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09 January 2012


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William R. Cumming

It could be argued by those with more knowledge than me that the currency wars going on right now in fact will dictate national security arrangements more than military expenditures and ops this century for most nation states.

Medicine Man

Talk softly and carry a big stick?

Charles I

These are hard to manage and forecast. Successful long term speculation in Swiss francs predicated on US political and economic - can't find the right descriptor here - recently came a cropper when the Swiss central bank intervened upon a flight of capital into Swiss currency.

Neil Richardson

"During the time when we were belligerent, they were creating a profitable commercial outlet for their goods. That approach seems quite smart to me. Yes, the Chinese have filled a vacuum in Africa and in other underdeveloped places, especially in Latin America."

Well this is what Hilary Clinton called "smart power" (or soft power which Joe Nye coined much earlier). There is a place for this in our statecraft for obvious reasons. It's not just economic ties and influence but cultural as well. My concern however is that security conditions have to be stable for this to work. That's not always going to work out for "free-riders" such as China in Iraq. The Chinese know this as well which is why they are planning to project naval power in critical areas.

"My guess is that their local economic activity gives them real, local power and influence that will increase over the coming years. Who would you rather trade with, someone who blasted your child, mother, brother, and cousin to dust to help [force] you to be "free and democratic" or the guy on the corner who couldn't care less how you run your culture and who sells candy, egg, and milk, while giving out a little credit and will only use his shotgun under the counter blow you to bits if you try to rob him.?"

Well, this would prompt a very different response from someone in East Asia or even in VN. I've always been fascinated by the role history plays in Asian culture (reimagined to be sure as there are more than a few factual inconsistencies in their various narratives). A Korean or a Japanese might refer to the humiliating tributary system that had lasted hundreds of years instead of some "corner grocer". In fact Yongsan was first a garrison for the Ming army after the Hideyoshi invasion back in the 16th century. I don't think there are any ASEAN states that consider the PRC as just another guy on the corner who minds his own business.

"Our belligerent approach is just not working particularly well. You are right, we must remain militarily strong and dangerous, but our excessive belligerency and interference in the affairs of others is not serving us very well right now. We need to rethink things to remain strong."

I think we're in agreement here. The last thing I want to see is a conflict with China. IMHO it would be mutually suicidal. However, reasoned discourse is no substitute for carrier strike groups when it comes to asking the PRC to clarify its maritime claims. Just ask the Philippines, Indonesia, VN, Japan and ROK.

Jim Ticehurst

China is doing much more Strategically in Nations around the World..than open Corner Grocery stores and Chinese Restaurants..No..They don't openly Garrison Soldiers all over like we do... They go in with Large Amounts of Money..Bribe Local leaders..Cut Deals..for "Economic development" in those Countrys..

Then Garrison Hundreds of Thousands of "Construction Workers..Engineers..Heavy equipment" for the Chinese Companys OWNED by the Chinese Government..and probably heavily Loaded with Chinese Army Folks..and Agents..

For example...since Africa was mentioned..>China has Long been involved in the DRC..democratic republic of Congo...and Long have supported the Rebel revolutionay Guerrilla's..

For Example..China took the Young Rebel Leader..Joseph Kabila..under thier wing..< Mentored Him..sent him to the PLA National defense University in Bejing..China..when Kabila returned to the Congo..he was promoted to General....and Chief of Staff of the Land Forces..He was just reelected the President ..in what many consider a very Corrupt Election..Now..China is the only Nation of Real Influence there..and the DRC..Congo..is considered the Richest Country in the World in Natural resources....$$$ 24 TRILLION Dollars worth..and hold 70 % of the Worlds Colbalt..an Important Strategic Material..

Now China and Russia have the whole Gulf Region ...India..Indonesia..Viet Nam..and South Asia..ringed with ASM's and Missle Batterys..That creates a Threat Blockade from the Pacific into South Asia..and Indian ocean..Isn't this the Year of the "Water Dragon" in China..? If so..The USA Has fed nd enabled that Dragons Awakening for many Decades..(

Also..in Case you missed it on ABC News with Diane sawer..Chinese Companys have been awarded Contracts..for Billions of Dollars to Build Roads and Bridges in the United States..400 million for the Alexander Hamilton bridge in New York..190 Million for a Bridge in Alaska..and 7.2 Billion for a Bridge in San Francisco..The News Video is available on the Internet..under "U.S. Bridges Roads being built by Chinese Firms"..google.
In the News Interview..Those States said.."Because the Chinese Firms (Govt owned) can do it Cheaper and faster.."..Someone tell Ron Paul..


Perhaps, my last statement, should be revised to state, "Yes, the Chinese do make more progress gaining influence over the US by opening construction companies and other business there run by Han Chinese, than by threatening to garrison soldiers there."

It is money that really talks and guns not so effectively. (If those companies are somewhat crooked, subsidized, and cheat the market a little, that migh help too.)

plenty of fish

is it defense or attack


plenty of fish

What? pl

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