Monday, December 13, 2004

Keeping an Eye on the Long Game: Part VI

Note it on your calendar: Today is PLAN Day!!! Now, everyone knows that CDR Salamander considers every day People’s Liberation Army Navy Day (NB: my friends from the Middle Kingdom, we REALLY need a new game there shipmate), but it seems that 13 DEC 04 the MSM ran out of “US not up-armoring field latrines in Iraq” stories and have all of a sudden noticed a billion or so Chinese getting in shape and thinking about returning from a few hundred years of sleep to regain their seat at the big table.

No small fish in the MSM, Mark Helprin at Opinion Journal gets a direct hit with secondaries, with supporting fire from our British allies at (!)The Guardian via Ian Black.

WOW. Nice to see. Read the whole thing, but here are some of the Executive Summary quotes:

“….China is now powerful and influential enough, at least as a "fleet-in-being," to make American world dominance inconceivable. And in the longer term, China is bent upon and will achieve gross military and economic parity with the United States.”
Exactly. They want “their” Asia back under their petticoat, or whatever the Han Chinese version of that is. As long as we stay out of their backyard and don’t fiddle with their lifeline, they will leave us alone. The problem will be agreeing on the survey lines.

“China is methodically following the example of Meiji Japan in moving from a position of inferiority to one of military equality with far superior rivals, by deliberate application of a striking phenomenon of economics that is to the military relation between states what the golden section is to architecture. Consider a hypothetical country of 10 million people, and a $1 billion GNP, that devotes 10% of its $100 per capita GNP to defense. The people are left with $90/year, suffering one day in 10 to support a $100 million military outlay. But after 18 years of 8% economic growth and 2% population increase per annum, it becomes a hypothetical country of 14 million souls, a GNP of $4 billion, and a per capita GNP of $285. If the people retain only three-quarters of this, they are still almost two and a half times richer than they were before, and the military budget can safely rise to $1 billion. Thus, the GNP increases by a factor of four, per capita GNP more than doubles, and defense outlays swell by a factor of 10.”
Second semester Macro Economics, but again he nails it. Mmmmmm. Meiji Japan. Nice parallel……and we know how that ended up.

“China, however, moves with great deliberation, and many signs suggest that it is aiming for parity in 20 or more years time and in synchrony with advances in technology and military doctrine.”

….and you ignore this at your own peril.

“When China was great, it sent out military expeditions by land and sea into a large part of what was for it the known world, and despite robotic protestations to the contrary it will do so again. It has already begun what it itself might at one time have called imperial expansion, driven not by ideology but the need for markets and raw materials.”
Don’t say it. Don’t say it. Oh, I can’t help myself. THEY CAN CALL IT THE “GREATER EAST ASIA CO-PROSPERITY SPHERE”! Oh, wait. The Japanese already did that one. Hit the history replay please.

“This and a persistent blindness in regard to China's probable trajectory are wounds gratuitously self-inflicted, for no country, ever, has had both the mass and income at the margin that the United States has now, but rather than anticipate, meet, and discourage China's military development, as it easily could, the U.S. has chosen to ignore it………when China does develop the powerful expeditionary forces that it will need to protect its far- flung interests, the U.S. will probably have successfully completed transforming its military into a force designed mainly to fight terrorism and insurgencies. ….Though the dangers of epidemics and terrorist nuclear attacks are now obviously pre-eminent, rising behind them is a newer world yet. This century will be not just the century of terrorism: terrorism will fade. It will be a naval century, with the Pacific its center, and challenges in the remotest places of the world offered not by dervishes and crazy-men but by a great power that is at last and at least America's equal. Unfortunately, it is in our nature neither to foresee nor prepare for what lies beyond the rim.”

Remember in Lord of the Rings in the mines when you heard that slow, distant beating of the drums? The future is here. Now.

“An Atlanta company that manufactures yellow ribbon magnets - to display on cars to show solidarity with American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan - is in trouble because a Chinese firm is now making them for half the price; when the symbols of American patriotism are being shipped from Jiangsu province, you know that the sleeping giant is awake and busy.”
Just try to buy a US Flag pin for your lapel that doesn’t say “China” on the back. Try buying a US Flag for the front of your house from “PLANMart”, I mean WalMart, that does not have “Made in China” on it. Try.

“….the EU demonstrated last week when it announced it would not - yet - lift the arms embargo imposed after the Tiananmen massacre in 1989. Jacques Chirac and Gerhard Schröder both made clear they wanted to do just that, arguing that the ban was an anachronism that put China on a par with pariahs such as North Korea and Zimbabwe.”
You mean, they’re not? (OK, they are better, but Fascist Italy was better than Fascist Germany too). Oh, yes. The morally superior whores, I mean politicians, at the EU demonstrated that they are feckless, money grubbing schmucks. Shocking.

“In the background is Chirac's big idea of a "multipolar" world that is not dominated by an unassailably powerful America. But big, booming, business is the main reason for the kowtow instinct.”
Read here, “Desire someone that can kill lots of Americans because we don’t have the balls to. Oh, and we would like to make money from it as well because we will do anything to prop up our unsustainable Nanny State.”

“….the EU wants to upgrade its relations with China to a "strategic partnership" - but no surprise, either, that there is a real problem about squaring that with China's commitment to human rights.”
Not that the EU has had problems “squaring” when needed.

“The French line is that "discretion" is needed for effective human rights advocacy.”
The French were very discrete in Algeria, Rwanda, Chad, Ivory Coast, Iraq, etc, etc…

Every day should be PLAN day. Until then, keep an eye on the long game.

In 2047 as I hug my Grandson goodbye as he gets underway with what is left of the SEVENTH Fleet to engage the Chinese fleet moving into blocking positions off the remains of Indonesia, I don’t want to tell him, “Sorry we didn’t do more to prepare son. We just didn’t see it coming.”

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