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Comparing the United States, China, and Russia Defense Budget Expenditures


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Over many years the three military powerhouses of the world are the United States, China, and Russia. The United States Armed Forces consist of five branches, the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and the Coast Guard. The President of the United States is the head of the military. Under the president is the Department of Defense which implements military polices. The DOD is lead by the Secretary of Defense, which is second in command to the president. The United States is second on the list countries with the most active military personnel with 1,429,000. China’s military is called the People’s Liberation Army and are the world’s largest military force with 2,285,000 active personnel. The People’s Liberation Army makes up 18% of China’s population. The PLA has five main branches, the PLA ground Force, PLA Navy, PLA Air Force, PLA Secondary Artillery Corps, and the PLA Reserve Force. The PLA is under the command of the Central Military Commission. The CMC is made up of an eleven-man commission that is responsible for all maters regarding the PLA. All members of the CMC are high-ranking generals or senior members of China’s Armed Forces. The Russian military is called the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. The number of active troops that Russia’s Armed Forces has is 1,040,000 ranking them fifth on the list of most active personnel. The Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation is the President of Russia. Under the President the Ministry of Defense over see’s the day-to-day operations of the Russian Armed Forces. The United States, China, and Russia are very different from one another culturally and politically, but they all share a common goal of striving to become the world’s powerhouse, this is reflected in the expenditures of their defense budgets. The United States is not the largest military force in the world but they top the charts in defense expenditures with $526.6 billion for the FY 2014. This is a decrease from the previous FY budget of $3.9 billion, which is 0.7 percent bellow the enacted amount (DOD FY14 budget). According to the DOD FY 2014 budget, “the budget continues to purse strategic priories that reflect our Nation’s renewed commitment to our historical role in the Asia-Pacific region” (DOD FY14 budget). The US Defense Budget will also focus on combating the threats of cyberspace security, the funding of research and development, combatting terrorism. Cyberspace security has become a major concern around the world because of the threat it brings to financial institutions and the stealing of sensitive government information. The US Defense Budget will fund teams of cyber experts that will defend the United States DOD infrastructure by doing reconnaissance, surveillance, development, maintenance, and analysis (DOD FY14 budget). The budget will also fund cyber security information sharing by increasing funds for the Comprehensive National Cyber security Initiative Five. This system will connect cyber security centers analytics electronically as well as in real time. The DOD FY budget states, “the goal is for relevant pieces of information to make their way to authorized users throughout the Government, to help connect the dots in identifying cyber security threats.” Next the budget will fund the research and development of the Nation’s Armed Forces. The DOD budget will provide the military with $67.5 billion for research and development. The funding will help with the evaluation of new tactical vehicles, the continuation of the development of Air Force KC-46 aerial refueling tanker, the design of the OHIO class ballistic missile system, and help to aid in the design of future weapon technologies (DOD FY14 budget). The budget also includes $12 billion for the science and technology program that heads up basic research, applied research, and advanced development technology. There is an additional $2.9 billion allotted to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency for its work in breakthrough research (DOD FY14 Budget). The budgets last main focus is on combatting terrorism. Over recent years the United States has falling under several terrorist attacks. The United States main priority is to protect its self from terrorism, “the budget continues to prioritize this mission by funding investments that are consistent with the four principles of the National Strategy for Counterterrorism, including: combatting terrorism in ways that are consistent with core U.S. values; building the capacity of our partners to fight terrorism; developing systems and capabilities to defend American citizens and deny terrorists safe havens; and preventing terrorists from developing, acquiring, or using weapons of mass destruction (DOD FY14 budget).” China’s fast growing economy and their need to become the worlds powerhouse nation is what keeps them right under the US of the top countries in defense expenditure’s. China’s defense budget for FY 2013 is $115.6 billion making them second on the list to the United States (Newswire 2013). Newswire reports, “China's philosophy, "Prosperous nation, strong military", drives its efforts in building a large military force to rival the best armies in the world, which in turn drives the country's defense budget.” Despite the slowing of the global economy China is forecasting an 11.89% from 2013 to 2018 (Newswire 2013). According to Newswire, “A focus on military modernization and building technical capability to defend its territories will drive the Chinese defense budget over the forecast period and the country will continue to be the second largest military spender after the US.” The US and some European countries implemented an arms embargo on China years ago which has restricted them to have access to foreign defense technology. China was forced to build a self-reliant defense industrial complex. Newswire reports at this complex, “The country is adapting non-defense technology with relative use in the military for its defense industrial complex, which will integrate China's civil and military industries. These reforms have revived the once ailing Chinese defense industry, and the country is now capable of manufacturing fighters, missiles, aircraft carriers, diesel electric submarine, and other defense equipment.” China may one day surpass the US on defense expenditures at the rate of its economic and military growth, but for now they will remain second on the list. Russia makes takes third place on the list of defense budget expenditure’s with the budget of $90.7 billion. Russia started revamping its defense budget spending in 2010 and has increase their expenditure’s by nearly 60% witch is a $66.3 billion increase over the course of three years (Bloom 2010). Over the time period of three years Russia has focused on the modernization of its military. The Russian defense budget has allotted funds for the purchase of naval vessels and aircraft. Bloom states, “In the naval arena, the increased funds will go towards a whole scale modernization of Russia’s aging submarine and Black Sea fleets, including new Yasen and Borei class submarines, Bulava submarine-launched ballistic missiles, three new Talwar class frigates, three Improved Kilo class subs and up to four Mistral class amphibious assault ships. The Russian government plans to purchase two of the Mistral class amphibious assault ships/helicopter carriers from France and acquire the license to build two more of the vessels domestically.” The Russians plan to increase spending on the aviation side of their budget by purchasing a wide variety of aircraft. Bloom says, “Russia planning to spend 80 billion rubles ($2.65 billion) on 60 Su-family fighter jets starting 2010, and buy 26 MiG-29K Fulcrum-D carrier-based fighter jets, with the expected contract estimated at about 25 billion rubles (more than $828 million), a military aircraft plant manager told the paper. The plans also include the purchase of 32 Su-34 Flanker fighter-bombers under the 2008 contract (a single plane then cost more than 1.1 billion rubles ($36.4 million).” It is unclear why Russia is expanding its defense spending, experts say its so they can remain one of the top competitors in becoming the worlds powerhouse. In conclusion the United States, China, and Russia all share the same goal in becoming the worlds powerhouse when it comes to their countries defense budget. The United States has been the number on country for many years when it comes to military expenditures. They are able to achieve their goal by constantly improving their technology and funding programs that help combat national security issues at home and abroad. China strives to remain at the top of this list by implementing its defense complex for the purpose of manufacturing various naval vessels, aircraft and advanced weapon systems. Russia will continue to be a fierce competitor by expanding their military’s inventory of naval vessels, aircraft, and various weapon systems. These three countries are clearly different from one another in many ways; they all have different approaches in achieving their goal of becoming the worlds leading defense powerhouse.

Works Cited
Bloom, Oliver. "Russia Plans 60% Increase in Defense Budget by 2013." Center for Strategic and International Studies. N.p., 20 July 2010. Web. 16 Dec. 2013.

Department of Defense. United States of America. 2014 Federal Summary Budget. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Web.

Erjie, Zhou. "China Defense Budget to Grow 10.7 Pct in 2013: Report." Http:// N.p., 05 May 2013. Web.

"List of Countries by Military Expenditures." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 14 Dec. 2013. Web. 15 Dec. 2013.

"Military Budget." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 11 Dec. 2013. Web. 15 Dec. 2013.

Newswire, PR. "Defense Market Updates for Superpower Nations: China." Regional Business News. PR Newswire US, 19 May 2013. Web.

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