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01 July 2019


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Eugene Owens

Tidewater -

I don’t have an answer. Back four years ago when they first set up the Qatar-Turkey Combined Joint Force Command there were only about 100. It was a mix but mostly HQ personnel. Two years ago when the Saudis and Emiratis started threatening Qatar it was supposedly beefed up with five to six hundred troops. They have probably sent many more by now. I've also seen the 3000 figure.

Probably a lot of Turkish civilians there also. They have opened Turkish schools, a hospital, and cultural center in Qatar. Plus Turkish engineers and technician. Undoubtedly paid for with Qatari Riyals. And the Turks are getting Qatari LNG, probably at a good discount.


Nailed it. Large industrial combines with heavy state intervention and a labyrinth of rules for foreigners doing business have been features of east Asian economies since the rise of Imperial Japan. That sort of national project enterprise is how Mitsubishi originated. Then we saw essentially the same thing with the Chaebols of South Korea and now we're seeing it in China. I suspect that the current paradigm of Chinese economic development is more about emulating the Japanese model than any leftover CCP ideology. It grates on our Western sensibilities but it is effective.


Thanks. I've started to try to pay more attention. I always took Turkey for granted. No longer. It looks like the S-500 has reached a decisive stage and is going into production. This is big news. And Turkey will have a hand in producing it! Also, some of the billions in Qatar investment in Turkish banks etc. is being pulled out. Loss of faith?

I think we should look for a major provocation by Iran or Iranian proxies on July 4, tomorrow.


I think I just lost a post when I tested the link I provided. I am going to provide it again without checking to see if it works. 'Tour d'horizon' means 'overview' and my feeling is that we are now inside the horizon. Therefore what I am recommending here is relevant, if not exactly about China. Are you familiar with a Melbourne organization called Breakthrough-National Centre for Climate Restoration? They can be found at breakthroughonline.org.au

They are bringing out videos and publications designed for discussion groups. I am reading one of their papers now by David Spratt and Ian Dunlop. 'Existential climate-related security risk. A scenario approach.' There is a foreward by Admiral Chris Barrie, AC RAN Retired. They also have a video on YouTube called: 'Homefront: Australian Military Leaders on Climate Emergency.'


If this link fails the google link will get anyone curious there. I find these folks to be impressive. Also, it's fun hearing it in the indigenous language, which I believe is called 'Strine.'

Barbara Ann


Would flying an RC-135 into Iranian airspace with the transponder spoofed to an Iranian code on the anniversary of the USS Vincennes shoot down of Iranian civil flight 655 be classed as a major provocation?


Eugene Owens

Tidewater -

There has been discussion in Turkish Cypriot newspapers regarding stationing S-400s in northern Cyprus. A bad mistake IMHO, as it would put them at risk. But if true it could be they are going to try to enforce their claim on potential offshore natural gas fields.

Eugene Owens

BA -

What USAF or RAF general would be stupid enough to use a 100 million dollar aircraft with 30 crewmembers as bait to start a war? If they were going to do that why not use a fighter, maybe a Wild Weasel armed with radar homing missiles.

Moon needs to lay off the moonshine.


is not HK Chinese taken originally by the British at gun point,the west cannot intimidate a nation of 1.5 billion people who have a nuclear arsenal.,

John Minehan

Chinese history tends, even more than most countries, to be a cycle of "booms and busts." The improvement of living standards in the PRC since 1979 is an enormous achievement.

The problem is that, if Chinese history is an indicator, it can collapse nearly as rapidly.

The efforts of the Party, post-Tiananmen Square have been to avoid another crisis and further instability by increasing living standards while keeping a higher level of social control by the government than would be acceptable in the West.

So far, it has worked. One Belt/One Road ("OBOR') is probably focused more on stability within the PRC than on the PRC's economic place in the World.

It gives the "Young Emperors," with family money behind them a chance to build a place in the world (and avoid getting involved in Politics or Social Movements in the PRC). Thus, OBOR might have value even if he does not have short-term economic returns that justify it. on the other hand, Xi becoming leader for life, neutralizes a significant advantage the PRC had over other authoritarian systems: a clearer and less arbitrary system for succession.

The PRC has the potential to be the greatest, most hegemonic economic and cultural power the world has ever seen . . . or the biggest basket case.

John Minehan

Athens and Sparta clashed. Thebes (and, later, Macedon) won.

As Kurt Vonnegut said, "So it goes."

John Minehan

But, past a certain point, that kind of structure may (or may not) be competitive. Japanese keiretsu have not been beneficial to Japan in the "Lost Decade" (going on almost 30 years at this point) period.

John Minehan

i think this VASTLY over-estimates our capabilities and ambitions . . . .

John Minehan

It is in many places.

But that is the problem (including for governments run by people of the Islamic faith, that operate on other principles).

John Minehan

Well, the PRC HAD a good system for selecting the top leaders . . . until Xi altered it . . . .

John Minehan

Well, in 1989, the PRC did not control Hong Kong. Now, they both control it and are responsible for it.

Let's see what they do.

John Minehan

Quiet obviously . . . unless the system fails.


John Minehan

So, the CCP had it right until Xi took over?

John Minehan

They had what most authoritarian systems lack: a good plan for succession. During the period of the Reign of the Five Good Emperors/Nerva–Antonine dynasty, the Principate had it too.

John Minehan

https://www.refworld.org/pdfid/4b73cd512.pdf The system in the PRC is flawed . . . but pragmatic and adoptable . . . but what recent changes mean is an open question.

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