I'm on Twitter! More Must Reads

    follow me on Twitter

    Saturday, May 10, 2008

    Preparing for the century of Asian dominance...

    I will make no secret of my respect for the Indians. As we enter a century that is going to be dominated by the Chinese and Indians, I am thankful that we have begun the process of aligning ourselves with the Indians. This is a country that has established a democratic tradition, is filled with human capital, and who I believe recognizes their importance in the 21st century. I think as we move forward, we are all going to thank the Bush administration for one of their more prescient foreign policy moves, the strengthening of ties between our two countries. This ultimately has benefits for the U.S. as we have a strong, democratic global partner, and for our defense industry, if we can yank business away from the Russians, who have a long-term relationship as India's arms supplier.

    So, this article discusses briefly the Indian Navy's leader and his worries as the Indian defense budget (though rising, is below 2% of GDP) is less able to sustain the desired ship buildup (sound familiar?). It's heartening to me that the Indians recognize that the quickest way to sea dominance is through the continued building of submarines, and, yes, nuclear ones. India is still planning to lease Akula class subs from the Russians. Of course, since my interest in the Indian Navy is newfound, I didn't realize that India has been trying to complete this Akula lease since 2004 (article and discussion).

    Now, the Indians have signed a $2.2B deal to buy 8 P-8's from the U.S.

    Nothing after...


    reddog said...

    The Indians have some good educational institutions and English is widely used. They ignore about 60% of their population and let them live in very hungry stone age environment.

    Nobody is very sure where the Chinese are going but they are bringing everybody along to the party.

    In a military context, this is a profound difference.

    Jay said...

    "Nobody is very sure where the Chinese are going but they are bringing everybody along to the party."


    These people
    might beg to differ

    reddog said...

    You're missing my point, maybe I'm not being clear. The Chinese are providing at least a basic comprehensive education to almost everyone. This means that they can come up with hundreds of millions of fairly functional individuals for cannon fodder on short notice.

    This should be a huge concern for military think tanks.

    India is nowhere near the same league. They are still mired in a social caste system that virtually ignores the bottom half of their population. They could come up with large numbers of soldiers and I'm sure they would be willing to sacrifice them in the field but those soldiers would lack the didactic tools necessary to quickly learn the military arts.

    Jay said...

    Ok, I get your point, but while I find it an interesting one, I don't think it's a great one.

    Even if we take your 40% number for India, that still gives them roughly a 400M population that's educated. Their military requirements are nowhere near an Armed Forces of that size, nor are the Chinese. If the Indian's can't field an Army of about 1-2M people out of that 400M, they have a problem. By comparison, the Chinese have between 1.5-2.5M people in their armed forces, depending on who's count you believe. For the U.S., it's 1.4M.

    I would posit that the Indian government seems to understand that the transformation of their economy will require those low caste workers to take jobs and perhaps even move up the chain. The military seems ahead of the rest of India in essentially eliminating single caste units.

    I am confident that even with the numbers available today, they can field an Army, Navy, and Air Force the equal of the United States and China's, although if faced with all out War, neither India (today) nor the US could ever hope to match China man-to-man. But, wars aren't all about raw numbers, though maybe that's the way to bet.

    Anyway, interesting reading.