September 22, 2007

Sea roads...

Lost at Sea - New York Times:

THE ultimate strategic effect of the Iraq war has been to hasten the arrival of the Asian Century.

Patrick Thomas
While the American government has been occupied in Mesopotamia, and our European allies continue to starve their defense programs, Asian militaries — in particular those of China, India, Japan and South Korea — have been quietly modernizing and in some cases enlarging. Asian dynamism is now military as well as economic.

The military trend that is hiding in plain sight is the loss of the Pacific Ocean as an American lake after 60 years of near-total dominance. A few years down the road, according to the security analysts at the private policy group Strategic Forecasting, Americans will not to the same extent be the prime deliverers of disaster relief in a place like the Indonesian archipelago, as we were in 2005. Our ships will share the waters (and the prestige) with new “big decks” from Australia, Japan and South Korea.

Then there is China, whose production and acquisition of submarines is now five times that of America’s. Many military analysts feel it is mounting a quantitative advantage in naval technology...

Yeah, well, the Soviets built a lot of ships and subs too, and how did that work? I'm not buying this stuff. I would change the headline to: The ultimate strategic effect of the Global War on Terror has been to hasten the arrival of the Axis of Good. I mean, how crazy is this? All the countries mentioned above except China are our friends and allies. Lefties have all been moaning about how Bush is a unilateralist cowboy, and yet here he is drawing Australia, India, Japan and South Korea into building up their navies and joining us in keeping the world free and the sea lanes open.....and are they happy? No, the NYT complains that we are no longer the only boat in the bathtub! Well, this isn't a problem.

The truth is brutally simple. To build big decks, you gotta have a LOT of shekels. To get them, you gotta swim to the top of the foaming torrent called globalization. To do that, you must become more like the United States of America. That's what globalization is. We are the pattern, we are the model, we are the best at it. There is no other way. Australia, India, Japan and South Korea are following that path, not that they have much choice.

And growth works in stages, and at any one of them countries can stall, unless they change. And the changes always consist of becoming more like nasty ol' USA. SO, the fact that China is growing fast right now does NOT mean that she has solved the problem of growth, or can continue being a commie country with partial economic freedom.

And anyway it does not matter how many subs China builds. They are useless, unless the Axis of Good loses its nerve. Why? Because China's wealth is totally dependent on trade, and we can stop her trade at will. She cannot go to war, because a handful of naval mines will close her ports.

Posted by John Weidner at September 22, 2007 5:28 PM
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