U.S. military spending vs. the world — 2015

Another chart to print and distribute widely.

From National Priorities

The U.S. outpaces all other nations in military expenditures. World military spending totaled more than $1.6 trillion in 2015. The U.S. accounted for 37 percent of the total.

U.S. military expenditures are roughly the size of the next seven largest military budgets around the world, combined.

U.S. military spending dwarfs the budget of the #2 country – China. For every dollar China spends on its military, the U.S. spends $2.77.


The U.S. Army’s war over Russia — Pentagon insiders expose “sky is falling” hype

…in early March, Breedlove, who declined to comment for this article, told a group of Washington reporters that Russia had “upped the ante” in Ukraine with “well over a thousand combat vehicles, Russian combat forces, some of their most sophisticated air defense [units and] battalions of artillery.” The situation, Breedlove said, “is not getting better. It is getting worse every day.”

The problem with the Breedlove report, according to a senior civilian Pentagon adviser, was that it wasn’t true. “I have no idea what the hell he’s talking about,” he told me. That comment echoed statements coming from Berlin, where advisers to German Chancellor Angela Merkel characterized Breedlove’s comments as “dangerous propaganda.”

And the difference between the present situation and the Civil War example below is profound — Russia isn’t attacking the US or any European country. But the US and many European countries view themselves as at war with and practically under siege from Russia. That pathological and rabid Western worldview is of extreme danger to the entire earth, due to the weapons of mass destruction they have at their fingertips, the powerful positions they hold, and the men and women under their command.

From Politico

Top brass profess to be really worried about Putin. But a growing group of dissenters say they’re overreacting to get a bigger share of the defense budget.

By Mark Perry
May 12, 2016

During the Battle of the Wilderness in 1864, a unit of Robert E. Lee’s army rolled up some artillery pieces and began shelling the headquarters of Union commander Ulysses S. Grant. When one of his officers pleaded that Grant move, insisting that he knew exactly what Lee was going to do, Grant, normally a taciturn man, lost his temper: “Oh, I am heartily tired of hearing about what Lee is going to do,” he said. “Some of you always seem to think he is going to turn a double somersault, and land in our rear and on both of our flanks at the same time. Go back to your command and try to think what we are going to do ourselves, instead of what Lee is going to do.”

The story was recalled to me a few weeks ago by a senior Pentagon officer in citing the April 5 testimony of Army leaders before a Senate Armed Services Subcommittee. The panel delivered a grim warning about the future of the U.S. armed forces: Unless the Army budget was increased, allowing both for more men and more materiel, members of the panel said, the United States was in danger of being “outranged and outgunned” in the next war and, in particular, in a confrontation with Russia. Vladimir Putin’s military, the panel averred, had outstripped the U.S. in modern weapons capabilities. And the Army’s shrinking size meant that “the Army of the future will be too small to secure the nation.” It was a sobering assessment delivered by four of the most respected officers in the Army—including Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, his service’s leading intellectual. The claim is the prevailing view among senior Army officers, who fear that Army readiness and modernization programs are being weakened by successive cuts to the U.S. defense budget.

But not everyone was buying it.

“This is the ‘Chicken-Little, sky-is-falling’ set in the Army,” the senior Pentagon officer said. “These guys want us to believe the Russians are 10 feet tall. There’s a simpler explanation: The Army is looking for a purpose, and a bigger chunk of the budget. And the best way to get that is to paint the Russians as being able to land in our rear and on both of our flanks at the same time. What a crock.”

The Army panel’s assessment of the Russian danger was reinforced by an article that appeared in these pages two days later. The article reported on an expansive study that McMaster has ordered to collect the lessons of Ukraine. It paraphrased Army leaders and military experts who warn the Russian-backed rebel army has been using “surprisingly lethal tanks” and artillery as well as “swarms of unmanned aerial vehicles” to run roughshod over Ukrainian nationalists. While the reporting about the Army study made headlines in the major media, a large number in the military’s influential retired community, including former senior Army officers, rolled their eyes.

“That’s news to me,” one of these highly respected officers told me. “Swarms of unmanned aerial vehicles? Surprisingly lethal tanks? How come this is the first we’ve heard of it?”

The fight over the Army panel’s testimony is the latest example of a deepening feud in the military community over how to respond to shrinking budget numbers. At issue is the military’s strategic future: Facing cuts, will the Army opt to modernize its weapons’ arsenal, or defer modernization in favor of increased numbers of soldiers? On April 5, the Army’s top brass made its choice clear: It wants to do both, and Russia’s the reason. But a growing chorus of military voices says that demand is both backward and dangerously close-minded—that those same senior military officers have not only failed to understand the lessons of Afghanistan and Iraq and embrace service reform, they are inflating foreign threats to win a bigger slice of the defense budget.

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U.S will spend a trillion dollars to “catch up” with Russia

From Fort Russ

Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ
29th January, 2016

The Obama administration intends to spend a trillion dollars in the next 15 years, about half the annual defence budget of the USA, on the modernization of the arsenal of cruise missiles, writes The Economist. The reason for opening one of the most expensive military programs was the demonstration of the Russian cruise missiles “Kalibr”, dispelling the myth of the hegemony of the United States in the field of precision weapons.

“Russia is moving ahead towards its goal, which is placed on heavy bombers, submarines, and ships with winged long-range missiles equipped with non-nuclear warheads and long range weapons… If this trend continues, then over time the national missile defense system will face challenges in ensuring the protection of North America from the threat from Russian cruise missiles,” the head of the aerospace defense of the U.S. Admiral, William Courtney, said at the hearings in Congress.

“None of our ships are able to destroy the enemy ship using the standard weapons at a distance greater than 100 kilometers (the range of American anti-ship CU “Harpoon”). And none of the ships are capable of launching these missiles since their 1999 entrance into the service of the Navy,” said the Deputy Director of the Center for the study of American naval power at the Hudson Institute, Bryan McGrath.

However, US military commanders do not understand the panic because of the accumulated arsenal of thousands of “Tomahawks” – the main cruise missiles of the USA, which arms destroyers, cruisers and submarines. In recent history these missiles effectively fought desert guerrillas in Libya and other “hot spots”. They can be converted into cruise missile nuclear submarine type “Ohio”, which can carry 154 Tomahawks each. Should they be afraid?
The fact is that the subsonic flight of the Tomahawks at their full range may take more than three hours. During this time the enemy ship doing a conservative, slow speed, will be able to move at 60-100 kilometers from the point of impact. Thus, the previously included guidance system of the missile to the target’s data source is dangerously obsolete. Therefore, it is necessary to decisively increase the speed of the missile. Or to make a principally new guidance system, explains the portal “Novosti VPK”.
Also, “Tomahawks” were created almost 40 years ago, when the modern means of air defense systems and electronic warfare were not on the scene. Slow and unmasked in flight, the rocket will become an easy target for the more or less powerful anti-aircraft missile systems, and such complexes as S-400 “Triumph”, which is able to deflect a massive raid of “Tomahawks”.
It seems that in America they have only now realized the true meaning of the statement of Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, made in 2013. “By 2016 Russia intends to quintuple the number of high-precision long-range missiles, the Minister said. “And by 2020 – 30 times”.

Poroshenko increases armed forces amid shaky truce in Donbas

From Sputnik News, March 2, 2015

The President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko introduced a bill to the Verkhovna Rada to enlarge the maximum size of the national forces.

The draft was registered on Monday and the corresponding document was published on the website of the Ukrainian Parliament.

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According to the draft, the Ukrainian military should not employ more than 250 thousand people, including 204 thousand soldiers. However, it was noted that during an emergency the military may be strengthened with conscription.

“The size of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in emergencies shall grow by the number of servicemen recruited for military service consistent with the mobilization decrees of the Ukrainian president,” it said.

The funds for an increase in the Ukrainian Armed Forces are provided for by the budget of 2015.

This comes a week after President Petro Poroshenko said that the new Minsk agreements on regulating the crisis in eastern Ukraine give hope, but he is unsure whether they will be fully implemented.

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“We managed to reach agreements that give hope that the events in Donbas will transition from the hot stage to a state of political regulation. I don’t want anybody to have illusions and I don’t want to seem naive – we are still far from peace…and nobody has a firm belief that the Minsk peace agreements will be strictly implemented,” Poroshenko said last week.

The Ukrainian leader expressed hope that the situation will de-escalate, and peace will be achieved through ceasefire and withdrawal of artillery.

In early January, the Minister of Defense of Ukraine Stepan Poltorak said that the state budget for 2015 will provide military funding at the amount of 44.6 billion UAH ($1.6 billion USD).

It is almost 3.6 times more than the last year,” Poltorak said.

A similar bill was introduced the Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatsenyuk on behalf of the government in January. According to him, the total financing for national security and defense in 2015 will total 90 billion UAH ($3.2 billion USD).

Read more: http://sputniknews.com/europe/20150302/1018963463.html#ixzz3TQ0MA55c

German military association demands massive armaments increase

Welt.de reports that Lieutenant Colonel André Wüstner, President of the Armed Forces Association, said, “Whoever wants peace must prepare for war.” [1]

From World Socialist Web Site, February 14, 2015
By Johannes Stern

Against the backdrop of the Ukraine crisis, leading German politicians and military leaders are demanding a massive rearmament of the army.

On Sunday, the president of the armed forces association [Bundeswehrverband], André Wüstner, attending the Munich Security Conference, declared: “Whoever wants freedom must be ready for war.” He has precisely the same view as the German government, namely that the conflict in Ukraine cannot be solved militarily, but that the army must prepare itself for any emergency.

The past year has shown “how quickly risks can turn into dangers,” said Wüstner. The situation in Ukraine, Syria and Iraq is dramatic, he said.

“For us, that means insisting that the army should be fully equipped—equipment caps passed by the previous legislature must be abolished! That begins with the weapons system and goes all the way to the personal equipment of the individual soldier.”

“To achieve complete preparation of the army for deployment”, he added, “we must raise the defense budget step by step in the next few years. Otherwise, we risk losing the trust of our allies that we have only just won back.”

Wüstner was referring to “global challenges” and the German role in NATO. Germany has a “payback responsibility” with regard to the army and NATO.

The lieutenant colonel complained, “Since 1990, the budget was restructured to save money at the expense of the army,” and demanded: “It is time for that to end—there have to be credible assurances of funding for deterrence and security!”

This year’s defense report raises similar demands and read like a blueprint for the rearmament of the army. In the forward, the parliamentary defense commissioner Hellmut Königshaus (Free Democratic Party, FDP) describes the year 2014 as “the year of truth” for the army. It is being rebuilt into an army capable of intervening worldwide, but is “stretched to the limit of its capacity.”

The first part of the report creates the impression that the German armed forces are a chronically underfinanced scrapheap in need of redevelopment and in urgent need of a massive increase in budgetary allotments.

In nearly all units, there are personnel problems: the anti-aircraft missile unit stationed in Turkish territory, the speedboat squadron, the U-boat squadron, the tactical air force squadron, the marine planes and the signals division.

With regard to large military equipment, the report says there are massive “inadequacies and deficits.” It mentions, for instance, the Eurofighter, the transport helicopter NH 90, the transport airplane Transall and the marine mine warfare systems. There are not enough armored personnel carriers, and barracks are dilapidated. Replacement parts for military equipment and adequate ammunition are also lacking. And the main gun used by the army, the G36, does not shoot accurately.

Wüstner and the defense report demand what the German government and NATO have wanted for a long time but have previously only formulated cautiously because of widespread popular opposition.

Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen (Christian Democratic Union, CDU) said in her opening speech to the Munich Security Conference last weekend that Germany is working “very hard to bring the army’s weaponry and equipment into a condition that will allow us to maintain our role as enduring alliance partners.” NATO wants this to take place immediately. The military alliance has long demanded of its members that they raise their defense budgets to at least two percent of GDP. Recently, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg insisted that Germany set a good example.

Stoltenberg held talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Defense Minister von der Leyen about increasing military funding during his inaugural visit to Berlin in January. He also presented his plans to the parliamentary committees for defense and foreign policy.

Germany is a “key country” on the continent and has an important leadership role to play, said Stoltenberg. Therefore it must set an example for other NATO countries with its military. The security situation is changing “and we must adjust ourselves to that,” the NATO secretary general said.

Like Wüstner and von der Leyen, Stoltenberg directly related his plans for armaments with Russia’s “confrontation course”. NATO must stock up its arsenal, because only on the basis of a “position of strength” is a dialog with Moscow possible.

However, the most important reason for the demand to build up the army is not the NATO insistence, but the end of German restraint in matters of foreign policy announced by President Gauck and the German government a year ago. In order to be able to intervene worldwide to defend German economic, geopolitical and security interests, they need an army that is well equipped and prepared.

The complaints of the defense report about the bad condition of the army evoke historical parallels. In 1933, minister of the army of the Reich, Werner von Blomberg, prepared a memorandum in which he called the state of the German army “hopeless.” Like the current defense report, Blomberg’s memorandum complained that there were inadequate personnel reserves, military equipment and ammunition. Not even the equipment guaranteed by the Versailles treaty was available to the marines. Armoured ships were not delivered and the air force was almost nonexistent.

The dramatic development that then followed is well known. At the end of the same year, the Nazi regime began a rapid rearmament of the army. Within a short time, the German weapons industry, which had shrunk dramatically in accordance with the Versailles peace treaty, became a powerful fighting force that began the Second World War in 1939, left large parts of Europe in ruins and led a brutal war of destruction against the Soviet Union.




[1] http://www.welt.de/politik/deutschland/article137224332/Deutschland-muss-auf-Krieg-vorbereitet-sein.html