Damn! Is There A New War On The Horizon?

We already have two endless wars….one is approaching 20 years and the other is nearing the 17 year anniversary.

That should be enough, right?

Well apparently the Hawks are gearing the government up for a new future endless war……this time it will be with China.

Why would I say this?

There are those that are beating the drums of war for the US and for Japan……

China toughened its language against Taiwan, warning that “independence means war.” A few days prior, the Taiwanese Defense Ministry reported 15 aircraft from the Chinese air force inside its air defense identification zone. This uptick in saber-rattling suggests the military challenge posed by China will likely continue, making it one of the Biden administration’s top priorities. Unlike the Trump administration, with its transactional approach to alliances, the Biden administration may find U.S. interests can be best served through strategic engagement with its allies, on this issue as elsewhere. In particular, part of the military challenge posed by China might be answered by turning to its longtime ally Japan and firming up one of the most intrinsic aspects of the United States-Japan alliance: warfighting.

The U.S.-Japanese relationship has deep roots. Perhaps due to the cultural strength of pacifism in Japan or the legal limits on what Japan’s Self-Defense Forces can do, however, the military aspect of the alliance has often been underemphasized in favor of broader strategic discussions about the stabilizing aspect of the alliance or economic and diplomatic cooperation. Beyond calls for greater interoperability, the specifics of the alliance’s military dimension are rarely highlighted despite the fact that the institutional relationship between their militaries and defense establishments are extremely complex, with several areas of possible improvement.

The United States and Japan Should Prepare for War with China

Of course that is just one publication’s opinion…..but I do not believe that it is that far from the fact.

What makes me think that the hammer is about to drop?

DC’s top War Hawk….Sen. Cotton…..

Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) on Thursday called for a new US policy on what would happen in the event of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan. Currently, the US arms Taiwan through weapons sales and maintains a policy known as “strategic ambiguity,” which means the US is not guaranteed to intervene if Beijing moves to take the island.

Cotton said he wants to make it “crystal clear” that a Chinese incursion on Taiwan means war with the US. “The United States needs to be clear that we will not allow China to invade Taiwan and subjugate it. Case closed. No further debate,” he said at a Reagan Institute event.

“Replace strategic ambiguity with strategic clarity that the United States will come to the aid of Taiwan if China was to forcefully invade Taiwan or otherwise change the status quo across the [Taiwan] Strait,” Cotton added.

The hawkish senator said the US should establish “red lines” for China that would “require a response” from Washington. Examples of Cotton’s red lines include China seizing Taiwanese-claimed islands, a Chinese invasion of a regional ally like India, or if Beijing permits an attack on US troops or allies by North Korea.

Cotton made the comments while he presented his plan to take on Beijing economically. In the plan, Cotton called for an economic decoupling from China. “Our economy has become far too entangled with China’s, providing the Chinese Communist Party with leverage over the US government and industry. It’s past time we decoupled from China,” he said.

Cotton’s report came after the US Chamber of Commerce released a study that said the US Gross Domestic Product (GDP) would see a one-time loss of as much as $500 billion if US companies halved foreign direct investment in China. Besides the hit to the US’s GDP, decoupling with China would give Washington and Beijing less reason not to go to war if a naval incident happens in the South China Sea, where the US has stepped up its military presence and frequently sails warships.

(antiwar.com)

The US sends in the Navy to probe the enemy….

A US warship sailed near the Chinese-claimed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea on Wednesday. The US Navy’s Seventh Fleet said the guided-missile destroyer USS Russell made the provocative passage, conducting what the US calls a Freedom of Navigation Operation (FONOP).

The US started conducting FONOPs to challenge Beijing’s claims to islands in the region in 2015. These maneuvers were stepped up during the Trump administration. In 2020, the US carried out nine FONOPs in the South China Sea, a record high.

Wednesday’s FONOP marked the second of the Biden administration. Earlier this month, the USS John McCain sailed near the Paracel Islands, another archipelago in the South China Sea, after the warship steamed through the sensitive Taiwan Strait.

The Biden administration has also been sending aircraft carriers to conduct exercises in the South China Sea. Last week, two US aircraft carrier strike groups entered the waters. The USS Theodore Roosevelt and the USS Nimitz held rare dual-carrier drills, a signal that the new administration has no plans to curb US military activity in the region.

(antiwar.com)

Even NATO is thumping its macho chest as well…

In an effort to stay relevant, NATO is looking towards Asia to join the US in countering China in the region. During Friday’s Munich Security Conference, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg made it clear that Beijing is a top priority of the alliance.

“The rise of China is a defining issue for the transatlantic community.
With potential consequences for our security, our prosperity and our way of life,” Stoltenberg said. “This is why NATO should deepen our relationships with close partners, like Australia and Japan, and forge new ones around the world.”

At the end of 2020, NATO released a report that called for the alliance to increase its focus on China. The report said NATO should build stronger relationships with countries in Asia, like Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea, what it calls “like-minded” countries.

The report says NATO should consider forming a partnership with India, a country the US has been stepping up military cooperation with. The US, India, Japan, and Australia form the informal alliance, or dialogue, known as the Quad, a group NATO is keen to work with. The Quad is seen as a possible foundation for a NATO-style military alliance in Asia.

(antiwar.com)

This may seem like some sort of “War Game”….but it looks like they are searching for some sort of response to justify an action that has been building up.

This all smells like a new “Gulf of Tonkin Incident” in the making.

Watch This Blog!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

South China Sea Gets Hotter

We have a new president and it is time for me to return to my main focus of this blog….international situations and conflict.

For years now the South China Sea has been a region of contention……China claims islands….other countries as well think a bunch of island belong to them…..the US has responded to this possible threat by sending a naval group to patrol the region.

A U.S. aircraft carrier group led by the USS Theodore Roosevelt has entered the South China Sea to promote “freedom of the seas”, the U.S. military said on Sunday, at a time when tensions between China and Taiwan have raised concern in Washington.

U.S. Indo-Pacific Command said in a statement the strike group entered the South China Sea on Saturday, the same day Taiwan reported a large incursion of Chinese bombers and fighter jets into its air defence identification zone in the vicinity of the Pratas Islands.

The U.S. military said the carrier strike group was in the South China Sea, a large part of which is claimed by China, to conduct routine operations “to ensure freedom of the seas, build partnerships that foster maritime security”.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-southchinasea-usa-idUSKBN29T05J

China has now made the region a bit more dangerous.

China’s legislature passed a law on Friday that gives its coast guard more freedom to fire on foreign vessels. According to the text of the law released by China’s Xinhua, it aims to safeguard “national sovereignty, security and maritime rights.”

The law allows China’s Coast Guard to take “all necessary means”, including the use of weapons, to stop or prevent threats from foreign vessels. The law will allow the coast guard to stop and board vessels in China’s “jurisdictional waters.”

China’s Coast Guard is relatively young, having formed in 2013 after previously being part of Beijing’s People’s Armed Police. The new law gives China’s Coast Guard an authority most country’s coast guards have. Still, the law is significant because of China’s maritime disputes in the South and East China Seas, disputes that the US has involved itself in.

In the South China Sea, Beijing and several Southeast Asian countries have overlapping claims. Since 2015, the US began sailing warships near Chinese-claimed waters in the region, maneuvers that were stepped up during the Trump administration and will likely continue under President Biden.

In the East China Sea, China and Japan both claim the Senkaku Islands, known as the Diaoyus in China. Japan currently administers the uninhabited islands. Chinese coast guard vessels were recently spotted in waters near the Senkakus, which drew condemnation from Tokyo.

After winning the November presidential election, Joe Biden assured Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide that the Senkakus are covered under the US-Japan mutual defense treaty.

Back in October, then-National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien announced that the US Coast Guard was deploying ships to the Western Pacific. It’s not clear how far west the cutters have sailed, but O’Brien cited Beijing as the reason for the deployment, so there’s a chance the US Coast Guard can cross paths with China’s coast guard.

(antiwar.com)

All it would take is one incident and this could become another endless conflict that we have found this nation fighting.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–05Jan21

Trump’s Director of National Intelligence, Radcliffe, has made an extraordinary claim and it concerns China……

Has China discovered a super-soldier formula through the capabilities of genetic engineering? A U.S. government official claims this is exactly what is happening.

Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe penned an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal that claims the Chinese government is attempting to enhance the capabilities of soldiers through genetic engineering. It’s not the first time such a claim has been made. Ratcliffe’s article, cited in an NBC report, outlined his belief that China is the greatest threat to the United States in terms of military and economic power.

Ratcliffe’s concerns build on theories raised in 2019 about China’s capabilities with CRISPR, particularly after Chinese researcher He Jiankui used CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing to alter the DNA of embryos for seven couples in 2018. Although international outrage resulted in Jiankui’s incarceration in China, Ratcliffe suggested the Chinese government would attempt to capitalize on these capabilities with gene editing and continue to experiment on adults to create biometrically advanced super soldiers the likes we have seen only in movies.

https://www.biospace.com/article/is-china-using-crispr-to-create-super-soldiers-/

Is this true?

Or is it just more chest thumping against China by the Trump admin?

I do not doubt that China would try such a thing….but accusation is not proof….I will wait for the proof.

And yet the US is mobilizing for a large scale war….China is the first suspect…,but there are others….

The US military is investing heavily in preparing for large-scale combat operations. These operations, pitting the US armed forces against peer or near-peer adversaries, would require large numbers of troops, would almost certainly be expensive, and would risk high numbers of casualties. In other words, major war. But even if the US military is prepared, the American people aren’t. This is a problem.

A major war, fueled by rising competition between great powers, is certainly not guaranteed. Any geopolitical gains made would likely be offset by high casualties and the risk of a nuclear exchange. However, miscalculation and misperception could inadvertently lead to a dangerously escalatory armed clash. Military establishments the world over, and especially in the United States, are assiduously preparing for the possibility.

https://mwi.usma.edu/making-the-case-for-war/

And a now familiar tactic by the DoD….China is offering bounties for American troops…..

Months after an unsubstantiated claim about Russia paying bounties to the Taliban to kill US troops spread like wildfire, a similar claim about China is being reported by Axios.

The Axios report published on Wednesday cites two unnamed Trump administration officials. According to the officials, the Trump administration is declassifying “uncorroborated intelligence” that “indicates China offered to pay non-state actors in Afghanistan to attack American soldiers.”

The report says President Trump was verbally briefed on the uncorroborated intelligence by National Security Robert O’Brien, and officials across all agencies are working to “corroborate” the intelligence.

There are few details in the report of what the uncorroborated intelligence actually says. Axios was unable to see any of the intelligence reports and received the information from sources in a phone call.

One source said: “The US has evidence that the PRC [People’s Republic of China] attempted to finance attacks on American servicemen by Afghan non-state actors by offering financial incentives or ‘bounties.’” The sources did not say if the “non-state” actors included the Taliban or not.

The only info Axios could get was that the alleged bounty scheme happened sometime after the US-Taliban peace deal was signed in February. Since the deal was signed on February 29th, no US troops have been killed in combat-related incidents in Afghanistan.

(antiwar.com)

Deja vu all over again.

But not to worry…..we have a new president waiting in the wings to change the trajectory of our foreign policy…..Joe Biden will be better…..

Well that statement is pure manure……Joe Biden will change little….

Joe Biden stressed the need for “modernizing” US defense capabilities in the face of threats from China and Russia. Biden also addressed the recently discovered hack of the software company SolarWinds that affected several government agencies.

Biden said he spoke with a member of his transition team about the “different strategic challenges we’re gonna face from both Russia and China and the reforms we must make to put ourselves in the strongest possible position to meet those challenges.” He said those reforms include “modernizing our defense priorities to better deter aggression in the future.”

“We have to be able to innovate, to reimagine our defenses against growing threats in new realms like cyberspace,” Biden said. “We’re still learning about the extent of the SolarWinds hack and the vulnerabilities that have been exposed. As I said last week, this attack constitutes a grave risk to our national security.”

In comments last week, Biden slammed President Trump for not prioritizing cybersecurity and, like many have, blamed Russia for the SolarWinds hack, despite a lack of evidence that Moscow was involved. The former vice president has also vowed retaliation for the SolarWinds hack, and Biden’s chief of staff said the incoming administration’s response would be more than “just sanctions.”

(antiwar.com)

You see if you were hoping for sanity in our defense posturing then you will be sadly disappointed.

There is another situation that could lead to problems shortly…..

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has re-awoken to a profound truth: Rich, secure capitalists are the natural enemies of authoritarian regimes. In a hybrid autocratic-capitalist model, capitalism is the means to generate wealth, but power is the end goal. Successful capitalists naturally begin to demand that their personal and property rights be protected from authoritarian fiat. Capital in the hands of entrepreneurs is a political resource; it poses a threat to the implementation of centralized plans.

Realizing this, the CCP has begun to assert control over the private sector by “installing . . . Party officials inside private firms” and having state-backed firms invest in private enterprises. In the absence of civil rights or an independent judiciary, “private” companies have no real independence from the government in China. Dissent and demands for civil rights are a threat to the regime and will be crushed.

China’s shift from encouraging external investment and internal market competition toward treating capitalism as a threat has an obvious historical precedent. From 1921–1928, the Soviet Union instituted a policy of economic liberalization, which allowed for the privatization of agriculture, retail trade, and light industry. This partial and temporary return to a controlled and limited capitalism, known as the New Economic Policy (NEP), saved the Soviet economy from collapse and enabled Russia to modernize. But, in 1928, Stalin suddenly reversed course: He collectivized agriculture and liquidated the most prosperous farmers, thereby necessitating the frequent resort to grain imports, notably from the United States.

https://www.nationalreview.com/2021/01/the-bill-is-coming-due-for-chinas-capitalist-experiment/

Just a little something to think about……

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Is There A Conflict Countdown?

In the last few years there seems to be a ever perpetuating story that our next “big” war will be with China…..it all started with Obama, at least in the media and gained ground with Trump and now with the incoming president Biden…..the military has been feeding this scenario as well as the intel community…..

And now a top military commander is throwing fuel on the war fire….

America’s military priority in the coming years? China, China, and China—or so says the top US military commander. Speaking at a Wall Street Journal summit Tuesday, Army Gen. Mark Milley said China is aiming to equal America’s military might by 2035 and be ready to win a war against the US by midcentury. “They are on a path to try to do that,” Milley said. “It is certainly a significant security challenge for the United States now and in the years to come.” He added that the “great-power competition” between China and the US should not “turn into a great-power war. That would be a disaster.” Seapower Magazine quotes him as saying the Pentagon can offset Chinese power—and in theory, avoid a war—with a “consistent, predictable” budget boost of roughly 3% to 5%.

But Milley isn’t hopeful: “I don’t see that as a realistic thing in the coming year,” he said. In fact, he foresees Pentagon budget cuts, and favors modernizing forces over keeping current forces up to snuff, mostly to offset a rising China, per ABC News. He also suggested making certain international troop placements—like those in Bahrain or South Korea—rotational or “selective,” in part because such permanent bases reflect an outdated strategy: “I think that is something that needs a hard, hard look,” he said. “Much of that is a derivative of where World War II ended.” He also feared that US noncombatants, like family members, could get trapped if war breaks out between the Koreas. “I have a problem with that,” he said.

Trump’s DNI had thrown fuel on the fire awhile back…..

The nation’s top intelligence official just unloaded on China in unusual fashion. “The People’s Republic of China poses the greatest threat to America today, and the greatest threat to democracy and freedom worldwide since World War II,” writes director of national intelligence John Ratcliffe in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. Beijing’s leaders, he asserts, aim to dominate the US and the rest of the world on everything from the military to the economy to technology, and they are “preparing for an open-ended period of confrontation with the US.” China, he adds, “should be America’s primary national security focus going forward.”

  • Rarity: It is “exceedingly rare for the head of the US intelligence community to make public accusations about a rival power,” writes Mike Allen at Axios. Such assessments are typically made to the president and lawmakers behind closed doors.
  • Why? It’s seen as part of a push by the Trump administration to ramp up the case against China before President Trump leaves office. As Bloomberg puts it, the administration wants to “lock in its policies and posture toward China” and make it more difficult for Joe Biden to unwind them. The Hill notes that US-China relations have soured on a number of fronts, including over COVID, trade, and the South China Sea.

Biden is no different…he also wants to keep this storyline active (at least for now)……

  • What Biden says: In an interview with the New York Times, Biden says he has no plans to immediately loosen tariffs put into place by Trump. First, he wants to consult with other nations. “The best China strategy, I think, is one which gets every one of our—or at least what used to be our—allies on the same page,” he says. “It’s going to be a major priority for me in the opening weeks of my presidency.”
  • No leverage: Biden also told the Times that dealing with China requires leverage, and “in my view, we don’t have it yet.” He says his goal will “be to pursue trade policies that actually produce progress on China’s abusive practices—that’s stealing intellectual property, dumping products, illegal subsidies to corporations,” etc.
  • Assessment: Biden’s comments suggest that he “is focused on picking his spots with Beijing, shoring up alliances and US national power first, rather than rushing to accommodate a Chinese government that seems to think the burden for detente lies entirely with Washington,” writes David Wertime at Politico. “Friends and allies concerned about a US over-correction on China must be feeling some relief.”

I wrote in the past about the possibilities of the next war…….https://lobotero.com/2020/09/22/could-the-us-lose-the-next-big-war/

The next question should be…..could the US win the next ‘big’ war without the use of nukes?

Any sensible discussion of what a hypothetical World War III might look like needs to begin with the sheer size and force of America’s military assets. For all that China and Russia are arming up on various measures, US commanders have the power to dominate escalating crises and counter opposing forces before they can be used.

Take missile warfare alone. The US Navy already has 4,000 Tomahawk cruise missiles, and the Navy and Air Force are currently taking delivery of 5,000 JASSM conventional cruise missiles with ranges from 200-600 miles. Barely visible to radar, these are designed to destroy “hardened” targets such as nuclear missile silos. Russia and China, by contrast, have nothing of equivalent quantity or quality with which to threaten the US mainland.

https://theconversation.com/could-the-us-win-world-war-iii-without-using-nuclear-weapons-94771

Will the China bashing continue with the new president?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Senkaku Islands

Huh?

Where the Hell are these islands?

Easy remedy to that question…..

Japan-China relations - Jingoist jangles | Asia | The Economist

There seems to be a bit of a problem with the oil and gas fields in and around the islands…..everybody wants a slice of that pie…..especially China….

Let me continue the education…..this is the conflict according to Japan…..

China’s maritime adventurism in the East and South China Seas has lately attracted considerable attention. Fifty percent of China’s claimed jurisdictional waters are competing with neighboring countries in the East Asia.2 The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has named People’s Republic of China (PRC) as a maritime power in the 18th Party Congress in 2012 (People’s daily Online in Japanese, November 12 2012), and the PRC challenges Japan, the U.S.A., and the ASEAN countries. What happens in the East China Sea? China takes the maritime offensive against Japan. The authordefines the word “offensive” not only the military means, but also the political, legal, economic, and psychological means to oppress the competitor.3 If so, the Chinese maritime offensive against Japan includes not only the actual maritime conflict in the East China Sea, but also the natural resources demand at the disputed waters, anti-Japan demonstration inside and outside of China, the sovereignty assertion in relevant to historical issues with Japan, CCP’s internal power struggle, and China’s national integration policy.

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/24761028.2019.1626567

The question is what is China’s desire for this region?

China’s recent moves are destabilizing, and Japan clearly stated as much in a newly released defense white paper. In the report, the Japanese government presents the nature of the Chinese challenge to its security — especially to the Senkaku islands — in the strongest terms yet. Chinese authorities are in fact described as “relentlessly” pressing their claims to the islands with ever-increasing levels of maritime activities undermining the status quo. Japanese Defense Minister Taro Kono made clear that further intensification of activities might trigger the intervention of Japanese military assets. In response to Japanese concerns, the commander of U.S. military forces in Japan has stated that the United States would help monitor the situation. Every successful step Beijing takes in undermining the status quo around the Senkakus through coercion and force is a direct challenge to the credibility of the U.S.-Japanese alliance and, crucially, to the principles informing the maritime rules-based order centered on the 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea. While the United States is not party to this treaty, both China and Japan are, and Abe has clearly articulated why China’s actions around the Senkakus fundamentally undermine the principles enshrined in the convention.

What Is China’s Strategy in the Senkaku Islands?

In recent years the US has been itching for a fight with China…the South China Sea and now the Senkaku Islands……it is so serious that the US has stated that it could send troops to the islands…..

American troops could be sent to disputed islands inthe East China Sea, the head of US forces in Japan said, as the two allies began a high-profile drill amid growing concerns overBeijing’s military activities in the region

“Our arrival today was simply to demonstrate the ability to move a few people, but the same capability could be used to deploy combat troops to defend the Senkaku Islands or respond to other crises and contingencies,” Lieutenant General Kevin Schneider, commander of US Forces Japan,

https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy/article/3107291/american-troops-could-be-sent-defend-senkaku-islands-us

Just those warmongering words should terrify Americans…they are basically daring China to act…..and the ultimatum could be disastrous…..

Hopefully calmer heads will prevail in January.

Then again those heads may not prevail…….

According to a readout of a call between President-elect Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Suga, Biden recommitted the U.S. to defending the Senkaku Islands as part of the mutual defense treaty between the U.S. and Japan:

Biden confirmed that Article 5 of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty will be applied to the defense of Okinawa Prefecture and the Senkaku Islands. Article 5 stipulates that the U.S. is obliged to defend Japan should its territories come under attack. Former President Barack Obama was the first U.S. leader to declare that the pact applies to the Senkakus.

Biden is reaffirming the position that the Obama administration took in 2014, but that doesn’t make this commitment any wiser or better than it was when it was first made. As a general rule, the U.S. shouldn’t extend its defense commitments to include disputed territories. In this particular case, committing to defend the Senkakus makes even less sense because these are just uninhabited rocks in the ocean. It strains credulity that the U.S. would actually go to war with China for the sake of these rocks, and that makes it more likely that China will test that commitment. The U.S. risks undermining its commitments to treaty allies when it recklessly expands them to include territory that we aren’t going to defend when push comes to shove. Instead of deterring China and protecting a treaty ally, this commitment seems more likely to create an unnecessary flashpoint that could lead to further escalation.

Would You Die for the Senkakus?

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“lego ergo scribo”

Sino-Iranian Agreement

While the US is playing silly games with Iran like our newest attempt….

the Trump administration announced new sanctions on Iran under the guise of enforcing stipulations of the 2015 nuclear deal, an agreement the US withdrew from in 2018. The US is taking these measures unilaterally, with virtually no international support. The move is not only rejected by the UN Security Council but also by key European allies like the UK, Germany, and France.

President Trump signed an executive order on Monday that is meant to replace a UN arms embargo on Iran that will expire in October. The executive order allows the US to impose sanctions on any individual or entity that sells weapons to Iran.

Announcing the new measures, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo insisted on calling the new sanctions “UN sanctions,” even though a US bid to extend the embargo failed miserably in the UN Security Council. “The President’s executive order announced today gives us a new and powerful tool to enforce the UN arms embargo and hold those who seek to evade UN sanctions accountable,” Pompeo said.

(antiwar.com)

Like I said silly games……

While the idiots in our foreign policy machine are thumping their chests like sex crazed primates the Chinese have entered into an agreement with the government of Iran…..

Rouhani government must show some achievements after more than seven years of office and the Sino-Iranian agreement might be a way for them to say to its people to just wait a little bit more because things will get better. And things in Iran may indeed be better, as the leaked information reveals that one of the terms of the agreement stipulates a Chinese investment of almost $ 400 billion in the oil, gas and petrochemical industries in Iran. Despite this, the deal is so controversial that even some of Iran’s politicians and government media have criticized it. For example, a headline in the newspaper Arman Melli claims that Iran is not Sri Lanka, while an article in the newspaper Hamdeli daily asked whether Iran will become a Chinese colony.

The agreement would vastly expand Chinese presence in banking, telecommunications, ports, railways and dozens of other projects in Iran. In exchange, China would receive a regular and heavily discounted supply of Iranian oil over the next 25 years. Furthermore, it will deepen the military cooperation, and even potentially giving China a foothold in a region that has been a strategic preoccupation of the US for the last decades, which holds a major naval basis there. It is not a new phenomenon and, for example, in December 2019 the two sides together with Russia conducted a four-day joint naval exercises in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Oman. And almost 10 years ago the Major General Zhang Zhaozhong commented that China will not hesitate to protect Iran even with a third world war.

Opinion – The Sino-Iran 25 Years Agreement: Why, and Why Now?

So while the US is strutting around like a dickless rooster ….China is expanding its economic base….something Trump has been promising since 2016 and as of yet we have NOT seen any success.

The US needs to learn the fine art of diplomacy again….in the last 3 years it has been replaced with mindless promises and lies.

Maybe the next generation can learn from our mistakes because we are not learning a goddamn thing.

Why do I say the “next generation”? 

This agreement is a 25 year plan…..maybe by then the idotsi will no longer be in control.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

More Space Stuff

My weekend begins with cooler temps and a weary mind from all the manure being spread in the media.

For something different I will will try to educate rather than obfuscate……

I may well be the only blogger that spends more time reading news than on social media body shaming some dickweed in LA……plus I do not see the need for blogs about fashion or make-up……such a self-absorbed society we have become.

Any way I have been watching the news about space and its exploration…..plus trying to get people to realize the plans that some are making are a violation of a treaty signed years ago….and may be illegal.

The newest news…….start with China…..they will be firing up an asteroid mining bot soon……

Beijing-based private space mining company Origin Space is launching its first ever “space mining robot” in November, IEEE Spectrum reports, on top of a Long March series rocket.

The concept of excavating resources in space is highly controversial. Many scientists have called for the solar system to be protected from such practices — but that hasn’t stopped global superpowers, particularly the US and China, from investigating ways to do so.

It may become a milestone moment in the country’s efforts to make use of space resources — but the robot, dubbed NEO-1, won’t be mining any asteroids itself.

https://futurism.com/the-byte/chinese-startup-space-mining-robot

While Japan is focusing on the moons of Mars and the possibility that human will soon land out there…..

Japan’s Martian Moons eXploration (MMX) mission aims to probe and observe Mars’ two moons, Phobos and Deimos, collect surface material, and return them to Earth.

MMX is scheduled to launch in 2024 and bring back rocks and other samples, possibly from Phobos, the larger of the two moons, five years later in 2029.

That puts Japan and its space agency JAXA in direct competition with the USA and Europe. The European Space Agency (ESA) and America’s NASA are working on a joint mission to bring back samples from the planet, but that may be two years later in 2031.

Those samples would be collected by NASA’s Perseverance rover, which is on its way there now. The rover will store samples in a process called “sample caching,” and wait until they can be retrieved later. Those would be the first samples returned from Mars.

https://www.dw.com/en/japans-mars-moons-mission-leads-to-human-spaceflight/a-54961901

A few visual aids for those that break out in a rash if they must read…..

There is a treaty already in place……

The rush to Mars reminds me of the 15th century rush to claim the New World and its treasures….but who actually owns what?

This situation will get uglier as the decades go by….and I do not think that it will end well for anyone.

But speaking of Mars.  How will the visitors build their shelters once they arrive?

Of course there is an answer….insect polymer.

A team of researchers are suggesting we could use one of the most common organic polymers on Earth to construct shelters on Mars.

The material, called chitin, is produced and metabolized by most biological organisms and makes up the bulk of the cell walls in fungi, insect exoskeletons, and fish scales.

The team, led by Javier Fernandez from the Singapore University of Technology and Design, attempted to make the material by combining a fiber made from chitin with mineral material that mimic the Martian soil.

https://futurism.com/the-byte/scientists-new-technique-build-mars-shelters

Now you know stuff you care nothing about….peace out.

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

A Trip Around China

These days Americans are ate up with this candidate or that and seem to have little time to worry about the foe that the media has been warning us about….not Russia….but China……so in doing my good deed I will take my reader on a ‘trip around China’…..

There is always a prediction that includes China in some way…..this one is 20 years down the road….

The Pentagon has offered a new report on China warning that by mid-century China may catch or even surpass the US military in capabilities.  They anticipate a “world-class” military by 2049.

This is one of those all-too-common Pentagon reports, which since the tensions began raising between the US and China have been coming nearly daily, playing up China as a growing threat that needs to be the focus of US military policy.

China doesn’t see things that way, faulting the US for misinterpreting China’s defense policy and promised a correction at a future date. China sees the US assumption as based on Cold War thinking about the situation.

The US reports all envision China getting a much bigger military in the future, but it is unclear if they really intend to spend so much on military assets as to compete with the US on a global scale, or will just keep working on being able to contest their immediate vicinity.

(antiwar.com)

China has its problems first with darn pesky Tibetans and then the Uighurs….but these people are not the only problems that China faces socially…..

Unlike the Tibetans or Muslim Uyghurs of its far west, China’s ethnic Mongol population has long been seen as pacified, content, and well-assimilated, fulfilling the stereotype of a “model minority” in a country bubbling with ethnic tensions.

In recent days, however, Mongols in China, most of whom reside in the vast Inner Mongolia autonomous region south of Mongolia proper, have vigorously protested an attempt by the government to curtail the teaching of Mongolian in schools, including shifting to using national Chinese-language textbooks instead of locally developed Mongolian versions. In short, Chinese will replace Mongolian as the main medium of teaching for classes such as math and science, while Mongolian lessons will continue. Authorities are cracking down, including posting photos online of people who attended the protests and offering cash rewards for tips.

https://qz.com/1899397/inner-mongolians-in-china-rise-up-against-language-suppression/

How many times this year have you heard the the Chinese are an economic threat?

Many?  But are they a threat?

It seems that more and more Americans, pro-Trump or not, are concluding that trade with China is a threat to the United States. The objections are typically one of three: (1) freer trade with China after it was admitted to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001 has cost U.S. manufacturing jobs; (2) the Chinese have thrived by stealing our intellectual property (IP) and that has made Americans worse off; and (3) the Chinese will use some of their progress in cybertechnology to engage in surveillance of Americans.

Each of these objections contains a kernel of truth. But the objections together are not nearly enough to offset the huge gains that Americans reap from freer trade with China.

Perhaps it is best to start by considering the economists’ case for free trade: Each country produces the goods and services in which it has a comparative advantage and trades those to other countries, which, in turn, produce goods and services for which they have a comparative advantage. In that way both countries do better than they would do if they didn’t trade. Comparative advantage, by the way, is jargon for “lower cost.”

https://www.hoover.org/research/china-economic-threat

But with all the threats that China poses to the US is for naught because their economy…….it does not have a bright future….their economy that is……

The five largest Chinese banks posted at least 10 percent profit declines for the first half of the year. These poor results, the result of increased provisions for bad loans, were the biggest profit drops in at least a decade. As a CNBC headline put it, “China’s Mega Banks Lost Billions of Dollars in Profit as Bad Loans Rise During Coronavirus Pandemic.”

The profit drops are a warning of long-term troubles, especially because, in all probability, the banks are understating the severity of bad loan problems. Moreover, the outlook for China’s banks is gloomy because the outlook for China’s economy is gloomy.

 

These five Chinese institutions—the Big Four of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Agricultural Bank of China, and Bank of China plus the Bank of Communications—are struggling. The essential problem is that the Chinese economy—like the economies of almost all other countries—was flattened by efforts to control the coronavirus. Gross domestic product contracted 6.8% year-on-year in the first calendar quarter of this year, according to the official National Bureau of Statistics. In reality, it was down about twice that.

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/china%E2%80%99s-mega-banks-are-mega-trouble%E2%80%94and-so-chinese-economy-%C2%A0-168330

Plus I heard that the Chinese are considering dumping US holdings…..interesting…..but who will scoop them up?

There you have a trip around China…..

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

 

 

Not By China!

The US is the arms dealer to the world…..and we will NOT tolerate anyone trying to horn in on our monopoly in arms.

Recently the US learned that Serbia is thinking of buying some defensive missiles from China…..

Interested in modernizing their defense systems, Serbia reports they are interested in the Chinese-made FK-3, a medium-range air defense model made for export. This would be a second purchase by Serbia from China, who just sold them some attack drones.

It makes sense for Serbia to be interested, because China is the low-cost solution. The US was mad about the drones, and is even madder about the air defense, warning Serbia that this could cost them EU membership if they go through with it.

Serbia insists no final decision has been made, and it’s not clear the US warning is sincere, let alone that the EU would listen to the US opinion on membership for Serbia. It’s unlikely this would be a real obstacle, even if the US gets mad.

Serbia probably doesn’t have an alternative, either, with US options probably too expensive for them. US anger is probably more going to be for China getting a foothold in Europe in the first place.

(antiwar.com)

One question…why is it okay for the US to sell their implements of destruction to the world but not for China to do so as well?

What happen to the idea of a “free market”?

Is the US admitting that the idea of “free markets” is a total lie and nothing more than a slogan to discard when it suits those using it?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Saudi Nuke Program

Recently the Trump admin has decided to give nuke technology to the Saudis…..not to worry you can read all about it here….https://lobotero.com/2019/05/14/saudis-and-nukes/ (3 different post on the subject…check them out)…..

Then I read that the Saudis and the Chinese are working together on their nuke programs……WTF?

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has reportedly built a uranium-enrichment facility with help from China that could put the kingdom one step closer to creating a nuclear weapon.

The facility is being built in a remote desert in the country’s northwest region and has raised concerns from the United States and other allied nations about Riyadh’s nuclear development plan, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

The facility will reportedly extract yellowcake uranium from uranium ore.

https://justthenews.com/world/middle-east/saudi-arabia-working-china-expand-nuclear-program-construct-yellowcake-facility

Yellowcake uranium….you remember that right?

It was used to justify the invasion of Iraq in 2003….and now we will trust one of the most untrustworthy international p;layers with the development of yellowcake…..

At what point does the Trump oligarchy draw the line in the sand?

To expand on this…China seems to be developing a Middle East Kingdom with their policies…..

American policymakers have long assumed that Chinese and American goals in the Middle East are largely complementary. Beijing, so the prevailing wisdom holds, is fixated on commerce, with a special emphasis on oil and gas. “China’s strategy in the Middle East is driven by its economic interests,” a former senior official in the Obama administration testified last year before Congress. “China … does not appear interested in substantially deepening its diplomatic or security activities there.” According to this reigning view, China adopts a position of neutrality toward political and military conflicts, because taking sides would make enemies who might then restrict China’s access to markets.

This oft-repeated shibboleth ignores clear signs that China is very actively engaged in a hard-power contest with the United States—a contest that the Chinese occasionally acknowledge and are capable of winning. In 2016, Xi Jinping toured the Middle East for the first time in his capacity as president of the People’s Republic of China, visiting Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Iran. Chinese propaganda hailed the trip as a milestone. The Chinese Foreign Ministry issued a white paper on its Arab policy, the first of its kind. “We will deepen China-Arab military cooperation and exchange,” the paper read. “We will … deepen cooperation on weapons, equipment and various specialized technologies, and carry out joint military exercises.”

https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/israel-middle-east/articles/china-middle-eastern-kingdom

The Middle East may well be out of the news spotlight because of the pandemic….but there is still more going on than the media is willing to report.

For FYI….this is the unredacted IG report that Pompeo wanted NO one to read….but now you can…..a fascinating 20+ pages…..

https://www.politico.com/f/?id=00000173-df44-d479-af73-ff5e7dd00000

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I know, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”