USS Trump pivots to Asia

From The Australian:

The frontrunner to become ­Donald Trump’s secretary of state has revealed the US president-elect is committed to building a ­“gigantic” military force to thwart China’s ambitions in the Pacific.

Rudy Giuliani, the New York mayor during the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, and who is ­assisting Mr Trump’s transition to the White House, said yesterday the military expansion would be designed to allow the US to fight a “two-ocean war’’.

The hawkish comments are a strong sign the Trump adminis­tration will not neglect the Asia-­Pacific region, and follow the president-elect’s criticisms during the election campaign that America’s NATO allies and Japan were not pulling their weight.

“We (will) take our military up to 550,000 troops (instead of) going to 420,000,’’ Mr Giuliani told global business leaders in Washington. “We (will) take our navy up to 350 ships, (instead of) going to 247.

“At 350, China can’t match us in the Pacific. At 247 ships, we can’t fight a two-ocean war; we gave up the Pacific. If you face them with a military that is modern, gigantic, overwhelming and unbelievably good at conventional and asymmetric warfare, they may challenge it, but I doubt it.”

So, I guess the USS Trump is not going the abandon Asia after all. On the contrary, it’s going to re-engage with a battleship instead of a trade deal, in true Ronald Reagan Cold War fashion.

This unsettling conclusion is reinforced by the first of Trump’s appointments, from the FT:

Personnel is policy, as they say in Washington. By that measure the appointment of Stephen Bannon as Donald Trump’s White House chief strategist marks a stunning watershed in US politics. As the chief enabler of the rise of the alt-right — via the hardline conservative Breitbart News, which Mr Bannon ran until he was tapped to head Mr Trump’s campaign — his elevation tells us a lot about how Mr Trump plans to govern.

Imagine if after his 2008 victory Barack Obama had appointed the Reverend Jeremiah Wright — his controversial former pastor and a fiery black nationalist — as senior White House counsellor and you get some flavour of the shock value. To put it bluntly, an ethno-nationalist will be at the heart of Mr Trump’s White House.

The implications of Mr Bannon’s role are enormous. Members of the alt-right, which is a shadowy group of internet-driven outfits that disdain even the most Jacobin strains of Republican conservatism, celebrated the news on social media.

…Mr Bannon will be in immediate conflict with Reince Priebus, the mainstream Republican who will be Mr Trump’s White House chief of staff. Crucially, Mr Bannon will be reporting directly to Mr Trump rather than to Mr Priebus, which will give him the chance to change the president’s mind on decisions already taken.

The alt-right has strongly nationalistic foreign policy leanings. That’s not necessarily a bad thing given it will push back the neo-conservatives that have had the US gallivanting around the world forcing regime changes all over for successive administrations but it comes with its own problems, not least being great power conflict!

Meanwhile, Penny Wong wants to disengage from the USS Trump, via Peter Hartcher:

The Labor party has decided to step back from Donald Trump’s America and reassess while putting more emphasis on Asia, a break in the longstanding bipartisan consensus towards Australia’s chief ally.

While stating that Labor remains committed to the alliance with the US, the party’s foreign affairs spokerperson, Penny Wong, says that “we should not be naïve”.

“We are at a change point, and face the possibility of a very different world and a very different America,” she writes in an opinion piece for Fairfax Media.

“We need to consider a broader range of scenarios than was previously within contemplation.”

…It is time for Australia to work more closely with countries in Asia, she says.

“We need to work with our regional partners during this period of uncertainty to identify areas of common interest and jointly seek to influence US thinking on these,” Senator Wong writes.

First amongst these, she says, is how to keep the US constructively engaged in Asia: “Put simply, Australia needs a better road map in Asia.”

This is consistent with the urgings of Labor elder statesmen such as the foreign affairs minister in the Hawke government, Gareth Evans, who this week has advised: “Less America. More Asia.”

Sounds pretty naive to me. After two decades of ignoring South East Asia we’re going to stroll back in and “engage”? Don’t get me wrong, it’s the right thing to do, I just wouldn’t expect a marvelous response.

As for China, we’re already very heavily engaged. We need to be limiting our exposure there.

The reason for that is obvious. If the USS Trump is going to pivot a muscled up military to the Asia Pacific, specifically to cow a rising strategic rival in China, then we can expect all sorts of unpleasant corollaries:

  • US Pacific alliances are going to become more not less active as the US deploys its new China Cold War Pacific fleet in exercises, tests China’s resolve in the South China Sea, tests alliance resolve on the same issues, and generally makes demands along the lines of ‘why are you supporting our strategic rival’, perhaps even on such things as Aussie iron ore building Chinese aircraft carriers;
  • demands for military build-ups in allied militaries will accelerate, no doubt sourced from US suppliers and fully integrated with the USS Trump. Australia’s defense bill is going to rocket;
  • the US is quite likely to be tough on Chinese trade as well. Indeed, I can’t see why one would bother rebuilding the Pacific fleet if one’s objective is not to basically out-gun, out-spend, out-trade and outright suppress the rise of China.

China is of course likely to respond with a military build-up of its own.

Australia’s great strategic straddle is about to rip not just our trousers in twain but perhaps send a leg either way as well.

Comments

  1. The reason we go to this site is for proper analysis that the MSN cannot provide. Steve Bananon is not a racist or anti Semite. Please read America’s highly regarded Rabbi Shmuley Boteach’s open letter about this issue. There is no concern here. None. Zero. It is but another red herring trown up by the media that breitbart made to look stupid as they where the only major media group to pick Trump from day one.

      • What calls itself the ‘alt-right’ movement is dangerous in the extreme.
        Bannon will destroy the US as we have historically know it.
        I agree with Wong. Australia needs to be super careful about the US now. We need to put aside all our historic understanding about the US and how it operates, and what it represents. All of that has changed now.
        ANZUS needs to be re-considered in that light.

        It would be better to spend another 2% of GDP on defence, and commit to neutrality, than follow the US blindly into what it will probably do in the next 12 – 18 months.

    • It’s on record that he said he doesn’t want his daughters to attend a particular school because “too many jews go there”.

      The Alt-Right is more than just nationalist. They are WHITE NATIONALIST with heavy doses of mysogyny part of their philosophy.

      If you guys are going to write about this stuff and stay credible you need to be better informed.

      • That’s his ex-wife claiming it in the divorce proceeding, so it’s not ‘on the record’, more like hearsays.

      • Yeah, those against Trump.

        They don’t do facts.

        Never mind, it’s clear now they are on the wrong side of history.

      • “That’s his ex-wife claiming it in the divorce proceeding…”
        In which case the statements by his ex-wife were made under oath.

      • Written like a predictable Arts Faculty Junkie: “attack with labels anyone who disagrees”. It’s concerning the left’s cultural revolution cannot accomodate alternative opinions by supporting policies which actually prevent free speech eg, refuse to back a plebiscite, refuse to review 18c, refuse to engage with the new US alt-right are just a few examples. I’m confused as to why these “voting-socialists” (sorry, democratic socialists) would try and prevent free speech? Perhaps what Auz really should consider is “Direct Democracy”; that would really exit Senator Wong.

      • “It’s on record that he said he doesn’t want his daughters to attend a particular school because “too many jews go there”.

        Well that’s a good reason for my money !

      • “If the swastika fits, wear it I guess”

        I’ve heard many muslims don’t like sending their kids to school with ‘too many’ jews either.

        Should they wear swastika apparel, or will a crescent do?

        In fact, I’ve heard many don’t like sending them to school where there are too many Christians, or Hindus.. well … non-Muslims really.

        How does this compare to the evil of Bannon?

      • Terror Australis

        Thank you Captain Non-Sequitor.
        I don’t see what any of that has got to do with the suitability of selecting Bannon for one of the most senior White House staff positions.

        And it’s not as if he said “I don’t want my girls to receive a Jewish religious education” which would be a legitimate choice.
        What he said was that he didn’t want his children socializing with a particular ethno-religious group.
        Pretty much the textbook definition of a bigot.

      • “Thank you Captain Non-Sequitor.
        I don’t see what any of that has got to do with the suitability of selecting Bannon for one of the most senior White House staff positions.”

        His suitability is based on his skills relevant to the job at hand.

        He was the campaign strategy manager for a successful election, and now he is charged as strategy manager for the presidency. It seems a good match of skills and role.

        You’re part of the regressive left trying to play identity politics as reason for dismissal of suitability.

        “And it’s not as if he said “I don’t want my girls to receive a Jewish religious education” which would be a legitimate choice.

        What he said was that he didn’t want his children socializing with a particular ethno-religious group.”

        No he didn’t. the alleged quote is the school has too many jews, it could be the school doesn’t fit in with the cultural exposure he wants for his children.

        Now that sounds like every Muslim parent sending their kid to an Islamic school, or a Chinese parent sending their kids to a Chinese school in Malaysia for example.

        If these allegations are true, which we do not know anyway, it could be Bannon wants to preserve his culture and send his kids to a school where his culture is prevalent, nothing malign in that, and fits in with the alleged language.

        The only “crime” here would be that he is a white male

        “Pretty much the textbook definition of a bigot.”

        LULZ… sure it is.

      • Terror Australis

        “The only “crime” here would be that he is a white male.”
        Mate, we all know that you are the champion of that down trodden, persecuted and disadvantaged segment of society …
        middle aged white males.

        #MAWMLM Middle Aged White Male Lives Matter

      • “Mate, we all know that you are the champion of that down trodden, persecuted and disadvantaged segment of society …
        middle aged white males.”

        White males can look after themselves, they are the most capable people on the planet, and everyone else on the planet receives in one way or another a benefit from their efforts.

        It doesn’t mean one should dismiss the carte blanche bigotry directed at them, they do receive more vilification than any other class of person.

        More so when it’s about assessing the credibility of people directing this bigotry towards them.

      • Terror Australis

        ” White males … are the most capable people on the planet, and everyone else on the planet receives in one way or another a benefit from their efforts.”

        And there we have it folks.
        The Alt-Right rally cry.
        Sung to the marching rhythm of Deutschland Uber Alles.
        Complete with victim complex.

      • It doesn’t mean one should dismiss the carte blanche bigotry directed at them, they do receive more vilification than any other class of person.

        I can’t even read that with a straight face, let alone imagine anyone writing it.

        If white men are losing, who’s winning ?

      • It doesn’t mean one should dismiss the carte blanche bigotry directed at them, they do receive more vilification than any other class of person.

        “I can’t even read that with a straight face, let alone imagine anyone writing it.”

        You can’t, your betters have instructed you that your identity relies on turning a blind eye to it.

        However it doesn’t falsify that more vilification is directed at white males than any other class of people.

        “If white men are losing, who’s winning ?”

        You poor dopey bastard.

        Just because white men are being vilified, it doesn’t mean they’re taking it to heart and retreating to their safe spaces in a fetal position. White men are just doing what white men have always done, shrug it off and get on with life and developing it for everyone else to enjoy.

        They don’t have ‘anti-abuse centres’ or laws that protecting their fee-fees. They have no recourse, so they’ve never developed a crux for inadequacy.

        No white male is crying out for ‘the abuse to stop’, otherwise we’d be as weak, as feeble and less than equal, as feminists.

        All that’s being done is bringing attention to the hypocrisy, and the pathological need to be arseholes, that the regressive left are want to do.

        By all means, continue abusing white men in public….. an election was just won on the back of it.

      • You can’t, your betters have instructed you that your identity relies on turning a blind eye to it.

        However it doesn’t falsify that more vilification is directed at white males than any other class of people.

        What would ?

        All that’s being done is bringing attention to the hypocrisy, and the pathological need to be arseholes, that the regressive left are want to do.

        Breitbart and 4chan are bastions of the regressive left ? Who knew ?

        By all means, continue abusing white men in public….. an election was just won on the back of it.

        By someone promising to make it all stop ?

      • However it doesn’t falsify that more vilification is directed at white males than any other class of people.

        What would ?”

        Hmmm, probably stop vilifying white men the most would probably falsify it.

        All that’s being done is bringing attention to the hypocrisy, and the pathological need to be arseholes, that the regressive left are want to do.

        Breitbart and 4chan are bastions of the regressive left ? Who knew ?”

        I see what you did there!!! The “I know you are, but what am I?” defence….

        No, they’re bastions of free speech.

        By all means, continue abusing white men in public….. an election was just won on the back of it.

        By someone promising to make it all stop ?”

        I can’t recall where an election pledge was made, nor white men requesting the vilification stop. They just took their recourse at the ballot.

      • Hmmm, probably stop vilifying white men the most would probably falsify it.
        Sounds like begging the question to me.

        What is this “vilification” we white men suffer ? What metric are we measuring it by ?

        I see what you did there!!! The “I know you are, but what am I?” defence….

        Just tried to think of the places I knew with the highest concentrations of arseholes.

        I can’t recall where an election pledge was made, nor white men requesting the vilification stop. They just took their recourse at the ballot.

        Of course. You guys complaining ceaselessly about the poor persecuted white man and how people like Trump and Hanson are going to shut down all the PC bullshit must have been just my imagination.

      • “Sounds like begging the question to me.”

        Not at all, the question has been asked, in the UK at the very least

        http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/young-white-british-men-are-most-derided-group-in-uk-survey-says-a6774686.html

        The volume of comments at white men, aimed to paint them in a less than flattering light, in all sources of media, is greater than any other class of person.

        Why? perhaps they don’t have a recourse, and are thus an easy target? envy? perceived “pay back”?

        Who knows? But they do receive more, and it’s a testament to their character they they still function at the highest in society despite this, though I would assert we are seeing harmful effects now, particularly defenceless boys having to tolerate it throughout primary and secondary schooling.

        “What is this “vilification” we white men suffer ? What metric are we measuring it by ?”

        Esteem by all other groups.
        Counting instances in the media.
        The lack of recourse, defence or protective measures by our institutes.
        The whinging by _ALL_ other classes of people when receiving dissent that pales into comparison that white men receive.

        It is easily measured that when these classes are reversed, there is much, much less agitation to it.

        Those that voted Trump being called ”uneducated white people’ is the start. This would never be applied in reverse in the MSM….

        well for now, but there is now hope.

        I see what you did there!!! The “I know you are, but what am I?” defence….

        “Just tried to think of the places I knew with the highest concentrations of arseholes.”

        Well those that vote green for one. However 4chan isn’t a mainstream outlet that insults vast numbers or classes of people because their candidate lost, nor do they riot and destroy property. Anything resembling the current type of tantrum in 2008.. from the ‘uneducated red necks’?

        I don’t recall… seems like a different standard and behaviour.

        I can’t recall where an election pledge was made, nor white men requesting the vilification stop. They just took their recourse at the ballot.

        “Of course. You guys complaining ceaselessly about the poor persecuted white man and how people like Trump and Hanson are going to shut down all the PC bullshit must have been just my imagination.”

        I can’t ever recall them expressing it as a policy or mandate they are seeking. Sounds like paranoia on your behalf.

        However. the *outcome* it isn’t your imagination, we are likely to see an end the privilege of those classes of people that are abusing it, and that’s a good thing for equality.

      • Not at all, the question has been asked, in the UK at the very least

        Not sure if serious.

        However 4chan isn’t a mainstream outlet that insults vast numbers or classes of people because their candidate lost […]

        LOL.

        Fox News, your local Rupertarian, et al, insult vast numbers and classes of people all the time.

        Anything resembling the current type of tantrum in 2008.. from the ‘uneducated red necks’?

        https://www.google.com.au/?gfe_rd=cr&ei=fD0sWOrdF6rr8AeI14fACg#q=protests+obama+win+2008

        I’m sure there were a few. But I don’t recall Obama running such a divisive, paranoid and inciting campaign.

        Esteem by all other groups.

        The feelz !

        Counting instances in the media.

        Instances of what ? Why only the media ? Which media ? Who keeps count ?

        The lack of recourse, defence or protective measures by our institutes.

        Yeah. The justice system is well known for its persecution of white males, not to mention all those laws explicitly written to exclude them from recourse and protection.

        The whinging by _ALL_ other classes of people when receiving dissent that pales into comparison that white men receive.

        The feelz again !

        Those that voted Trump being called ”uneducated white people’ is the start. This would never be applied in reverse in the MSM….

        Really ? You couldn’t find a single media outlet that said something like “unemployed african americans voted for Obama” ?

        I can’t ever recall them expressing it as a policy or mandate they are seeking.

        Why would it need to be “a policy or mandate” ?

    • Rubbish. He’s the CEO of an ugly racist, misogynistic site that peddles in conspiracy theories. Such a person shouldnt even get a look in to the political process never mind be a top advisor. Its correct for other administrations to consider what implications this might have for them.

      • Terror Australis

        Spot on.
        Installing a misogynistic bigot as the President’s right hand man should set alarm bells ringing around the globe.

    • Bannon is a hardline islamophobe who is committed to waging a generation of war to defeat Islam.
      Christian vs Islamic world as a clash of civilizations. A giant global neo-crusade.
      That this guy is the chief strategist for the US president is beyond terrifying.

      I’ll take the neo-cons over this guy.

    • Months go a chinese friend working long time in Texas told me that China was concerned that Trump would be close to Russia but act against China. Trump or equivalent was projected decades ago as being elected with record voter turnout this year which the Chinese presumably knew. Worrying stance for those who hope for a reduction in global tension even though the cycle of war is rising, both globally and domestically for civil unrest.
      Just saw a TV interview with Trump re Syria, he stated re Assad better that he stay, that Russia was fighting against ISIS, the US should not be supplying arms, that he voted against Iraq war and what was done in Libya, that given the consequences in the region the US would have been better to have gone to the beach and not got involved.

  2. Srinivasa Ramanujan

    Trump can bluster all he likes – here are the actual facts, some of which you might one day like to consider in your analysis instead of this unrelenting American parochialism.

    The United States is in a world of trouble – like it or not, it is. China is absolutely SMASHING the USA in technology obliterating it, while the US / British stalwarts from Raytheon, BAE, Lockheed, Intel, Apple, etc are basically collapsing in the face of what is happening in China – the west just refuses to talk about it and instead declares China just copies everything – even though China is now leading the world – BY YEARS – in areas from nanotech, biotech, materials, fibre, super computing, quantum, and pretty much everything else.

    Even things like military hardware, F-35 as example, are so politicized in the US with every state having a “part” in the manufacturing, with new projects needing to meet requirements from Navy, Airforce and Army along with 12 backing nations that they end up being completely ineffectual to the point of total failure after a decade of being behind. Meanwhile China can produce the same aircraft, improve it, and move on to the next generation.

    3 Years ago China had no air craft carriers. None. The bought one from Russia, rebuilt it, improved on it, built another, and are now rolling them out en-masse for their purpose – not patrolling some dead beat desert nation on the African coast, but super fast, agile coastal launchers which completely out perform the US fat juggernauts.

    The US is crowing about things like rail guns, hypersonic / scram jets, and laser weapons and people think they are “super advanced” – china is MILES ahead in all these areas – and has even developed super-cavitating hypersonic torpedos. Whats more is miles ahead in anti-carrier ballistic weapons with their hypersonic fleet capable of taking out carriers half way around the world – the Dong Feng.

    The US can send 500 ships into the South China sea – if war were to start they would all be taken out in about 10 minutes flat from ground based weapons in China – and whats America going to do ? Absurdist propaganda from Trump in this regard.

    But the main point is this. ONE BELT ONE ROAD. Keep on ignoring it.

    Trade is opening up between China heading WEST. North West. South West. This means they are opening up the largest pool of consumers on earth. The largest reserves of resources on earth, and all of this is reminiscent of the largest trade routes in world history.

    It literally represents a doubling, even a tripling of the current world consumer base. All of it over land internally from China.

    How is the United States and Europe going to police those internal railway and highway networks that China has already built ?

    The United States can TRY and cut China off all they like – but the reality is that it would just be the United States walling themselves into their own garden. But the reality is that would be like Cuba sending its best fleets to control the Atlantic shipping routes – risible shit.

    .

    • He doesn’t bother with evidence. I banned yesterday for this stupidity and today it’s back. I’m beginning to suspect astroturfing.

      IF you know anything about Chinese politics, Srin, then you’ll know that OBOR is a Xi brain fart, delivered unexpectedly in a door stop interview then desperately backfilled ever since. It stands very little chance of success given it crosses the most inhospitable terrain and peoples on earth. China can barely hold its own Western districts together and it’s military remains a laughing stock in the field.

      • If that is the case then his avatar is rather ironic (even more so considering what he is writing).

      • Isn’t there a Chinese PLA unit setup specifically to troll comment threads on blogs and social media?

      • The ‘One Belt One Road’ is a strategic insurance. It is the backup plan in the event the USA decide to blockade Chinese maritime trade in the South China Sea. Since China doesn’t have any other choice, it will get built.

      • Definitely remember the Chinese astroturfers over at MM a few years back. Easy fixed. Tell them there’s a sale on Prada handbags somewhere and you don’t hear from them for a while.

      • Please explain why you’re so upset with “that” post. Personally I read nothing at all untowards – just another point of view —
        A point of view NOT coming from our overlords — so – -well worth reading !
        In fact it could be all quite factual – Boo hoo.

      • He doesn’t bother with evidence. I banned yesterday for this stupidity and today it’s back. I’m beginning to suspect astroturfing.

        Whoever it is has been posting under a string of different user accounts for years. If you keep logs, I imagine the source IPs in them would help show this.

        Other user accounts this person has used previously are “Thanassis Veggos”, “Adam Smith” and “Niels”.

        Whenever some new user account pops up named after a prominent historical figure, especially if it’s cheerleading China, Russia, trains, and electric cars, 9/10 times it ends up being this poster.

      • St JacquesMEMBER

        They’re paying him by the word.
        Bit sad really, because most people here do not want to see a China v West showdown and recognise the historic wrongs China suffered not all that long ago and had to overcome by heroic efforts at a terrible price. But there are ranters everywhere.

    • Wow that was informative unfortunate, so many facts brain fart thoughts in one post.
      Sometimes I wonder if MB protagonists are somehow rewarded for their stupidity…does raise the interesting question cui bono?
      In a prior life I was required to assess the validity of available data and categorize it. The truth (or any semblance there of) was easy to file and categorize, Lies on the other hand were created for a million possible reasons.
      Interesting isn’t it: the truth is bounded but deceit is unbounded.

      • IN a prior life you told us your are a patent troll and picket fencer,
        the lowest of the low, outside bankers.

      • Cui Bono? From the guy selling wealth creation strategies to the uber wealthy? Wow. Glasshouses much CB??? Leviathan isn’t the idiot

      • Glasshouses much CB???
        Not sure I get your point, if my memory serves me correctly “Cui Bono” was known as the “maxim of Cassius”, Cassius being the Roman judge made famous by his inquisition of the “vestal virgins”, his findings of “fact” had little to do with indisputable facts, but rather focused instead on the benefit that certain parties derived from changes in the system. This makes facts the fabric of the narrative but not the narrative itself.

      • Careful there Mig, always remember ones place:
        Quod licet Jovi, non licet bovi
        Since we’re quoting Terence we might as well go with my favorite
        I am human, and nothing of that which is human is alien to me

    • It’s completely risible! Even with NATO they can’t do anything in gulf and look at Afghanistan! People don’t use their eyes

      • The comparison does not apply (i.e. think Russia in Afghanistan and Chechnya). Also China has too many unfriendly neighbours. Its ability to protect does not translate into projection, certainly not on multiple fronts. Having said that, it only takes a small incident by trigger-happy conscripts to have another Cuban crisis. So much for Trump and isolationism, dropped even before sitting on the chair.

      • I know my history Mig. If you disagree, argue against what I said. Otherwise keep up your work. You are your own worst enemy.

    • DarkMatterMEMBER

      “even though China is now leading the world – BY YEARS – in areas from nanotech, biotech, materials, fibre, super computing, quantum, and pretty much everything else”

      Interesting to note that China does not have its own version of the Intel chips – like i5 i7. They may be in the process of acquiring ARM, however that is still very much developed in in the west. Part of the thing about computer architectures is that they have a lot of momentum. Coming up with a new machine might be possible, but growing the software base for it is a very lengthy process. Also, of note, where are the 10nM FAB lines? I don’t think there are any in China.

      • Also, of note, where are the 10nM FAB lines? I don’t think there are any in China.
        Agreed but it does kinda depend on where you draw the Chinese boarder.
        Include Taiwan and you’ll be including many of the worlds best Fabs and a tech workforce with a depth of understanding / capability that is unequaled in any western country outside the of the US.
        Now is Taiwan part of China or separate from China? 20 years ago the very suggestion that Taiwan was a part of China would get you banned from the island, 10 years ago it was a topic that divided Taiwan’s population (the youth wanted to be part of China the elderly feared it’d impact their lifestyle) Today it’s hard to find anyone that doesn’t see Taiwan’s re-assimilation into China as a gradual process with a predetermined outcome. Funny how the duplicitous “One China” policy might actually result in one China.

    • What part of Bob Carr’s institute do you work in Srinivasa? You’re so easy to spot it’s really quite funny – almost as funny as your fairy tale of how Sino smarts will down the evil empire. Lol, let’s see China float their exchange and I’ll buy popcorn watching their economic miracle turn into a nightmare for their citizens. But take heart buddy. You can report back to your masters that you’ve fought the good fight …. splark!.

      • Flot their exchange?! Let’s see anyone outside of CHina do a bond issue in reminbi!

        This is fucking comedy hour!

      • Oh yeah – – Yanks smart & good – – China dumb & bad — Oh yeah -got it nailed!
        – –and kodiak agrees & he’s a brain ! – (Not)

      • I know you were Malcolm. I was just adding to the absurdity.

        AuRules must be the worst combination of stupidity/ bigotry on the board. Time to put on the pointy hat and sit in the corner, cunt.

      • Calm down AuRules, neither I nor Kodiak said those things. If you want to become hysterical and start rewriting what people are saying then take a chill pill before you disgrace yourself. Sheesh!

    • I hope the US curtails the aggressive geopolitical and economic stance toward China even though (or because) it could lead to a serious financial implosion in that country. China is in a very fragile situation that if pressured may go feral and kick some local arse just as a political diversion. And that wold be one hell of a black swan !

      • Where’s the evidence of this stance? China’s building bases off of the Philippines. And you’re worried about the US.

      • Kodiak
        I state this only because this is the posted topic, but yes both ‘sides’ are playing games, however the US can bring China down while the reverse is not true.

    • Your analysis really needs some citations if its going to be that bold. I’ve no doubt there are deep inefficiencies in the US military, but to suggest that China is that far ahead seems pretty ridiculous. I think a lot of us who have grown up in peacetime really forget just how incredibly big and fucked up war is. We condense it down to battles and technologies that we can remember. A fair bit has also been buried because it didn’t fit a narrative or the sensibilities at the time.

      If it came to a fight between the US and China, it would be incredibly ugly. Whatever flaws you believe the US fleet has, guaranteed that come wartime those flaws will be rectified. Quickly. China’s blue navy capacity is nothing compared to the US defensive capacity..so the US would have plenty of time to go and make new ships with what they learn early in the conflict.

      To use WW2 as an example, the Japanese had superior fighters and superior torpedoes going into the war. The range difference on their torps vs US is enormous. They also adopted carriers (the future of warfare) early, whereas many european nations hadn’t. Near to the end of the war, the US was building ships faster than they were sinking. The pilots who survived facing the Japanese and learning to counter their planes were rotated back to the mainland to then train more pilots. Whereas the Japanese kept using their veterans which meant that when the pilot went down so too did his institutional knowledge.

      If it came to a war, US manufacturing and engineering would roar to life. The pieces on the board at the beginning of the fight would be very differnet to the pieces at the end of it.

      All of the above assumes the war doesn’t go nuclear.

      • From what I’ve read on some US strategy sites the US surface fleet has some challenges. One is a worry about an inability to easily interdict attacking assets before they launch missiles as the current generation of high speed missiles can be fired from outside the range of current defences. The capability to shot down missiles with terminal velocities that are getting well over Mach 3. Maybe one missile that is picked up early but a salvo might be a bit of a challenge (the kinetic energy alone will terminate the ship). The Chinese are investing heavily in missiles via an asymmetrical technology strategy which is a powerful counter to investments in single large assets (no need to match asset for asset).

      • @nexus – I tend to rant a bit so my point was lost. If we assume a non-nuclear war, it doesnt matter if every American naval asset is destroyed tomorrow. Actually projecting power onto the American continent would be extremely difficult. Its citizens are heavily armed and nationalistic. It has a lot of onshore military assets and manufacturing capability. It has a lot of intelligence and experience in its ranks (they wont break easily).

        Whatever China has today, if its better than the US that lesson would be learned quickly. US manufacturing would adapt. China would rapidly find itself having to impose martial law, because ‘China’ is not just the Han. It is many ethnicities of varying degrees of loyalty to the CCP/China and a lot of land routes for smuggling in regime-disrupting explosives.

        The people’s support of the CCP would be tested as rationing comes in. Younger Chinese would have less experience with this. (Older Chinese would be better adapted to it than Americans). When the US starts popping power plants, water supplies and bridges, those mega cities will become very horrible places to live.

        The kind of budget, focus and manufacturing power that the branches of the armed forces would have in a major war time would make the F35 project look trivial. Suddenly there’d be a lot of programs all running at once. There’d be weird experiments, and who knows what the war would look like by the end.

        All of this assumes that the US starts off weaker than China in the first place (from a technology perspective).

        China’s power is mostly defensive. The US isnt looking to start a war, just perpetuate a status quo. So unless we know what instigates the hypothetical fight, we cant really discuss public support, rise of drone IEDs etc.

      • Fekname… that is before you get to all the cyber-warfare stuff… Snowden claims the US has ‘sleeper malware’ in a lot of countries (allies and rivals) in critical assets. No doubt China and Russia also have their own malware out there ready to go too.

        You want to talk asymmetric warfare? Cyber warfare has a huge potential to set back the war economy.

      • I’m not worried about cyber warfare during war time. If shit hits the fan all the rules change. Segregated networks, OS changes etc would become quite normal. I think that cyber warfare is a bigger threat in peacetime than war time. There is also the matter of prosecution differences. Right now there is little enforcement because its a lot of work for not much payoff. In war time it would be a lot less work. Anyone found conducting cyber attacks during war would find themselves being traced (yes, even those using onion routers) and dragged out of their beds in the small AM and either made to work for the govt, thrown into prison or executed.

    • In an all out war, the US would wipe China out. There is no real question of that, and it would be rather fast.

    • The only part of the rant that is vaguely worth a mention is that the Chinese use the acquisition of technology via any means to build national competitiveness. This is similar to the South Koreans and a few other nations. To say they are years ahead in all those fields is currently not true. However, they will start to match and accelerate ahead in some of those fields if the West does not change its strategy. As others have pointed out once a war starts all bets are off. If my memory serves me the Russians pioneered the development of cavitating torpedoes.

      • correct. the torpedoes were sold to the Chinese, which they say is why the Kursk was sunk.
        IT was demonstrating the torpedoes at the time and rumour has it, it was sunk by the USA to prevent that technology transfer. Maybe but maybe not. even so the torpedoes are good for 250 knots plus.

    • Smithy, you need to go one step further, the poster can write
      and there is only 1 person who can write that well. Gunna.
      So start keeping your own logs, it will keep you amused.
      See if you can suss who becker writes as?

    • Thinking the same here, “So you’re not fighting me…so much as you are the human condition. All I want is to own the bullets and the bandages. War, on an industrial scale, is inevitable.”

    • I believe about a trillion dollars worth is already in the pipeline. They know Russia stole a bit of a march on them and are scrambling to catch up and go past again. Wouldn’t surprise me to see Europe and China gang up against Russia and the US, China has to keep one big trade partner happy.

      Looks like a deficit of 6-7% GDP without the looming recession in the US.

      • Russia is dying to be let off the hook as they are not China´s natural partner (too much bad blood). Tell them to keep Crimea (which is what they wanted anyway) and watch the Ukraine crisis resolve quickly. It was a bad move but it can still be salvaged.

      • Well, there is the Sino-Soviet wars (1929; 1969), the Sino-Vietnamese border war (Vietnam aided by the USSR, 1979), not to mention the claim by MZD of areas in Siberia as lawfully chinese. In addition there is, of course, the historical Russian ties to Crimea (Crimean war beng particularly painful) as well as the way in which Crimea ended up being part of Ukraine (check out Khrushchev bio). That should keep you entertained! Now, care to share your links that support math whiz Ramanujan? Take your time, gotta work.

      • “Tell them to keep Crimea (which is what they wanted anyway) ”

        That’s the attitude the Russians are tired of. They are going to keep it no matter who does or doesn’t approve. They aren’t seeking permission. It is done, with approval from the vast majority of the populace and without a single life lost. If they had really annexed the poor Crimean population, the US wouldn’t be sanctioning Crimea.

      • My point JC was that Russia was going to keep Crimea by any means possible, both because of their historical ties as well as being their strategic door to the Med. There should have been an acknowledgedment by the US of these historical facts and modulate the response accordingly. As to the Ukraine conflict, Putin is not so much interested in the Russians along the border but in sending a message to other peripheral provinces in case they are considering leaving.
        On a separate note, WW…?

  3. john.denticeMEMBER

    H&H; From what I am reading from MB of late, you’re thinking:

    – Long USD
    – Long US defence suppliers
    – Avoid bulks
    – Avoid AUD
    – Avoid ASX

    About right or am I wrong?
    Cheers
    John

  4. john.denticeMEMBER

    Thanks H&H, I really value your guy’s analysis. One of the best subs I have. Cheers John.

  5. I am glad the US will be paying increased attention to Asia. I am not naive, I know that everything the US do is in their self interests. Shipping lanes and defense systems are at the heart of the issue.
    In the years to come I think we be thankful there is some counter balance to China’s rise. Any move to hinder ties with America is short sited.

  6. This could work out well for the rest of the world. If the US cosy up to Russia the enmity between Russia and China will get stoked so that China might start looking over their shoulder at their eastern neighbour and quit fucking around in the South China Sea. Up to now they’ve been able to relax their border watch but if Putin and Trump start playing checkers things may not look too good for their silk road expansion.

    • It’s not that easy. US will have to abandon NATO expansion to get Russia on board, that would mean selling out a lot of European allies and dissolving NATO.

      • NATO will do whatever the US wants because without the US NATO is toast. You need only look at the shenanigans in Ukraine caused by the US to understand that the best way to destabilise China is to be friendly to Russia.

      • “US will have to abandon NATO expansion to get Russia on board, that would mean selling out a lot of European allies and dissolving NATO.”

        NATO expansion was never on the cards, it was abandoned. The only issue is that Gorbachev foolishly trusted the word of charlatans instead of having it ratified in a legally binding treaty. Its expansion is a broken promise. NATO was also an answer to Warsaw pact which, in case any person hasn’t noticed is long gone, so why does it need to expand at all? NATO expansion is a massive mistake. It has understandably led to Russian push back. If they tried to swallow Ukraine into NATO, it would not be tolerated.

        The US also backed itself into a corner. If they had peeled back NATO and given Russia security guarantees and not actively sought to weaken it, their Asia pivot would have worked much better. Instead Putin is doing all kinds of deals across the world, as is China and they are in a marriage of convenience, not love. I say this often, but the “West” should thank its lucky stars Putin is so popular and maintains control within his party. Others would have been far more aggressive in the face of unbelievable provocation directed at their homeland.

      • re : JC. The fact disagree with NATO not expanding. Ignore Western propaganda for a moment and look at the map : more NATO troops are stationed closer and closer to the Russian borders every year. Just in July this year, Obama is sending 1000 troops to Poland to bolster its eastern borders.

        http://www.reuters.com/article/us-nato-summit-idUSKCN0ZN2NL

        A deal with Putin on China will require those troops to be withdrawn. That will leave a lot of people in Europe exposed.

      • “more NATO troops are stationed closer and closer to the Russian borders every year.”

        It’s to counter Russian aggression. Like, you know holding military drills within your own borders.

      • “That will leave a lot of people in Europe exposed.”

        Exposed to what exactly? Russia is suddenly going to invade the Baltic’s because NATO stops expanding?

    • I’ve seen several Chinese papers which go so far as to suggest that Afghanistan is nothing but a ruse to enable the US to develop and maintain a strategic strike capability on China’s western frontier. Western China and Tibet are also seen as ideal points from which to destabilize China.

    • “If the US cosy up to Russia the enmity between Russia and China will get stoked so that China might start looking over their shoulder at their eastern neighbour and quit fucking around in the South China Sea.”

      It’s NOT called the South China Sea for nothing. It makes me spew everytime I read such Rubbish comments.
      The Chinese are Not poking around in the Caribbean — if they were the Yanks would be threatening Nuclear war.
      The Chinese are NOT threatening Sea Lanes
      –they are taking precautions in their own backyard in the face of Yank aggression.

      • AuRules you’re losing the plot. Let’s tease this out a bit chum. Firstly go to a map and look at those nations that are on the rim of the South China Sea. Here’s a link for you http://www.businessinsider.com/tensions-in-the-south-china-sea-explained-in-18-maps-2015-1?IR=T/#1a-political-map-1. Now look for a moment at the numbers of nations and ask yourself why China think they have the sole right to extend their territories and call more of the SCS their waters. Got it?
        Taking your argument the Philippines could call it the East Philippine Sea and claim it as their territory. BTW the sea lanes through this region are the busiest in the world as are the airways so why do you thunk the Chinese are squabbling over the Spratly Islands and creating islands on reefs? It’s to build their claim on territory despite the UN and the High Court ruling that their claims are without merit. Up to speed now mate?

      • “It’s NOT called the South China Sea for nothing”

        No, it’s called that due to a bunch of Derptastic Europeans labelling it that.

        The Vietnamese call it the East Sea.

        The Filipinos call part of it the Luzon sea.

      • Not that simplistic AuRules. If it was there would be no need for the Chinese to dredge artificial islands.

    • Up to speed now mate?

      Way beyond you – – and after reading your comments definately no Mate of yours.

      • What’s wrong AuRules? I guess your having difficulty dealing with the facts. BTW, engage your spell checker.

  7. It’s worrying times.
    Australia is not capable of making decisions in its own interests at the best of times on simple issues – not sure how it will fare when it comes to a clusterfuck of priorities and interests.

    however, if we assume business as usual:

    what is best for property prices?
    what is best for economic growth and jobs?
    will there be interest rate cuts?

    Australia will probably side with the country that can say yes to these three questions.

    What’s for sure, the winner will write the history books.

      • His point is that ships are very expensive and very easy to damage with relatively cheap missiles and that the cost / benefit of large Navy battle groups isn’t what it used to be.

        They’re still great for bombing small nations into submission once you have complete air superiority but against a large technologically sophisticated opponent operating close to home its another story entirely.

      • “They’re still great for bombing small nations into submission once you have complete air superiority but against a large technologically sophisticated opponent operating close to home its another story entirely”

        They’re great at bombing big nations once you have complete air superiority too.

        What a battle group would do is send subs in first and fire cruise missiles to neuter much of China’s defence capabilities, particularly the ability to see the carriers.

        Then the carriers would encroach some what to launch things like X-47B’s to deal out the beat down, particularly on stuff that would sink them/

        Then once that’s done, hell for leather. The USN is the one arm of the US military that is world leading, they’re not blind to anti-ship missile capability.

    • “If early reports on the competence…”

      LULZZ!!! … “reports” …. from Carlos Slim’s blog….

      The story reads….

      Firing a guy who lobbies for corporations and foreign governments, coming from an internal adviser…
      Firing Chris Christie, due to a NJ state event that made his position untenable…..
      A non-participant ranting on twitter……

      and some ill drawn conclusions and innuendo….

      “ohh the mayhem, what a shambles!!”