Secretary of Defense Mark Esper is calling for an increase in military spending to counter China and Russia. In two separate speeches on Thursday, Esper said China and Russia had become “near-peer rivals” of the US, and an adequate budget increase must be made to reflect that.
“I would like to see three to five percent annual real growth for the Defense Department to stay ahead of the challenges we face, especially from China,” Esper said. “The department’s vision for readiness is one in which our people are focused on great power competition from day one.”
Esper’s comments reflect the US military’s shift in focus from terrorism to so-called “great power competition,” as outlined in the 2018 National Defense Strategy. Since he was appointed Secretary of Defense in 2019, Esper has identified China as the Pentagon’s “number one priority.”
As part of his efforts to counter Beijing, Esper tasked the National Defense University, a Pentagon-funded higher-learning facility, to focus 50 percent of its coursework on China by 2021. The former Raytheon lobbyist said he also tasked the military services to make China’s People’s Liberation Army “the pacing threat in our professional schools, programs and training.”
42 thoughts on “Esper Calls for More Military Spending to Face China and Russia”
Howz that swamp draining ?
Pretty good. The Clintons haven’t peeped once during the election.
Politics, ie, The Swamp, is all about those patronage flows.
Does he think the US Army needs some $20 paper clips? to go along with their obsolete ship and tank and aircraft tech? The Chinese probably have a competitive drone and missile industry that delivers cheap but effective tech unlike the US where political corruption and revolving doors ensure that the US is set to decline even further. As the Chinese economy inexorably overtakes the US, I would not be surprised if some of these arms companies move to China , or should I say pivot towards China although it is very clear that they are completely noncompetitive at the moment. ie 1 UK trident missile =$500 million, 1 Indian Mars mission = $39 million. The US needs to spend 10 times what the Russians or Chinese to get the same result. Good job they are spending 20 times more then.
Matter of quantity (US) against quality (Russia/China)….
Parasites .. the country is imploding and these bastards want more money ?
They gotta get their take before everything collapses!
Ah, but we’re the greatest democracy in history, aren’t we.
Should America fall for real, the crater left behind will be monumental, truly one for the ages and super-radioactive..
brilliant strategy that will accurate the collapse of the empire from 10 to 5 years
US: 750 million
China: 237 million
Russia: 48 million
“Near peer rivals”.
But here is the problem, and they know
it. Nominally, our economy is highest in the world. In purchase price parity basis, China has overtaken US.
It is even more stark when you compare German and Russian economies. In nominal terms, Russian economy is only 1/4 of German. In PPP, Russian economy is equal to, or even a bit higher then German.
In China, one spends $5 for a cab for about a quarter hour ride from an airport in a large metropolitan area. Here, $50 to $70.
The problem with military spending is — what exactly for? Countering this or that answers nothing. Unless it is defined in the terms of DEFENSE — these are just empty words signifying nothing. Chinese and Russian strategies are clear — cannot be clearer. Defense, defense, defense. Ours is — dominate, dominate, dominate. At some point — it all becomes a blur. Except one thing — are we actually defended? And how?
What made me wonder is the confused way, or perhaps denial — when Russia announced its new generation of weapons. There is an effort in closing the gap — but with money, no strategy. But nobody will ask questions.
One problem at a time. First keep ending the wars on the table.
True, no-one asks questions except when will Trump leave.
I am wondering about the state of politics — and how did we get here? What makes people so narrow minded, to expect all problems to go away by electing another person?
What are the chances that the drawdown in Afghanistan will continue? Or that Iraq would stay on the course of force reduction? Or finally ending the desperate clutching at Syria’s lily pads?
Or should Biden get elected — all go into reverse?
Hard to say. Or Biden will reflect the general exhaustion—having enough if this crazy year, from epidemics to politics.
I wonder that myself. Going partisan for Trump is not an easy decision. Its just the most logical one.
The Presidential Question is rigged. There were only going to be two contenders once coalition politics became the norm in America. These became the Democrats and Republicans, the Progressives and Conservatives.
When that happens, the only choice is the one the forbears of today’s Progressives and Conservatives made decades ago – become a partisan, join a coalition, use your cause to form the nucleus of a coalition faction. Then, vie for power making your faction the leading force of your coalition. Over time, the cause just becomes a pretext for power, not to forward any cause but aggrandizing power.
However, there is one notable difference between then and now. Progressives stood for progress – material but also moral progress – along time ago. Then, their ideas were new and difficult to accept by many – hence the Conservatives arose to oppose them.
However, the Progressives were generally right about many things and their new ideas that worked became the norm. Progressives, in a sense, are like the Libertarians or Greens; people already agree with their basic program, the ideas have been instituted, they have nothing left to offer except incremental improvements.
The Progressives will tend to eschew incremental improvements and instead make stuff up to justify being the natural ruling party.
And, it seems the Democrats are doing just that, ginning up one crisis after another to justify their rule. They can only destroy progress to repackage it as something new, and it can’t be real progress because that gives them no pretext to power. Poverty can never be resolved. Inequality can never be resolved. Wars can never end.
“Normal” is not a static condition. The present normal always has the potential to get better or worse in the future.
The Democrats seem only to appeal to social bullies who need to meddle and intervene and help themselves at someone else’s expense. And worse never-Trumping appeals to nihilists who want the system to fail, despite the added suffering that would cause. Democrats are addicted to intervention, yet intuitively fear solving problems for real. They would realize the worst outcomes of the old normal.
The Republicans, as real conservatives, not RINOS. oppose radical change by default. Conservatives, at the very least, would be inclined to prevent realizing the worst potential of the old normal by the very act of not trying to change things much at all.
Trump’s government has been marked by a reluctance to engage in wasteful interventionism at home and abroad. No new wars. No COVID-19 Reset.
Change happens, but the potential for things to keep getting better on their own natural and peaceful course, remains more within reach under four more years of President Donald Trump.
The “no new war” soap selling is trite. Where was he going to invade ? Venezuela? Iran ? Cheney pushed hard to attack Iran in 04, and the Pentagon talked him out of it. No way they were gonna go with looney trump at the helm.
I suppose I could say Obama started no new war in Afganistan, but that would sound idiotic considering his surge there. That’s all trump has done, escalated with violence where he could, and murderous sanctions wherever he wanted. Not a single troop home in 4 years.
Difference ? The US was far more war weary in 2016 than 2008, trump had an opportunity and pissed it away, actually worse.
Plus, trump invaded Syria, not Obama. 4000 marines.
Or, is attacking civilians in Washington DC with chemical weapons with federal troops a “new war” ?
Another antiwar poseur declaring he’s tired of hearing ‘No new wars’ to get Trump. What took you so long?
Obama starting no new wars is absurd because he went warring into Libya, Syria, and Yemen. The first U.S. troops sent into Syria were sent by Obama.
Sigh. Obama put down riots in Baltimore; since Washington D.C. is in the same country, the United Sates, as Baltimore, its safe to conclude it not a new war. Except, I thought you were denying there’s any kind of civil war in the U.S..
Whatever. Straight line logic always eluded your partisan arguments. Biden will deliver new wars soon enough and you can be happy to whining about them.
It is true. First do no harm — something to be applied to politics in our time.
Trump is his own worst enemy. Blunders upon blunders. But there is no contest — in spite of his bluster, he is reluctant to start wars.
And he has learned the hard way that our real issues with China is how we approach strategic re-industrialization.
I am afraid Democrats are fossilized in the Cold War era — when things were simple.
But neither can really raise to the historic occasion. I an afraid that Edmund Burke’s warnings have materialized, even in countries like UK where aristocracy were to guard against the short-term profit thinking, and conserve the accumulated wisdom of generations.
All Western societies were over time swept by the reason of calculating sophists, interest of individuals. While interests of nations are only present when dying and sacrifice was required in wars.
And we cannot come out if it — without some new version of aristocracy — not biological but based on experience and character.
What is noble — has been dead since French revolution. I see a deep digging into history in both Chinese and Russian political adaptations.
Specially Chinese in their concept of presidency and State Council. But they have 5,000 years to draw upon.
While we can only hope that conservative, cautious temperament would hold the reigns of the coach of the state to prevent it from careening out of control.
“And he has learned the hard way that our real issues with China is how we approach strategic re-feudalization.”
Fixed, no charge.
Discussions with Knapp indicate the long-standing libertarian objection to the state, can also become a philosophical sophistry against nation-statism, the alt-right’s version of anarcho-communism on the alt-left. The rise of anti nation-statism, as opposed to just statism, is interesting.
Odds are, the nation-state has become more an impediment than enabler of trans-national abuses of power, so some elites feel the need to lay down the grassroots sophistry to remove it. Likely to make it easier to remove power elite rivals.
There’s no such thing as a new version of aristocracy; they are what they are, individuals of inherited wealth and position, some more divorced from noblese oblige than others.
China only pretends to be 5000 ears old. They’ve changed the common language, simplified it, enough times such that only experts, Chinese or foreign, can fully explore the subtle nuances of Chinese culture.
That first paragraph is some weird shit. Hint: I’m not “alt-right,” I’m ultra-left.
That first paragraph is some weird shit. Hint: I’m not “alt-right,” I’m ultra-left.
Somehow I thought you were libertarian, to the right but not necessarily ultra.
Libertarianism is the left-most point on the left-right political spectrum. Marx was the first major right-deviationist from the libertarian class theory of Comte and Dunoyer.
Most North Americans associate libertarianism with right-libertarianism, derived from American Murray Rothbard’s anarcho-capitalism, not left-libertarianism from European philosophers.
Going by a simplified Nolan Chart model, libertarianism in practice appears neither left nor right but opposite to authoritarianism, with the defining criteria being the level of personal liberty. Any left-right-ism would be downgraded to affectation, so the claim that libertarianism is ultra-left would be nonsensical.
Both the left and right lay claim to being core libertarianism, but in practice social libertarians tend left, economic libertarians tend right, and both left and right have their utopian ideals.
Hence, my own claim to be libertarian centre-left, supportive of social and market liberties but mindful of how they can be abused and so needing systems of regulation.
billion–not counting the 17 US unintelligence agencies
I didn’t even realize I typed “million” instead of billion. And I think you mean trillion.
I meant billion. Wouldn’t it be nice if it were million?
Depends on whether your household would survive a deep and abrupt deflation of the economy….
If it were “million” that would probably mean our economy hadn’t become dependent on the war industry for survival.
The economy doesn’t depend on military spending for survival; that’s always been a myth. In reality, the MIC competes for cash and talent with the civilian public and private economy.
The economy and MIC were already faltering even before COVID-19. Its classic libertarian economics. There’s no real economy to back massive artificial demand for war materiale and war profiteering. Its all one big bubble, but not one everyone is tied into it, just the power elite. The MIC bubble can’t inflate itself, it has to compel the real economy to feed it.
The war industry is so far into la-la land, the
MIC’s demise would scarcely be noticed economically except as the real
economy relieved of a massive, overwhelming parasite. Unless the real
economy were dead of parasitism and the parasite just died last.
No money for health care, unlimited money for bombz.
Jeez, I’m still trying to recover from my shock!
I guess they will still try to loot the funds allocated to Covad-19 to tide them over in this moment of crisis.
Hell, Congress included funding for more F-35s in the first COVID “relief” bill, they’re happy to assist
I suppose they had the nads to call it “protective” gear.
Another “idea:” They could take the money they are getting from the outright theft of Syrian oil to pay for the stupidity of cranking up the war threat against china and russia.
Yes, by all means, seeing as how we give them more money than the next seven nations combined, and seeing as how they can’t be audited, and repeatedly fail at their tasks anyway, let’s give them MORE money. Because, the flag and God, or something.
Esper needs to strengthen the American response to biological attack.
And meanwhile the American people get more divided, poorer, desperate and violent by the day.
the US is designed to be a military dictatorship—per univ mich professor Juan Cole they spend more each year on military expendituresthan the next largest militaries combined. since the military and their nationalized industries are distributed throughout US congressional districts all politicians worship imperialism—sanders has voted for all military appropriations
now the median income in the USA is $34,000 per year—disparities increasing…the empire is near collapse
Not really. The civilian order is resetting, but the war machine is a world unto itself.
Absent an American government, the War Machine could be run from NATO Europe.
When the US shift from terrorism to get power competition. Expect more homegrown terror attack on US soil. France is just a start. We told you so
Maybe the Russians figured out that for every dollar they announce they will spend, the U.S. will be compelled to match that x 20 in actual spemding.
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