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Australia's warning to US about China's military build out
Old 07-05-2007, 02:37 PM   #1
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Australia's warning to US about China's military build out

Australia released a warning today and it was in FT:

Financial Times Business News: Australia warns on China's army ambition - MSN Money

I know Jim Rogers has predicted many times that showdown for world power & resources is inevitable but what do you think?
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Old 07-05-2007, 03:01 PM   #2
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Hard to imagine that China would want a dust-up with its largest customer and debtor. Hard to imagine that the US would want that either, although the drunken monkeys running the place could conceivably have other ideas.
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Old 07-05-2007, 03:19 PM   #3
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It is only a matter of time for China to challenge the USA military domiance in China's area of the world. Resources is one thing to spur the issue. Think of it in terms of Japan's ambitions in WWII - to have sphere of influence; this time it is China.
I think history can be a guide. Prior to China withdrawing from being a sea power (I think about 1200) it dominated trade in that part of the world. After that it did trade with European powers. As a matter of fact it was one way trade in a way. The Europeans wanted Chinese silk; porclein and other goods. The Chineses didn't want anything from Europe except gold and silver (like today?). It wasn't until England began to sell Opium from India that the balance changed (est. 1 in 10 Chinese used opium).
I don't think the Chineses care very much what Europe and the USA think and they have a long range plan to reacert their dominace in that region.

The time will come when a "Chamberlin" will make a deal with a Chinese "Hitler" in that part of the world to avert a war.
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Old 07-05-2007, 03:24 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildcat View Post
I know Jim Rogers has predicted many times that showdown for world power & resources is inevitable but what do you think?
If I was responsible for the current state of the People's Liberation Army & Navy I'd be getting pretty ambitious, too, for fear of having my neck shortened. Go spend some time with their troops & sailors; you'll feel a lot better about the U.S. military.

The DoD and the CIA spent decades enhancing the Soviet Union's scariness by at least 25% in order to be "adequately" funded to meet the threat. Although the forces were humongous, the quality of the individual units' technology and training lagged the U.S. by at least a generation. Defectors repeatedly confirmed that the most difficult thing to counter about the U.S. military was a commander's discretion to ignore the tactical doctrine and to improvise independent operations. They couldn't figure out how to deal with that ambiguity and they certainly couldn't implement it in their own armed forces.

It's the same today with China. There's a lot of them but they're more big than scary. One of their mach jet pilots couldn't even stay out of the way of a P-3 lumbering along on a straight & level flight at a couple hundred knots near Hainan-Do a few years back, and PLA's training simulators & software are at about the level of a Pentium running the last decade's video games. (Lenovo has a lot of catching up to do...) Their submarines make U.S. submariners reminisce about the good ol' days of the 1970s Russians, and the Australian diesel submarine combat systems are finally at a level where they can kick U.S. submariners' butts whenever they want to-- let alone the HAN class.

Spouse used to escort international VIP senior officers around the Thai-sponsored COBRA GOLD exercise. A couple of years included PRC officers, who were forever trying to take cell-phone pictures and surreptitiously overhear conversations or record events. Eventually the escort officers were told to "let 'em take what they want" and the linguists reported constant refrains of the Mandarin equivalents of "Holy &^$%, how can we do this?!?" and "Ruh-roh"...

Last year the U.S. Navy brought three battle groups together near Guam for maneuvers. It was the largest collection of U.S. ships & aircraft since the Vietnam war. PACOM specifically invited senior PRC officers of all their services to ride the carriers and observe the exercise. They even ignored the Chinese cell-phone cameras and told them about everything that was occurring in the command centers.

Two things amazed/scared the heck out of the PRC:
1) Much of the exercise was being run by junior officers in their 20s and executed by enlisted in their 20s & 30s without much senior-officer supervision. (Yeah, what we military see as suffocating seniors was, in the eyes of the PRC, a dangerous decentralization & lack of oversight.)
2) The entire air exercise, as well as the air-war tasking for both BLUE & ORANGE forces, was being run by joint staff at Hickam AFB in Hawaii. The fact that real-time data was being shoveled between those two locations for the entire exercise was the subject of much muttered Mandarin. They also weren't very happy about the way that the carriers could seamlessly pick up the job if the satellites dropped offline.

The PRC officers were much impressed by round-the-clock and night-flight ops, too. I don't think they're going to tell their bosses about it, though, because they don't want to kill themselves trying to implement it.

No one in the U.S. or China wants a war. They want to buy all our Treasuries and force us into bankruptcy, while we want to sell them MTV and iPods. I think the Treasury can run the printing presses faster than we'll run out of customers...
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Old 07-05-2007, 05:01 PM   #5
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I say, let'em suck up the world's petroleum, let'em build out and gold plate their military, let'em send a man to the moon as well, they should have as much opportunity to bankrupt their country as we do ours.
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Old 07-05-2007, 06:05 PM   #6
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Defectors [from the Soviet Union] repeatedly confirmed that the most difficult thing to counter about the U.S. military was a commander's discretion to ignore the tactical doctrine and to improvise independent operations. They couldn't figure out how to deal with that ambiguity and they certainly couldn't implement it in their own armed forces.

I'm surprised. I thought novel tactics invented on the fly and surprising the heck out of the opposition was one of the hallmarks of WWII and earlier Soviet battle strategy. I guess they later got fat, happy and ossified.
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Old 07-05-2007, 06:06 PM   #7
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I keep thinking China is going to play out like Japan --- a huge meteoric rise followed by a major flame out. In the book "The Coming Generational Storm" the author's message focuses on the US's generation problems but he also pull stats from around the world. China has a rapidly aging population too and it almost sounded as if they had to make their economic move in "x" amount of time given the median age they had to work with.
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Old 07-05-2007, 06:13 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Nords View Post
If I was responsible for the current state of the People's Liberation Army & Navy I'd be getting pretty ambitious, too, for fear of having my neck shortened. Go spend some time with their troops & sailors; you'll feel a lot better about the U.S. military.

The DoD and the CIA spent decades enhancing the Soviet Union's scariness by at least 25% in order to be "adequately" funded to meet the threat. Although the forces were humongous, the quality of the individual units' technology and training lagged the U.S. by at least a generation. Defectors repeatedly confirmed that the most difficult thing to counter about the U.S. military was a commander's discretion to ignore the tactical doctrine and to improvise independent operations. They couldn't figure out how to deal with that ambiguity and they certainly couldn't implement it in their own armed forces.

It's the same today with China. There's a lot of them but they're more big than scary. One of their mach jet pilots couldn't even stay out of the way of a P-3 lumbering along on a straight & level flight at a couple hundred knots near Hainan-Do a few years back, and PLA's training simulators & software are at about the level of a Pentium running the last decade's video games. (Lenovo has a lot of catching up to do...) Their submarines make U.S. submariners reminisce about the good ol' days of the 1970s Russians, and the Australian diesel submarine combat systems are finally at a level where they can kick U.S. submariners' butts whenever they want to-- let alone the HAN class.

Spouse used to escort international VIP senior officers around the Thai-sponsored COBRA GOLD exercise. A couple of years included PRC officers, who were forever trying to take cell-phone pictures and surreptitiously overhear conversations or record events. Eventually the escort officers were told to "let 'em take what they want" and the linguists reported constant refrains of the Mandarin equivalents of "Holy &^$%, how can we do this?!?" and "Ruh-roh"...

Last year the U.S. Navy brought three battle groups together near Guam for maneuvers. It was the largest collection of U.S. ships & aircraft since the Vietnam war. PACOM specifically invited senior PRC officers of all their services to ride the carriers and observe the exercise. They even ignored the Chinese cell-phone cameras and told them about everything that was occurring in the command centers.

Two things amazed/scared the heck out of the PRC:
1) Much of the exercise was being run by junior officers in their 20s and executed by enlisted in their 20s & 30s without much senior-officer supervision. (Yeah, what we military see as suffocating seniors was, in the eyes of the PRC, a dangerous decentralization & lack of oversight.)
2) The entire air exercise, as well as the air-war tasking for both BLUE & ORANGE forces, was being run by joint staff at Hickam AFB in Hawaii. The fact that real-time data was being shoveled between those two locations for the entire exercise was the subject of much muttered Mandarin. They also weren't very happy about the way that the carriers could seamlessly pick up the job if the satellites dropped offline.

The PRC officers were much impressed by round-the-clock and night-flight ops, too. I don't think they're going to tell their bosses about it, though, because they don't want to kill themselves trying to implement it.

No one in the U.S. or China wants a war. They want to buy all our Treasuries and force us into bankruptcy, while we want to sell them MTV and iPods. I think the Treasury can run the printing presses faster than we'll run out of customers...

Interesting take, What about the Korean War when the Chinese army entered the war. It was NO PICNIC.
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Old 07-05-2007, 06:22 PM   #9
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I'm surprised. I thought novel tactics invented on the fly and surprising the heck out of the opposition was one of the hallmarks of WWII and earlier Soviet battle strategy. I guess they later got fat, happy and ossified.
Post-WWII the Soviet military was transformed from a defensive force, with the attributes you mention, to an instrument of repression within Russia and an occupying force in the adjoining republics. One thing you don't want to instill in such a force is independence and creativity. Their military was trained to follow procedures and to run anything out of the ordinary to the very top. Having numerical superiority over western military forces helped support this doctrine. The US and NATO, on the other hand, were outnumbered but relied on technology and creativity for their doctrine. The USAF tactical air forces were constantly looking for innovative ways to counter the larger Soviet numbers in case the balloon went up.

One sad counterexample to this was SAC during the Vietnam War, when they out-Sovieted the Soviets and used set procedural routes during Arc Light and Linebacker raids against North Vietnam. But then, SAC never wanted to fight a tactical war anyway.
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Old 07-05-2007, 06:38 PM   #10
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China has a lot of strengths. And even more problems. Amazingly, they have lifted 400 million people into some sort of middle class in the last 20 years. Leaving 1.2 billion in poverty still. If they are stupid they will provoke the US, as Japan was stupid in 1941. I don't think they are that stupid. They will plod along and try to continue their rise for the next 2 generations. Then figure out what to do. 50-60 years from now is a long time to prognosticate and worry over. It's easy to pick up on the negatives (peak oil! aging population! trade deficits! lack of good rock music!) and worry about what happens when they all come to maximum fruition at once (e.g., what the hell kind of gruesome music will teenagers be listening to in 2060? and can civilization survive it?). And maybe we are doomed doomed doomed. Probably not though.
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Old 07-05-2007, 06:55 PM   #11
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Interesting take, What about the Korean War when the Chinese army entered the war. It was NO PICNIC.
If you want a wonderfully fascinating historical fiction book, check out 'The War That Never Was' by Palmer. It's a fascinating look into a 1989 war between NATO and the Warsaw Pact. It also gives an interesting perspective on military might and quality between the two forces... with the main assertion being that our troop quality versus their troop quality really tipped in the '70s.
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Old 07-05-2007, 07:11 PM   #12
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SoonToRetire: makes sense. Thanks.
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Old 07-06-2007, 01:28 AM   #13
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Interesting take, What about the Korean War when the Chinese army entered the war. It was NO PICNIC.
IMO one of the great unsolved mysteries of 20th-century warfare is how MacArthur got as far as he did for as long as he did. We don't have enough space on this server to deal with him, but you could read Hackworth's autobiography about the Yalu retreat. I'd hate to have to go to war for a general whose only "Plan B" requires nuclear weapons.

If American forces were to go toe-to-toe with a numerically superior force then things might turn out pretty much as they did in Korea. However there's no need to take a conflict into Chinese territory, and it's a lot easier to let them overextend their own logistics network as they try to assimilate Taiwan.

The PACOM CONOPs calls for plenty of offramps and pauses for negotiated withdrawals. The idea is to draw things out so that the Chinese can't keep up the initiative or the pace.

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SoonToRetire: makes sense. Thanks.
Yep, what he said.
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Old 07-06-2007, 01:38 AM   #14
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Hey Nords: sure you've seen this, but....:
World Tribune — Researcher spots China's new nuclear sub on Google Earth

"One photo is of what is apparently the new Type 094 Jin-class SSBN at the Xiaopingdao base near Dalian"
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Old 07-06-2007, 03:34 AM   #15
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50-60 years from now is a long time to prognosticate and worry over.
It won't be that long.

The US is too big a beast to poke with a stick. Russia will have a problem with China before the US does. China is building 2 power plants a week. China doesn't have many energy reserves, but Russia does. The majority of Russian energy reserves are in the east - much closer to China than to Moscow. It's sparsely populated with tons of energy rich land. For a crowded, energy poor country it's got to look like prime pickings.
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Old 07-06-2007, 06:38 AM   #16
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It won't be that long.

The US is too big a beast to poke with a stick. Russia will have a problem with China before the US does. China is building 2 power plants a week. China doesn't have many energy reserves, but Russia does. The majority of Russian energy reserves are in the east - much closer to China than to Moscow. It's sparsely populated with tons of energy rich land. For a crowded, energy poor country it's got to look like prime pickings.
They have quite a bit of coal no? I haven't read anything about bad relations between China & Russia, is that just a prediction or is it based on facts?
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Old 07-06-2007, 08:02 AM   #17
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They have quite a bit of coal no? I haven't read anything about bad relations between China & Russia, is that just a prediction or is it based on facts?
China has a lot of coal, but not enough to feed the beast. To the amazement of many in the coal and shipping industries, China went from being a major exporter of coal a few years ago to being a net importer in the first quarter of 2007.
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Old 07-06-2007, 08:08 AM   #18
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They have quite a bit of coal no? I haven't read anything about bad relations between China & Russia, is that just a prediction or is it based on facts?
Well just as I don't think the OP was trying to say the US will have problems with China. I don't know if Russia will or not.

However, the facts are as such: Russia is twice the size of the US, with half the population and declining. Sharing a massive border is China with a population of 1.3 billion people. (11x the population of Russia) Russia being able to defend Siberia from West to East against the Chinese coming East to West would logistically be nearly impossible. If you didn't know, Moscow is closer to Washington D.C. than it is to the opposite side of Russia - the Atlantic is probably more navigitable than large parts of the Siberian forests.

Russia has been playing hardball lately with energy - with everyone, not just the Chinese.

The Altai gas pipeline to China maybe postponed. TNK-BP was recently forced to sell their interest in Kovytka (to whom else but the state owned oil company) because Russia refused to allow a pipeline to China. China's portion of Sakhalin-1 looks to be in danger as well.

Russia decided to disallow the assembly of Chinese cars in Russia, putting substantial investment by the Chinese at risk.


Who knows how it will play out, but ironically if China uses arms, they'll be arms they bought from Russia.
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China - Some other issues
Old 07-06-2007, 08:32 AM   #19
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China - Some other issues

I agree that China will look north to grab the Siberian resources. With a weakening Russia, that's a good bet. China has a HUGE fundamental problem not really mentioned in this thread: Free Market Capitalism vs. Communism. At some point, the basic tenants of Marx come apart in China, and we could have a chaotic, bloody revolution. The loyalty of China's military to the authoritarian government could be questionable.

There's also an increasing schism between the "haves" in the capitalist cities, and the hundreds of millions of "have-nots" in the countryside.

Finally, this is, again, support for "talking softly, but carrying a big stick". By acting as a deterrent to 20th Century style aggresion, the USA helps the world down a better path to the future. Be careful about feeding into the MSM's "worst of times" mantra, by almost any historical measure, we live in the best of times, and in one of the best places.
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Old 07-06-2007, 09:09 AM   #20
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I agree that China will look north to grab the Siberian resources. With a weakening Russia, that's a good bet. China has a HUGE fundamental problem not really mentioned in this thread: Free Market Capitalism vs. Communism. At some point, the basic tenants of Marx come apart in China, and we could have a chaotic, bloody revolution. The loyalty of China's military to the authoritarian government could be questionable.

There's also an increasing schism between the "haves" in the capitalist cities, and the hundreds of millions of "have-nots" in the countryside.

Finally, this is, again, support for "talking softly, but carrying a big stick". By acting as a deterrent to 20th Century style aggresion, the USA helps the world down a better path to the future. Be careful about feeding into the MSM's "worst of times" mantra, by almost any historical measure, we live in the best of times, and in one of the best places.
I agree. I don't lose sleep over any of it. I just wanted to hear what people thought would happen with China.
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