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  1. #1
    Senior Member Dalmatian90's Avatar
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    Default Making the Middle East seem like a ****ing contest...

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7489293/

    This is the area that has the potential for profound effects on the U.S. that Osama could only imagine.

    Russia/Europe is difused for now and probably a long time to come.

    The Middle East will never amount to more than a bunch of bickering minor nations. Disruption to the world economy from oil supply problems, yep.

    Japan/China (and the Far East in general)...now that is were we have the long-term prospect for a major, old-fashion war of proportions not seen since WWII. And the thing is, we don't know when it will come and it could be decades, but when it happens I think it'll occur with stunning speed that people will say, "We never saw it coming..." And I think the background politics there make the Middle East seem like kindergarten in figuring out who is playing who and to what ends...
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    I would have to agree with that. I still believe the middle east will be a smoke screen for bigger things to come in Korea/china. Dont forget Pakistans little squabbles, Syria, Iran. Eventually it will wind up being huge! Unfortunatly!
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  3. #3
    Forum Member DaSharkie's Avatar
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    I have been watching the situation in China when I can, and my guess is that within the next 10 years, China will start making its move.

    China has been rebuilding their military, has bought several relatively modern submarines and has built up a space program that has gotten some satellites up. China isn't doing squat regarding North Korea, and just this week signed a some sort of mutual support agreement with Pakistan.

    Stay tuned. With a billion + people, China has a lot of power, not even including the financial power since everything under the sun is now made there.

    Add to this, that in the past decade or so, several national defense contractors have been bought up by Chinese subsidiaries, giving them proprietary access to weapons technology.
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  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber EFD840's Avatar
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    Japan/China (and the Far East in general)...now that is were we have the long-term prospect for a major, old-fashion war of proportions not seen since WWII. And the thing is, we don't know when it will come and it could be decades, but when it happens I think it'll occur with stunning speed that people will say, "We never saw it coming..." And I think the background politics there make the Middle East seem like kindergarten in figuring out who is playing who and to what ends...
    Dal, it may be sooner rather than later. You're a very astute political observer so you probably already know that for roughly the last 10 years, China has quietly transformed their military. It has always been large, but Japan and Taiwan have enjoyed TREMENDOUS qualitative advantages. Not any more.

    The PLAAF flies Su-27/30 fighters equipped with AA-12 missiles. Every bit the equal of a USAF F-15/AMRAAM. They've also added an indeginous design based on the Israeli Lavi/Eurofighter Typhoon and an untra-modern AWACs system.

    The PLAN is soon going to be a blue water force. They've added Destroyers with capabilities similar to our Aegis ships and more importantly to Taiwan, they're really working to improve amphibious assault vessels like LCACs (hovercraft) and LSTs. Also, at a time when most folks are cutting back their Anti-sub forces, their navy is building new, quiet diesel-electric boats.

    The PLA is still pretty reliant on older equipment, but just how sophisticated do you need to be when you've got 8,000 tanks.

    Trouble will once again break out over there, it is just a question of when....

    Edited to add: Here's a posting lesson for newbies in the forums. When you start a reply, leave for a while, then finish and post it somebody will have beaten you to the punch. Thanks Sharkie.
    Last edited by EFD840; 04-13-2005 at 04:44 PM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Dalmatian90's Avatar
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    Wow...little things I didn't realize...

    Japan...who obstensibly has a military that can't project power by Japanese law but is supposed to be solely self-defense...

    Has the 4th largest Military budget in the world.

    Indeed of the G-7 (Western economic leaders) Countries:

    U.S.------420b
    Japan------42b
    UK---------41b
    France-----35b
    Germany----27b
    Italy------23b
    Australia--10b (Ok, not a G-7 member...)
    Canada------9b

    The two in between U.S. and Japan are Russia and China each in the $50b range. But I'm pretty sure $50b goes *a lot* further in either of those countries than it does in the US!

    Now, Japan certainly has a bigger population and economy than those other countries...still, I never imagined they spent that much, I guess I always had a vision of Canadian-level spending (no insult meant!).

    =======================
    To give an idea of how complicated the geo-politics can get...

    China is clearly the only country that can exert influence over North Korea.

    Do they worry more about North Korea's instability leading to NK starting a war that sucks China in (or even threatening China directly!)...or do they want to keep them armed and nuclear so their remains the fear factor if you engage China, North Korea will panic and launch, giving China a nuclear deterence capability that they can still have "plausible deniability" over "Hey, North Korea launched them, we didn't!"

    Very funky over there!
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    You guys are right and I have been saying this for years, countries like iraq could have waited for the time being they pose little threat to countries outside the middle east. We have a sleeping giant that is waking up and they are a big threat. china and Japan are like a cobra that is ready to strike and when they do it will be silent and unexpected. as an ex-soldier with the british army I say bring it on. if they were to ever attack the US you guys would not be in the fight alone. The U.S and british have been strong allies for a lot of years now and If it ever came to a war with these Idiots The U.S and british soldiers would fight side by side, Through the mud and the blood to the green fields beyond. We know we could not count on the french for support. hell their tanks have 14 reverse gears and 1 forward incase they are attacked from behind their retreat.

  7. #7
    Forum Member DennisTheMenace's Avatar
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    Luckly China has no real means of going on a long distance expedition. So really we are safe on our main land. That is not to say that we would not be once again fighting in eastern Asia as we did for almost the entire second half of the 20th century.
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  8. #8
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Originally posted by DennisTheMenace
    Luckly China has no real means of going on a long distance expedition. So really we are safe on our main land. That is not to say that we would not be once again fighting in eastern Asia as we did for almost the entire second half of the 20th century.
    They do have missiles that can reach the US. North Korea is trying to get adevelop a missile with that range.

    How do you say "mutually assured destruction" in Madarin, Cantonese and Korean?
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  9. #9
    Forum Member snowball's Avatar
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    Originally posted by CaptainGonzo

    How do you say "mutually assured destruction" in Madarin, Cantonese and Korean?
    Take out all of the "L"'s
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  10. #10
    Forum Member scfire86's Avatar
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    You guys are all worried about the military action of China et al. I see a far more insidious takeover that has been slowly happening.

    This administration has wracked up, and continues to wrack up enormous debt through its deficit spending. And guess who is buying up that debt? (Hint: they're foreigners from the far east in a very large populous country). Sooner or later all that debt has to be paid off with dollars from the US Treasury. And more importantly, those buying the debt will demand a say in budgetary policy if we want them to continue to buying debt. Meaning dramatic spending cuts dictated by the debt holders or raising revenues via hmmm......taxes.

    Bush may want an 'ownership society', but it will be a sharecropper society if we keep spending dollars on the national credit card.

    All it will take is a couple of days when the Treasury sells it Bonds for debt service, and no one shows up to buy them, and things can start melting down pretty fast.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Dalmatian90's Avatar
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    Sooner or later all that debt has to be paid off with dollars from the US Treasury

    But not necessarily to who currently holds (part) of the debt.

    What China is waiting for is for Europe to open up the arms deals. They sell the U.S. Treasury bonds they're holding because of the trade surplus they're racking up for Euros that they use to buy the weapons systems. China is only running up huge trade surpluses with U.S. -- not only because we buy a lot from them, but we refuse to sell them a lot of our most expensive technology and military goods. Most other nations they're a net importer, not exporter. So I'd expect a lot of the Chinese-held securities to shift to Europe soon.

    Eventually they'll be re-paid in dollars, but most likely not to China but to European and other countries that sell goods into China.

    The debts are a concern, and probably about 2x what they should be. Unfortunately, Social Security as it's currently structured and will remain for the indefinite future requires budget deficits. $145,000,000,000 of last year's $412,000,000,000 deficit (I may be slightly off...I'm not sure if they both use the same fiscal periods) was structural and required by Social Security. Remember, the only place SS money goes is into buying Treasury securities.

    That gives another $270billion in debt last year that should be trimmed by some combination of taxes & budget cuts. Not all of it, because it is fair certain items remain -- from capital improvements that improve the future performance of the economy (i.e. roads/bridges/etc) to exceptional expenditures that should be of a limited duration (i.e. keep tax rates relatively stable)

    It's a concern, and it has long-term impact 'cause of all the interest we have to pay that could be used for other stuff. And I don't agree with Bush's tactics of using the debt to achieve some long-term political and fiscal goals.

    But we're still a long way off from this being a strategic tool of foreign policy to be used against us.
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  12. #12
    Forum Member scfire86's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Dalmatian90
    But we're still a long way off from this being a strategic tool of foreign policy to be used against us.
    Irrespective of who owns the debt. It is a potential tool to be used against us, and equally as devastating as a military tool. Debt holders start to acquire a lot influence in all aspects of your fiscal policy. Ask folks who have been through bankruptcy court.

    The permutations are endless of course. And being a 'long way off' is a relative term.

    Time may be shorter than you think as one group strengthens itself militarily and economically, while its long time adversary is being weakened. A two pronged attack has a multiplier effect.
    Last edited by scfire86; 04-15-2005 at 04:22 PM.
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  13. #13
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    the isolationist ideas of the early 20th century arent looking all that bad right now, why not close the borders, stop foriegn aid to people that hate us. That way we can use that money to heal our own wounds, it would make us less dependant on outside resources, and would pretty much force the economy to grow because all work would be done in country. Stop importing oil and use what we have in texas, alaska etc. at the rate technology is going we will all be driving alternate fuel vehicles within 50 years anyway.
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  14. #14
    Forum Member ThNozzleman's Avatar
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    as an ex-soldier with the british army I say bring it on.
    Good grief.

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    Originally posted by ThNozzleman

    Good grief.
    Good Grief what??? I am proud that i served 13 years with the army. some of the time was good and some of it was bad. There are a lot of countries out there that are starting to try and flex their military muscle and one way or another they have to be stopped. I belive that you have to try all diplomatic efforts in order to avoid wars and the loss of life.

  16. #16
    Forum Member ThNozzleman's Avatar
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    I belive that you have to try all diplomatic efforts in order to avoid wars and the loss of life.
    "Bring it on" hardly qualifies for diplomacy...unless you're an idiot from Texas, of course.

  17. #17
    the 4-1-4 Jasper 45's Avatar
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    Originally posted by ThNozzleman

    "Bring it on" hardly qualifies for diplomacy...unless you're an idiot from Texas, of course.
    Nothing like good quality debate.

  18. #18
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    What would any of those mopes have to gain by attacking the United States?
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  19. #19
    Forum Member ThNozzleman's Avatar
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    Nothing like good quality debate.
    ...and I see you have a whole lot to offer, as usual.

  20. #20
    the 4-1-4 Jasper 45's Avatar
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    Originally posted by ThNozzleman

    ...and I see you have a whole lot to offer, as usual.

    I have plenty to offer as far as debate. There was nothing to debate in your post, which by the way was simply an inflammatory statement.
    There was certainly nothing in my reply to warrant a sarcastic response, unless it is because I have a differant opinion than do you.
    I was simply trying to bring attention to your narrow minded statement just the same as you do to so many others.
    Last edited by jasper45; 04-16-2005 at 11:11 AM.

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