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Sinusoid of the Anus Race

If somebody tries to characterize the bygone century from the point of view of war and peace, burden of wars and military preparations, he or she could use the not uninteresting methodical instrument for analysis of these problems called the Sinusoid of Arms Race. It could be applied both to war and peace time.

Regarding an individual country-it is the percentage share of military expenditures (for a war or military preparations) in a country’s gross national product (GNP) as a function of time (years). In essence, all is very simple and sufficiently indicative. Such an approach is also usable relating to a coalition of countries. All works of the well known (for specialists at least) Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) are based on monitoring and comparing all absolute and relative military expenditures of all leading countries of the world.

Let us try such a methodology for an enlarged analysis of war and peace problems in the 20 111 century.

First of all we’ll begin from a fact which few people now remember. Exactly I 00 years ago the troops of Germany, Japan, Great Britain, the USA, France, Russia, and Austria-Hungary occupied Peking, having suppressed the people’s anti-imperialist Ichetuan rebellion, which was called the Boxers’ Rebellion by foreigners. That action bad been finished in 1901 by signing a one-sided agreement. The second hotbed of war on the break of the 1911i and 2(}”1 centuries was the Anglo-Boers War of 1899-1902. It was ended by Great Britain’s victory and transformation of the Orange Free State and Transvaal into the British colonies.

To complete the picture of these centuries period of changes, it would be reasonable to mention the Hispanic-American War of 1898, that ended by joining to the USA, Puerto Rico, Guam, Philippines, and in fact part of Cuba. In addition, there was the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905, which was ended by the defeat of Russia and tearing away from it South Sakhalin and Port Arthur.
By that action Russia lost its dominating role in Manchuria and Korea. That defeat was a cause of the first bourgeois-democratic revolution in Russia, the result of which became transformation of the absolute Russian Empire into the constitutional parliamentary monarchy.

The beginning of the 20″‘ century gave evidence not only of the above mentioned [in contemporary terminology] major nation local wars but also the start of arms race (especially naval) in Germany, England, France, Russia, and the United States of America. But it was a peacetime arms race and its burden on the economy of these states was hardly more than 10 percent.

The geopolitical situation in the beginning of the 21st century is well known for all of us. To their amusement, the USA lost its main opponent and appeared as the only superpower in a delicate role of the world’s gendarme. As in a perfect French movie Fanfan Tulip “Our enemy had betrayed us-he had turned his back to us!” Nevertheless, the expensive Cold War had ended. In the last decade the United States and the Russian Federation had reduced the burden of their defense expenditures down to 3 percent of GNP-the lowest levels after World War II.

But let us return to the bygone century and our sinusoid.

The first peak was due to World War I, with up to some 40 percent for the leading war waging countries. Its victims numbered 10 million persons killed. And the results of the fours years of bloodshed in Europe were revolutions in Russia and Germany with the subsequent creation there of the communist and national-socialist regimes. As to the USA, which had entered the war only in 1917, its military spending and efforts were up to some 20 percent of GNP.

The second huge peak of the sinusoid fitted to World War II-up to 50 percent of GNP for the main participants of the war. Its victims became 50 million persons killed. The result was the complete defeat of the main states-aggressors: Fascist Germany and militarist Japan. It also brought the Nuremberg and Tokyo trials with the execution of the major war criminals-the first of such kind in the history of mankind. In the time of the Second World War with Japan and Germany, the USA carried a very significant burden: the share of their military expenditures from GNP reached up to 45 percent and the number of their active armed forces was more than 12 million persons, and 400,000 killed. The share of the USSR in the war in economic sense was comparable with the USA. (Editor’s Note: If the cost of the post-WWII Marshall Plan is added, the American economic burden due to the war expands significantly.) The number of its active military forces also was more than 12 million, but the people’s losses were many times more: 10 million military personnel killed and the same number of civilians.

Almost immediately after the war the share of the defense spending in the USA GNP had been reduced to 4 percent, and the number of active troops to 1.5 million. The USSR also had reduced drastically the number of its regular armed forces but in less degree-to 3 million of military servicemen-and the defense expenditures-approximately to 8 percent of GNP. It took into consideration the USA nuclear monopoly and strategic effect of their nuclear strikes on Japan at the end of the war.

The first post WWII peak of the sinusoid fitted to the war unleashed by Kim 11 Sung and Joseph Stalin; the Korean War of 1950-1953, when the military expenditures of the USA in the GNP had grown from 4 to 14 percent and the number of active armed forces-from 1.5 to 3.6 million servicemen. The number of American troops who participated in war actions approached 400,000. The burden of USSR military efforts was correspondingly increased-it provided the North Koreans and Chinese doing the fighting with weapons and ammunition, and a number of Soviet flyers directly participated in war actions against American pilots. The number of the Soviet regular armed forces had been increased up to almost 6 million servicemen.

In the middle and the second part of the 1950s, after the Korean War, the USA military expenditures were again reduced but not quite as significantly. The share of their military spending from GNP had been reduced from 14 to 8 percent and the number of active military from 3.6 to 2.5 million servicemen. After the death of Stalin in 1953, Nikita Khrushchev, who succeeded him, sharply turned the rudder wheel of the Soviet state ship.

He disclosed Stalin’s crimes against his own people and drastically reduced the number of Soviet armed forces from 5.8 to 2.4 million of regular servicemen, and improved by such a way the civil economy of the country. At the same time he accelerated the nuclear anns race. He began increasing the Soviet Missile Strategic Forces fast and provoked the extremely dangerous Caribbean nuclear missile crises in 1962.

The period of Kennedy’s and Johnson’s Administrations in the 1960s fits the second post-WWII peak of the arms race sinusoid, especially in the height of the Vietnam War, when the share of the military spending in the USA GNP had grown from 8 to 10 percent and the number of their active armed forces again had risen from 2.5 to 3.6 million of servicemen. More than half a million waged the war in southeastern Asia. In that period the USSR doubled its military spending (according to official data from 9 .3 to 17. 9 billion rubles) and had increased the number of its regular armed forces from 2.4 to more than 4 million, having deployed on the Far East more than an additional million servicemen in connection with the sharp worsening of the Soviet-Chinese relations and the military incidents on the border with China.

In the 1970s, after ending the Viemam War and commencing the period of detente in the American-Soviet relations, the Administrations of Nixon, Ford, and Carter reduced the share of military expenditures from 10 percent of GNP in 1969 to 5 percent in 1980. In that period the USSR reduced its share of defense spending in the state budget from 12 to 6 percent, having reduced insignificantly their absolute amount (from 17 .9 to 17.4 billion rubles) of direct spending for the armed forces.

The third post-WWII peak of the USA and USSR arms race could be known as Reagan’s. He became a bold American President and decided to frighten his external enemies, and first of all the “evil empire” -Soviet Union. Having joked on one occasion that he was ordering to strike it by nuclear weapons, he announced his intention to begin realization of the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDl)-the program of a national system of antiballistic defense, which should have made strategic missiles obsolete. He had deployed in Europe the nuclear cruise missiles of intermediary range and the lesser range ballistic missiles, Pershing-2, and mortally frightened the gerontocratic Soviet leadership, which ordered the KGB to search at night time additional electric bulbs burning in the defense deparnnents of the leading NATO countries. Having ruined by such a way three General Secretaries of the CPSU (Brezhnev, Andropov, and Tcbernenko), be had opened the road to Michail Gorbatchev.

Having created for the USA military-industrial complex a paradise environment, Reagan promised to increase the share of the USA military expenditure in their GNP by one and a half times (from 5 to 7 percent) and to reach the figure of $4008 for their defense budget. He realized that program only partially, the share of the military spending in the GNP was increased only to 6.2 percent and the number of armed forces from 2 to 2.2 million of active servicemen. The USSR answered in the first five years of the 1980s by a symbolic increase of its official military expenditures (from 17.4 to 17.9 billion rubles), intensified the works on its SDI and implemented under the leadership of Marshal of the Soviet Union Nikolai Ogarkov, Chief of the General Staff of the Soviet Armed Forces, an increase in readiness of the Warsaw Pact Armed Forces and the Far East contingents. In such an environment of increased vigilance, the tragic incident with the Korean passenger airliner took place when a pilot of the Soviet antiaircraft fighter had downed the Boeing 747 with 269 passengers and crew members near Sakhalin Island.

What happened after the coming to power of Gorbatchev and later Yeltsin, it is not necessary to write (it is a separate subject); and all that is fresh in our memory. It was mentioned above, that today’s level of the sinusoid for the USA and the Russian Federacion is 3 percent from GNP-the lowest level after World War II, although in the last election the USA outlined some tendency to increase that indicator and again expressed a wish to create a national strategic antiballistic system, although a limited one.

In conclusion, it is reasonable to ask of what practical use is all that reasoning. Because it is clear that when wars are ongoing, the military expenditures will grow fast. And the Cold War was not always cold, but also had sufficiently hot peaks with Korea and Viemam. The sense is that in contemporary conditions the burden of the arms race in the USA (and also in Russia and even to a greater degree in China) hardly could be called high. The USA spends on defense less than 3 percent from GNP, although in absolute figures their defense budget is approaching $300B, with the number of their active duty servicemen at 1.4 million. With a maximum percentage in the magnitude of WWII (45 percent) their military budget would have approached $4T and the number of active duty armed forces to 25 million servicemen.

On the other hand, there is a recently announced plan of an additional reduction of the Russian regular armed forces in the next five years by 365,000 servicemen from some 1.2 million men and the number of strategic nuclear warheads from 2,500-2,000 to less than 1,000. The relevant decrease of the Russian defense budget seems hardly achievable because the reduction of the Russian defense spending is lower than 3 percent of GNP. Although directed to improve efficiency of the Russian nuclear and conventional armed forces would not be easy to achieve from strategic and international points of view.

Two Local Wars or More? Strategy of Credible Deterrence

It is a very strange phenomenon, but the United States of America, for a couple of decades, has had no name for its political military strategy.

The last one was named the Nixon-Ford Administration’s strategy, which was called Strategy of Realistic Dete”ence with two main concepts: 1) rough strategic nuclear parity with the Soviet Union in the number of deliverable offensive warheads on ICBMs, SLBMs, and strategic bombers; and 2) preparation of the United States’ general purpose forces to initial fighting of one big war with either the USSR or PRC and a half a war with such countries as Korea or Vietnam. In essence it was preserved by the Administrations of Presidents Jimmy Caner, Ronald Reagan, and George Bush.

The previous strategy of the John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson Administrations had been Strategy of Flexible Response also with two basic concepts: 1) strategic nuclear superiority in comparison with the Soviet Union in 3 to 5 times in the number of strategic deliverable warheads on ICBMs, SLBMs, and strategic bombers; and 2) preparation of the United States’ general purpose forces to the initial waging of two and a half wars with the USSR and PRC simultaneously and a half a war somewhere else (with such countries as Korea or Vietnam-in practice it became the Vietnam War).

But the first name of post-World War II American political-military strategy was Strategy of Massive Retaliation of President Eisenhower’s Administration. That strategy, which was born as a result of the Korean War, did not have a concept relating to the United States general purpose (mainly conventional) forces, and in it there was no mentioning of the USSR and PRC. It told definitely that in response to a major aggression whether in Europe or Asia, the USA would have reacted by massive nuclear strikes in time and places by the American choice. In conditions of some 25 times superiority over the USSR in deliverable nuclear weapons, the USA calculated a victory in an unlimited nuclear World War Ill. The major nuclear power of the USA in those times was their strategic bombers.

It is necessary to mention that just after World War II and in times of the Korean War. the United States also had no name for their political-military strategy. Immediately after the end of the Great War nobody thought about a war between the major allies in that war. And the nuclear monopoly of the USA guaranteed their security. After the USSR tested its first nuclear bomb in 1949, the situation changed drastically. Stalin and Mao Tse-tung, by the hand of their puppet regime of North Korean communist leader Kim II Sung. had unleashed the aggression against South Korea. The United States, together with their allies under the auspices of the United Nations, entered the war, which later was called in strategic theory a half a war. That half a war officially was against North Korea but it almost directly involved the USSR (directly by its aviation and indirectly through providing of armaments and ammunition) and the PRC (by sending a million of its so-called volunteers). The world situation at that time was extremely dangerous. The Commander-in-Chief of the United Nations Forces, American General Douglas MacArthur, after the invasion of the Chinese volunteers, requested the use of nuclear weapons for complete victory in that war, not only in Korea but also against the PRC and even the USSR, but President Truman replaced him with General Matthew Ridgeway and began finding a compromise in reestablishing a prewar status quo.

It should be mentioned that in retrospect the political-military strategy at the time of the Korean War could be called Strategy of Flexible Response by analogy with the Kennedy-Johnson strategy, because of the same potential major enemies (the USSR and PRC). So, the formula of two and a half wars in principle is applicable to both cases. A half war was the war with North Korea.

In the time of the Korean War, the first peak of the post-World War II arms race sinusoid between the Soviet Union and United States took place, when in the USA the share of military expenditures from GNP had risen from 4 to 14 percent and the number of active armed forces was increased from 1.4 to 3.6 million servicemen.

In the time of the Vietnam War (with the formula of preparation to the two and a half wars, the USA share of military spending from GNP had risen from 8 to 10 percent and the number of active armed forces was increased from 2.5 to 3.6 million servicemen. And that time a half a war was the Vietnam War. The second post-World War II peak took place in the Vietnam War period on the sinusoid of the arms race between the USA and USSR.

The third peak of the sinusoid could be called as Reagan’s, when the share of military expenditures in the USA GNP had been increased from 5 to 6.2 percent and the number of active armed forces from 2 to 2.2 million servicemen. His political-military strategy also had no official name. Some called it a Strategy of Direct Confrontation with the Soviet Union. It had its nuclear strategic concept of superiority through the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) and preparation of the USA general purpose forces to one and two-thirds wars (one big war whether with the USSR or PRC and two local wars, for example in the Middle East and in Eastern Asia).

A significant number of people in the United States believe that the Reagan’s military buildup and his decisive anti-Soviet rhetoric played a major role in the collapse of the Soviet Union. Certainly it played some role. But the major role was played by the internal factors in the Soviet Union. With improvement of quality of life levels of its citizens and drastic growth of electronic communications means (an especially important role was played by the Russian Service of the Voice of America, Radio Liberty, and BBC), increased exchange of people between the USSR and West, the role of the CPSU had been decreasing and the capitalism and liberalism- oriented forces became prevailing. With help of a reformist leader of the CPSU, Michail Gorbatchev, and the crucial role of the renegade-communist, President of the Russian Federation Boris Yeltsin, the Soviet power and the Soviet Union had collapsed.

In the last decade of the 20th century (two years of the George Bush and eight years of the Bill Clinton Administrations) the United States of America also did not have an explicit name and formulation of their political-military strategy. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, mysteriously disappeared one big war with the USSR or PRC and later appeared the formula preparation for two major local wars simultaneously. As a result, the share of military expenditures in the USA GNP had been reduced from 6 to 3 percent, in other words by half, and the number of their active military forces from 2.2 to 1.4 million servicemen. Correspondingly the indicators of the Russian defense preparations (the share of military spending in GNP) also had been reduced to some 3 percent and the number of the regular armed forces from 3 to 1.5 million servicemen). As a result of ST ART negotiations and some unilateral actions, the number of strategic nuclear warheads in America and Russia have been reduced in half (roughly from 12,000 to 6,000). At the same China did not reduce the number of its military forces (some 3 million of active duty servicemen), and increased its number of strategic nuclear warheads by a small amount, although the share of its military preparations in the GNP was also reduced because of the rise of the PRC’s GNP in the last decade (it is less than 3 percent).

Such a significant reduction of the share of defense expenditures in the GNP of the USA in the 1990s created the most favorable nation status for President Clinton’s Administration. It allowed liquidation of the budget deficit and creation of significant budget surpluses for reduction of the federal debt. As to local wars, the USA in that time had at least two major victorious local wars (with Iraq and Yugoslavia) but not simultaneously.

It is not known why the Clinton Administration did not invent a name for its political-military strategy. It seems the name Strategy of Selective Response with one concept of rough strategic nuclear parity relating to the Russian Federation and another concept of preparation to two-thirds wars (or two local wars simultaneously), would have been proper. Such a name would have been consistent with another strategy name of democrats of the past-Strategy of Flexible Response.

But now the most interesting question is about the name and content of the political-strategy of the new George W. Bush Administration. First of all, about historical analogies. The last republican strategy’s name was realistic deterrence, which does mean less response and more deterrence.

As to the essence of the strategy, it seems that a major novelty would be real development and deployment of a limited strategic ballistic missile defense and step-by-step deployment of a number of American tactical ballistic missile defenses in Europe and Asia. At the same time the Russian federation (mainly by financial reasons) will push on additional reductions of the Russian and American offensive strategic nuclear forces to some 1,500 war-heads. But the USA probably would be reluctant to accept it without Russian concessions relating to American strategic BMD. Such a combination could provide for the USA a kind of limited strategic nuclear superiority.

Probably significant changes would be introduced to the concept of the general purpose forces’ development. It seems probable to return to the concept of preparation to initial waging of one and a half wars simultaneously (with China or Russia and a half a war in some other place-in the Middle East or in East Asia). Such a development would require an increase in the number of the general purpose armed forces of some 20 percent and the share of USA defense expenditure in their GNP from 3 to 4 percent.

In conclusion it would be reasonable to suggest a name for the new American political-military strategy. Maybe the name of Strategy of Credible Deterrence with two concepts: 1) some degree
of strategic nuclear superiority relating to Russia and, of course, China; and 2) preparation of the USA general purpose forces to one and a half wars (with China or Russia and a half war somewhere else) would be relevant. At the same time, mentioning in such a strategy of the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China might be improper for diplomatic reasons. In this case it would be possible to use a more vague language and call such a power a potential hostile major power.

For more than a century (since the Spanish American War) United States defense policy has been based mainly on protecting U.S. economic and political interests overseas when those interests, as well as regional and sometimes global peace and stability, were threatened and disrupted by hostile powers. The U.S. Navy played, is playing, and will play a very important role in American military posture. Today it is in first place in the U.S. defense expenditures. Tomorrow in connection with the decision of President George W. Bush to proceed with development and deployment of limited strategic and significant theater ballistic missile def ens es and a possibility of a crisis, which might be connected with Taiwan, its role will be increasing in deterrence and defense of American vital interests.


The Dolphin Scholarship Foundation (DSF) recently hosted the second biennial meeting of their Distinguished Advisory Board on May 10, 2001.

Rear Admiral A.L. Kelln, USN(Ret.), Chairman of the DSF Board of Directors, and Mrs. Kathy Grossenbacher, DSF President, welcomed the attendees and extended a special thank you to Mrs. Grenfell, who started the Foundation in 1961. Following lunch, members of the office staff began formal presentations covering Dolphin Scholarship’s history, scholar selection, financial posture, and special projects. Currently, DSF sponsors 130 students with annual grants of $3000 per scholar. Rear Admiral Kelln announced the Foundation’s goal of supporting 200 Dolphin Scholars by the year 2009, and attendees discussed fundraising initiatives to attain this goal. It is important for the Dolphin Scholar Foundation to reach out to both the corporate community and individual benefactors to enlist their aid in providing educational assistance to the children of the Submarine Force. The Distinguished Advisory Board encouraged DSF to continue to pursue estate planning and corporate fundraising as viable avenues of increasing the funds available to support the goal of 200 scholars. Additionally, the staff addressed the procedures for naming scholarships in recognition of significant contributions made to the Foundation.

The Distinguished Advisory Board, consisting of prominent retired submariners and civilian friends of the Submarine Force, was established in 1999 to develop a closer relationship between the submarine and corporate communities. Members of the Distinguished Advisory Board are: Dr. Robert Ballard, CAPT Edward L. Beach, USN(Ret.), Mrs. Rebecca Burkhalter, ADM Henry G. Chiles, Jr., USN(Ret.), ADM William J. Crowe, Jr., USN(Ret.), RADM Eugene B. Fluckey, USN(Ret.), Mr. William P. Fricks, Mr. L. Patrick Gray III, Mrs. Martha Grenfell, ADM Frank B. Kelso, II, USN(Ret.), ADM Robert L. J. Long, USN(Ret.), Mrs. Eleonore Rickover, ADM Carlisle A.H. Trost, USN(Ret.), ADM James D. Watkins, USN(Ret.), and Mr. John K. Welch.


CDR Barry L. Bruner

MTCM(SS) Jeffery S. Hudson

LCDR Paul A. Whitescarver
MMC(SS) Norman K. Ford
ETI(SS) Marvin Leroy Keen

LCDR Thomas Arthur Gabehart
Naval Submarine Support Facility, New London

LCDR Teryl Edward Chauncey
Commander Submarine Group Ten

CDR John Elnitsky, Il

ETCM(SS) Gregory P. Fischer

Naval Submarine League

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