What Fresh Hell Is This?

September 19, 2011

Fact-Checking Jim Roddey (I Think)

I happened to catch a few minutes of Jim Roddey and Joe Mistik on PCNC this evening.

As part of the discussion of the necessity of keeping National Defense spending high, I think I heard former County Commissioner Roddey say something like, "Right now China is building more aircraft carriers and submarines that we have."

I must've heard him wrong.  That can't possibly be true.  How do I know this?

Well, let's start with the aircraft carriers.

According to this page, there are 10 active Aircraft Carriers in the US Navy and according to this article at the Daily Mail, China is building its first aircraft carrier.  And ""building" is not exactly correct because:
General Chen Bingde is the first Chinese military official to confirm one of the world's worst-kept secrets, but he refused to say when the carrier - a remodelled Soviet-era vessel - would be ready.

The 1,000ft Varyag, which is being built in the north-east port of Dalian, was originally constructed for the Soviet navy in the 1980s.

But after the collapse of the Soviet Union, it languished in dockyards in the Ukraine before a Chinese company bought it in 1998 claiming it wanted to turn it into a floating casino in Macau.

Refurbishment work is expected to be nearly finished, and the aircraft carrier could being sea trials later this year.[emphasis added.]
So rebuilding is more like it.  10 US carriers vs 1 Chinese carrier and it's not even ready yet.

How about those submarines?

According to, again,The Navy, there are 46 active attack submarines, 14 ballistic missile submarines, and 4 guided missile submarines.  That's 68 active submarines by my count.

According to sinodefense.com, China has 63 submarines - but Roddey said they were building more than we have.  Are they building more than 68 submarines?

I can't see it.

Did you know that, according to global issues, the US accounts for 43% of the entire planet's military spending.  China only accounts for 7.3%.

So somehow I am thinking China is NOT building more aircraft carriers and submarines than the US.

So I must've heard Roddey wrong.  He couldn't possibly have been this wrong.

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