Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Chinese analyzer warning a gloomy future on U.S. military power

Song Yichang, a Chinese well-known civilian defense affairs analyzer, in a month ago interview held by a Chinese magazine, expressed his opinion that Iraq War had seriously weaken the military ability of United States and a financial black-hole in middle east has shaped dark clouds upper American defense industries.

Song admitted that U.S. still leading the global RMA (Revolution of Military Affairs). NMD, combat UAV and FALCON program are all the land-marks of America’s great advantages in military technologies and innovative concepts.

However, Song also pointed that the huge expenditure on Iraq War has jeopardized the maintenance and renewal of U.S.' aged combat systems. He summarized that most military aircrafts in US Air Force and Navy have been in service for over 20 years and some of them, such as A-10, will continuously be kept until 2030; fleets of SSN "Los Angels" class and SSBN "Ohio" Class have been deployed for over 20 years and puzzled for keeping the normal operation of old reactors.

Song thought that U.S. has technological ability to upgrade its gadgets, but U.S. can not afford the higher cost of equipment purchase. In his opinion, the Achilles's heel is sky-high manpower cost, which limits U.S. defense Industrial giants, like Northrop-Grumman, Raytheon, Lockheed-Martin, in the profitable but confined defense market.

In his research, Song believed that the “military-industrial complex” has been behind the U.S. defense policies making since end of Cold War. U.S' urge on NMD and TMD is not for "Rogue States" but for keeping the running of military industrial giants.

Beside the strategic defense system, U.S. must face the cost rising of conventional weapon and accept a decrease of military power to keep U.S' global leadership. Under this condition, Song said that the emergence of China has become the most complicated puzzle to Americans.

Song's judgment is: if U.S believes that China's development is under the single-pole international system, it is not necessary to hold a large scale conventional military power so as to supporting an acceptable expenditure on military industrial investment. On the other hand, in case China is willing to challenge America's leadership in Asia-pacific area, U.S. has to hold a considerable conventional or even nuclear arsenal, which is unbearable to U.S. defense fiscal.

Song even predicted that if China achieves breakthrough in comprehensive system like large jet plane and aircraft carrier then use its advantages in low manpower cost and mass production, U.S. administration will be in a financing disaster when keeping a military balance.

But Song thought that insightful people in U.S. have wakened up to this point and U.S. still has great superiority in air and naval forces but Iraq War has limited America's response ability in facing future challenge. Bush Administration has no time to think about tomorrow but enjoying predecessors’ heritage. Finally, Song sited Brzezinski’s words: America will have a second chance after 2008, but there definitely won't be a third chance.

Song Yichang’s father is Song Ping, who was once one of general member of CPC Political Bureau in 1989 and was the first supporter for President Hu’s preferment in CPC system. Mr. Song has published several works on western countries’ strategy.

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