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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Sunday Lite: The New Cold War?

The original post is from the Economist :

  • Although the United States is still by far the world’s strongest martial power, others are catching up particular China.
  • In the past America has harnessed technology to offset its rivals’ advantages. Nuclear arsenal for deterrence (in the 1950s), "deep strike" systems (from the late 1970s) and smart munitions, battle networks and electronic warfare (1991 Gulf war).
  • But these technologies have now proliferated, China that worries American strategists the most.
  • Growing more sophisticated and its government is becoming more assertive towards its neighbors. 
  • China is determined to prevent American aircraft-carriers from operating close to its shores, and could even threaten American bases in the region. 
  • Built up an array of land-based precision-guided missiles; submarines and fighter aircraft equipped with anti-ship missiles; and electronic, cyber- and anti-satellite weapons intended to disrupt and blind America’s command-and-control networks.
  • China’s aim is to deter any American president from coming to the aid of allies subjected to threats or bullying from Beijing.
  • China's defense budget that tends to grow by more than 10% a year.
  • The Chinese call their objective “winning a local war in high-tech conditions”. 

From The Economist

  • China aims to make it too dangerous for American aircraft-carriers to operate within the so-called first island chain (thus pushing them out beyond the combat range of their tactical aircraft) and to threaten American bases in Okinawa and South Korea. American strategists call it “anti-access/area denial”, or A2/AD.
  • America has been distracted. 13 years of counter-insurgency and stabilization missions in Afghanistan and Iraq, More focused on churning out mine-resistant armored cars and surveillance drones than on the kind of game-changing innovation needed to keep well ahead of military competitors. 
  • The US Pentagon late 2014, began the quest for a new range of breakthrough technologies—what it calls a “third offset strategy”.
  • These are likely to include stealthy unmanned planes and underwater vehicles that can operate autonomously (and thus survive enemy disruption of their data links). Tireless drones, long-range strike aircraft to penetrate the toughest air defenses, directed-energy (laser) and electromagnetic weapons (fire projectiles using electricity) to defend ships against missile attack.
  • It is unlikely that a third offset strategy will secure Western military dominance for as long as the first two did. Technology spreads much more quickly these days, partly thanks to the internet, which the Pentagon helped to create and which now helps rival powers steal America’s military secrets. 
  • American power is not always wielded wisely. But it remains the best guarantee of the rules-based international order, from which nearly all countries benefit—and not just America’s allies. That order is already impaired. If America loses its technological edge, it will only fray faster.

My thoughts : In the long run, if you want to lead the world militarily you have to lead it economically as well so far China is a long way from achieving this, perhaps not in the coming few decades.

Living in South East Asia, I do not like China's flagrant violation of international law by claiming
the entire South China Seas as hers. It is pure bullying, macam 'samseng'.

Very unlikely there will be an all out war. China and the US have more interest in common than conflicts at odds. At $550 b in trade in 2014, they are the second biggest trading partner to each other and this will only keep growing.

We should only be afraid of miscalculations or accidental provocation that could lead to a short term military crisis. E.g. Soviet Cuban Missile Crisis or an accidental firing on a civilian plane like MH17 (over Ukraine-Russian meddling). This is how it indirectly affects us - normal citizens.

I hope America would accept China as a growing rising power just like Britain did (which was the former world power) when US was eclipsing it. In return it is in China's best interest to treat America as a partner in world's affair to gain more influence & acceptance. The world is big enough. Meanwhile we are busy...

From FinanceTwitter

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