A Difference in Defensive Thinking

June 20, 2013

Teddy Roosevelt said, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” Compare this to Sun Tzu, who wrote the Art of War. He said, “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”

I’m not sure that America speaks all that softly and that stick has been around the world more than once and has been costly.  I did a bit of virtual sleuthing and the military budgets approved by the Congress between 1946 to 2009 have cost the American tax-payer about 23 trillion dollars. These figures do not include the wars since World War II.

In today’s dollars, the Korean War cost more than $340 billion; the Vietnam War cost $740 Billion.

To date, the cost of war in Iraq has cost more than $810 billion and Afghanistan $629 billion.

To compare, the US military has more firepower.

China intervened in the Korean War and sent hundreds-of-thousands of troops. To understand why the Chinese got involved, Mao said,”Vietnam is the gums to our teeth. What happens when the gums are gone?”

Between 1965 and 1970, over 320,000 Chinese soldiers served in North Vietnam.

“Rather than worrying about this development, we should understand that Beijing’s maintenance of a large, modern military is driven by history.” Source: Huffington Post  “On 4 March 2010, Beijing announced China’s declared defense budget will only increase by 7.5% this year — the slowest rate in 20 years.”

In 2012, China defense spending increased by 11%—more than $100 Billion compared to $738 Billion for the US.

Discover When China’s generals laughed.


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

His latest novel, Running with the Enemy, was awarded an honorable mention in general fiction at the 2013 San Francisco Book Festival.

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