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xinhui
26 Jul 09,, 21:58
Was reading the latest from US Naval College and saw they used this reference from Dr Kennedy.


To rule the waves
The rise and fall of navies
Paul Kennedy
Published: Thursday, April 5, 2007


http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/05/opinion/05iht-edkennedy.1.5158064.html?_r=1&pagewanted=print


The New York Times


To world historians, there is nothing more fascinating than to notice a coincidence or a disjuncture across space but within roughly the same time.

Was it just a coincidence, for example, that the new but fast-growing states of Germany, Japan, Italy and the United States "came of age" at the same time, after 1870 or so? And wasn't it an odd disjuncture that the political culture in Britain, France and America in the interwar years was so pacifist, whereas the mood in Germany, Italy and Japan was so aggressive and militarist, virtually making World War II inevitable?

Then go back in time and consider one of the oddest disjunctures in world history. In the very first decades of the 15th century, the great Chinese admiral Cheng Ho led a series of amazing maritime expeditions to the outer world, through the Straits of Malacca, into the Indian Ocean, across even to the eastern shores of Africa. Nothing at that time compared with China's surface navy.

Yet, within another decade, the overseas ventures had been scrapped by high officials in Beijing, anxious not to divert resources away from meeting the Manchu landward threat in the north and about how a seaward-bound open-market society might undermine their authority.

Coincidentally, on the other side of the globe, explorers and fishermen from Portugal, Galicia, Brittany and southwest England were pushing out, across to Newfoundland, the Azores, the western shores of Africa.

While China's great fleets were being dismantled by imperial order, Western Europe was beginning to move into "new" worlds, full of ancient peoples and cultures in the Americas, Africa, Asia and the Pacific. Any place vulnerable to Western naval and military power was at risk. Above all, as the American naval captain A. T. Mahan taught us over a century ago in his classic book, "The Influence of Sea Power Upon History" (1890), the West valued navies as the key to global influence.

So let us come forward to today's complex, fragmented and hard-to-understand world. There is occurring, most interestingly - and not covered (so far as I can see) by any of the world's main media outlets - another remarkable global disjuncture at work. And it involves, as it did six centuries ago, massive differences in the assumptions of European nations and Asian nations about the significance of sea power, today and into the future.

Let me make clear that I am not talking here about American attitudes regarding naval power. The United States, with a relative maritime force-projection capacity that probably exceeds that of the Royal Navy in 1815, is not planning to do anything other than reinforce its naval muscle.

I am also not talking about Vladimir Putin's Russia. The Russian Navy has suffered many hard blows, severe cutbacks in spending and personnel, and the obsolescence of rusting warships over the past 25 years. But there is no doubt that it is rebuilding. It may not be able to come to the relative strength of the Soviet Navy in its heyday, the I970s and 1980s. Yet Russia truly believes that it has to be strong at sea.

So, too, do the governments of the fast-growing economies of East and South Asia. On two recent visits to South Korea, both times to give lectures about strategic affairs, I was intrigued to notice that Seoul had a 15-year plan for the expansion of its maritime power in all dimensions, including military capacities.

Right now, for example, South Korea is constructing three large destroyers that displace more than 7,000 tons and possess extremely powerful armaments. Clearly, these are not designed to stop little North Korean submarines from sneaking down the coast.

But, as the Koreans point out, Japan is in the midst of an even greater naval build-up. The 2006 publication of "The Military Balance" by the International Institute for Strategic Studies records that the Japanese Navy includes 54 "principal surface combatants" - that is, destroyers and frigates, warships that possess guns, missiles, torpedoes and depth charges. The Japanese, however, will point to the extremely rapid build-up of the Chinese Navy, which already deploys 71 destroyers and frigates, not to mention 58 submarines (compared with Japan's 18 subs).

Yet the Chinese naval build-up is only in its early stages, like, say, the U.S. Navy was in the 1890s. Just last month the Congressional Research Service, a body not known for hyperbole or dramatic statement, issued a remarkable 95-page report entitled "China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities." The details are extensive, and look impressive. Perhaps the most important facts are tucked into the first footnote: "By 2010, China's submarine force will be nearly double the size of the U.S. submarine feet The entire Chinese naval fleet is projected to surpass the size of the U.S. fleet by 2015."

We should note that this quotation actually comes from the American Shipbuilders Association, with its very distinct interests in this matter. And it is hard to believe that the U.S. government would let such a dramatic shift in the naval balances ever come to pass. But one cannot gainsay the important fact that everyone in Asia, apparently, believes that it is vital to enhance maritime power. Even a smallish power like Vietnam is, according to "The Military Balance," increasing "defense spending significantly during the current decade, with the navy receiving substantial infusions of new equipment."

But let us return to the European scene. Here the trend seems to be in the opposite direction, with naval budgets being held down and (given the inexorable rise in the cost of weapons systems and personnel) actual fleet sizes being reduced. The most publicized case here is the news that the Royal Navy may be planning to "mothball" many of its fleet of destroyers and frigates (which, being only 25 in number, is now less than half of Japan's total).

Angry Conservative members of Parliament are demanding a debate on the fact that defense expenditures represent a smaller percentage of GDP than at any time since the 1930s - and we all know what that implies. Those critics appear even more outraged that the French Navy now possesses more major surface combatants than Britain for the first time in 250 years.

Still, France's naval budget is not rising by very much, and the navies of Germany, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands are also being held in check. Yet nobody in Europe, so far as I can see, is paying any attention to the naval arms race in Asia. And nobody in Asia is paying any attention to the severe retrenchments of maritime power that are going on in Europe.

This leads to an obvious, final question: What do naval strategic planners in the one continent assume about the future of the world that the planners in the second continent do not? Why is Chinese public television showing programs about the rise of Elizabeth I's navy at the same time that the British Ministry of Defense is mothballing or scrapping warships with names that go back over 400 years?

Armchair strategists will rush in with many answers to that question: For example, that Asia is more likely to see interstate conflicts in the future than Western Europe, China is determined to curb U.S. hegemony in the Pacific and everyone else is scared of China's military build-up, and, in any case, these faster-growing economies can afford both guns and butter. All of that may be true. But the plain fact remains that, in an age of great geopolitical uncertainties, the leading European nations are ignoring the ancient Elizabethan caution: "Look to thy Moat." Can that really be wise?

Paul Kennedy is director of international security studies at Yale University. His most recent book is "The Parliament of Man," about the United Nations. Distributed by Tribune Media Services.

Deltacamelately
27 Jul 09,, 07:41
No mention of the Australian and Indian Navies?

HKDan
27 Jul 09,, 07:58
Xinhui,

Interesting article on a very interesting topic. Some(amateur) observations.

"By 2010, China's submarine force will be nearly double the size of the U.S. submarine feet The entire Chinese naval fleet is projected to surpass the size of the U.S. fleet by 2015."

Untrue no matter who says it. China is in the process of a very broad modernization, but this comment is misleading. China is much further behind the USN both quantitatively and qualitatively than this comment implies. The PLAN submarine buildup is something that should be taken into account, but over the course of the next year the PLAN submarine force will likely still be smaller than that USN submarine force, and nowhere near double its size. Even if you look at PLAN submarines compared to USN Pacific based submarine fleet alone instead of the total force, The PLAN still probably won't be able to have a 2:1 advantage anytime during 2010. That doesn't even begin to speak to the disparity of quality of individual ships. China is making great progress in this area, but their newest ships are similar in capabilities to the oldest ships that the USN operates. I think the China Naval threat still has a long way to go before it seriously threatens the balance of power in the Pacific.


"French Navy now possesses more major surface combatants than Britain for the first time in 250 years."

Wow, just wow.

Stan
27 Jul 09,, 09:58
Its very depressing, but there is a solution on the way, if the government wants it and it will add jobs, prosperity and more importantly national security.

The C1 C2 and C3 concepts must be agreed upon and started asap.

C3 should be the vessel to really get some hulls in the water!

Rumrunner
27 Jul 09,, 14:37
I think it's odd there's no mention of the potential arms race due to set off with the opening of the Arcitic Ocean for the summer months - That will certainly involve a number of European nations with Arctic borders, the US, Canada and Russia.

Dreadnought
27 Jul 09,, 15:19
"By 2010, China's submarine force will be nearly double the size of the U.S. submarine feet The entire Chinese naval fleet is projected to surpass the size of the U.S. fleet by 2015."


*The number of ships matters not, Its the quality of the build, the maintenance, and the power that the ships can project for its home nation. In that race China wont even get close to the US for the next 50 years.;)

Once they get a carrier built/modified you will be surprised at how much they will have to spend on logistics alone to support even one carrier so IMO you will see their numbers drop as they find out just how expensive it is to operate even one carrier. A hint look at Russia's carrier program.

And its sincerely doubtfull they will ever tilt the balance in the Pacific anytime in the 21st century.


*Very good article though.:)

xinhui
27 Jul 09,, 18:43
No mention of the Australian and Indian Navies?

The article was written in 2007 before the Australian white paper, as no mention of India navy, I notice too, but I don't think the S Asia model fits into Dr Kennedy's narrative too well as India's trade based GDP is not as high as NE Asian nations and IT export is not too deplaned on large cargo ships.

Dreadnought
27 Jul 09,, 18:45
No mention of the Australian and Indian Navies?

Found that strange myself and then I read the explanation.

Delta, any date yet for delivery of the CV project?

xinhui
27 Jul 09,, 18:46
"By 2010, China's submarine force will be nearly double the size of the U.S. submarine feet The entire Chinese naval fleet is projected to surpass the size of the U.S. fleet by 2015."


*The number of ships matters not, Its the quality of the build, the maintenance, and the power that the ships can project for its home nation. In that race China wont even get close to the US for the next 50 years.;)

Once they get a carrier built/modified you will be surprised at how much they will have to spend on logistics alone to support even one carrier so IMO you will see their numbers drop as they find out just how expensive it is to operate even one carrier. A hint look at Russia's carrier program.

And its sincerely doubtfull they will ever tilt the balance in the Pacific anytime in the 21st century.


*Very good article though.:)

I think Dr Kennedy follows up on that thought in the next paragraph .



We should note that this quotation actually comes from the American Shipbuilders Association, with its very distinct interests in this matter. And it is hard to believe that the U.S. government would let such a dramatic shift in the naval balances ever come to pass.

xinhui
27 Jul 09,, 18:49
I think Dr Dr Kennedy some what answered his own question.



But let us return to the European scene. Here the trend seems to be in the opposite direction, with naval budgets being held down and (given the inexorable rise in the cost of weapons systems and personnel) actual fleet sizes being reduced. The most publicized case here is the news that the Royal Navy may be planning to "mothball" many of its fleet of destroyers and frigates (which, being only 25 in number, is now less than half of Japan's total).

with this


I am also not talking about Vladimir Putin's Russia. The Russian Navy has suffered many hard blows, severe cutbacks in spending and personnel, and the obsolescence of rusting warships over the past 25 years

kuku
27 Jul 09,, 19:25
The article was written in 2007 before the Australian white paper, as no mention of India navy, I notice too, but I don't think the S Asia model fits into Dr Kennedy's narrative too well as India's trade based GDP is not as high as NE Asian nations and IT export is not too deplaned on large cargo ships.
Most of that energy sector is,
India’s dependence on oil imports to grow 85% by 2012: report - The Financial Express (http://www.financialexpress.com/news/indias-dependence-on-oil-imports-to-grow-85-by-2012-report/210716/)
and the navy had specifically advised for producing several large sized ships for oil and gas.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Navy_calls_for_warships_like_US/articleshow/2568762.cms
Nothing happens without oil.

Stan
27 Jul 09,, 21:39
somthing thats for sure is that the next 20 years in world navies is going to be interesting for sure

Cactus
28 Jul 09,, 00:34
From Economist's new OpEd column, Banyan:


Chasing Ghosts

A CENTURY ago the ideas of an American naval officer, Alfred Thayer Mahan—pal of Teddy Roosevelt, inventor of the term “the Middle East”, advocate of American expansionism in Asia and father of the modern American navy—were much in vogue among military strategists and great-power leaders. Now they are back in fashion again, this time among Asia’s rising powers.
...
Other strategists gaze at maps and conjure up evil shapes. For Japanese imperialists (also Mahan fans), the Korean peninsula was a dagger at Japan’s heart; for Chinese strategists it is a threatening “bridgehead”. As for the Indian subcontinent, it is, in this Chinese analysis, “akin to a massive triangle reaching into the heart of the Indian Ocean” or, like Japan and Taiwan, “a giant and never-sinking aircraft-carrier”. India, in turn, espouses its own “Monroe doctrine”, demanding that outsiders keep out of its backyard. So it decries China’s “string of pearls” (roads, pipelines and ports being built in friendly countries around the Indian Ocean) as a provocation. Rivalry is helping drive a build-up of naval arms: three new aircraft-carriers for India; new destroyers, submarines and hints of an aircraft-carrier programme for China.

Mercifully, it is not all preordained to end in a rerun of 1914. The task of economic development concentrates Chinese and Indian minds at home. Smaller Asian navies are expanding as a counterbalance to the big powers, and they have an interest in keeping hands off the choke-point of the Malacca Strait. And America remains the defining force in Asia, able for now to enforce the peace. But, even if history never repeats itself, the persistence of Mahan’s doctrines suggests the past likes to have a try.

Banyan: Chasing ghosts | The Economist (http://www.economist.com/world/asia/displaystory.cfm?story_id=13825154)

Cactus
28 Jul 09,, 00:52
No mention of the Australian and Indian Navies?The article was written in 2007 before the Australian white paper, as no mention of India navy, I notice too, but I don't think the S Asia model fits into Dr Kennedy's narrative too well as India's trade based GDP is not as high as NE Asian nations and IT export is not too deplaned on large cargo ships.

I would attribute an assumption to the former and an uncertainty to the latter, rather than vice-versa. The TSN strategic view had already been broached in 2005. The assumption would be that Australia, as a long-term ally and a close cultural relative, would naturally accept and adopt the view. Japan is an ally and there has been much cultural convergence over the past six decades, so some speculations needs be made. India is the jack in the deck - too early to speculate which way it turns.

xinhui
28 Jul 09,, 00:54
You can find my little write up in the US Naval war college's facebook.


Mahanian revival in Asia -- a debate

Back in June 13, I was talking to my friends about how much I enjoy the writing style of Banyan, a columnist for The Economist. Banyan: Chasing ghosts | The Economist (http://www.economist.com/displayStory.cfm?story_id=13825154)) While I don't know much about Mahan and his notion as argued by Banyan but I like how he writes and the way he frames his arguments. I would be grateful to Confucius if I can write 10% as well. To support his main argument of a Mahanian revival in Asia, Banyan cited Jim Holmes and Toshi Yoshihara of the United States Naval War College’s and Robert Kaplan’s “Center Stage for the Twenty-first Century” published in the March/April 2009’s issue of Foreign Affairs (Center Stage for the 21st Century | Foreign Affairs (http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/64832/robert-d-kaplan/center-stage-for-the-21st-century)) Being a long time readers of Holmes and Yoshihara’s work, I believe they were somewhat misquoted.

In no time, the real debate started; first Holmes and Yoshihara wrote an indirect response in the current issue of The Jamestown Foundation’s China Brief titled "A Chinese Turn to Mahan?" (A Chinese Turn to Mahan? - The Jamestown Foundation (http://www.jamestown.org/single/?no_cache=1&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=35172&tx_ttnews%5BbackPid%5D=381&cHash=b10eab8353)) to “clarified” their view on the Mahanian notion to both Kaplan and “A columnist for The Economist”. In due course , Andrew Erickson and Thomas Culora of Naval War College wrote a rebuttal titled "Arms and Influence at Sea" to Kaplan (Arms and Influence at Sea | Foreign Affairs (http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/65173/thomas-culora-and-andrew-erickson/arms-and-influence-at-sea))

A coordinated effort by the USNWC boys? most likely not. Both sides made some good points and I am not educated enough to take sides

mikado
28 Jul 09,, 19:15
To world historians, there is nothing more fascinating than to notice a coincidence or a disjuncture across space but within roughly the same time.

Was it just a coincidence, for example, that the new but fast-growing states of Germany, Japan, Italy and the United States "came of age" at the same time, after 1870 or so?

Kennedy seems confused in his historical references. In 1870 the powerful USN was heading rapidly into obsolescence. Over the next four decades the USA, unencumbered by a large standing military, boomed economically. There's an obvious lesson there, to set alongside the trivial comparison with the 1930s.