Beyond the Cusp

August 8, 2016

China and Words Whispered on the Winds

 

For as long as there have been predictive winds of the economic variety, the prediction has been whispered from quiet corners to shouted from the rooftops claiming this would be the time that China was finally going to pay for their economic shenanigans and face economic collapse. We have been extremely quiet about these predictions of doom on the horizon as the one thing the Chinese had been very adept at was finding some manner of continuing to meet predicted gains month after month, year after year. Their predictive gains have become somewhat more reasonable from the early 1990s where the reported gains stood around 11% to this past year where they reported merely 6% and are continuing to predict this can be continued. The problem the Chinese leadership is facing is they have pretty much run out of rabbits to pull from their hat and it is time to accept that even in China there can be a recession. But perhaps a little look back might help to explain.

 

China had some really rough years where Chairman (and virtual god) Mao Zedong was the absolute ruler and was executing the usual five year plans which are so precious to so many dictators. Equally precious to such five year plans is that they completely and utterly destroy the national economy and tens of millions die of starvation and other privations. The Chinese have literally tried everything in order to assure that whomever was at the top made a relatively high prediction of economic growth even to have gone to a fairly complete privatization resorting to a market based free enterprise system which had kept growth at around six to as high as nine percent for the past decade plus. To continue reaching such unrealistic goals the Chinese government has gone so far as to build entire cities where nobody was going to live just to add to profits. This also assisted the areas of the Chinese economy which is dependent on the price of copper. Building cities, even those nobody is going to inhabit, still required a fair amount of copper to install all the wiring necessary for a modern environment and using so much copper supports a higher price aiding the Chinese economic indicators.

 

Can the Chinese leadership find some miracle to pull off continued reported gains? Of course they can. After all, lying is always an option and that will work until the people rise up and overthrow the government demanding real and honest leadership. The Chinese watched the breakup of the Soviet Union and know that a contributing factor was pretending they could manipulate and lie their way to prosperity and the people would not be bothered by their lies. Apparently they were misled and paid the consequences. The problem in Russia was despite the change in governance there was little change in who governed and who owned all the wealth. China has wisely decentralized their economy and relied on free market principles throughout almost all sectors of their economy.

 

The Chinese leaders have found the one main problem with a free market economy, eventually even these engines need to cool off for a while and that causes an unavoidable recession. This creates one big headache for the leadership in China; they are expected to show profits and economic growth of at least five to six percent every year, period. That will be a real stretch in the next couple of years as their free market sector has reached the apex as things stand and now need to cool the system and take a few quarters, possibly a year or even two of reset and a settling of the economy before the next drive and prosperity again making all happy. The problem is the Chinese Communist Party insists in progress and growth every year or else heads will roll. In China, that is meant quite literally, thus the excessive need to find some way or reporting progress and gains in the economy. This would have been less of a problem had the economy not been buoyed with false growth figures in construction of uninhabited cities and the enforcement of a one child policy cause a drastic set of circumstances. Now China is facing a recession with a glut of male children entering adult life with poor prospects for matrimony coupled with an economic downturn thus even their rescinding the one child policy, it came far too late for these men in a society bereft of women. This adds another component which historically has almost always been solved in the same manner, finding a means of sacrificing a significant number of male citizens between the ages of twelve to twenty-something. That method has always been war.

 

This brings us to another side of China of late, pressing her claims to areas beyond her natural borders and the stationing of troops as a provocation on these fronts. Much of these provocations have been taken in the South China Sea where Chinese activities and demands are threatening long existent and heavily traveled sea trade routes. Add in the Spratly Islands which are claimed somewhat obviously by the Philippines and Viet Nam and add in China and you have instant conflict. This conflict over the Spratly Islands goes far further than the land based claims as should China successfully claim the islands they would also set solid their claim to the South China Sea as their own little private bathtub square in the middle of some of the most heavily travelled sea lanes in the world. This would allow China to control these sea lanes demanding taxes be paid on all cargo, disrupt naval exercises and travel in what are considered as international waters and be a provocation to war all rolled up in one package. The Spratly Islands are likely the end goal of the island building exercises taken by China in the South China Sea and could quickly escalate into an open confrontation should China use their newly built Blue Water Navy to enforce their claims to these waters. Additionally, there are the conflicting claims over the Diaoyu Islands as the Chinese claim and the Senkaku Islands as the Japanese claim (see map below). These two sets of claims are both very sensitive areas but thus far the Chinese appear to be more concerned with their claims for the Spratly Islands as they would cement the South China Sea as strictly Chinese and thus grant China control of the busiest Asian sea lanes and one of the most heavily traveled sea lanes internationally. This might also be the case simply due to the Japanese having a far more developed naval capability compared to Viet Nam and the Philippines and nothing more.

 

Diaoyu Islands as the Chinese Claim Senkaku Islands as the Japanese Claim

Diaoyu Islands as the Chinese Claim
Senkaku Islands as the Japanese Claim

 

The likelihood of an actual war breaking out over the Spratly Islands is considered by many to be a remote possibility. Of course the possibility of China building an island chain to the Spratly Islands and then placing Chinese troops, aircraft and shore batteries and placing naval assets moored to the Spratly Islands is also considered remote. The potential for open conflict with the Philippines calling in their support guaranteed by the United States could be a potential for a quickly escalating situation over the South China Sea, an area the United States desires to be open and free of any interference with trade as much as anybody. Even the Japanese have direct concerns over the Chinese increased territorial claims into the South China Sea. This could easily become a future flashpoint though such is unlikely until some situation would force the United States to emphasize their presence elsewhere pulling assets out of the western Pacific region. One such scenario would be a war in the Middle East threatening the oil shipments from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the Gulf oil kingdoms where the United States would also be bound by treaty obligations. With the current United States Navy cut down to well under former levels of actual warships and also less support vessels meaning that the Navy would not be capable of staging on two separate fronts without leaving large segments of the world outside the reach of American naval assets. This is the situation faced currently as the number of front-line aircraft carriers has been reduced such that with one being refurbished then there would not be a full battle group to send into a crisis area forcing the redistribution of assets from areas considered less threatened, though where that might be is a difficult judgement in itself.

 

China is facing economic downturn for the immediate future barring some unforeseen manipulation of forced conflict requiring wartime production which would permit direct government infusions stimulating the economy in an unnatural means which would only make recovery from such a step even more drastic when the correction comes. No nation can continuously show the kinds of gains China has claimed indefinitely and eventually there must be a cooling-off period as the market resets and decides on its next direction for expansion. China did have the advantage of not being a modern, first-world economy after World War II and then struggling through the Mao Zedong five year plan years where things actually managed to worsen thus allowing for a long stretch of recovery, modernization and finally incorporating free market principles and now China is at a top point from which a reset is long, long overdue and pretty much unavoidable short of declaring war. One hopes that even China has progressed beyond using war as an economic stimulus where all markets are crashed to support the war effort allowing for a period of growth and rebuilding when the war is over. One had also best pray that the same is true in the Middle East where the people have reached the end of patience with dictators and are revolting in nation after nation which could threaten to engulf the Middle East, North, the Horn and parts of Central Africa and potentially Europe starting from Turkey and moving westward and northward and even including Russia in a bid to regain some of the lost power of the Soviet Era. Any blow-up in the Middle East and affected areas could be exactly the opening China would need to cement their claims to the waters and international shipping lanes of the western Pacific-Indian Ocean routes and disrupting world trade in hopes of using taxation of trade and other measures to continue to show profits at any cost. As long as tariffs and trade wars are considered a viable economic tool to be found in some national tool kits, then the world is still a dangerous place as long as that remains so.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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July 19, 2016

Some Ideas Never Die; Such as the Oslo Accords

 

Truly some ideas never die even when they have long passed their use-by-date. The Oslo Accords are one such set of ideas which died the day that President William Jefferson Clinton handed to Yasser Arafat, after beating Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak into complete submission, everything he had demanded and Arafat walked out without a word and started the Second Intifada. It was later revealed that Arafat had planned the Second Intifada as the Palestinian answer to not getting their demands at the Camp David negotiations and still insisted that Israeli resistance to a common peace was the reason for the violence. Over a thousand Israelis were murdered and tens of thousands were injured, many with permanent and severe damage from the bombings with bolts and screws lodged permanently next to their spines, hearts and other organs or jammed into their brains all inoperable due to location. Many lost limbs, an eye or both eyes and other disfigurements. The Second Intifada, on top of Arafat refusing to make peace even after his terms were met, defined the situation and should have been the post mortem for the Oslo Accords. Arafat’s understudy and successor, Mahmoud Abbas, has often made clear to any willing to translate his Arabic speeches that the only peace he will allow Israel is the peace of the grave. As the pro-Palestinian protesters throughout Western countries chant ad-nauseam, “From the River to the Sea, Palestine must be free.” The word ‘free’ in this chant has a double meaning, the obvious that all of Israel is Palestine and secondly that every Jew will have been eradicated as Palestine must be Judenrein. Abbas has flatly stated even in English that should they be forced into accepting a shared state beside Israel, it will simply serve as the launching pad for the remainder of the conquest and eradication of the Zionist Entity. Even his saying Israel is difficult for this man and his band of minions.

 

What is truly sad is not only the number of Western leaders who remain sold on the Oslo two states for two peoples principle; it is the number of Israeli military and intelligence leadership who also are still sold on these lies and deceptions. There never has been any Oslo agreement because the understanding of the two sides were as divergent as possible. Israel saw them as the opportunity for peace and cooperation and the Palestinian leadership, with the support of the Arab world behind them, saw it as taqiyyah, a deceit used against an infidel in order to advance Islamic interests and conquest. The concept of taqiyyah is well established and understood by any first year graduate student in Middle Eastern studies programs; and if not, they should find a different area of study. The problem is that peace is such a universal and central structure in Western thought and philosophies, as are negotiations and dealing honestly and forthrightly, that to believe that things are otherwise is difficult, though possible if one tries and concentrates on exactly what the other side says to their own people. What makes things more difficult is that the liberal leftist media and populations refuse to allow themselves, under any circumstance, to believe that peace might be impossible to attain in any situation. If the left today were faced with the onset of World War II, they would negotiate and negotiate until the free world consisted of some small atoll in the South Pacific surrounded by Japanese and German naval vessels, and they would be negotiating still. There is also the little fact that Israel is seen as the Jew amongst nations and as such has a separate and impossible set of expectations which are made worse by the leftist Jews, such as those who make up J-street and other similar groups, who also apply this absurd demand that Israel sacrifice and sacrifice with no end to how much or how far the sacrifice demanded be, as they are not the ones who will pay the price. Some have even gone so far as to claim, what do the Israelis have to lose in sacrificing for peace as they can always come and live in the United States. This is, in and of itself, an absurd piece of illogic not to mention, history has shown what happens when Jews face death and try to rely on the good graces of the Western nations.

 

We recently read an article on Politico targeting Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu over his disagreement with the outspoken and mostly retired military and intelligence corps, and how such a disagreement is leading Israel dangerously close to fascism. It was the author’s, and we trust the editors’ as well, that Israelis would be better led by its military and intelligence officers than under their elected leader. The article is titled Netanyahu vs. the Generals and went on and on endlessly stating the same tired logic as if repetition and quoting every last individual supporting the spitefulness against Netanyahu would eventually wear the reader down. The piece might actually be the opening shot across the bow announcing the candidacy of Ehud Barak for Prime Minister. Small hint to those in agreement, should Israelis have a choice between Ehud Barak and virtually any moderate or even extremist right wing politician, Barak would lose convincingly. Where his reputation is not nearly that of Guy Fawkes, the disasters attached to his time as Prime Minister preclude his ever holding that position for as long as Israelis have memories of his atrocious policy choices, of which the hasty and disorganized routing retreat from Lebanon is just the beginning of the highlight reel. For the record neither of us supported Likud and in one case, at least, Bibi Netanyahu was much of the reason why as there are numerous other Likud members who would very easily garner our votes, but that is up to the Likudnics to decide. We realize that changes take time, so time will tell.

 

British Mandate as prescribed division between Arab State of Jordan and Jewish State of Israel

British Mandate as prescribed division between Arab State of Jordan and Jewish State of Israel

 

As far as peace with the Palestinians, we need realize that the term Palestinian once meant the Jews residing under British Mandate rule while at those times the Arabs were known as Arabs or Palestinian Arabs as compared to Palestinian Jews. One also need remember that this was during the period when both Jordan and Israel were simply the Mandate. Eventually the plan was enacted and Jordan became the Arab State and Israel the Jewish State. The most obvious difference was Israel permitted Arabs, whether practicing Muslims, Christians, Jews or any other or no religion, to remain residing with full rights as citizens, while Jordan expelled any Jew ever to come within their area under their control. That was made most evident after they conquered by force of arms in an offensive war parts of Judea and Samaria, renamed it West Bank, and evicted every last Jew under pain of death, gifting their lands to people favored by the government and destroyed every Synagogue and Jewish religious academy within said lands. The adopting of Palestinian by the Arabs was just one part of their adoption of all of Jewish history with some simple adjustments in an effort to claim them and not the Israelites, the Jews, were the earliest surviving peoples from these areas. Anybody familiar with Judeo-Christian religions knows this to be a deceit and even more so if they are knowledgeable of Islamic and Arab history, as the Arabs did not venture forth from the Arabian Peninsula until the Seventh Century. That date is almost, if not, two millennia after the Israelites arrived from their Exodus from Egypt; one might be familiar with this as there is a book of the Old Testament with the same name. If we were to count from the times when Abraham first arrived in the land, we would need close to another half of a millennia if not more. Their deceit can only last as long as people continue to give their lies credence, which they do at their own peril. Such brings us to our next discussion, the awakening of the Western World.

 

For most of the past century plus the casualty of Islamic violence has been the Jewish communities in the area of Israel both before the birth of the nation in 1948 and continuously afterwards starting with the invasion by multiple armies the morning of her birth. India and Russia had rather publicly covered conflicts and numerous African nations have also been subjected to violence as have much of the Balkans. Then there have been the intra-Islamic violence. It has only been the turn of the Twenty-First Century which has brought continued and sustained Islamic violence to the Western World. What is going to be instructive is exactly how the developed world reacts to the onslaught of Islamic violence. Of further interest will be whether or not their views and demands upon Israel are altered even in the slightest as a result of these experiences. Russia has shown Israel a fair degree of respect and freedom to act as necessary while not giving full measure as they also keep relations with the Muslim nations such as with Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Syria; for it is with Syria they hold their Mediterranean warm water Atlantic Naval ports.

 

Beyond this, the longest standing restrictions on Islamic activities belong with Japan. Many are unaware but Japan has always refused Muslims permanent residence status in their lands. Further, Muslims may not own property, may not operate a business and the worship of Islam is banned. Needless to point out but no Mosque may ever be built on Japanese soil. Muslim tourism is permitted but any Muslim tourist caught conducting any form of Islamic instructions or otherwise attempting to spread the word of Islam is summarily and immediately deported along with their entire family; and if with a group, then the entire group is deported. The Japanese treat Islam as if it were a dread plague that once taking a foothold could threaten life on their islands. If the news is accurate, and we see no reason to disbelieve our sources, Cuba has recently refused permission for a Mosque to be built on their island, Cuba, that’s right, Cuba! Angola is but the first in alphabetical order of African nations enacting some limit if not outright ban on Islam.

 

In Europe the latest trend has been in opposition to Angela Markel‘s open door policy for Muslims with Norway having deported many hundreds resulting in a better than 50% drop in felonies. This is allowing their police to attend to other functions rather than putting out crime emergencies twenty-four-seven for the first time since the ‘refugees’ began arriving. Additionally there have been reports of attacks against Mosques and Muslims with some areas becoming so unfriendly that the Muslims are deporting themselves back to their home nations. The Czech Republic has flat banned Islam from their country declaring it to be an evil. Muslims in Ireland have reached the conclusion that they are less than welcome and in Belfast, as a start, the Muslims have been departing for home sweet home and this appears to be the trend across all of Northern Ireland. The British Home Secretary is preparing legislations which, though not expressly stating their application to Muslims, are aimed at curtailing anti-social behavior and allowing greater leeway in deporting or using other lesser methods to control an out of hand situation. The Polish Defense League has issued a warning to Muslims against their continuing certain behaviors and sixteen states have drafted legislation banning Sharia. A number of states in America are entertaining laws banning Sharia or any foreign code of laws all aimed at preventing the use of Sharia. China has imprisoned twenty-two Imams for preaching hate and anti-China themes and has executed eighteen jihadists. China is additionally stamping out any campaigns for separatism especially in the largely Islamic western province of Xinjiang. Muslim prayers are banned in government buildings and schools in China. Our last example of such measures comes from the Netherlands where a group of Ministers of Parliament are calling for the closure and destruction of all Mosques. One Minister stated “We want to clean Netherlands of hateful Islam.” He did not differentiate hateful Islam from any other form of Islam. Speaking on behalf of the right wing Party for Freedom, a nationalist party, Minister of the Dutch Parliament Machiel De Graaf stated, “All Mosques in the Netherlands should be shut down. Without Islam the Netherlands would be a wonderful, safe country to live in, as it was before the arrival of Muslim ‘refugees’.”

 

The world appears to slowly be awakening to the real face of Islam; a violent and unruly cult more desirous of ruling the world than of acting in what the rest of the world believes is a religious manner. Every other previous imperialist religion, Christianity, Shinto, Hindu and any others, have all been reformed and now stand side by side with all these religions seeking peaceful coexistence and mutual assistance. The exception to this rule is obvious, Islam. When Mosques are discovered in numerous countries to contain more rifles, grenades, bombs and bomb making material than prayer rugs and prayer books, then there is a definite problem. As the developed world realizes, along with the rest of the world, this threat for what it is, it is hoped that they will apply their learned knowledge to the situation in Israel. This could finally allow the solution which should have been applied immediately after the Six Day War, Israel attaining her originally promised borders, which includes the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, and those previous Jordanian citizens and their families deported to the Arab nation of their choosing willing to receive them, or into Syria. The double standard cannot be continued after the truth has been driven home that Islam does not play well with others and is treacherous to the continued health of any nation it inhabits. What is good for the European nations and the world in general must, in all fairness, also be permitted Israel. To do otherwise is pure anti-Semitism, and this time that is an accurate accusation and an accurate application of the terminology.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

July 7, 2015

The World After President Obama

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There are those amongst my friends and acquaintances who fear that President Obama will declare Martial Law after instigating some false national emergency whose borderline irrational fear mirrors that of those who feared the same from President George W. Bush. There is too much precedent for such to occur and President Obama will step down and give way to the duly elected President in mid-January of 2017 after the 2016 November elections. The question remains what shape will the world present to the next President and what shape will they find the United States presenting them, allowing for actions to steer the United States after their inauguration. The one point that needs to be made is this assessment is made with absolutely no regards from which party or who will be the next President as we can cross that bridge when we reach it. The first thing is the President will face his power on foreign policy will start from a position of actual weakness not felt by the United States since the start of World War II and actually in worse condition than at the end of President Carter or any other. They will be facing a situation where every branch of the military will have had bordering neglect of weapons systems and other vital maintenance with potentially the nuclear deterrent and missile systems in potentially the worst shape with some munitions in such disrepair as to require their destruction and the necessary systems for producing and upgrading these vital assets also teetering on exhausted supplies and neglected condition as to make their management a simple case of dereliction of duty caused by strangled funding and intentional degradation ordered from the highest places. They will find the senior officers to be largely made up of a weakened corps of merely ‘yes men’ and actual pacifists who believe the United States military would best serve the world in the capacity to deliver aid but not necessarily deliver force of arms beyond the shoreline with the exception of utilizing drones and other stand-off weapons partially due to depleted manpower caused by decreased funding and the paring down of the military leadership through neglect to make efforts to retain the officer’s corps.

 

The rebuilding of the military power will take a concerted effort and require massive funding increases which will make any promise of reduction of the tax burden near to impossible to deliver on in the first two years without simply patching some of the most serious areas of military weakness due to nearly eight years of intentional neglect and lack of concerns for the consequences. There will be the need for some of the cancelled military productions and for consideration of developing modern replacement for some of the oldest of the vital systems. The B-52 heavy bombing corps is utilizing airframes mostly built before 1990 and using systems designed originally in the early and mid-1950s and receiving upgrades restricted to that airframe and other limitations due to restrictions resulting from the designs being of antiquated designs and technologies which would require extensive restructuring of the basic airframe which would more likely be better served by replacement of the B-52 fleet with a new long-range bomber designed with forward looking technology. Even the B-1 and B-2 bombers are utilizing old technology and would require a complete overhaul of systems and even design. The Air Force may be better served with considering a completely new strategy where the pilots of fighter squadrons no longer were seated directly in the aircraft but instead flying the fighters from remoted position of a dedicated stealth aircraft where multiple fighters are controlled from relative safe stand-off positions. Such remotely controlled aircraft could retain much of the size of the current airframes which now being remotely controlled the airframes could be designed with intent of making high-G maneuvers previously impossible to execute due to having a pilot onboard the aircraft. Such a fleet utilizing such design parameters would revolutionize air combat for the future in ways thought unimaginable just ten years ago. The same considerations could be utilized in many modern systems when their next redesign is due especially armored combat vehicles using similar control systems allowing for the replacement of crews with automated systems which would permit decreased size and vulnerability of profile while retaining the accuracy and armaments of modern warfare armored systems. Replacing the infantryman with a robotic system is not yet feasible but should be a priority task presented to DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) with an expected rollout of several prototypes each providing the same abilities with additional features possible only in a robotic system. These systems would still require human operators who would make final decisions of when to shoot and when to stand down. It is doubtful that the American population is ready for terminator styled soldiers operating independently reliant solely on advanced AI (artificial intelligence) units quite yet, but even that would be a presentable concept when considering the demands that any military action place risk on the troops minimizing any possibility of human casualties.

 

The stress on military upgrading and rebuilding is simply due to the requirement of a force to back up policy is required if one intends to have a positive position in dealings with other nations or a defensive position which by requirement is overtly careful so as not to provoke anger or rejection knowing that the military is unable to back up and enforce policies and other demands including protection of the homeland and its interests overseas. This is crucial because the next President will be facing difficulties of the United States’ own making across the globe. Europe will be facing economic challenges which will render their policies being ever more defensive and cautious with numerous European nations facing unrest within their borders. The potential for an explosion of bloodshed within the European continent is becoming not only a future threat but approaching transforming into an imminent threat uncontrolled illegal immigration will be approaching the tipping point where the European culture will become challenged which will push the European indigenous population to the point where the decision will be the same as it has been throughout human history when two disparate and opposing cultures reach the point where the minority population decides to attempt, through intimidation and other threats, to impose their norms on the ever shrinking and aging majority replacing their culture and supplanting them as those wielding power going into the future. Should Europe when so challenged react in the fashion which has served them in the past, with such response as often typified be referencing the Inquisitions, the result will be just as or even more horrific. Europe as a whole has a very disturbing history of open warfare between competing positions which were demanding for far lesser changes in the culture causing horrific wars even including civil conflicts within one’s borders. The possibility of similar response today is all too real. One need not look that far afield to bear witness to such results where internal forces rise up and before all is decided, outside forces enter the war hijacking it to forcefully take over the nation wracked already in violence in an attempt to install a new set of leadership just as dictatorial, just as oppressive, just as cruel and potentially even more barbarous than the one being overturned. Such disasters even threaten to redraw the maps casting the formation for the sham and relativity designed solely to enrich foreign investments. Such is what is being fought over and is the main reasoning given by ISIS who is intent on supplanting both the former dictator and those who sought to replace their dictator with a modern system most likely with elected representation resulting in what is oft referred to as a democracy. Should ISIS prove victorious, there will be a new leadership in the form of a Caliph, an old title being restored so as to impose an old dictatorial leadership who takes their claim to the throne based on historic familial relationship to former Caliphs all the way to Muhammad thus adding a religious basis for their power. Such a religious tyranny would be very similar though diametrically opposed to the theocratic dictatorship of Iran, the other eight-hundred-pound gorilla in this struggle. The third leg of this societal struggle would be represented by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Saeed Hussein Khalil el-Sisi who has yet to be fully defined and is the sole representative desiring to inspire his nation to become the towering example of how an Arab and Muslim state is capable of using elections as the tool for actually choosing the national governance but also guaranteed to be free and open elections even should he be defeated, and then comes the real test as to whether or not the newly elected leader after President Sisi also chooses to continue the liberal march into modernity or chooses to install themselves as the unchallengeable leader of Egypt. Meanwhile, there are three distinct powers currently vying to lead by two of these and the third simply has desires of surviving the current assaults on its existence which has been an active fight since its inception in May of 1948 and has been pressed to remain on the cusp between militaristic power and start-up nation with a thriving economy wishing only to be unleashed by the restraints necessitated by a constant threat of war.

 

The largest challenge looming on the horizon and very possibly to explode before the end of President Obama’s remaining time in office is of his own doing. The potential for the start of a struggle that would forever change the world may have started once President Obama completes his own set goal of bringing Iran back into the world of nations. The manner in which President Obama set out to perform this miracle would have entailed defanging Iran and then inviting them to join the nations of the world with peaceful intentions by Iran. Instead we have a United States President blindly charging forth demanding this will be his legacy, the making of Iran a coequal partner of the Middle East. The one unavoidable fact is that just as Obamacare (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) will be his domestic policy legacy; just as, if not more, dreadful will be his foreign policy legacy as Iran becomes a nuclear power which will have established a basic arsenal of deliverable nuclear warheads consisting of minimally a dozen and more likely three to four dozen with at least one third being thermonuclear warheads (hydrogen fusion warheads). This will place Iran well ahead of whatever plans Saudi Arabia may have in place. This announcement may come at any moment all dependent upon the extent and advancement of the Iranian nuclear weapons program. The truth is the world has absolutely no clue as to whether or not Iran already possesses a number of nuclear warheads hidden away from the prying eyes wandering across the skies both orbital and others ground based aircraft. The one truth we do know is that once it becomes obvious that Iran has become a nuclear power, then it will not take numerous other Middle East nations to develop and start building their nuclear weapons arsenals. This new weapons conflict may be solely restrained by the availability of Uranium in any form to be enriched to weapons level of over ninety-percent and then its merging with the rest of the warhead. Below is the list of known nuclear weapons states and an estimate on their numbers of warheads. Once Iran has announced or been determined beyond a reasonable doubt to be armed with nuclear weapons, then the list below will become somewhat obsolete as it is rumored that Saudi Arabia has a standing agreement with Pakistan to purchase approximately one dozen nuclear warheads just so Saudi Arabia will be covered while they acquire and build their own weapons thereafter. One can also expect that Egypt and Turkey would follow suit and develop their own nuclear weapons systems. The breakdown of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, also referred to as the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), will tempt certain other members to choose to opt out and develop their own nuclear weapons. Some nations may decide to develop and build their own nuclear weapons while retaining their place on the NPT committees. Some of the other nations which might decide the time has come to join the nuclear club include Brazil, Venezuela, Argentina, Taiwan and Japan to name a few that came to mind. The nuclear club is perched to become a far larger club of nations where its membership will no longer be the reserved of the very elite but start to resemble another useless body, the United Nations General Assembly which has become a place where the barbarians sit in judgement making decisions that carry no weight behind them beyond the media attention they generate.

1) Russia 7,500
2) United States 7,100
3) France 300
4) China 250
5) United Kingdom 225
6) Pakistan120 (estimated)
7) India 110 (estimated)
8) Israel 80 (estimated)
9) North Korea < 10 (estimated)
10) Iran ??

 

The final stage is China and her continuous efforts to claim the South China Sea and all the islands found within that general area. The problem is there are other nations who claim these islands and who hold claims just as valid. There is a chance of a conflict here though one has to imagine that China is the eight-hundred-pound gorilla of Asia as her size and modernized army with weapons to match and including nuclear weapons. This is the main reason that Japan, Taiwan and even the Philippines might all be slowly reaching the conclusion that if they are to prevent China taking over the islands one after the other inexorably slinking towards their main Isles thus posing an ever growing threat to these Island nations, they are considering that which would have a decade ago been unthinkable, joining the nuclear armed nations so as to have equal threat potential against China. More as an aside than a warning, one must also remember that the most recent Russian madman, Putin, has delusions of reestablishing Greater Russia and now that China and Russia are back on speaking terms, they have been talking of an alliance for sharing technological advances, nuclear technology, weapons research and development. This has an ominous side in that most terrorist groups have either Russia or China at the head of their supply chain. All taken in, we find the nation of the United States with a military that many have pointed to as merely having the strength the United States could project at the very start of World War II, Russia and China ascending, Iran, supported by Russia and China, being handed nuclear weapons and a very large industrial scale systems to construct said weapons from where they will begin to exercise power over the Middle East and perhaps beyond to Central and South America through Venezuela and Cuba being aided by Russia who appears poised to reacquire the lands of Eastern Europe and Central Eurasia, reestablishing the concept of a Greater Russia. Additionally there is China with an ever more capable navy claiming and taking one island after another while claiming all of the South China Sea and threatening to replace America as the preeminent power in the Pacific including the coastal areas in South America and made all the worse as the United States had gifted China with owning the ports at both ends of the Panama Canal even before the turn of the calendar to the twenty-first century.Then Iran has as luck would have it control over the Straits of Hormuz through which almost all of the Middle Eastern oil is transported to the world and is taking control the straits of Bab el Mandeb through their proxy in Yemen, the Houthis, which grants them control over the Suez Canal as this is where the Red Sea enters the Gulf of Aden leading to the Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and the world thus granting Iran control over one third of the world’s trade and oil while China controls the busiest sea in the South China Sea as well as the second busiest canal in the Panama Canal. How much more change can the world hope to endure?

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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