Wednesday, November 01, 2017

And This Is Where We Need to Worry

China is in the process of ascending to superpowerdom, displacing America from its perch. And the US Navy is worried that they'll get away with it without a fight.

There have been instances where a dominant power, an empire, yields to another peacefully. The transition from the British Empire to American dominance is a fine example. However the experts tell us that nearly two thirds of these events result in warfare at some point in the transition.

Jeebus but it sounds like the Americans want to repeat the Alamo only on a global, possibly nuclear scale.

"PRC is the most pressing threat in the Pacific," one U.S. military official in the region said, using the acronym for the People's Republic of China. While North Korea is a near-term issue, "it's a fight we could win," the official said — but he worries about a fight with China.

Among the U.S. concerns: China's controversial island-building, theft of technology, currency manipulation, cyberattacks, and both military and non-military aggression.

The U.S. military officials in the region warn that China's ultimate goal is to become dominant by slowly making changes to the international order. China will use the laws it likes, ignore the ones it doesn't and eventually other nations will have to adapt, thereby re-setting the rules in China's favor.

"China is on a path to win without a fight," one official said.

No fair, China. Who do you think you are becoming dominant by slowly making changes to the international order, the United States of America? Imagine the nerve, using laws you like, ignoring ones you don't and eventually leaving other nations to adapt, thereby re-setting the rules in China's favour? Hey, rice-munchers, only America gets to do that.

What's that awful stench? Oh yeah, that's American hypocrisy. China, doing much the same as America did in the immediate postwar era when the rest of the world was still in rubble and ashes.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joe Dunford returned from a six-day trip to the Pacific late Monday night. He agreed that while North Korea is the immediate threat to the U.S., China is the enduring threat.

"China's path of capability development," said Dunford, "and their efforts I think to address our power projection capability, our ability to deploy when and where necessary to advance our interests, is very much the long-term challenge in the region."

The official said the U.S. military spends a lot of time making sure they don't forget about the long-term existential problem.

"We are ready" for North Korea, the official said. But the peer-level fight with China "is the real challenge."

The Americans refuse to concede how much they're doing to antagonize China. The latest move is their alliance with India to contain China and, if desired, cut off Beijing's sea access even across its own waters, the East and South China Seas. Would America tolerate that sort of thing along its Pacific coast. Not in a million years. Only subordinate nations have to endure that sort of provocation.

America has no sense of how deeply some Chinese, especially China's military leadership, perceive their "Century of Humiliation" at the hands of Europeans and Americans. And that's what makes this transition so dangerous, so worrisome. There's a reason why China is moving to quickly narrow the weapons technology gap with the United States. In some critical areas, such as hypersonics, it's thought they're already well ahead of the Americans.

The Chinese know that, while America has to squander its national treasure on immensely wasteful spending to maintain a military presence in most every corner of the world, they can bring Goliath down if they can defeat it in one or two core technologies. America's greatest weakness is America.

That said, America might not be able to abide China's ascendancy without going to war over it. Remember the Bush Doctrine? Remember when Bush, on behalf of America, reserved the right to launch pre-emptive war against any nation or group of nations that endangered America dominance, economic or military? I remember.


Trailblazer said...

Trump and co are likely to seek a false flag incident to reintroduce their, military, power to the far east.
The obvious choice would be north Korea but Seoul is much too near the north's guns, never mind missiles.
I'm guessing that there may be a 'skirmish' between the opposing navies of the USA and China, testing each other's prowess.
How it could escalate will depend upon the proficiency of the adversaries; how professional are they?
The bumper car admirals of the USN could well be in for a surprise!


The Mound of Sound said...

The big question, Trail Blazer, is whether America would have the stomach for a high-casualty, peer-on-peer war. Ever since Desert Storm the American people have enjoyed the idea that warfare, for them, is relatively bloodless. The other guy does the dying.

Even the monthly losses they bore during the Vietnam war would probably be hard on the civilian population. From 1967 to 1970 they were running between 400 and 500+ KIA per month.

One estimate I read of a war with China suggested the first month might be the bloodiest at 20,000 US casualties. Obviously there's only one way to test that hypothesis.