On November 29, 2011, the Washington Post cited on a page 1 story a study done at the Georgetown University that China’s nuclear arsenal was 10x as large U.S. government official (and experts) estimates. The study and the article drew a great deal of attention. The information was false. MIT Associate Professor of Political Science, M. Taylor Fravel, has done an excellent write up of this controversy, and his analysis also revealed exaggeration of Chinese troops bordering India.
On the exaggerated troop numbers, he wrote:
The seriousness of information laundering is evident throughout the Georgetown study. Glancing through the slides of the presentation, one claim caught my eye: that the Second Artillery had 12 launch brigades facing India, including eight in the Tibetan Autonomous Region. This was curious for two reasons. First, the Second Artillery has only about thirty brigades, the majority of which are located in either China’s hinterland or coastal provinces, not near India. Second, there are no confirmed reports of Second Artillery brigades inside Tibet.
After recounting the dubious sources, he made this important conclusion:
Open-source information holds great promise for the study of China’s rapidly changing military. But they must be used with great care, especially if the data comes from unofficial outlets such as blog posts and online forums. Just because a piece of information about the PLA is available on the Internet in Chinese doesn’t endow it with authoritativeness in the absence of verification and corroboration.
For those of us who actively blog, this is a useful reminder too of materials we try to obtain on the Internet on any other topic.
The Washington Post article is an example of what U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower tried to warn his fellow Americans of back in 1961, as he departed the Oval Office:
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the militaryindustrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
. . .
Another factor in maintaining balance involves the element of time. As we peer into society’s future, we — you and I, and our government — must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering, for our own ease and convenience, the precious resources of tomorrow. We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without risking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage. We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow.
This warning is not all lost in the American public though. In fact, the most popular comment in that Washington Post article said:
11/29/2011 6:51 PM PST
From the article: “The Chinese have called it their “Underground Great Wall” — a vast network of tunnels designed to hide their country’s increasingly sophisticated missile and nuclear arsenal.”
REALLY? You mean like ours….why don’t you do a study on the DC area (MD, DC, VA, PA) and Colorado Springs (CO, NM, AZ, CA)……..or even our ever present navy patrolling the world like no other country in the world (more details below).
BTW- their arsenal pales in comparison to ours….just as every country in the world does.
Let’s take a look at the US Navy versus other Navies- (previous post)
Just to provide some details of how out of control our defense, security forces and intel is …..our navy has 11 carrier attack groups with approx. 20 support vessels in each group….all rest of world combined has four carrier attack groups- one each for russia, great britain, france and china ( bought & refurb’d russia’s second carrier) and NOT ONE of these can hold a candle to the firepower of one of ours and none has 20 support vessels….
And as if that isn’t bad enough- our navy presently has under construction THREE NEW AIRCRAFT CARRIERS and many support vessels …….. and 55 pirate catcher ships which if I recall correctly cost approx. $255 million each…..and now with overruns approx. $445 million each and that’s with no crew, provisions and munitions and fuel…..= a ridiculous waste of taxpayer dollars!!!!!!
End these endless and senseless wars and the killing and maiming of over 500,000 since 9/11 and helping to ruin our economy- there is NO WAY to justify the out of control taxpayer dollars wasted on military spending. STOP THE MILITARY MADNESS NOW!