China's Aircraft Carriers Forge Ahead ... as U.S. Backtracks


China's first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning (PLAN CV-16). Source: Author photo, using Google Earth.

China has an aircraft carrier.

Indeed, by 2020, we could see the People's Liberation Army Navy equipped with two, three, or even four aircraft carriers. Meanwhile, we see the U.S. Navy slamming its carrier-building program into reverse.

Budget cuts and construction delays have pushed back the planned delivery date on America's newest supercarrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), to February 2016. U.S. Navy Chief of Staff Adm. Jonathan Greenert warns that any further cuts to defense spending could delay the carrier's arrival "by two years." By that time -- 2018 -- China could already have floated its second aircraft carrier.

And that's just the start of the bad news.

A billion here, a billion there
Over in Congress, negotiations over what to cut from the defense budget continue -- and aircraft carriers present a very big target. Annually, each American carrier strike groups costs taxpayers about $2.5 billion -- $6.5 million a day -- to operate. And that's just to pay for the "support staff."

Building the actual aircraft carrier at the center of the strike group centers costs nearly $13 billion. A further $3 billion comes due when the carrier reaches 25 years of age, the midlife point in her 50-year lifespan, and needs to be refueled and refurbished. Then, at the end of those 50 years, it's time to retire the ship -- taxpayers shell out a further $2 billion to have defense contractor Huntington Ingalls (NYSE: HII  ) take the carrier apart.

Biggest budget bull's-eye on the blue ocean
So it's little wonder that when asked to find savings in the defense budget, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel's first instinct was to propose cutting carrier strike groups "from 11 to eight or nine."

Hagel pointed out that we'll soon have to do the midlife refueling work on the USS George Washington (CVN 73) at a cost of $3 billion. But if the Navy were to retire the Washington (at a cost of $2 billion) instead of refurbishing it, that alone would save $1 billion. Eliminate its strike group, and over the next 25 years, the Navy could save $62.5 billion. Eliminate a second carrier, and its strike group, and you're looking at combined savings of $125 billion or more.

USS Gerald R Ford (CVN-78) transiting the James River. A big ship -- and a bigger budget target? Source: U.S. Navy.

The high cost of saving money
Problem is, the Navy is operating with a reduced fleet of just 10 aircraft carriers today -- down from a high of 26 flat-tops in 1962, and down from the 15 aircraft carriers we operated in the 1980s. Ten carriers is actually even below even the minimum level of 11 aircraft carriers that the Navy is required to maintain by law. Reduce the force as much as SecDef Hagel is suggesting, and the Navy could end up with too few carriers to fulfill its mission.

From an investor's point of view, further reductions in the carrier force would also be bad news. For example, each of America's carriers carries more than six dozen aircraft of various types and configurations. Today, these include Sikorsky Seahawks from United Technologies (NYSE: UTX  ) , F/A-18 fighter jets from Boeing (NYSE: BA  ) , and E-2 Hawkeyes from Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC  ) . Tomorrow, they'll probably include F-35C stealth fighters, specially designed for carrier use by Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT  ) .

Eliminate the carriers that carry these aircraft, and you eliminate the need for upward of 150 warplanes -- and billions and billions of dollars of revenues for the companies that build them.

The situation facing Huntington Ingalls could be even direr. Should the Navy cut its orders by even a single aircraft carrier, this would cost Huntington nearly $13 billion -- or about two years' worth of revenues. Eliminate two carriers, and Huntington would lose four years' worth of work. It's hard to see how the company could survive the blow.

Potentially, it wouldn't survive -- with the result that in an effort to save money, America would lose its only company capable of building its carriers today, and the ability to build aircraft carriers altogether.


Nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) under construction. Last of a dying breed? Photo: U.S. Navy.

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Aircraft carriers are all well and good, but they're kind of 20th-century technology. A better idea to invest in might be the X-factor that U.S. News and World Report says "will drive the U.S. economy." Business Insider calls it "the growth force of our time." And in a special report titled "America's $2.89 Trillion Super Weapon Revealed," we'll tell you all about it -- and explain how to capitalize on this massive growth opportunity. Act now, because this is your shot to cash in before the fat cats on Wall Street beat you to the potentially life-changing profits. Click here now for instant access to this free report.

 

 

 

 


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  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 4:51 PM, kthor wrote:

    America could sell carriers to brazil, India or Japan, heck even saudi ..those countries would need it soon ...

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 6:15 PM, FoePaw wrote:

    This could help our economy

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 6:18 PM, KateB83 wrote:

    Hopefully China is less of a rogue superpower than the US has been

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 6:20 PM, ilsm50 wrote:

    Dinosaurs. Look what the US carriers on Yankee Station did, nothing! The Ford class problem is ineptitude and the fact the money is welfare.

    Move a lot of money off the $200B a year the pentagon doles out in services! The Ford class does not have the equipment to do any job, it is an exorbitantly expensive jobs program at $15B a copy.

    Smith ignores the Marines' LPD's and LHD's which would equal to the Chinese carrier, if the Chinese had planes to fly off them.

    China carrier is behind India by about 20 years. India will have 4, two of which indigenous designs by 2017.

    The Ford class issues are ineptitude of the welfare system the pentagon runs. The "super catapults" do not work, and the defensive radar systems are not as capable as on the older class carriers.

    The pentagon spends $200B a year for "services" like the ones Edward Snowden did for NSA,

    While the law says US “needs” 11 carriers, the law is for navy yard welfare, and has no relation to the real world.

    China is as dumb as the pentagon!

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 6:21 PM, jfelano wrote:

    We could have built 1200 aircraft carriers with the money Bush wasted in Afghanistan and Iraq, two Countries that never attacked us or were a threat to us.

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 6:27 PM, peterwolf wrote:

    Well come on folks !! We got to pay for Obamacare, welfare and foodstamps some way !! So, we have no choice but to gut our defense budget . Simple, isn't it??

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 6:34 PM, rw93003 wrote:

    When needs-based payments (welfare) double from $500 billion to more than a $ Trillion and you're already owe $17 trillion plus another $10 trillion unfunded social security liability and you run a $800 billion to $1 trillion a year deficit there's no money for anything else.

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 6:52 PM, navvet1967 wrote:

    this country has never learned from history.ww1,ww2,korea,viet-nam,iraq and Afghanistan.all we need is china to be the big boss in the pacific and we might as well get use to using Chinese yen for money.

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 6:53 PM, HenryII wrote:

    Its long past time for America to buttt out of the affairs of foreign regions.

    Nobody in America supports Uncle Sam in sticking his nose into other areas of the world except the power hungry, greedy for importance, freaks of Washington DC.

    The US Constitution never authorized the US Government to play "hero" in every region of the world just to be the big shot.

    Especially when our so called leaders like Obama / Biden never served a day in the military themselves.... and guys like John Kerry ran from combat duty in Vietnam..... where Kerry retreated to his wealth in America after having been in Vietnam just 4 months.

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 6:55 PM, HenryII wrote:

    JFElano:

    We don't need a new aircraft carrier ... nor 1200 new aircraft carriers.

    The arrogance of the US Government didn't start with Bush nor end with Bush. Thats fantasy on the part of people who cannot think rationally.

    I'll bet you're like Clinton, Obama, Biden.... you never served in the military yet you want OTHER AMERICANS to die in combat so you can wave the flag.

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 7:38 PM, MPA2000 wrote:

    LOL! Aircraft Carriers are so 1950s. The US doesn't need 8-12 carriers anymore.

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 7:57 PM, tommy1954 wrote:

    ok I agree let put 2-3 asleep(not scrap nor sell)west has other goodies while Chinese build floating iron ducks.this google earth picture is one of the things THEY don't have this tech yet as its comprised of alien(not really)digital optics.this secret is safe has toshbia and reython are the only one that make this hardware.toshbia makes one element of camera and reython makes the other and if one is lost or stolen wont work without other.

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 8:00 PM, WJP1940 wrote:

    It is good that we are convincing the Chinese to waste resources building carriers. Carriers are simply big targets for many types of missiles.

    Now if only we stop the F35 program and instead invest the trillion $ cost of the program into upgrading the US infrastructure.

    There is no mission for the F35 other than to get us involved in more civil wars in the world. F35s cannot stop missiles, and the only intercontinental bomber the Russians have is so slow the P51 of WW2 fame would be a better defense against it.

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 8:11 PM, Mahonri wrote:

    Big, BIG mistake for the US to scale back while the ChiComs build up their military. We won't have the ships to stop them as they go after Formosa, the Phillipines and Islands as they seek to expand their territory.

    We already know they are ready to use Nuclear weapons against the US - their top Generals have said so loud and clear.

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 8:13 PM, sleepY1 wrote:

    Save money ? Why does the m.corp need 2 basic training bases ?( Navy has only 1 and they are a much bigger branch) Went into local military surplus store, all of the goods look brand new !! Past story in local paper "Army needs no more tanks, but congress still sends money for more"?? " Air force needs no more cargo planes, but congress sends money for more ?? What gives ?? There are plenty of areas like this that could be cut if someone only looked closer and still leave the # of personnel and benes alone>

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 8:38 PM, ellaerdos wrote:

    If I'm not mistaken and we want to follow the rule of law we should be following The Constitution Of The United States Of America.

    I believe the Constitution authorizes a small National Army, the National Guard and a 16 ship Navy (no Air Force or Marines). If the Navy wants it to be carriers then so be it.

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 9:31 PM, t8s8 wrote:

    eBay has already has a US carrier on it .. and there where no takers, even for scrap. Governments just don't want the expense (cost of refurbing and maintaining) and then there are governments that just won't qualify such as the Argentinians.. remember the Falklands?

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 9:33 PM, t8s8 wrote:

    These thing just don't come for free. Any gov that 'qualifies' can go to Jacksonville and get an old carrier.. Frankly they are too big for artificial reefs.

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 9:35 PM, t8s8 wrote:

    We also don't need these big carriers.. a few small ones would be in order

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 10:28 PM, dwduke wrote:

    China will eventually be the top dog on the planet. It's just a matter of time. America is enamored with liberalism, and that will be the close line hit to America, which will soften it up for the Chinese to make their move, and dominate the world economically, militarily, and politically. China is still growing, and has a lot growing to do yet, but it will be the top dog eventually. That course of action can be changed with the GOP in the Presidency, House, and Senate, and the Supreme Court filled with GOP appointees.

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 10:51 PM, bebekbesar wrote:

    There is something fundamentally wrong with any government that allows bullets, bombs, and health care to be sold FOR PROFIT. Besides the next real battle will be for space and the race to exploit it and discover it and we are doing far too little too to address it. That is where the next fortunes and empires will be made and China and India know it.

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 10:53 PM, AKeducator wrote:

    I flew off a carrier in the Gulf of Tonkin and they were effective in the role they were to play. The problem is that as soon as one leaves port on it's initial voyage its whereabouts are known by all super powers and probably more. As effective as a floating and portable air base is, it is a target. It can't run and it can't hide, and may only be a single strike weapon in a world conflict with the likes of China, Russia or other nations with subs that have nuke capabilities. Impressive hunks of steel, but they were sunk in WW!! with simple torpedoes and damaged beyond use without significant repair by air. Targets, just targets.

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 11:20 PM, chadsani wrote:

    We were warned by Washington to stay out of people's business. We were warned by Lincoln that America will never be destroyed from the outside. We were warned by Eisenhower about getting entangled with the Military Industrial Complex.

    SadTo say......I've lost all hope

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 11:22 PM, homesaler wrote:

    This is simple. Quit manufacturing U.S. goods in China. We are only making them stronger and us weaker. Bring back manufacturing and assembly jobs to the U.S. I would pay for anything made in the U.S.

    We need to have a major push for things made in the USA. Pride!

    Apple computers needs to start the push. If Dell computers made their putters in Austin Texas I would choose their product over one made elsewhere.

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 11:38 PM, PopeyedSailorMan wrote:

    Akakakakak...this is sooo untrooo, the USN has more active & reserve and under-construction Aircraft Carriers than all other Navies combined in the World...Ans if yas dont beleevs Popeye, check it out for yerselves! Copy an paste this link...ya land lubers!

    https://www.google.com/search?q=US+Aircraft+Carriers+vs+Rest...

    ----Popeye

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 11:42 PM, CrowdControl wrote:

    Memo to DoD and USN... very unfortunately the core problem is self-induced, via deciding on a brilliant strategy and policy to procure $13B carriers! Hello? That is simply unsustainable and the anti-thesis of strategic.

    Probably the best solution would be to discontinue Carrier building in US altogether and outsource building a mix of conventional (perhaps hybrid) and nuclear with UK and France. Economy of scale would come into play, as well as more affordable designs. The conventional design would furthermore not require that extra $2.5B to decommission in 50 yrs down the road either.

    USN could probably procure 1 nuclear and 2 conventional carrier for price of 1x Ford Class, and not to mention that US could likely secure Industrial offsets as part of the deal, too.

    Same acquisition process and 'mix' strategy could wisely be considered for US submarine procurement too. The current system is not sufficient nor sustainable.

    YEs, DoD needs to first stop denying the core issue behind US's modernization, recap and capability-maintenance crisis, realize that the current system is fatally broken and make radical stopgap contingencies until a longer-term process can be restructured.

  • Report this Comment On February 03, 2014, at 12:07 AM, metou wrote:

    America doesnt need an aircraft carrier , it has plenty to handle china , what it need to do is build and sell aircraft carriers to japan and Taiwan at a profit, that will worry the chinese more than america getting a new aircraft carrier

  • Report this Comment On February 03, 2014, at 12:23 AM, macarthur1 wrote:

    The US Military always mans up, takes the hits and makes the sacrifices for our country...

    Now it's time for the Domestic Public Sector Unions to pay up, contribute to the cuts and make some sacrifices for once. The US Military does it constantly, it's YOUR turn now.

  • Report this Comment On February 03, 2014, at 12:24 AM, kcisobderf wrote:

    Our oldest carrier could take out their Russian reject. It's still undergoing sea trials and won't be ready until about 2016.

    Then they have to design and build their *own*. They won't have 4 by 2020.

  • Report this Comment On February 03, 2014, at 12:29 AM, macarthur1 wrote:

    There is plenty of room to make cuts in the Domestic programs, the US military has cut enough and made enough sacrifices.

    The current US debt spending level is nearly the same as it was in World War II... You need to think of what would happen if another World War started, where would the money come from if we've already borrowed it all?

  • Report this Comment On February 03, 2014, at 12:38 AM, nypu wrote:

    This article is full of bullsh@t exaggerations about China like fantasizing about four carriers by 2020.

  • Report this Comment On February 03, 2014, at 3:25 AM, JohnStein12 wrote:

    Everyone keeps saying bring jobs back in America, manufacture here.

    I was looking for furniture, and I was surprised to read a tag that said "Made in America." Then I looked at the price: $450

    The same type of furniture, not advertising "Made in America", I assume made in China, $199. So what price will you pay? I couldn't afford paying $250 more, for a very similar piece. Although it grabbed my attention, made me think, it has to make economic sense.

    I can see myself paying a little more for Made in America, 25% more even. $200 for Made in China, I would buy $250 for made in America. But, there is no way I would foot a bill that is over 120% higher for made in America.

  • Report this Comment On February 03, 2014, at 5:38 AM, fbd wrote:

    Country Total† In service In reserve Decommissioned Under construction Never completed

    United States United States 68 10 2 56 3 12

    United Kingdom United Kingdom 41 1 0 40 2 12

    Japan Japan 23 1 0 20 1 4

    France France 8 1 0 7 0 7

    Russia Russia 7 1 0 6 0 2

    Australia Australia 3 0 0 3 2 0

    Canada Canada 3 0 0 3 0 0

    Spain Spain 3 1 1 1 0 1

    India India 5 2 0 1 2 0

    Italy Italy 2 2 0 0 0 2

    Brazil Brazil 2 1 0 1 0 0

    China China 1 1 0 0 1 0

    Thailand Thailand 1 1 0 0 0 0

    Argentina Argentina 2 0 0 2 0 0

    Netherlands Netherlands 1 0 0 1 0 0

    Germany Germany 0 0 0 0 0 8

  • Report this Comment On February 03, 2014, at 6:45 AM, tymajobano wrote:

    was in the navy on an aircraft carrier(ships company).we had enough fire power to level all of the middle east if need be!most of u, with all due respect, are totally incorrect about statements pertaining to carriers.when something serious happens around the world ,if we send a carrier to the region,the trouble halts!that is beause the other countries intelligence(spies)know what could happen to them ,if we wanted to use the carriers!!as far as the usa interfering with other countries,in this small world ,in It is imperative that we maintain a VERY strong military!try to imagine what the world would be like if the usa had just stayed home and let every dictator have their way!it goes back to when we had to fight the british,french spanish for our freedom centuries ago.a carrier IS the most dangerous weapon in the entire world!!

  • Report this Comment On February 03, 2014, at 7:29 AM, PeakOilBill wrote:

    Long range drones, or bombers carrying cruise missiles make carriers nothing but big targets. They might be able to shoot one or two of them down, but in a mass attack, one will get through. The same with missiles fired from submarines. Satellites and drones make surface warships easy to locate, and target. Making carriers easy to find changes everything. And then there are ballistic missiles coming down from space at 5 miles per second. And supersonic sea-skimming missiles launched from subs or patrolling aircraft. Precision guided munitions give the offence a HUGE advantage today. Stealth technology just makes the job of the defender even harder.

    If major powers ever went to war, it probably wouldn't last too long because power plants are sitting ducks for cruise missile attack. So are oil refineries. They are kind of hard to hide. Cutting off the electricity would shut down any industrialized country. That has changed everything.

  • Report this Comment On February 03, 2014, at 7:41 AM, sbleve wrote:

    Battleship row, all of the PAC fleet carriers in blue deep water. Why? Why not the battleships?

    Politicians create all wars. Some wars pre 1776 were the product of Generals-Admirals that practiced Politics first. The United States of America was the first place on earth to shuck the old Central commanded empire concepts. A fragile shuck.

    To project political course the threat of superior dominance must be visible. Blue water Carrier battle units are the tool of choice post Midway 1943. Our State Department utilizes this intimidating tool - perpetually post creation of the UN. State Dept gives some 3rd world the tools to administer their law - rifles and bullets-tanks etc., the DOD gets the bill.

    Carriers are the platform used to project political authority. Admirals do not decide such. WW2 firewall attempt of pogromization containment.

  • Report this Comment On February 03, 2014, at 10:12 AM, lonewolf28 wrote:

    YOU ONES HERE THAT WANT TO FOLD AND STICK YOUR HEAD IN THE SAND KNOCK YOURSELF OUT I DON'T BOW TO KNOW MAN LET ALONG OBAMA OR ANY ONE LIKE HIM BUSH DID A HELL OF A JOB WITH WHAT WAS HANDED TO HIM WAS HE ALWAYS RIGHT IN WAR NO YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO MAKE ADJUSTMENT.ONCE YOU LEAVE THE LINE OF NO RETURN EVERY THING CHANGES.BUSH DID A HELL OF ALOT BETTER THAT WHAT WE HAVE IN THE PEOPLES HOUSE.YOU GO TO WAR WITH WHAT YOU HAVE NOT WHAT YOU WANT.JUST THINK OBAMA HAS SPENT ENOUGH MONEY FROM EVERY PRESIDENT WASHINGTON TO BUSH.AND WE STILL GOT ABOUT 3 YRS WITH THE NITWIT.

  • Report this Comment On February 03, 2014, at 10:18 AM, vet212 wrote:

    China has a long way to go before it's navy is more than a floating target gallery

  • Report this Comment On February 03, 2014, at 10:37 AM, rcmansid wrote:

    If China beats us up , who is going to buy all their products?

  • Report this Comment On February 03, 2014, at 11:42 AM, TheJadedCynic wrote:

    Interesting article on the strategic costs to the defense industry if the US decides not to build additional aircraft carriers. I would posit that this is the more significant concern; China will take a fair amount of time to develop the operational expertise to properly "fight" their shiny new platforms. And even if they do have 3 or 4 in a decade, China is traditionally a land based power; they have never had a maritime warfare tradition. Their carriers are for area denial; and to protect their oil and resources pipeline. This is both reasonable and inevitable; a mature analyst would recognize this.

  • Report this Comment On February 03, 2014, at 11:42 AM, SLTom992 wrote:

    Let me see if I have this straight - if we don't build more and bigger weapons the US is at risk? Or perhaps more accurately the defense contractors are at risk. That doesn't sound all bad to me.

  • Report this Comment On February 03, 2014, at 11:52 AM, kennyhobo wrote:

    I think most intelligent people know that Obama is a lying incompetent. He is a narcissist who blames all bad things on someone else. History will probably rate Obama as the World's worst leader. It is what it is.

  • Report this Comment On February 03, 2014, at 12:20 PM, MAGI1955 wrote:

    I think carriers are neat - they project power like nothing else... unfortunately they are too many assets in one easy to hit target - many other assets are tied up with one mission - to protect the carrier.. with improvements in technology they are going to be doomed in the future ... it is a hopeless cause - diversify... think what other assets could be built with the funds that go to build, fund and support a carrier battle group - that can't get to close to a real enemy for fear of destruction - think of the battle of midway... that was 60 years ago...

  • Report this Comment On February 03, 2014, at 1:50 PM, mjmerca wrote:

    "All war is deception...when strong, feign weakness, when weak, feign strength."

    -- Sun Tzu

  • Report this Comment On February 03, 2014, at 1:59 PM, Pantagon wrote:

    The new world is totally different than the old world during WW2. WW2 was won by strong Navy and Air Attack. It was Japanese and then USA's strong Navy and Aircrafts. Today, the new war will be won by internet, global trading, financial balance, people's support, number of people and economic. China has the biggest numbers of population. If Beijing push the button to allow 2 or 3 children per family instead of "1-child policy", the race between population is over. Now China is exporting rich immigrants, investors and tourists which are helping other countries. Do you think these people will overthrow Chinese government? Only the cooperation between US and China as world's most advance nations to lead the peace of the world. Cut US military expenses and let China to pick up part of the burden of "World Police". Arm race is bad for US and for the world.

  • Report this Comment On February 03, 2014, at 2:06 PM, Pantagon wrote:

    Build Harmony, not hatred. Build Love, not warships. Build quality of life & equality, not competition. Build peace and good dream, not bad nightmare.

    --Confucius

  • Report this Comment On February 03, 2014, at 2:17 PM, SoConfused wrote:

    Aircraft carriers were invaluable weapons against Japan during WW2, but that was before the invention of smart missiles. A smart missile coming straight down towards an aircraft carrier at 4 times the speed of sound is unstoppable, and aircraft carriers are a huge bulls eye for a missile. So why is America building huge targets for a missile? It's because it's peace time, relatively speaking. No enemy right now has the capability to launch a missile against an American aircraft carrier. The main purpose of these carriers is to project power and send American airpower to any corner of the globe. This is why China is building their carriers---to project Chinese power in that little corner of the globe called East and South east Asia---as weapons of intimidation. If a shooting war erupts between China and the US, these carriers will be first to go down to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean.

  • Report this Comment On February 03, 2014, at 2:34 PM, mjmerca wrote:

    "The Age of Nations is past. The task before us now, if we would not perish, is to build the Earth."

    - Teilhard de Chardin

  • Report this Comment On February 03, 2014, at 2:35 PM, mjmerca wrote:

    War is the only thing besides Esperanto that transcends the language barrier.

  • Report this Comment On February 03, 2014, at 2:50 PM, BlueMystery wrote:

    How can I take your stock advice seriously when you post a Blatant falsehood ... China Is NOT our biggest lender American Citizens are (26%) just off top not including American held T-notes... China is our biggest foreign Lender (8%) ... If your wrong on this basic fact just because the media trumpets it are you trustworthy? China has no power over the US, if we stop manufacturing in China they crash & we find new lenders... China is a paper tiger American business is propping up to scare American workers..

    factcheck.org - why republicans want to get rid of Soc. Security, the Debt owed not the cost

    The biggest are the Social Security trust funds (16 percent), the Federal Reserve banks (12 percent), China (8 percent), Japan (7 percent) and mutual funds including money-market funds (6 percent).

  • Report this Comment On February 03, 2014, at 2:56 PM, BlueMystery wrote:

    28%... Darnnitt messed up the math ...but over 3 times what China holds... Not counting American purchasers of mutual funds and other debt...

  • Report this Comment On February 03, 2014, at 3:30 PM, BiteyMike wrote:

    Sun Tzu 101... when strong, appear weak. when competent, appear incompetent. wake up people. I get so sick of hearing about this China military. they are 100 years behind us in every branch of the military. Do you think Lockeed Martin all of a sudden forgot how to make a plane?

  • Report this Comment On February 03, 2014, at 5:15 PM, ftadwilliams wrote:

    The only reason China seeks to outspend the US in military is to dominate the world with false pretenses of peace. After reading this article, I must encourage all good Americans that care for this great country to lobby your representatives and enact a petition before the US Congress or even the International Courts to bill and collect the trillions of dollars we have spent to make sure the international water remain free to commerce. In my view, all countries in Asia that have benefitted since 1945, and on the backs of the American tax payers that have allowed the USA military to keep the China sea opened to international free commerce for all countries, -- friendly or foe -- consequently enabling them to grow their economies and feed their people without wars, if they now pretend to restrict the China sea or create a military outpost and spend trillions of dollars to make the USA effort more difficult, these countries must now reimburse the American tax payers. Otherwise risk loosing access to the China sea and other international waters. Lets go ahead and lobby our blind representatives to the harm that countries like China and North Korea will create by enhancing their militaries.

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 8:45 PM, Catweasel wrote:

    Heaping exaggeration upon speculation; "two, three, or even four aircraft carriers."

    Or eschewing context; 'increase by four aircraft carriers', by omitting to mention it's off a base of 0.

    Total number of US carriers: 10 in service with 2 in reserve.

    China 1, a refitted ex soviet era carrier purchased off the Ukraine.

    UK 1 but is currently building two new super carriers.

    India 1 and Japan 1 ('not an aircraft carrier' aircraft carrier.

    In reality the US has just made them a must have accessory when stepping out as a military power. Like possession of a Dreadnought once was.

    This all of course leaves out mention of the number and cost of carrier support groups.

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