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08 November 2010


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Some good points. I agree with Col. Lang that everything old is new again and that there will be friction between India, China and America which must be managed, which is why Secretary of State Clinton and Australia concluded an agreement to give America more access to bases and ports in Australia at meetings in Melbourne, just yesterday.

I would make Two additional points. The rapid growth of India and China is not due to their being "Tiger Economies" (which is a vapidly stupid term). It is due to the simple fact that when you have a low base to start with, the simple act of investing in modern infrastructure and methods of production have a simply stratospheric rate of return.

In other words, China and India can grow very fast simply by duplicating Western practices, which is what they are doing. This is no threat to us in the sense of producing a new and competing paradigm. In time the Chinese and Indians will catch up - and then copying no longer provides any economic return, and they get stuck with the same old 3.5% per annum GDP growth that expensive R & D provides.

What will happen before then is that competition for scarce resources is going to intensify, and America has not taken the prudent course of minimising its consumption by improving efficiency. That means that market forces are going to minimise your oil consumption for you, and that is going to be extremely painful.

To put that another way. If a Chinese or Indian farmer can use a gallon of gas to double or triple his output of grain, then he can and will pay more for it than some American who wants to drive to a Mall to buy chocolate.

The second point relates to Europe, and it's purported reticence to be more assertive on the world stage. To me this is understandable. Germany became "Assertive" in 1870, 1914 and 1938, to the misery of Europe. I think they learned their lesson by now.

To put it another way, during the Kosovo crisis, I asked my dear Dad (born 1919 in Germany) what he thought about the unwillingness of Europeans to intervene; "The last time we intervened in the Balkans, Twenty million people died, let them kill each other." was the startling response I received from this humane scholar of military history.

I just pray that some element of humility might creep into American foreign policy of its own accord and doesn't have to be beaten into it, as was the European experience.

R Whitman

Imagine if you will, that the Chinese land men on the moon during the next 5 years and establish a permanent base there and claim the satellite for themselves.

In military terms they will have taken the high ground.

How will the US and the EU respond??

Medicine Man

I second your sentiment, Walrus, though I pray that moderation in American foreign policy doesn't come with the same price tag that it did for the Europeans.


Walrus, your dad is a wise man.

R Whitman, once China buys up enough of America they won't bother going to the moon. However they might institute a Mississippi River Patrol to protect thier economic posessions from all those underemployed Americans, illegal immigrants, etc.

Kori Schake should take a course in statistics. She should also look at the trend over time, something Walrus commented on above.


your comments on China's navy are spot on. I'm sure our professional strategists will ignore China's navy, to our country's detriment.


R. Whitman,

Personally, I'd be happy if that were to happen: let the Chinese waste money on useless prestige projects that does no one any good, except subcontractors.

I don't see that happening, though: the Chinese have a weirdly pragmatic trait that prevents them from wasting money solely for sheer glory.

David J.

Was not Sir James Goldsmith completely correct in the interview with Charlie Rose in 1994?




Thank you for posting the Jimmy Goldsmith video. I'm afraid I don't agree with him.

I am of the opinion that the problems of America and Britain are due too a combination of financial masturbation, and a lack of investment in education of and investment in, their own people. Prime cause: sclerotic government.

The economists I follow below have not been far wrong:


Nancy K

The Chinese already have the high ground, it is called Tibet.

Norbert M. Salamon

From the time of Marco Polo the Europeans benefited from Chinese [and Indian]Technology and culture to the late 1400-early 1500-s without the nonsense of intellectual property.
In the last 30 years or so China [and India] has benefited from Western technology [and some culture] with or without the benefit of intellectual property.

China always had central metrocracy based govrnement, barring the Warring States intervals. It is doubtful that this will change. It is also doubtful that the Chinese are interested in a wstern type Empire - they have more than enough population to have to concentrate on that problem.

Whether we can call India a democracy with the remains of the Caste System, extreme wealth and power discrepency and way too many people is debatable. The Greek and later English and French political philosophy regarding DEMOCRACY is only workable in locality, it is unworkable in nation states spanning continents [USA/ Russia], or having too large a population [most large countries, extrem case being China and India] with the probable limit on state side of Switzerland with her fragmented constitutional mileau.

As all previous empires, the USA is resisting with all her might the collapse of the last Empire, [having outlived the USSR] by devising new THREATS as a form of uniting the population in a common cause - military hegemony. Unfortunately the disinvestment in USA industries has sapped the financial power base, and therefore, the empire dream must fail - with conserquence of falling standard of living - for the state is incapable to economically benefit from un-cooperating states [of which are more and more daily due to QEII].

Whether China builds one or two aircraft carriers is totlly beside the point, for the newest missile technology of USA, Russia, China and IRan makes such tools of power projection obsolate - and too expensive in energy demand [for operation] please refer to Admiral Rice's speech at ASPO I cited earlier.

Wating energy and resources on anything but defensive armaments at a time of peak oil is self-destructive. The USAQ has to learn that lesson, and stop trying to rule the world with military might and divide aqnd conquer philosophy regarding Asia at large [ be it shia v,sunni or chiona v india or Co0lumbia v Venezuela, Hondura against Central America, new Europe v Old Europe, etc..


Nancy K,

True, but the rest of the world has gotten to learn from the Dalai Lama for the past many decades. An unintended consequence to many other peoples gain.

Clifford Kiracofe

Seems to me a 500 year era of (white) European global expansion and domination is reaching an end point. The global balance of power is shifting and a multipolar situation is developing: US, EU, Russia, China, Japan, plus India etal.

The era of white ("European") dominance spans the voyages of Dias, Columbus, and Da Gama to post WWII decolonization to the present "rise" of China and India. Both China and India do, naturally, have vulnerabilities.

Some "Western" circles (Neocons and their ilk) pondering China would like the US to make a preventive war on China to trim its sails.

History indicates that coalitions arise against hegemonic powers, or powers with hegemonic ("fullspectrum dominance" pretensions.

Thus, given the fixed hegemonic ambitions of the US foreign policy elite, various combinations balancing the US (albeit declining) might be expected. China plus Japan, China plus Japan and Russia with the EU taking a pass, or whatever.

On the other hand, there are those hoping for something like: India plus Japan (and Australia) with the US against China.

So the "game of nations" goes on as usual. But the US is in decline.


US foreign policy is not likely to "change" given the mindset of the elites in power and various influential "special interests." The old WASP elite with some dim recollection of John Quincy Adams and the Founding Fathers is long since dead and buried and the subject of quaint museums in New England and the other original states. Easy pickings now for the New Crowd and their global schemes.

The present US trajectory seems that of Athens..and our "professional" Alcibiades types are only too happy to comply and line their pockets.

If I were a Chinese professor of history, I imagine I would as an exercise perhaps compare and contrast Admiral Zheng He with Dias, Columbus, and Da Gama. Wouldn't you?

Yours Truly

Fred, Nancy K,


In English -- karma (業).

What applies to individuals applies equally to nations & Empires.

Prof. Kiracofe,

物極必反 (もの極まれば必ずかえるMono kiwamareba kanarazu kaeru)

The transliteration: "As soon as a thing reaches its extremity, it reverses its course."

I guess the present Administration (or should 'oligarchy' strike more of a chord?) has yet to learn from the mistakes of the Athenians. There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, & the other is getting it.

It seems they are bent on expandin' their sphere-of-influence regardless of consequence, unintended or otherwise. Though I seriously doubt the chinese are gonna go down without a fight, given their present nationalist furor & all (i.e. desire to avenge past humiliations at the hands of western imperialists just simmerin' below the surface of their society)


Military-Industrial-Media-Entertainment Complex: 1

Shared prosperity amongst οἱ πολλοί across the globe: 0

Woe is the collective karma (共業)of seven generations henceforth!

Perhaps the Iroquois could teach us all somethin' 'bout decision-makin'...


Patrick Lang


Is this a frat house thing? It IS amusing. pl


Col. sir,

I could only wish to play the role of false prophet & not that of Cassandra...

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