NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN (ALMOST)

21st March, 1909 : Controlled panic swept the Commons today at the revelation that Germany may soon overtake Britain in naval might. Just two years ago such a suggestion would have been laughed at. The First Lord of Admiralty, Reginald McKenna, told MPs that the Government had underestimated German naval growth. New assessments were that 13 German dreadnoughts are due to be completed in 1911 alone, on top of those already in service. Although MPs agreed to plans to build new cruisers and heavily armoured destroyers along with six dreadnoughts, the Royal Navy will only have 11 of the ships by 1911. The Tory leader, Arthur Balfour, described the position as “so dangerous that it is difficult to realise all its import”, while in Berlin Admiral Tirpitz denied a British Government statement.

[More than one hundred years later we are much smarter and do not panic, in fact we do not care at all:

Speaking to the House Armed Service Committee’s Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee (which oversees the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps), Vice Admiral Joseph Mulloy said that China is building some “fairly amazing submarines,” both diesel- and nuclear-powered. He also noted that China is increasing the geographical area of deployment for its subs, as well as the length of time per deployment. …

In the 2014 edition of the Pentagon’s annual report to Congress on Chinese military developments, the Department of Defense said that China had “more than 60 submarines.” A spokesman for the U.S. Navy told Reuters that the U.S. has 71 commissioned submarines; the Pentagon must estimate that China’s number has now climbed into the low 70s at least. …

Nuclear-power submarines are a particular area of emphasis as China looks to improve its ability to conduct military operations outside its own near seas. China is continuing to produce Jin-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) and Shang-class nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSNs), and is expected to introduce new models over the next decade (the Type 096 SSBN and Type 095 guided-missile attack submarine or SSGN).”

Defense spending 2014:

Rank Country Spending ($ Bn.) % of GDP
World total

1,747.0

2.4

1 United States

640.0

3.8

2 China[a]

188.0

2.0

3 Russia[a]

87.8

4.1

4 Saudi Arabia[b]

67.0

9.3

5 France

61.2

2.2

6 United Kingdom

57.9

2.3

7 Germany[a]

48.8

1.4

8 Japan

48.6

1.0

9 India

47.4

2.5

10 South Korea

33.9

2.8

11 Italy[a]

32.7

1.6

12 Brazil

31.5

1.4

13 Australia

24.0

1.6

14 Turkey

19.1

2.3

15 United Arab Emirates[a][c]

19.0

4.

About Avadoro Worden

Iconoclast
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