A Military Solution to a Commercial Problem
In pondering Washington’s new toy, a cold war against China, one sees a pattern. China’s approach to influence and prosperity is commercial and longsighted. This does not mean that the Chinese are warm and fuzzy, only intelligent. They advance their interests while turning a profit, which wars don’t. China invests heavily in the infrastructure, both physical and educational, that makes for current and future competitiveness. They are fast, agile, innovative, and imperfectly scrupulous. They seek trade agreements: The Comprehensive Agreement on Investment with Europe, The RCEP, Regional comprehensive Economic Partnership, the CPEC, China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, the huge Iran deal, the development with Russia of the NSR, the Northern Sea Route. They seem good at it, China now being the largest trading partner of something like 165 countries.
Washington’s approach is military, coercive, shortsighted, and commercially dimwitted. It forms military alliances: the Quad in the Indian Ocean, with Japan against China, puts missiles in South Korea, pushes Europe to buy more American weaponry, sends naval forces to the Indian Ocean, Taiwan Strait, South China Sea, Black Sea, and Persian Gulf to intimidate, without much success, China, Russia, and Iran. It wants to get the Ukraine and Georgia into NATO to threaten Russia. It makes as much sense as lug nuts on a birthday cake.
China’s major capital expenditures, as gleaned as best I can from pubs covering these: highways, dams, bridges, very-high-voltage power lines, airports, rail, new high-tech 360 mph rail, five-g implementation, reactors, and semiconductor catchup.
America’s major capital expenditures: the B-21, F-35, Virginia-class subs, , Ford-class aircraft carriers, SSN (x) attack submarine. Biden says he will build infrastructure but, if history is a guide, he will pander to the woke, fight systemic racism, promote LBGQXYZ, become mired in congressional infighting, and the whole thing will devolve into pork. Want to bet?
What are these weapons for? The B-21 is an intercontinental nuclear bomber. What does one do with intercontinental nuclear bombers? Engage in intercontinental nuclear war. Are we sure this is a good idea? There will be no such war unless America starts it. China isn’t going to since (a) its approach to power and influence is commercial, which is working well, and (b) America has so many, many nuclear weapons of all sorts that China would be obliterated. If the US launched a first strike, the bombers would get there hours after the war was over. What would be the point?
The point is to funnel vast amounts of money into a bloated, running-on-autopilot military business so large that it can’t be reduced or controlled. All of this send-money PR assumes that China thinks it needs a nuclear holocaust. Who can doubt it?
It is impossible even to leave the military budget as it is, much less reduce it.
Military industry is so pervasive, providing so many jobs in so many states with so many lobbyists, that the President and his p
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