Speaking today at the Southeastern New England Defense Industry Alliance, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel sought to assure arms dealers of continued US spending on advanced military technology, claiming the US military dominance is being “challenged” and the US needs increased innovation to maintain its superiority.
Hagel claimed that both Russia and China are closing the “technological gap,” and that some of their new designs appear meant to “counter traditional US advantages.”
The US spends far more on its military than either China or Russia, and indeed amounts to a large portion of the world’s military spending all by itself. China’s $188 billion, though more than double what any other nation spends, is still a small fraction of America’s $640 billion annual expenditure. Russia is in third place, at $87 billion.
And apart from the US insinuating itself into Chinese maritime boundary disputes in the South China Sea, the US and China are allies, with no real prospect of going to war.
As the Pentagon chief, Hagel seems to be playing up the “threats” posed by these nations, despite them not being enemies, and having much smaller budgets, as an effort to ratchet up military spending in the US, particularly new outlays on advanced armaments.