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02 July 2016

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Jack

Babak

Agree. With the end of the Cold War the West has not had any positive vision for the future. IMO, its time for the US to focus on it's home turf. And have a debate on its future. Should we return to the principles of our founding ethos or become more totalitarian while espousing the rhetoric of liberty.

Burke

For reference, Ambassador Freeman gave a speech dealing with the One Belt One Road policy at a conference in Berlin hosted by the Schiller Institute: http://newparadigm.schillerinstitute.com/media/chas-freeman-things-fall-apart-america-europe-and-asia-in-the-new-world-disorder/

For a different viewpoint on OBOR given at the same conference, listen to Helga Zepp-LaRouche's keynote address here: http://newparadigm.schillerinstitute.com/media/helga-zepp-larouche-the-future-of-mankind-will-be-beautiful-provided-we-can-avoid-the-fate-of-the-dinosaurs/

MRW

I agree. FB Ali, great job.

different clue

Harper,

Tunnel links under the Bering Strait between Greater China and North America would subject North America to the kind of terracidal and ecocidal strip mining of all resources which China is currently applying to Tibet. Those parts of North America not thereby turned into lunar asteroid-scapes would be settled in due course by several hundred million Chinese pioneers and settlers.

The "Bunnel" (Bering Tunnel) is the single most dangerous-to-America project that I have ever seen proposed.

different clue

JJackson,

Even though I am not the one you asked about how the China Sea disputes fit into this, I will answer anyway. The ChinaGov wants all these islets and reefs in order to lay claim to all the hundreds of thousands of miles of seawater and seabed around them. The ChinaGov wants to strip mine all the fish out of the sea and sripmine all possible oil and gas and anything else from out of the sea bed.

Leaving all the other China Sea coastal countries without any fish in the sea, and without any oil or gas or anything else from under it.

different clue

Peter Reichard,

It wasn't the US in general which committed suicide here. It was a pro Forced Trade elite which committed nation-cide against America in general in order to profit itself in particular by transferring American industry to China so as to profit itself as a self-seeking class by working the differential costs-and-conditions arbitrage rackets.

The Yeltsinization and Ukrainification of industrial America has suited the Forced Trade elites just fine.

Chris Chuba

Isn't this just a natural economic progression for China, wouldn't any major economy try to improve its trade routes to new/existing customers?

Caspian Sea to Indian Ocean Project:
In the spirit of not wanting to make redundant posts, here is a link to a long cherished Iranian / Russian project along the same lines, a canal from the Caspian to either the Persian Gulf or Indian Ocean driven by many of the same concerns ... http://sputniknews.com/middleeast/20160409/1037748591/trans-iran-canal-prospects-analysis.html
1. This obviously benefits Russia as it would the other countries bordering the Caspian Sea.
2. I read elsewhere that Iran would favor the longer Indian Ocean route because there is a potential to irrigate arid regions but one of the technical challenges is that the Caspian is several feet below sea level so a lock system needs to be built. Actually, a lock system would need to be constructed in any case and this drives up the costs because no one wants to turn the Caspian from a freshwater into saltwater lake.

Banking System:
In terms of payback (or Karma), I would think that China, Russia, and Iran would look to expand alternative banking to bypass the dollar because of our abusive use of sanctions. I read that Iran even has trouble doing business with India because if an Indian bank has to temporarily convert from Rupees, to dollars, to Euros they can be on the hook with the U.S. treasury Dept. for violating sanctions. Yeah I know, they can work around it but it increases the cost of doing business.

I was thinking about the EU issue a bit more. So many people assume that Russia secretly wants the EU to break apart but that could make their life more difficult because then they would receive payments for their natural gas imports in a slew of local currencies instead of Euros. I'm not so certain that they want the EU to fall apart but many in the west like to conjure up a Bogeyman and Russia is always available for that slot.

VietnamVet

FB Ali

China is building infrastructure with the money that used to be paid to workers in the West and which used to multiply throughout the rest of the economy. The cut in domestic government spending, austerity, makes it worse. This is the cause for the lack of demand and crumbling infrastructure in the West. The War against Islam was conceived as the means to unify the little people and continue the flow of money to military contractors. The Great Game is being fought totally incompetently in three month intervals. Apparently, its inherent contradictions have forced the Turkish government to seek rapprochement with the Russian Federation. The European Union like Turkey is facing an existential crisis with the Muslim refugee influx, austerity, Brexit and the Islamic State attacks. Western Europe joining the One Belt, One Road as sovereign nations is a path forward to a prosperous future. Peace is better than war. The United States of America and Canada should join too.

Lemur (prev EA)

yes and i've read pieces by various russians who argue what Britain and America really wanted from the two world wars was conflict between Russia and Germany

Ex-PFC Chuck

And don't forget the Wahabi mullahs they appoint to head the mosques they finance world wide.

michael brenner

The absence of strategic thinking in Washington is neither happenstance nor oversight. Think of requirements and implications.

1. Government leaders must have the aptitude, skills and sense of custodial responsibility for the national welfare - not just for today but for tomorrow and the day after. None of our political elites are so endowed.

2. The formulation of coherent strategy depends on unemotional, level--headed thinking. The United States, for the past 15 years, has embarked on audacious operations across the Islamic world driven be passionate feelings - to wreak vengeance for 9/11 and to make absolutely sure that no one ever again will be able to commit such an act (good luck!) In addition, an external party has been allowed to superimpose its blinkered view of its national interest on ours. That is due in part to domestic political influence whose significance is magnified by the peculiar infirmities of American political culture.

3. We have become seduced by the idea that our national well-being should rely on brawn as opposed to brains - or a prudent melding of the two. Thus, the discussion of defense budgets avoids the critical need to define interests, to establish priorities based on sober threat assessments and inescapable trade-offs. Military planning itself proceeds with no systematic assessment of who the preferred enemy is. What passes for process involves selecting a threat No 1 on a quarterly basis in a manner little different than weekly football polls. So, we have al-Qaeda, ISIS, China, Russia - with Iran a perennial contender. Perhaps, we should institute a playoff of some kind to reach a determination that will serve as point of strategic reference for at least a year or two.

4. Skewed military planning will always be the logical outcome of an analysis that begins with the implicit question: we have a $600 billion annuity which the Republicans might increase; how should we spent it? Serious strategy begins with the question: what are our needs and reasonable goals?

5. One must learn from experience. We have been fighting an assortment of insurgencies for 15 years, yet our military is asking itself basic questions as to how we should go about it in the future and whether a Special Forces army of 75,000 is sufficient for counter-insurgencies we are not in a position to identify and which the current President has declared an unnecessary exercise since we can accomplish the desired ends by droning them to death.

6. Strategy entails constraints as set by intellectual, organizational and budgetary commitments. That is highly discomforting for leaders who prize fluidity and indeterminacy for narrow political and bureaucratic purposes. It makes more difficulty flying by the seat of one's pants - the preferred modus operandi at present.

Overcoming these liabilities requires, above all, maturity. Our leaders and so-called thinkers are juveniles.

Kooshy

IMO, For even an economic alliance between Germany and any non US influenced country, Germany will need to first retain it's total political sovereignty back, IMO, unfortunately, since WW2 most waring European countries do not have complete forign policy sovereignty separated and prioritized to that of US intrests. That can come, if they can afford and be willing to pay for thier own security, but IMO, unfortunately for us most Europeans, including some in my own family rather to take the ride and have us pay for thier security.

apol

Who rules Germany?
I saw this on another blog.
I am not in a position to comment on it's veracity.
Can anyone here do so?

<

The Chancellor Act states:
5.1. The German media will be controlled by the occupation powers of Germany until 2099. 5.2. Germany's gold reserves were confiscated without compensation. 5.3. The so-called Allies' veto Regarding defeated Germany included any external and internal decision the German government would have made ​​only with the consent of the three western military high commissioners.
...
The irony here is, dass die only victorious power over Germany, Russia - the ex-Soviet Union, has permanently left its German zone of occupation and its occupational sector of Greater Berlin!>>


Ingolf


bth,

I don't get the impression Brig Ali was suggesting the US was thwarting OBOR, or indeed that it need be scared about its prospects. Rather, both he and Freeman are simply lamenting America's focus on trying to retain its historical primacy instead of engaging realistically and constructively with a rapidly changing world.

As to "get[ting] on with it already", one can question many things about China but moving too slowly isn't one of them. Rather the opposite. I'm in the camp that believes China probably faces exceptionally difficult economic (and therefore political) times over the next decade precisely because its development has been so intensely force fed. Nevertheless, I find it impossible not to admire their extraordinary industriousness and ambition. And who knows, perhaps things will turn out better than I fear.

Mark

The recent, "Is An Independent Europe Possible?", by Joe Lauria for Huffington Post, bears directly on this.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/is-an-independent-europe-possible_us_57768c8ae4b00a3ae4cdba5e

Steinmeier is quoted as saying, "What we shouldn’t do now is inflame the situation further through saber-rattling and warmongering. Whoever believes that a symbolic tank parade on the alliance’s eastern border will bring security is mistaken...We are well-advised to not create pretexts to renew an old confrontation..it would be fatal to search only for military solutions and a policy of deterrence.”

Only a day later, General Petr Pavel, chairman of NATO’s military committee, said, "It is not the aim of NATO to create a military barrier against broad-scale Russian aggression, because such aggression is not on the agenda and no intelligence assessment suggests such a thing."

I think some of the brighter minds in the west sense that things have swung too far. But it's probably too late, and it would be best for Russia and China if it is. A few years of business as usual if fences were mended, and Washington would be up to its old regime-change tricks again. A conclusive break with the west followed by an arms-length, business-only relationship in which the west is not allowed to gain any economic advantage or serious market share would be better for world peace, if such a thing exists beyond the abstract.

Fred

dc,

There are already plenty of Chinese anchor babies whose parents came here on either educational or work assignments.

rkka

What Clue said.

Plus, developing offshore oil fields in the South China Sea, under the umbrella of air defense and antiship missiles deployed on the new islands gives the PRC a source of oil that does not have to transit the Strait of Malacca, where the U.S. Navy is certain blockade it in the event of a US-China war.

FB Ali

I haven't examined this matter in any great depth. However, I tend to think that China's actions in the South China Sea have more to do with acquiring naval/air bases to counter the US navy rather than acquiring resources (as Different Clue seems to think). They aim to keep US naval/air power as far as possible from mainland China.

The neighbours who are being upset are not important to OBOR, and, in any case, would support the US in opposing China. If they acquired these territorial waters, it would greatly increase the threat to China. The US's "pivot" to Asia is openly designed to contain China by bolstering its allies in the region.

The US does not see a bi-polar world, but one that is dominated by US military power.

FB Ali

What makes you think that it isn't already under way?

America isn't threatened by this project, but its current domination of the world certainly is.

I suggest you do a bit of research on the subject before you make such statements.

FB Ali

axel and MRW,

Thank you!

William R. Cumming

An interesting post and thread. IMO what most don't get is how little leverage the US has in trying to achieve foreign policy goals. Whether stated or unstated.

Amir

Iran was trying to set up the IPI pipeline to export it's gas from fields that were farther away from the main population centers to Pakistan and India and at the same time cement an alliance and a win-win for all three partners, thus reducing outside influences. IP part is finished. Alas the PI could not go through due to longstanding conflicts in the Subcontinent. Here, the Chinese have stepped in to arrange for the pipeline overflow to Xinjiang alongside the Karakoram highway,that is newly being expanded.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/iran-backs-chinas-inclusion/article7138630.ece
http://thediplomat.com/2015/07/modi-and-the-sino-indian-game-for-iranian-gas/

Peter Reichard

I agree, their
actions are fundamentally treasonous but they don't care because as Brzezinski stated in the 1970's "the multinational banks and corporations are today already thinking and planning in terms that are twenty years beyond the concept of the nation state."


LeaNder

Ok, Burke, second relapse. I wanted to shut up for a while. But I try to get it into a nutshell.

Helga: Interesting, I suffer a little from the typical German "th", and related things, but interesting anyway.

Only I cannot wrap my head around this: "In the famous sermon 2004"???

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicholas_of_Cusa

Can you clarify my puzzlement?

bth

Offsetting the capital collapse in China, which is unprecedented, is their enormous excess cement and steel production capabilities which need to go toward productive employment. Roads, rails and pipelines might serve that purpose.

One area of common interest with the US would be the production of copper in Afghanistan for Chinese markets. Another would be an improvement in the commercial potential of Pakistan through an overland route to China.

An interesting unintended consequence has been the expansion plans of the Indian navy in reaction to Chinese bases and submarines in their patch. Perhaps this response was inevitable.

While China's land route development seems inevitable and ultimately productive, one hopes that China also recognizes the absolute imperative of freedom of navigation for the US, Japan and S. Korea into the Indian Ocean from the Pacific.

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