Bowdoin Professor of Government Christian Potholm decoded current “weapons speak” from the Pacific, as China ramps up its naval power and deploys powerful new missiles capable of destroying U.S. aircraft carriers.
“Unless some dramatic action is taken soon, I think there will be a spiraling arms race ahead between China and the United States, especially between their respective navies,” noted Potholm.
Potholm’s remarks were part of a Bowdoin Faculty Seminar talk titled, “Striking the Archer, Not the Arrows: The Coming Clash Between the Chinese and American Militaries.”
Potholm gave an overview of 70 years U.S. naval domination in the Pacific following the historic Battle of Midway in June, 1942, then detailed recent escalation of China’s naval capability and weaponry systems that are potentially “unbalancing” to the region.
Ironically, he observed, much of the capital used to develop new Chinese weaponry systems is dependent on American consumption of Chinese goods. “I can think of no example in history where the same group of people are paying for both sides of an arms race,” said Potholm. “The U.S. consumer and the U.S. taxpayer will pay for the arms buildup of both the U.S. and China.”