Originally Posted by samneanderthal
The capacity of a country to conquer relates little to its position as a world leader. Attila or Genghis were far from being world leaders when they began to expand. Rome was much less of a world leader than Carthage and had a much less powerful navy when it started copying the Carthaginian ships and soundly defeated Carthage in Sicily, starting its downfall.
Many of Hitler's soldiers were inexperienced teenagers, which defeated France boosted by amphetamines in record time. The same teenagers achieved the most impressive advance in history in Barbarossa.
Minorities have long been allowed more than 1 child by law in China, it is the Han who can only have one child. However, when you have over a hundred million people between 18 and 30, you need not worry about running out of troops.
2 years of conscription for a huge number of people seems infinitely better than no conscripton at all for far fewer people, most of them overweight and addicted to at least one drug.
The Chinese educational system is too demanding, the American system teaches almost nothing until college, to which an ever increasing number of Americans can not aspire, because of ridiculous costs.
The idea that the Chinese have little creativity and only copy things ignores the fact that many of the most important inventions came from China and that China is issuing more patents in many fields than the US. Aside from the fact that most of America's scientists, engineers and doctors are foreigners and if the depression intensifies in the US, while the Chinese economy grows, they will flock to China.
Germany, Germany, Germany, the British, French and especially the Americans were feed up of hearing about it (and about Japan) in 1938. After all, the Germans were civilized people, simply improving their economy and too smart to go to war after the destruction and massacre of WW I.
Greater military spending in 2009 does not necessarily imply a stronger military. Each soldier in Afghanistan or in Iraq was estimated to cost 1 million dollars a year. Contractors (why not call them mercenaries?) had a lower maintenance cost but much higher salaries, so they ended up costing the same of more. The main reason they were used is that they did not figure in the casualty lists, so attentively followed by the press and the public. In Iraq alone billions disappeared and have not been accounted for.
The American soldiers had much higher salaries and required tons of supplies each in WW II, but fought no better than the Japanese soldiers, who had to survive with a few pounds of supplies each and low wages.
Look at the French and British military budget for 38, 39 and 40 and the size of their armies, ari forces and navies, yet all that spending and people little reflective their fighting ability.
Just because an American aircraft carrier costs billions to make and maintain, doesn't mean that a Chinese carrier, built and maintained for a fraction of the cost cannot perform just as well.