What Of The New “Pacific Theater”?

We here lots of chest thumping these days about the capabilities of the US military…..and in the same vain we here about the expansion of the Chinese influence in the Pacific and the possibility of some sort of confrontation is in the cards without some changes…..

China is working hard to replace the influence of the US in the Pacific…..

China, especially under President Xi Jinping, seeks a return to what it regards as its rightful position, replacing the U.S. as the world’s dominant economic and military power. Previous U.S. administrations have slouched in the direction of understanding the strategic competition that grows from this ambition but did little. The current U.S. administration gets it, as evidenced by the National Defense Strategy’s identification of China as a major peer competitor.

https://www.hudson.org/research/14861-china-wants-to-replace-the-u-s-in-the-pacific

But if the confrontation comes to the forefront how does it look for the US in such a conflict?

The United States Studies Centre (USSC), a research center based at the University of Sydney in Australia, released a study titled, “Averting Crisis: American Strategy, Military Spending and Collective Defence in the Indo-Pacific.” The study makes the argument that the US would not be able to defeat China in a military confrontation in the Indo-Pacific.

The USSC is funded by the Australian government, over the past five years one percent of their budget came from the US government and eight percent came from “US-based foundations, companies or individuals.”

The three researchers whose names are on the study are part of the USSC’s Foreign Policy and Defence program. The program lists its partners as the Australian government, The US defense company Northrop Grumman, the French defense company Thales and the US State Department.

New Study: China Would Beat US Military in Pacific

Does Trump’s trade wars help this situation in any way?

 

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Closing Thought–20Aug19

Economics

How many of you, my readers, believe that China is holding our debt?

Let me correct this erroneous thinking….

It is NOT China but Japan that owns the most Treasury notes……that craps on so many talking points.

Japan surpassed China as the largest foreign holder of U.S. Treasury securities in June.

Japan has added about $21 billion since May, making its holdings the largest since October, 2016. Japan now holds $1.12 trillion Treasurys, and China has $1.11 trillion, a $2 billion increase from the month earlier, according to U.S. Treasury department data.

China has been a less aggressive buyer of the U.S. sovereign debt, and market players have speculated that one action it could take in the trade war with the U.S. is to lighten up on its U.S. holdings. But there are no signs that is happening, according to traders.

The U.K. is the third-largest holder with $342.3 billion, up from $323.1 billion a month earlier.

(CNBC)

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

 

What About China?

OMG!

The news is back and forth….China good….China a bad player….China this…..China That…….

We have a monarch that demonizes China when it suits him….and pretends he likes them when he needs something.

But cut through the BS….is China an enemy?

China has one-fifth of the planet’s population; the world’s second largest economy; a small but significant nuclear arsenal for deterrence; and an increasingly repressive government which combines elements of market economics with single-party totalitarianism, incredibly invasive surveillancemass internment camps; and a newly minted “president for life,” Xi Jinping. Should it also be the recipient of Washington’s antagonism?

https://thehill.com/opinion/international/457098-china-is-a-rival-not-an-enemy

A group of China experts here in the US has written a letter to the White House…..

An open letter from 100 well-known China experts in America, critical of Washington’s adversarial stance towards Beijing, has highlighted – and fuelled – the ongoing debate in the United States over how to deal with China.

The public pushback from moderates was prompted by concern over worsening US-China relations, amid a hardening anti-China line from Trump administration officials and a festering trade war that has spilled over to competition in technology and other arenas.

Their letter was addressed to President Donald Trump and members of Congress, and published in The Washington Post on Wednesday. Headlined “China is not an enemy”, it outlined the authors’ problems with the current US approach to China and laid out their tenets for a better foreign policy.

https://www.straitstimes.com/world/united-states/open-letter-to-trump-china-is-not-an-enemy

Think about it…have you heard from the MSM on this subject?  Probably not.

An article from 5 years ago about China and its role……

The rise of China as America’s chief rival on the international stage has long been a staple of our foreign policy pundits’ alleged wisdom. The Chinese, simply by virtue of their enormous population, have been deemed the inheritors of the earth. China, we are told, has been in the process of overtaking us in terms of virtually every metric imaginable: demographic, economic, and, most important of all, military. There’s just one problem with this Sinocentric view of the future: it’s based on nonsensical assumptions. And the central wrongheaded assumption – that China is a stable unitary country and will always remain so – is being disproved (once again) by the events now unfolding in Hong Kong.

China Is a Paper Tiger

This whole China thing is a mash up of policies that no one understands….especially analysts that must to have the national security at heart.

Time to bring Foreign Policy out of the black hole that Trump and Gang have put it into.

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Kashmir–The Saga Goes On

Not that great rock song from Led Zepplin…..but rather that region in the mountains around China, India and Pakistan…..a disputed land….

Let me go on record as I am not an expert on this region so my limited knowledge comes from reports I read….please if anyone wants to correct anything feel free to jump in…..I will not be offended.

India and Pakistan is at odds over the Kashmir region and then China is sitting on the Northern border of the region and have an interest on who does what to whom…..

India’s ongoing crackdown on once-autonomous Kashmir has fueled a lot of criticism from neighboring Pakistan, and unsurprisingly is also being criticized by Pakistan’s closest regional ally, China.

China’s foreign ministry says that it wants to see India play a constructive role in regional peace and stability, and not take unilateral actions. These comments came as India’s FM flew to China to meet his counterpart related to the upcoming UN Security Council matter.

Pakistan has promised to take the issue of India’s crackdown on Kashmir to the UN Security Council, and is counting on China’s support. The Indian government, however, is warning China to stay out of the matter, saying it should not allow any differences of opinion to become disputes.

That’s likely unavoidable, however, as Kashmir is a huge issue to the Pakistanis, and anything that brings India and Pakistan into conflict will also be a huge issue to China. The Chinese government may have less direct interest in whether India respects constitutional autonomy for Kashmir, but that area is right on their border, and they clearly don’t want to see it flare up, either internally in Kashmir, or into a direct India-Pakistan War.

(antiwar.com)

Moving on to India’s crackdown……

Restrictions over the past eight days have been severe enough that a lot of Kashmiris have been all but confined to their homes. Indian forces went to the extent that reporters said the communications blackout meant some Kashmiris didn’t even know what was going on.

Indian forces expected that the Eid al-Adha holiday would lead to large protests in Kashmir, and in trying to prevent such demonstrations, the military imposed even more severe restrictions, including closing the largest mosque in Srinagar.

Muslims, who are the heavy majority of Kashmir, are allowed to go to mosques for the Eid, but only smaller mosques. The expectation seems to be that the largest, most influential mosque would be used to organize big protests.

(antiwar.com)

This is an article that was written recently and ask a good question….not that I agree but a question that needs an answer…..

It has long been called the most dangerous place in the world. Still, few Americans know anything about the place; nor could they point out the troubled region of Kashmir on a map. Yet for 62 years India and Pakistan have contested for control of the province. In fact, a long-running insurgency there has even been punctuated by at least three inter-state wars between the nuclear armed powers. Now, after India recently revoked Kashmir’s “special status” – essentially annexing the disputed (and Muslim-majority) territory – there might just be another war. Tens of thousands have already been killed over the years; how many more will now die is anyone’s guess.

India: The Next Apartheid State?

The PM of Pakistan just back from the schmooze with Trump decided to do some chest thumping of his own…..

Pakistan is prepared to “fight to the end” over Kashmir if necessary, Prime Minister Imran Khan said Wednesday during a speech from the Pakistani-controlled part of the disputed region.

Khan, who was in Kashmir to mark Pakistan’s independence day, accused India of trying to marginalize and radicalize the region’s Muslims. He also called New Delhi’s move to strip Indian-controlled Kashmir of its autonomy a “strategic blunder” by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

All that editorializing aside…..let us look at a real problem….food shortages…..

Residents of Indian-held Kashmir (IHK) were running short of essentials on Tuesday as an unprecedented security lockdown kept people indoors for a ninth day.

India has imposed a near-constant curfew and a communications blackout as it tries to stave off a violent reaction to the government’s decision on August 5 to strip Kashmir of its autonomy.

The reaction to India’s unprecedented move has so far been largely subdued. But anti-India protests and clashes have occurred daily, mostly as soldiers withdraw from the streets at dusk. Though the scale of the lockdown is unprecedented, civil resistance to Indian rule is not uncommon in IHK, and young men have hurled stones and abuse at police and soldiers.

Food running out as IHK under strict lockdown for 9th day

Maybe to help my reader understand….,the UN report on Kashmir would help…

https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Countries/IN/KashmirUpdateReport_8July2019.pdf

Learn Stuff!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Nukes For China

We have heard all the spurious arguments for the nuke policies for Iran and North Korea……but what about a strategy for a nuclear power and one of our biggest opponents? China.

A diverse range of external stimuli, including technological trends and geopolitical shifts, is leading the strategic community of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to reconsider existing nuclear policy, strategy, and operations. According to Chinese open sources, U.S. global conventional precision strike systems, U.S. missile defenses, and India’s nuclear weapons modernization, among other threats, could shake the PRC’s faith in longstanding nuclear doctrine and posture. The 2013 Science of Military Strategy confirms that “the nuclear security circumstances facing China in overall terms are trending toward complexity.”   In response to such challenges, some Chinese analysts have proposed loosening the no-first-use policy and undertaking quantitative and qualitative improvements to China’s nuclear forces.

A departure from enduring nuclear policy and strategy may also reflect China’s growing power and sense of purpose as it seeks to reshape its surroundings and accelerate the erosion of the U.S. position in the Western Pacific. Indeed, Chinese analysts are exploring Cold War history in Europe, from which they may be drawing lessons about the vulnerabilities of U.S. extended deterrence in Asia. While it remains unclear how and to what extent Chinese nuclear strategy will advance Beijing’s expanding ambitions, the internal debates suggest that China may be increasingly inclined to adopt a more coercive nuclear strategy.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2019/07/17/chinese_nuclear_weapons_strategyleaning_towards_a_more_proactive_posture_part_ii_external_drivers_of_potential_changetechnical-military_developments_and_perceptions_of_credibility.html

China continues to confront the US and its Asian allies on many fronts and yet the president is concerned over a country that is not yet a nuclear power…..where is the sanity there?

I believe you ignore China’s nukes at your own peril.

Time To Re-Think This War Thing

2020 is around the corner and maybe it is time to find a candidate that is willing to re-think the war thing.

I think the days of massive armies meeting on the field of battle are gone……at least that is the way of thinking that the US masters of war are thinking……their lopsided wins over Saddam on two occasions has them settled into this superiority complex that will defeat us eventually.

For instance while the US is laser focused on defeating non-state entities (and losing the high ground) our super power adversaries have been looking at ways to get around the US.

For the first time in decades, it is possible to imagine the United States fighting—and possibly losing—a large-scale war with a great power. For generations of Americans accustomed to U.S. military superiority and its ability to deter major wars, the idea of armed conflict between great powers may seem highly improbable. The idea that the United States—with the most expensive armed forces in the world by a wide margin—might lose such a war would seem absolutely preposterous. Nevertheless, the possibility of war and U.S. defeat are real and growing.

Given that U.S. armed forces’ last major conventional combat operations were the massively lopsided victories against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq in 1991 and 2003, many Americans might be wondering how this could come to pass. This report makes the case that one salient issue is that the American way of war—the implicit and explicit mental framework for U.S. military strategy and operations—that coalesced after the Gulf War is no longer valid.

China and Russia have spent almost two decades studying the current American way of war. While the Department of Defense (DoD) has taken its military superiority for granted and focused on defeating nonstate adversaries, China and Russia have been devising strategies and developing new concepts and weapons to defeat the United States in a war should the need arise. They have offset their relative weakness versus the United States by using time and geography to their advantage and by focusing their weapons- and concept-development efforts on finding ways to attack vulnerable nodes in U.S. military operations. The goal of these strategies and concepts is to create a plausible theory of victory whereby China or Russia avoid a “fair fight” with the Joint Force and could therefore defeat the United States and its allies and partners in a regional war. These Chinese and Russian strategies, which once seemed implausible or far in the future, are beginning to pay off. They are shifting military balances in key regions and pushing allies and partners to reconsider U.S. security guarantees.

 
All aspects of war should be studied and practiced…for the US never knows from where the next “major” threat will be presented to us.

Tariffs–Winners And Losers And Economics

Our Trade War With China!  Who’s gonna win and who gonna lose?

With all the words flying around about this legal aspect or another…..the news on our trade war with China takes a back seat…..but I think it needs to be in the forefront……

I found an article that tells the winners and losers in this trade war (I am hoping that you will actually read the referenced article)…..areas of our economy like technology, agriculture, steel, etc……

U.S. companies in everything from computer chips to tractors have said President Donald Trump’s trade wars, including disputes with Beijing and global steel tariffs, have had an impact on them.

Even for some of the expected winners, such as steel companies, the benefits of the president’s tariffs are not entirely clear.

Trump said on May 5 he would raise tariffs on $200 billion (£159 billion) worth of Chinese goods from 10% to 25%, ratcheting up pressure on Beijing to agree to a deal.

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-usa-trade-china-winners-losers-factbo/winners-and-losers-in-trumps-trade-war-with-china-idUKKCN1TK1UM

And yet the markets have not tanked on the bad news for the bigger of our corporations…..

Is this a good thing…… these tariffs?

This “Booming Economy” that we hear about from Trump, the GOP and others is looking a lot like the economy……wait for it……under Obama…..

In some key ways, the Donald Trump economy, on fire last year but slowing this year, is starting to resemble the one he inherited from his predecessor .

There are the rock-bottom bond yields, plodding economic growth and, not to be understated, the Federal Reserve seemingly pulling all the strings, a role that was only exacerbated in the days since the financial crisis and Great Recession and continues to the present day.

Those similarities came into even sharper focus this week, when the benchmark 10-year Treasury note yield fell below 2% for the first time since Trump became president, and the Fed’s indication, if something just short of an outright promise, that it soon will be cutting rates about half a year since its most recent hike.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way: The 2017 tax cut and aggressive moves toward deregulation were supposed to pull the U.S. economy out of its glacial move higher. That happened in 2018, but policymakers and Wall Street pros are growing increasingly fearful that a slowdown if not outright recession is on the horizon, and the Fed is being asked again to ride to the rescue.

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/06/20/the-trump-economy-is-starting-to-look-more-and-more-like-the-obama-economy.html

Oh Snap!  All the comparisons to what Obama did…will this make the list for Supreme Beloved Leader?

Me thinks this news will not see the light of day.

There is other news that is missed by the MSM……some economists are predicting a crash is coming…..but can Trump hold it off until after the election…..

If he times it right, Donald Trump might set back the Democratic Party for a generation or more; if he misses, he’ll go down in history along with Herbert Hoover as the guy who brought the nation an economic disaster.

Back in 2007 and early 2008, many of us were convinced that an economic crash was coming, and that George W. Bush and his Treasury secretary, Henry Paulson, and Fed chairman, Alan Greenspan, knew it.

And we also thought that they were doing everything they could to hold it off so it would happen after the 2008 election, so if a Democrat was elected they could say the crash was because people were “worried about the incoming Democrats,” and if McCain won it would be his problem, not Bush’s.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/06/18/can-donald-trump-hold-economic-crash-until-election

What do you think?

Would a crash change your mind on voting this time around?