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July 23, 2004

Global Superpowers « Stuff Important to Me »

Okay, Russia is on the decline after the breakup of the Soviet Union, but still has a potent nuclear force and is still developing advanced fighters.

China is buying them, as well as trying to develop their own. They are working to improve their ballistic missile forces, and are also attempting to develop asymmetrical warfare equipment and techniques (laser decoys and blinders, computer hacking, etc) to foil the strengths of the US military.

But you know who scares me the most? India.

They have an aircraft carrier, and are acquiring more, including MiG-29s to fly off of it. They are building Su-30s. They have a strong nuclear ballistic missile force, and are still attempting to expand/develop further. They have launched satellites, including spy satellites.

China makes it fairly clear that most of their military is geared toward defending its borders from Russia, India, and Viet Nam; or geared toward preventing the US from getting involved until after they have already secured Taiwan. Such focus on their part makes it easier for them to fund their military development and meet proficiency goals, but it also makes it easier for us to develop counter-countermeasures and avoid direct conflict.

India scares me specifically because their military is multi-use. India has some serious disputes with Pakistan, wants land back that China occupies, is involved with the insurgency on the island of Sri Lanka, and wants to be the supreme power in South Asia and the Indian Ocean. War could break out with Pakistan at any time, and if it goes far enough to launch nuclear weapons, the conflagration could engulf the world. Even if this never comes about, we are witnessing a new nuclear cold war between these two rivals. And even aside from the tension between these two nuclear powers, it is far more difficult to predict what India might do with its military power than it is with China. It is not difficult to imagine a day in the next few decades in which India could challenge the US for influence over a region. It's much harder to imagine that possibility with China.

Posted by Nathan at 09:11 AM | Comments (7)

India had an Aircraft carrier, yes, but its a Viraat Class, I don't think this can support a Mig-29. And its an old diesel guzzler. Not a lot of durability left in her, so she's off the books.

This Kiev Class carrier they bought is also pretty aged, and it has to be refurbished to handle the Mig-29-K. It is really just a big boat with a macgyver'ed angled landing deck.
But she can go 32 knots, so she can move.

This new one they are building interests me:
The "Air Defense Ship". Due in 2011, it appears that the Navy's plan is just to use these for local protection.

India also scares me, as they are the largest population growth (even more then China).

Tom Clancy knew this too, which is probably why he used India as an antagonist in Executive Orders.

Posted by: Jeremy at July 23, 2004 10:19 AM

I mentioned the carrier they already have for 2 reasons.
1) People make a big deal about China attempting to buy one or planning to build one...but India already has one
2) Even if it is obselete, India is already used to using it, already has the support/protection system developed... It is much easier to replace/upgrade a carrier than to develop a task force from scratch, no?

India is, if anything, more willing to sacrifice people for military advantage than China. That makes them doubly scary to me.

Posted by: Nathan at July 23, 2004 10:58 AM

True, but their navy doesn't look that formidable, at least right now:
Their submarine fleet needs a major overhaul.
They have 11 destroyers, with plans of building 3 more.
Frigates are minimal (and outdated as well) but even in the U.S. we're not pursing anything with Frigates anymore. So I'm not sure if they can effectivly maintain a Carrier Defense force, let alone a Carrier Strike Force.

Their Air Force could use some Bombers.

But I'm just an avid civilian.

Posted by: Jeremy at July 23, 2004 11:22 AM

Ooops, I guess they DO have Bombers

Posted by: Jeremy at July 23, 2004 11:38 AM

Why fear India? Isn't she considered a Democracy? I'm sure she is only arming herself against the Pakistanis and the Chinese...

Besides, with all the outsourcing of jobs to India, she'll be economically dependent on the U.S., will she not?

Posted by: Martin at July 23, 2004 01:46 PM

China was once a Republic, as well, before falling to Communism. Germany was a democracy until Hitler changed the rules to make him dictator. Heck, Senator Palpatine dissolved the Senate and declared himself Emperor! These stark examples from history cannot be ignored.

Posted by: Nathan at July 23, 2004 05:21 PM

Of all the nations of the world in the past two-hundred years (1787 to 1987 actually), Russia is the most militant with the most combat deaths in percentage terms. China is number two in percentage, and because of their greater population, has had the most combat deaths. Note that this includes revolutions, civil war and civilian terror (warfare against an unarmed populace). India, OTOH is the safest place in the world as far as war goes. They have less combat deaths there then the Americas, which are number two.

I'm not worried about India. I am worried about Russia and China. WWII seems to have solved the Germany problem. I'm not sure the Cold War solved Russia and China.

I got my facts from "How To Stop A War". James Dunnigan, of StrategyPage fame is one of the authors.


Posted by: Wince and Nod at July 25, 2004 09:53 PM
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