from Bob Work’s analysis, Till cites tonnage as a better indicator of fleet strength as “the offensive and defensive power of an individual unit is usually a function of size.”

Tonnage wise, the U.S. battle fleet has a 2.63:1 advantage over a combined Chinese-Russian fleet. Factoring in the advantage the U.S. Navy possesses in its vertical launch magazines (actual strike power) an enormous 20-power superiority exists. That’s not all:

“Its 56 SSN/SSGN nuclear power submarine fleet might on the face of it seem overpowered by the world’s other 220 SSNs and SSKs but the qualitative advantages of the U.S. submarine force are huge. It is much the same story with regard to the U.S. Navy’s amphibious and critical support fleets, in its capacity to support special forces operations, in its broad area maritime surveillance capabilities, in its U.S. Coast Guard (the equivalent of many of the world’s navies) and in the enormous advantage conferred by the experience of many decades of 24/7 oceanic operations.”

The real strength of a navy should be measured not by the number of units, Till argues, but how those compare to the requirements the platform is intended to perform.

Till also questions Chinese shipbuilding prowess, noting deficiencies in quality assurance, innovation and experience expected in “an industry in the first flush of youth.” While China’s manufacturing success is impressive, it remains mostly labor-intensive, low priced consumer items. It remains far behind Germany and Japan in technological innovation and the export of machinery.

— Greg Grant

  • BGrubbs

    “Men mean more than guns in the rating of a ship” - JPJ
    I’m reminded of the stories about the Israeli wars against the Syrians or Egyptians, where Syrian pilots were actually being directed how to fly the plane from the ground. I’m not talking being vectored here or there, actually how to fly the thing. And the technical superiority of the Egyptian tanks, but the Egyptian training was so bad they were routinely demolished by the Israeli armored forces.
    The level of training we provide our sailor is tremendous and is very hard to quantify except in an actual emergency. It should not be counted when determining the threat, but in the end I think iw will always be the trump card.

    • Chops

      Agree completly-regardless of how many ships China has, their ability to fight those ships pales in comparison to the US and its’ Allies.70 yrs. of naval warfare and exercises would negate any numerical advantage.

      • Thunder350

        Training only goes so far, numbers do add up..

        100 grunts with weapons from WWII (or even WWI) could easily rape 1 modern delta force soldier.

        • ChabossD

          100 to 1? I’ll take those odds! If it takes 100 cannon-fodder troops to take down one modern commando, what would you do if I had a platry 10 commandos? 30? You’d be sending entire army divisions my way to tackle a few dozen men!

          You’re right, numbers do add up, and China shouldn’t be underestimated. Also in war, there is the production-to-replacement speed quotient, meaning that in a war we wipe out half of China’s cheaper-quality navy, while they only take out one quarter of ours in the process. If their lower-quality, rush-trained units can be pumped out faster to make up the loss of that half-navy contingent before we can replace our higher-quality quarter-navy force, in the long run they might come out ahead.

          There’s many, many factors in such a comparison, not easy to know for sure, but one’s thing’s certain: China needs us to maintain their booming economy, so war’s not likely anytime soon. We’re their biggest customer!

          • Daaa

            I spent 6 years in the US Navy. I’ve been highly trained at covering my ass and pretending to do my job. The damage done to the navy and this country by leftism, feminism and general political correctness is much worst than anything the Chinese can come up with.

          • Euan

            In this modern age of stealth, hypersonic satellite guided munitions, and nuclear weapons, who would have though that the most powerful navy to ever sail the seas would be brought down by the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes…

          • crackedlenses


    • ohwilleke

      China is not North Korea. Assuming that Chinese sailors are chumps is not a safe assumption. This is not a force full of amateur or conscript chumps from top to bottom.

      China is so large compared to the size of its military that it can afford to be picky about who it puts in top spots, and the dominance of the Chinese military in the Chinese economy says to me that its officers are broadly competent, even if they are corrupt.

      Sabre rattling by the higher ups has caused China’s Navy to spent a lot of time at the brink of actually going to war. The U.S. Navy hasn’t had that many sailors who have spent much time on the brink of a confrontation that could actually put their lives at risk. Yes, U.S. sailors are well trained. But, our naval dominance has been so effective at keeping us out of trouble that we simply don’t know what would happen if it were plunged into a genuine shooting war against an opponent that it had to take seriously.

  • Marine SSgt

    Don’t forget our ability to project power through our carrier airwings. So far China hasn’t cracked the catapult and arresting gear.

    • Jared

      By “cracked” you meant “stole” or “bought”, right?

    • Locarno

      True, but it depends what scenario you’re talking about as to whether that’s relevant - If the PLAN want to come huffing across the atlantic and drop bombs on Pearl Harbor, then yes, you need air cover, so yes, you need carriers, so yes, you need catapults (unless sticking with some sort of Yak/Harrier rip-off that will be eaten in their hundreds by anyone with a BB gun and a Cesna). In an essentially defensive engagement around the south China Sea…not so much.

    • Bob

      No but they have developed missles that will quickly sink or disable the catapult/arresting gear carrier.

      • STemplar

        What weapon? Name it. If you are referring to the ASBM, that hasn’t even been test fired.

  • STemplar

    Anyone can follow a recipe, somehow a chef makes it taste better and look easier. It is the decades of US experience, really a century, that is something China can’t match with a big GDP. I don’t care how much their economy grows they have zero real world experience at managing and conducting global military operations under fire. That knowledge base can’t be bought, it is earned.

    • Romero

      Completely agree.

      • Donnell

        I second that

    • Thunder350

      China is a nation of war, just look at their past. They will incorporate the ways of Sun Tsu!

      • Locarno

        Which is, I suppose, one of the big drivers behind the PLAN suddenly getting all charitable and committing forces to piracy suppression, hospital ships, etc. Hardly the crucible of a major naval war, but any genuine experience is invaluable because there are some things no amount of planning will identify.

    • Bob

      The last naval war that the U.S. fought ended in 1945. None of those admirals, captains, or naval fighters are still on active duty to share their experience. The current leadership has fought nothing.

      • Dean

        Hey Bob, your not skipping history are ya?
        What about operation Praying Mantis, true it was a big WAR but it was a naval engagement with real missiles, shells, and bombs.
        It was a true “come as you are” on a moments notice type of engagement that clearly showed the strength of our Navy’s institutional experiences and training.

      • STemplar

        The current leadership were unit commanders during the cold war which most certainly involved naval operations. I’m sure there are a number of submariners that would laugh hysterically at the thought the US hasn’t been involved in active naval operations since WW2.

  • STemplar

    The colonists were ill trained and we got our butts kicked repeatedly early on. It wasn’t without the outside support of the France, Spain, and the Dutch that America would have ever defeated the British, so not a very good example.

  • chaos0xomega

    Agreed with lars. “Decades of US experience” is not a benefit, if anything its a curse. Prior to WW2, “decades of British/German/Japanese, etc.etc. etc. experience” said that the Battleship was king.The new kids on the block, the United States, proved that wrong rather spectacularly, so much so that the Battleship came to be replaced by the Aircraft Carrier, and the entire concept of naval warfighting was drastically altered and fleet dynamics completely revised.

    I see absolutely no reason why China in 20-30 yrs cannot do the same thing, especially when so many Americans overlook their own history and fail to see that China is in a very similar position to where the US was over a century ago.

    • Ken

      I’m pretty sure the US military largely scoffed at the idea that an aircraft carrier would surpass the importance of the battleship. One naval wargame showed the effectiveness of using a carrier strike group in naval combat, but that didnt convince the majority.
      It was Japan(you know, one of the countries you cited as believing in the battleship) that paid attention to those wargames the US conducted and used the carrier strike group in its attack on Pearl Harbor.

      • Fox

        And the Japanese learned about carrier based strikes on fleet anchorages from the British attack on the Italian fleet at Taranto! So where does that leave this analogy?

        • Chris

          Why, it leaves it in the toilet!

          • Locarno

            That applies to more than just the battleship - most of the great military innovations of WWII were stolen from another country that wasn’t paying attention to the great idea it came up with:

            ‘Blitzkrieg’ mobile armoured warfare - Captain B. H. Liddell Hart, British Army
            ‘Dive Bombers’ for close air support - Lt. L. H. Sanderson, USMC
            The first functioning Radar - Christian Hülsmeyer, demonstrated to the German Navy

            It seems to be one of the rules that no country ever notices the stuff it comes up with…

      • Riceball

        Agreed and the only reason why we used the aircraft carrier as our main naval strike platform during the war was because we had no choice. Carriers were considered secondary ships and the carrier Admirals were always played second fiddle to the battleship Admirals. They rose into prominence because all of our battleships in the Pacific fleet had been sunk at Pearl Harbor so the carrier became the capital ship of choice by default.

        • WJS

          Hey! I was gonna say that.

    • STemplar

      Poppy cock. The difference between the US and China is as simple as the difference between the US and Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany. The US has spent the last century forging alliances, while the Chinese have spent the last decade essentially ticking off every regional power in southeast Asia. China is putting itself in the same position as the Axis powers, not the US,and if it pisses enough people off it will end the same way.

  • Oblat

    Its just hilarious listening to the constant oscillation between terror and denial in America regarding China. The simple fact is that China will have the largest most capable armed forces one day and the US has zero strategy on what to do when that happens. Instead we are 100% committed to pretending it wont happen.

    But the other fact is that our military industrial complex buys us very little of practical utility in the real world and the Chinese are not trying to replicate it. Nonsense about keeping the sea-lanes open and nostalgic dreams of meeting the imperial Japanese fleet in battle again do not infect the Chinese navy.

    As a result we have a stable position the suits both sides - the Chinese build up real military power and the US pretends it isn’t of any significance because it’s not the sort of navy we had in WW2.

    • fobbit

      I find it equally hilarious that you believe we don’t have long term strategic plans for just such an event. You’re right, the greatest military power in the history of mankind has been pretending we don’t need a strategy to deal with a possible Chinese threat.

      • Alberto

        long term… where does the money come from to support these lofty goals?

        • crackedlenses

          We don’t have money worth speaking of anymore. It got spent “stimulating the economy”….

  • Nick

    The colonists won the American revolution because the war eventually triggered quite a few major European powers to jump on Britain’s ass, if I remember correctly. The empire was overwhelmed and decided just to cut it’s losses and forfeit the colonies.

    Had it been a one-on-one war between the Colonists and the Redcoats, we would’ve gotten our asses handed to us on a silver platter. The Brits were far superior as a military force.

    • crackedlenses

      We actually weren’t as bad off as all that, Washington wisely avoided full engagement, and our guys were way better shots than the British were….

  • Logan

    Over 200 years of experience and tradition, the latest technological innovations, and sheer tonnage weren’t much help to the Russian Fleet when they went up against the smaller, ambitious 35 year old Asian upstarts in the Tsushima Strait.

    I’m not saying that the US Navy wouldn’t wipe the floor with the People’s Liberation Army Navy (what a stupid name for a navy) if they went to battle today, but the US is going to need to be very careful and stay on top of its game.

    You have to treat the upstart with respect. Underestimate them and they will quickly displace you on the world scene. The US and China resemble the Imperial Russia and Japan situation in 1904. You have a militaristic emerging Asian power that wants what its international rivals have had for years. You have the established Western power that is meeting strength with strength, not backing down, but embroiled in conflicts in other parts of the globe. Both wish to exert their influence over the same spots of land.

    The Chinese are not currently involved in any other conflict, they are focused on the US and they tailor their military to defeat US intervention in any “local” conflict. The US Navy is bigger and older, but split across the globe, able to be met and defeated piecemeal, unable to strike as a single unit before the local stationed forces would be dealt a serious blow.

    The major differences here, however, are the more intertwined economies of the nations. The US and Chinese economies would both suffer greatly from any war, to say nothing of local opinion. The other thing to keep in mind is the assistance of the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force in almost any Sino-American war. This is different than 1904, but we need to keep in mind the lessons from it

    • Brandon

      Your example would be correct if it wasn’t for the fact that it was another US revolution war. Where the russians had almost nothing in the area then were forced to send stuff that took forever to get there and half was broken. Although when the 2 fleets came up against each other can’t remember where the Japanese did a damn good job of quality strategy and defeated the Russians.

      • Logan

        Almost nothing meaning the entire Russian Pacific Fleet? The IJN effectively neutralized it, then met the Russian Baltic Fleet and defeated it at the Battle of Tsushima. The entire Imperial Russian Navy was far larger than the IJN, but the Japanese didn’t have to take on the entire Navy at once. They met them in pieces, just as the US Navy would have to fight.

        The question is, can the US Seventh Fleet and local allies defeat the PLAN? If not, what comes next?

        • Mr B

          The flip side of the coin is can the PLAN defeat the US Navy?

          When I look at this, I always have this fact in the back of my head. The Chinese can make a good MP3 player by technical specs, but when you compare it to an iPod, you realize how poor of a copy it is.

    • Max

      Militaristic? I don’t like the chinese anymore than the next guy (in fact, my wife is Taiwanese, so I am extra-wary), but ascribing militarism to the chinese is quite a stretch. Internally they’re not stingy about employing their army, but with the exception of border wars (in which I count Korea) they are not militaristic in any sense. America, on the other hand, with at least nine foreign military interventions (I’m probably missing a few), big and small, to its credit in the last 60 years, is quite militaristic (and no, I don’t hate America or what it stands for). Why would the chinese fight us? Cause we send them too much money? Cause we buy too much of their goods? Cause our currency is too stable? Cause our investors are too eager to enter their markets? Cause we pay too little attention to their human rights abuses? Please. China needs us, and has NOTHING to gain by going to war. And they know it. Their goal is to provide enough bluster about Taiwan and Japan to keep the nationalists happy and to prevent Taiwan from rolling the dice and declaring full independence, and otherwise to maintain the global status quo. China wants to be the next America, not the next Soviet Union.

      • Logan

        Why do you discount border wars? Are they not militaristic? Wikipedia defines militarism as “the belief or desire of a government or people that a country should maintain a strong military capability and be prepared to use it aggressively to defend or promote national interests.”

        PRC certainly counts. So does the US. So does Russia, North Korea, the United Kingdom, France, Israel, Syria, Turkey, and others.

        As for going to war, I agree that neither have anything to gain from war. As long as cool, intelligent heads prevail, China’s and America’s leaders will continue to realize this and nobody will go to war. Leaders often stop making rational decisions and start wars. It happens. You have to be prepared for that.

    • Val

      I smile each day I think of the three conventionally powered CVA’s we have in the so called reserve fleet in Bremerton WA. Generally, same equipment as the newer nukie boats and able to be manned by today’s sailors with minimal training , bless their heart(s)!

  • STemplar

    China being in the same position as the US 100 years ago is nonsense. China is more like Nazi Germany or Imperial Japan. It is not building partnerships or alliances. It is bullying and acting like because it has a growing bank book everyone needs to tremble in fear. They are in dispute with nearly every regional government over territory and sea control. They have a disputed border with India. They are making pronouncements to the US about staying out of the Yellow Sea. They are no where near the same as the US 100 years ago, quite frankly the Hawks in China are setting them up through a major case of Hubris for a big fall if they aren’t careful.

    The US on the other hand is approaching all of those regional governments and insisting territorial disputes should be settled in a multilateral fashion, which tends to fly in the face of any statement that the US has no long term strategy. The US is forming a closer relationship everyday with India which isn’t going to cave to Chinese pressure. The US is in the process of learning a hard lesson about Hubris in Iraq that the Chinese seem oblivious to.

    • Alberto

      Partnerships are being made… to secure the resources they need… (something another Asian nation didn’t do well last century…)

      Look at the Chinese involvement in the Western Australian Mining industry, ot the recent supply of two naval patrol vessels to little East Timor - a very oil rich country… Or the alliances that allow for the String of Pearls…

  • @Earlydawn

    Who’s worried about China militarily? Give them a decade and they will implode like every other powerful Communist country. The biggest Army, Navy, or Air Force in the world won’t save you when nearly a billion people stand up and decide that they’d like some rights.

    • William

      Give us another decade and our debt will implode us.

      • DerStuermer

        Hell, give us a year or two.

  • @sublimeoblivion

    I think many of you are putting far too much stock in the importance of military/naval tradition. While it does confer certain advantages, it also locks nations into doctrines that may become obsolete in the peacetime interim between major wars. On the other hand, emerging Powers like China - not so wedded to traditions, and with more freedom to arrange their naval force structure in line with modern technologies - may actually benefit from their relative lack of naval tradition. They can start from a blank slate so to speak. This is especially important in times of rapid technological change, such as the case today.

    • Ergo the Qualmed

      I don’t think it’s an issue of constrictive tradition, but an issue of US experience patrolling the world vs “oh wtf we’ve never had a major blue-water navy before” type of Chinese naval “tradition.”

      You’d be right, if the Chinese had developed a recent, tried-and-true strategy or doctrine…and I don’t believe they have…

    • Max

      I would say they start less from a blank slate and more from whatever was on the slate when they stole it or reverse engineered it from the original russian slate.

  • Drake1

    The Chinese Are Coming, the Chinese Are Coming

    • Oblat

      Yea alternated with “They will self implode soon” and you have the typical American’s “understanding” of China.

      It’s particularity ironic given that America is the one doing the self imploding right now.

      • crackedlenses

        Our Dear Leader has sure been a great help….. And yes, our country will go to hell at this rate if the people don’t do something, and quick….

      • @Earlydawn

        There’s a sizable difference between economic mismanagement and a economic model that always rolls over, given enough time.

  • ChabossD

    You guys replying to lars are missing the point: sure, there were other factors involved, but the point is: it happened, and it can happen again. Safest way to make sure you estimate your enemy correctly? Dont underestimate him.

  • Tim Adkison

    Maybe if the government wasn’t hording cash into health care and social security it would have a better navy.

    • Jacob

      Oh? Social Security and Medicare have been with us since the 1930’s and we’ve been able to afford a military every decade since then. Social Security was with us when we WON THE COLD WAR. Maybe you should look at the things that have actually contributed to the national debt, like the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? Iraq was unnecessary, and both were mismanaged. Afghanistan is a tribal society, and on who’s watch did we decide to erect a centralized and corrupt government that nobody there trusted?

      • Howe

        I agree that we shouldn’t have went into Iraq…that war happened because the intel was bad.
        But Afghanistan is the country we hit first after 9/11, and rightly so.
        Now fast-forward to today. Iraq is going pretty good, I dont like the fact that Obama has set a time table to leave…war is unpredictable because you dont know what your enemy is doing…and we blatantly tell our enemy exactly what were doing, and when were going to do it (rolls eyes).
        Now, as for Afghanistan, we should leave. Its a lost cause. Its just too tribal, and we simply dont have the money at this time to be pouring into it.

        As for our national debt…This is the thing that worries me the most, Its gotten out of control. Bush spent way more then I liked, and now in Lord Obama reign, he’s spending money like a lotto winner in a strip club.

        While yes, wars cost a LOT, but Obama’s Bailouts have cost more then the entire Iraqi war. That really puts things into perspective.

        November cant come soon enough…

        • PEZ

          Bush pushed the first bailout through. The economy was in tatters when he left and this is what Obama was forced to deal with. Do you honestly think nearly a decade of tax cutting, fiscal mismanagement, pork barrel corruption, and fear-mongering by the Fed under a Republican executive can be fixed in two years?

          And then you say imply the solution is for yet another big government, deficit spending Republican to take office? Good grief.

  • Kevin B

    Another important factor in future US naval dominance vs. China’s naval potential is the US’s geographic advantage of having Atlantic and Pacific Ocean fleets. In addition, the US has many allies and friends with naval assets also.

    One look at China’s ocean border makes containment of the entire Chinese shipping lane complex look relatively easy.

    Regarding the economics of the US GDP growth rate or current lack there of vs. China’s current GDP growth rate of 10%+/year, be careful not to compare a Chinese economic peak to a US economic valley.

  • Jeff m

    They don’t have pacific access, america is more powerful by geography alone

  • ugliernu

    it don’t mean crap if you’re afraid to use it.

  • STemplar

    There is a lot of fear mongering going on. In regards to this ASBM, to my knowledge it hasn’t even been test fired, so to me that means if there is a prototype it is in very early stages of development.

    Russia joining with China in a military conflict against the US? Uhhhh, no. I don’t see much in it for Russia, and I’m sure the Russians see even less. Given they are ticked at the Chinese copying their equipment and don’t even want to see to them anymore, I doubt it.

    Venezuela and Iran? Not sure what they’ll do besides shoot their mouths off, but ok.

    On the flip side the Chinese are trying to intimidate every regional power and in the process making them angry.

    China is extremely vulnerable and the US could easily bring it to its knees. Hit their oil terminals and strategic tank farms, most of which are on the Pacific coast. Degrade the stockpile 50% and China has like a couple weeks of oil reserves. Destroy their terminals, and they can’t off load crude or LNG. Their economy would grind to a halt. The result would be catastrophic to the world economy, but it would destroy China.

    • Tim

      Not to mention dropping bunker busters on the giant dams China recently built. Of course, the flooding could kill millions, but hey, it’s war.

      Besides, if the PLA’s air defense network couldn’t see those “black birds” dropping a few doo doos, they wouldn’t say who done it. :)

    • DerStuermer

      Agent Orange on rice paddies. Just saying.

    • fobbit

      I believe the fear the ASBM generates is based on the fact that a singular weapon system can potentially negate our blue water advantage, or at the very least SEVERELY cripple its offensive capabilities. Furthermore, none of us are privy to the truth regarding the ASBM’s operational status, it’s all conjecture at this point so I’d like to caution people to not assume it’s untested.

      In regards to US vs China: that’s assuming the US is in engaged in a single conflict or front and able to allocate a majority of its capabilities to the area. If other nations, smaller ones (think NKorea, Iran, Venezuela) were to preempt any military confrontation between the US and China, they would gain the initiative and place us in a position necessitating the defense of our allies.

      As far as China and Russia working together it’s not completely ridiculous. Considering the efforts to further tie their two economies together via additional pipelines and nuclear cooperation I think it’s fairly obvious that the two see benefit to investing in each other for the long term. Though I admit that’s a far cry from a complete mutual defense agreement.

  • mike n

    In a case of confict between China and USA if the Chinese loose a third of their Navy it wouldn’t give them a bad night sleep if in exchance they could sunk a couple of US carriers and just a dozen subs and destroyers. The political and economic outcry would be much bigger in the US.

    • DerSuermer

      Sink our subs? Never happen. Where’s the ASW capacity against our boats?

  • K. G. Ries

    “the battle …differed from earlier struggles at sea … in the range and complexity of the forces engaged… pitting against each other of ships,aircraft, intelligence and communication systems, and surface, underwater, and air weapons in a competition for advantage, in which mistatkes were punishished with pitiless severity … the chief components of the struggle were weapons, surveillance, attack aircraft, radio intelligence and command systems, and cryptanalysis … a quote from John Keegan’s “The Price of Admiralty” 1988, in describing WW2’s Battle of the Atlantic. The U.S. Navy has come a long way since that time, but that analysis would still describe a present day conflict at sea, with China or any potential adversary which could conjure up fear in hearts of the military industrial complex. To China - You’ve come a long way baby, but you’ve still got a long way to go.

  • anthony

    Look how long it took to build up just to start a war!Id say ICBMs could dominate but onlly for a few minutes.Doesnt matter who usses first strike second and the world is disrupted..It takes us about a good month to reach victims now from earthquakes,If there is a volcanoe millions are in panic when planes are not aloud to fly.This is the more we need to work together and I am talking all powers.Together and start using our brains to fight poverty,and that we all put in effort to help urgent calls for help in to many countries.Why help people live now via operations if we cannot even help babies from hunger to live further.?We can go to moon but cannot stop diseases? Lets all get together and help each other istead of saying we are better then them etc.As long as there is poverty in the world then we should see whos first helping them countries ,,thats worth talking about..

    • Der Stuermer

      “Can’t we all just get along?” < >

    • STemplar

      You’re posting in the wrong forums. You should post in Chinese ones with their military. They are the government that thought it was ok to spray protesters with machine guns. They are the government that invaded Tibet. They are the government who props up Kim Jung Il with his porn collection and private train while his people drink from open sewers. They are the government that blocked UN action and leaders in the Sudan. You are barking up the wrong tree. These are the forums talking about maintaining sufficient military capacity to defend against that form of mentality.

  • ohwilleke

    The Americans won by fighting a war in a way that the British didn’t think that they would fight it. Expecting a plain vanilla conventional naval war, as this analysis does, to some extent is despite the point. China has far more dirty tricks it could play and isn’t going to fight a conventional naval war with the U.S.

  • WJS

    People are forgetting that the British at the time were rife with officers that were officers due to heredity or privilege rather than capability. That plagued the British for years and years. The US does not have the same issue. Usually our officers and commanders are military men not affluent dandies. The US also has a history of innovation whether in technology or strategy. Especially when pushed. China does not. Yes, yes Sun Tzu I know. Did Sun Tzu defeat two empires at once? People aren’t even sure if he existed. Granted we should not underestimate the Chinese but neither should they underestimate us.

  • Mitch S.

    Talk about a “Blue water navy”. I wonder where this pick of The Reagan and escorts was taken?

  • flimflam

    The Brits took China in 1850 by threatening their river supply lines. A few hundred well placed conventional cruise missiles targeting their river infrastructure, electrical capacity, refining capacity, etc. could accomplish the same end result: they’d sue for peace rather than have the majority of their people slowly starve to death. I just don’t think there is going to be this huge cataclysmic confrontation with China. They can only certainly lose. It only depends on how far we are willing to do what is necessary.

    • jhm

      nearly every chinese dinasty fell due to river problems. a dozen cruise missiles would make teh already fragile yellow river to cause havoc since china barely can maintain the dikes and dams there.GG for china

  • jhm

    Even if hte chinese produce newer weapons, the quality of them is quesitonable. Power of navies are actually measured in teh number of carriers( thailand being the exception, and japan.). American fighters such as teh fa18e can launch harpoon ssm 80 miles away. most navies today can only fire back sams up to 40 miles. With about a dozen supercarriers, teh US obviously holds and will hold naval hegemony for decades( until china can build a dozen, which probably will never happen)