KTRH Local Houston and Texas News

KTRH Local Houston and Texas News

KTRH-AM covering local news from Houston and across Texas.


United States struggling to keep up with Chinese military threat

China has been on a march to world domination since now-70-year-old Xi Jinping took over his rule a decade ago. Slowly, but surely, they have grown their economy and their military into world powers that Americans would be silly to brush off too quickly. This is not like North Korea firing off some dud missiles that land two miles off their own coast. China has developed a military more than capable of inflicting major damage, and then some.

The Chinese defense budget was over 200 million U.S. dollars in 2023, and they now have the largest army in the world with over two million active personnel. The United States comes in second with just over one million active reserves.

But personnel size alone is not the problem, according to national security analyst Ed Turzanski. They actually now have the number of equipment to support their large military.

"They do not best the American Navy at this point, but they have more reach, more material, and more ships...the concern is that size at some point overwhelms overall quality," he says. "So many western tech firms operate in China...and they just take whatever technology they can."

It may seem like a sudden thing, but the U.S. has dropped its defense spending gradually overtime and did so possibly at the worst time.

"The Chinese are growing at a time when we have been cutting back," he says.

Europe has always been an ally of the United States, but they have not been doing their part in helping the cause. NATO requirements include paying two percent of your Gross Domestic Product into military defense spending.

Yet, the United States seems to be the only country supplying or doing anything.

"The Europeans got every comfortable under our sword and shield...the best example is Germany. They have not made their two percent obligation in years...they know the Unted States military will always be there...they can pull the fire alarm, and we will come running," says Turzanski.

The U.S. defense budget in 2023 was around $745 billion, which while more than China, does not stretch too far when you spend it on the wrong things. For example, spending money on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion incentives in military branches.

The money has also not helped enrollment, with all but one branch failing to meet enrollment quotas the last few years.

Instead, all our money and resources go into helping two war fronts, one in Gaza, but especially the one in Ukraine, where the U.S. has spent close to $100 billion in military aid. But being everyone's Santa Claus has been our own Achilles heel.

"The Ukraine war is especially draining on armaments...the 155 mm shells...only two factors in the United States make those," he says.

By hurting ourselves too, and kneecapping our own resources, we have exposed ourselves to security threats. The problem will only get worse as the years go on, unless someone takes some old school action.

"It will take years to get us back to what Ronald Reagan left us in terms of the Navy...he said we needed 600 ships, and he got pretty close to that," he says. "Today, we are under 300 ships in the Navy."

The other concern is nuclear abilities. China has doubled their nuclear weapon capabilities in the last six years alone.

High resolution digital render of China flag

Photo: Mariano Sayno / Moment / Getty Images

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