Wednesday, June 9, 2010
The Coming Pacific War
"The [US] and China are on a collision course in the Western Pacific. Far sooner than once anticipated, China will achieve effective military parity in Asia, general conventional parity, and nuclear parity. Then the short road to superiority will be impossible for it to ignore, as it is already on its way thanks to a brilliant policy borrowed from Japan and Israel. ... To wit, between 1988 and 2007, a tenfold increase in per-capita GDP ($256 to $2,539), but a 21-fold purchasing power parity increase in military expenditures to $122 billion from $5.78 billion. The major constraint has been that an ever increasing rate of technical advance can only be absorbed so fast even by a rapidly modernizing military. ... China is on the cusp of being able to use conventional satellities, swarms of miniature satellities, and networked surface, undersea, and aerial cuing for real-time terminal guidance with which to direct its 1,500 short-range ballistic missiles to the five or six aircraft carriers the [US] (after ceding control of the Panama Canal and reducing the size of its carrier fleeet by one-third since 1987) could dispatch to meet an invasion of Taiwan. ... If [Taiwan capitulates], as it likely will, America's alliances in the Pacific will collapse. Japan, Korea, and countries in Southeast Asia and even Australaisa (when China's power projection forces mature) will strike a bargain so as to avoid pro forma vassalage, and their chief contribution to the new arrangement will be to rid themselves of America bases. ... In the military, economic, and social trajectories of the two principals, the shape of the future comes clear. In 2007, a Chinese admiral suggested to Adm. Timothy J. Keating, chief of the US Pacific Command, that China and the [US] divide the Pacific into two spheres of inflence. Though the American admiral firmly declined the invitation, as things go now, his successors will not have the means to honor his resolution, and by then the offer may seem generous", my emphasis, Mark Helprin (MH) at the WSJ, 17 May 2010, link:
I agree with MH. We saw this play before. In 1925 Hector Bywater, a journalist wrote The Great Pacific War. Here's a link describing it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_Pacific_War. My favorite military historian, Basil Hart wrote about Great Britain's inability to support Poland militarily and how this helped bring about World War II, my 24 February 2008 post: http://skepticaltexascpa.blogspot.com/2008/02/kosovo-and-polish-colonels.html. Don't nobody know nuttin' anymore? As Obama bin-Laden said, "When one sees a strong horse and a weak horse, he is naturally attracted to the strong horse". Indeed. Our carriers will be lucky to survive more than a week in a war with China, see my 10 November and 10 December 2008 posts: http://skepticaltexascpa.blogspot.com/2008/11/us-air-force-rip-2.html. http://skepticaltexascpa.blogspot.com/2008/12/floating-coffins.html.