Let’s face it – Our Betters are getting bored with their active war/proxy war versus Russia in the Ukraine. Hence the increasing SwampTalk about starting a war with China. One imagines the Iranians looking disgusted and asking “What about us? When is it our turn?”
"To fightChina the US must double defense spending through 2030. Today’s USAF and USN fleets are aging and shrinking while China’s bigger, younger fleets are growing rapidly. The US must also contend with Russia’s powerful Atlantic and Pacific navies, armed with hypersonic anti-ship missiles against which the US has no defense.
"To finance a China war, Washington must grow the economy five times faster. In order to grow at its 1.6% historic rate, the US borrows $3 trillion/year. The notion that the country could borrow three times more, $10 trillion/year, without triggering hyperinflation, is fanciful.
"To decouplefrom China , the US must double manufacturing’s share of its economy from 12% to 24% (China’s is 27%). As TSMC has learned to its dismay, skilled workers are rare and expensive in the US.
“To challengeChina’s science lead the US must multiply its annual R&D investment tenfold through 2045. Nowadays, more research scientists move to China than to the US.”
As if that were not enough, the author then goes on and identifies 10 additional factors where US performance would have to improve significantly just to be able to compete on the same level with China.
The author concludes (rationally): “The US will not attack China because it cannot. It can’t get there from here.”
But who has ever accused our Swamp Creatures of being rational?
The points Mr Roberts makes in comparing China’s situation to that of the U.S. seem correct, but I don’t see that his conclusion, “The US will not attack China because it cannot.”, follows from that. The items cited indicate that the U.S. cannot win in a conflict with China, but that does not mean it will not provoke one, either by overt aggression or attempting to defend, say, Taiwan, after a Chinese attack brought on by perception of U.S. weakness or risk aversion.
As historians from Winston Churchill to Victor Davis Hanson have pointed out, from the moment the U.S. entered World War II, defeat of the Axis was inevitable from simple calculations of geopolitics (access to raw materials, industrial infrastructure, financial resources, manpower, etc.). But that didn’t keep Japan from attacking the U.S., or Germany from declaring war on the U.S.
You’d think the U.S. having been ignominiously defeated in Iraq and Afghanistan not even by fourth-rate military powers but sixth-rate insurgencies would dampen the enthusiasm among the “invade the world” set for war with China, or at least cause them to pay more attention to combat skills than diversity, inclusion, and equity, but I see little evidence of that.
If the Maoist intelligence agency hypothesis I’ve set forth is correct and US intelligence agencies have been utterly outclassed since at least World War II the US may attack China in a manner so egregious as to totally demoralize the Nation of Settlers. BRICS would then offer the Nation of Settlers some sort of relief from the US dollar as the worst resource curse aka world reserve currency. MAGA would then be a toss-up between the Likud faction (ie Trump) and the virtual fentanyl addicts running the US government (along with its coddled F500 corporations).
The Maoists have openly stated that they can afford to sacrifice a hundred million.
ONE of the big benefits America “enjoyed” from WWII was the end of the Depression. For his whole time in the WH, FDR did everything he could to trash the American economy, while under the guise of “helping” it. Kind of the original “Build Back Better” program that failed just as miserable as SloJoe’s.
One of China’s biggest problems is that it has a huge workforce increase every year. These new workers, much as the young Americans of the Depression era, have job expectations. Starting a war would be *one way * to “fully employ” this crowd. After winning such a war, the industry stimulus from that war footing would then go on to push the economy further along.
But the pitfall is no different than it was for us. Ruthless exploiters would then drive the Chinese economy, as they have ours. China has so far had the advantageous position of “catching up” with the West. After a war, especially if they won, they would no longer have that advantage. Cheap Chinese shit would no longer be cheap. And foreign stuff might well be lots better made and cheaper.
China could, obviously, artificially hold down prices, but that would put them in the same kind of bind we are now - selling at a deficit. That doesn’t last long.
Then, of course, there is the fact that America responds to stresses rather remarkably. Despite Chinese military strength, invading or even significantly damaging American soil from afar is not really in the books. And the resulting America would most likely NOT have many of the elitist problems it is afflicted with currently.
That North America would indeed be a very different place. I am highly optimistic that – after two generations/half a century – it would be a much better place for our surviving descendants than BidenLand is today.
The reality is that Our Betters are fighting the last war, thinking of bombs & aircraft carriers. The real war between China and Our Betters will be economic – in fact, it is already in progress, and Our Betters are losing badly. From the Chinese perspective, why bomb the DC Swamp when they can simply embargo all exports to the US? Remember that while Chinese imports are essential to the US, they account for only something like 20% of China’s exports; China could stand the loss of US markets better than the US could stand the loss of Chinese imports.
But you are right – having defeated the Great Satan and taken vengeance on the West for the “Century of Humiliation”, China would then have its own problems to deal with. Big wheel keeps on turning.
China is different from countries with a burgeoning population in that these additional workers are mostly people coming from rural areas to the cities seeking opportunity and a better lifestyle, not organic growth of the population or immigration. Here is the Chinese population pyramid as of their 2020 census.
The median age of the population of China is 37.8 years, very close to that of the U.S. at 38.1 years, the population growth rate is negative (−0.06%/year estimated for 2022) with 6.77 births and 7.37 deaths per 1000 and a disastrously low fertility rate of 1.08 children per woman (2022 estimate).
Compare, for example, China’s population pyramid to that of India, which has fertility around replacement (2.03 children per woman, 2021) and a growth rate of 0.68% per year (2022 estimate).
China is faced with the unusual challenge of integrating internal migrants to the cities into the workforce while simultaneously planning for a dramatic decrease in population over the next generation or two if current trends continue.
Almost every country in the world is facing some kind of demographic challenge in coming decades. China is no exception. Would a dramatic decrease in China’s population over the next generation or two necessarily be a problem?
China could reasonably plan on continued mechanization of farming driving more rural residents into the cities at the same time as the explosive growth in automation of factories in China reduces the number of workers required in the productive manufacturing sector. With a decline in the population and an increase in the scale of manpower-intensive R&D, things might just balance out. Maybe!
?Is this not the exact goal of the World Economic Forum. Klaus’s books have seemingly so stated. They envision a world depopulated of all the “low lifes” and run by machines for the good the the elite, who are all that remain.
Lastly the US politicians are about 100 percent bought and paid for by China through various schemes. The US would have to completely overhaul its federal elected positions by 150% just to get a slight majority of pro-US politicians willing to sink our financial sector to pursue war with China with an actual goal of ponding them into dust and winning—something the US has failed to do since 1945. Turns out more and more Americans see war for what it is.
That the decadence has been seeping into it to the point that, now, it can no longer think about its effects on its own people. The poisonous effects to society of elite insularity seems to be of a piece with the necessary sacrifice of enforced single combat to the death regardless of “position” in the civil hierarchy, as appeal of last resort in dispute processing. When you give that up to build civilization up, the tendency of the top to defect is inexorable:
The bigger they are, the harder they fall.
That’s one of the big drivers for elites to use war as controlled demolition.
ALL communist systems need “nuance”. The problem is that the system assumes those on top are the experts - in everything. Free corporations have long struggled with how to organize so those who actually know something about a given subject can make decisions, or at least significantly influence what the final decision is. Communists don’t work that way. They may delegate a little downward, but power is held closely.
In my defense I’m trying to emphasize in people’s minds that, IMNSHO, the Chinese are culturally if not genetically predisposed to be “better” commies than others. This has empirical support in the relative economic success of China. It is important to not underestimate one’s enemies – particularly those with superior collective intelligence and a deep history of deception in war:
All warfare is based on deception.
[The truth of this pithy and profound saying will be admitted by every soldier. Col. Henderson tells us that Wellington, great in so many military qualities, was especially distinguished by “the extraordinary skill with which he concealed his movements and deceived both friend and foe.”]
Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.
Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and crush him.
[All commentators, except Chang Yu, say, “When he is in disorder, crush him.” It is more natural to suppose that Sun Tzŭ is still illustrating the uses of deception in war.]
If he is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is in superior strength, evade him.
If your opponent is of choleric temper, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant.
[Wang Tzŭ, quoted by Tu Yu, says that the good tactician plays with his adversary as a cat plays with a mouse, first feigning weakness and immobility, and then suddenly pouncing upon him.]
The PLARF represents a formidable force to enhance China’s military objectives, and one that is very foreign to U.S. military planners, as the last U.S. ground-based missile, the Pershing II, was retired in 1987 to comply with the INF Treaty with the Soviet Union.61 Seeing a capability gap in the forces of its two closest rivals, China seized an opportunity and has developed the largest ground-based missile force in the world. The PLARF is perhaps China’s most valuable current military asset as it provides China both offensive and defensive capabilities against a wide range of opponents as well as the inherent value of deterrence that nuclear weapons provide any nation. The intentional ambiguity of armament in weapons such as the DF-21 and DF-26 enhance China’s deterrence options and force adversary planners to develop a wide range of contingencies that may never be implemented. Despite these factors, there are weaknesses that U.S. planners should exploit in order to mitigate the threat posed by the PLARF.
First and foremost, China is geographically surrounded by enemies and potential enemies. Strengthening ballistic missile defenses in these nations will degrade the danger of overwhelming long-range precision fires at the onset of a conflict that the PLARF is designed to provide. Furthermore, although the PLARF is large, China does not possess vast stockpiles of missiles; in a protracted conflict, the utility of the PLARF will diminish rapidly. This is doubly true for the nuclear arm of the PLARF. China simply does not have enough nuclear missiles to warrant a nuclear exchange, though Chinese defense white papers of the last decade have stressed an “escalate to de-escalate” concept regarding nuclear employment.62 Such a strategy would involve using a very limited number of nuclear weapons, perhaps even only a single weapon, to force an opponent into negotiations rather than devolve into a general nuclear conflagration. Given the apparent lack of tactical nuclear weapons in the PLARF, this seems illogical. Utilizing a nuclear weapon of several hundred kiloton or higher yield will only serve to escalate a conflict, and those are the preponderance of Chinese nuclear warheads.
Tyler Cowen linked last week to a recent Edward Luttwak interview “on the current state of American Power at home and abroad”
Not being obsessed with China is a serious problem. It is a very big shortcoming. Russia is not like China. In fact, if the Russian Federation were to break down, we would immediately lose Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. They would all go to China. China would then become a country that has every known mineral and huge amounts of space. It would become dramatically more self-sufficient rather than be dependent on the importation of food and fuel.
Russia, on the other hand, is a power that is constrained. But we cannot have them win, even though Ukraine cannot win, either. We must find a way to a compromise. My suggestion would be to have plebiscites in the two contested regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, based on 1919 plebiscites.
Several provocative statements
But here the very concept of citizenship is being delegitimized. I live in Chevy Chase, for example…Nobody dreams of putting up an American flag. If I put up an American flag in front of my house, which I am thinking of doing, as it so happens, people would think that I am crazy
[…] our best ally, Vietnam…
[…] after 378 years of success, Rome, which was surrounded by barbarians, slowly started admitting them until it completely changed society and the whole thing collapsed. I am sure you know that the so-called barbarian invasions were, in fact, illegal migrations