Comparative Assessment: The Military Option

Thu, Feb 6, 2014 - 12:31am

Any true analysis of near term predictions must take into account the various military options and capabilities of the world's current powers.

Recently, and I apologize in advance for not taking the time to go back and link to it, a post appeared here discussing the Chinese military reality. There was mention of a submarine that sunk, and that the Chinese troops do not seem to have any real ability to endure field conditions or hardships.

I found that fascinating, because I am a former soldier, and nasty, miserable field conditions are just no big deal. We call that camping, and even pay dearly for the privilege.

Thinking on a macro level, though, I began to wonder about the concept of an actual outbreak of a shooting war somewhere in the world.

Going beyond the concept of currency wars, which are playing out in real time right in front of us, what would happen if shooting really started?

This thought lead to a cascade of simultaneous war game scenarios, all of which lead to a most startling question: why is there NO discussion at all about the role of an increasingly capable Chinese fighting force or the denigration of US fighting forces from logistical and personnel decreases or budgetary concerns?

Is this subject so taboo as to warrant NO MOPE at all? Or, have TPTB realized that any mention of the USA military capabilities via a via the Chinese would lead to polarization beyond that which we have now, or worse, to an honest critique of the true dire situation that the failure of western fiat paper has created?

Or, is it just that the Chinese are truly ass backwards when it comes to military capabilities? It is true that they have no professional military. But, the Soviets had their one party system, yet they fielded a most formidable military, even with conscription and less than perfect weapons systems as compared to the Americans.

Or is it something else entirely, like for example, the Chinese play a longer time frame, easily out maneuvering the hasty Americans who are bound by managers on a quarterly return basis, and by politicians focused on a narrow, two year time cycle? If this is the case, then is it not a compelling conclusion that the Chinese are playing a physical gold accumulating, hegemony altering, world commerce dominating game of thrones?

Is this not obvious who has played the best hand, and that the game is revealing itself?

Think about why Bill O'Reilly had Ms. Bartiroma as a guest tonight? Was she advocating something real, or managed? Why is she on TV, right now, advocating continued buying of the USA stocks?

I am more convinced by the day that 2014 is it. The collapse is afoot. I'm buying more gold.

About the Author


Dyna mo hum
Feb 6, 2014 - 3:12pm

Oh boy this is a good one... Clueless
She said at a recent press conference reported by The Daily Mail that the caucus members will work hard to “give President Obama a number of executive orders that he can sign with pride and strength. In fact, I think that should be our number one agenda. Let’s write up these executive orders – draft them, of course – and ask the president to stand with us on full employment.”

Read more:
Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter
Feb 6, 2014 - 3:21pm

I choked on this part

Not that it really matters, BUT, forgive me I choked on this part;

".........There was mention of a submarine that sunk, and that the Chinese troops do not seem to have any real ability to endure field conditions or hardships."

1) Both we and the Russkies have lost nuclear subs at sea too. Go Google it - I'll wait here.

2) Do we have such short memories that we have forgotten that is was Chinese troops that fought a world coalition to a 5 year stand-still in Korea? Yah, real softies those guys are, huh?

3) Do we have such short memories that we have forgotten that is was Chinese troops that fought the US to a ten year humiliating defeat in VietNam? More softies, huh?

4) Let's see, who was it that was imported to do the incredibly grueling work of building the western portion of our railroads? More softies, huh?

5) Who are earning the most Phd's in the Sciences in American Universities? More of those lazy Asian softies, huh?

Oh wait, you thought those were part-time rice farmers who snuck out in their pajamas in the middle of night to become, ''insurgents"?

Ok, you can go back to sleep on the couch now. Sorry to have disturbed your life-long slumber.

Feb 6, 2014 - 3:23pm

China's Military in 2020

Image Credit: wikimedia commons Imagining China’s Military in 2020

Recent testimony forecasts what the People’s Liberation Army could look like in 2020.

By Harry Kazianis January 31, 2014

For anyone who cares to delve into the deep body of literature on China’s budding military modernization program, one thing becomes clear very quickly — it is heavy on opinion and short on facts. In many respects this is to be expected. For those who are old enough to recall debates regarding the Soviet Union’s military prowess throughout the Cold War, obviously viewpoints varied dramatically. Yet, there were always a few voices that should have been listened to then and the same is true of today’s debates concerning the rise of the PLA.

Case in point. One scholar who certainly does not get enough credit but deserves your attention is Atlantic Council non-resident Senior Fellow Roger Cliff. He may not have his own blog or you might not see his writings all over the China defense blogosphere (oops), but when he writes you need to listen. Cliff, along with a whole host of scholars at the Rand Corporation, authored the first comprehensive study of China’s A2/AD strategy and, in this author’s view, deserves the lion’s share of the credit for bringing this important issue to the public’s attention. While overtaken by current events to a large extent, Entering the Dragon’s Lair

is always a work I turn back to again and again when I consider China’s A2/AD strategy, even seven years after it was published. Flashpoints readers: if you don’t own it, you should.

So when Cliff testified in front of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission recently, it was certainly on my radar. Having interviewed Cliff when I was an Assistant Editor here at The Diplomat, I knew quality analysis would be forthcoming. While much of his prepared testimony focused on how China’s growing military capabilities might be employed against U.S. forces during a clash over Taiwan (something that does not get enough attention), there were three other juicy tidbits worth extra attention.

First, Cliff explains correctly that a great deal of attention has been paid to Beijing’s ASBM efforts, yet, China has a whole host of options to harass American carriers in the Asia-Pacific. Even if such efforts do not deliver a mission kill against a carrier, they could “be so consumed with defending themselves that they would not be able to use significant numbers of their aircraft for defending Taiwan.” He notes that “carriers operating within about a thousand miles of China’s coast, for example, would also be subject to attack by land-based Chinese Su-30 and J-11B fighters, JH-7 supersonic fighter bombers, and H-6 bombers, all of which can be armed with anti-ship cruise missiles.”

It seems that while American carriers are certainly prepared to defend themselves, the sheer amount of challenges they would face could prove fatal. Like I have said before, math might just be missile defense’s worst enemy.

Second, Cliff makes some interesting predictions when it comes to China’s armed forces in the years to come. He explains that “by my estimates, in 2020 the weaponry of China’s military forces will be roughly comparable to that of the U.S. military in 2000.” Clearly, experts could interpret this many different ways. “One way to look at that is to say that even in 2020 China’s military will still be 20 years behind the U.S. military. Another way to look at it, however, is to ask how much more advanced the U.S. military will be in 2020 as compared to 2000,” Cliff notes in his testimony.

Finally, Cliff comments that China’s training should be a concern for U.S. military planners trying to make predictions and comparisons about Beijing’s ability to wage combat operations with a true level of sophistication. Let’s face it: you can have all the high-tech weapons in the world but if you have no clue how to use them — well, you get the idea. Many defense experts I have spoken with over the years have wildly different opinions when it comes to China’s military training proficiencies. Still, one thing is clear — they are getting gaining proficiency quickly. As Cliff notes, “by 2020 the average Chinese soldier will be better educated than his or her American counterpart.”

So what to make of all this? First off, read the whole testimony. Second, over the last few weeks China defense watchers have been treated to a whole host of news stories that point to a clear trend: an evolving and ever-capable Chinese military. From stories of new Chinese carriers, to hypersonic weapons tests, to deployments farther and farther away from the coast, to better training, it is clear China’s military is becoming much more capable. When combined with tensions in the East and South China Sea, declarations of an ADIZ, and a whole host of controversial statements coming from Beijing on a constant basis, a patterns seems to be emerging — one in which China’s power is growing and could slowly but surely seek to unwind the status quo. Some would argue it already is.

Although my thoughts on what Washington should do about this will have to wait for a future post, one thing is clear — the U.S. must keep a close eye on the rise of China’s military in the years to come.

thedukes SilverRunNW
Feb 6, 2014 - 3:30pm

Re: Mike Stathis

Just curious to know who Mike Stathis is so I watched the Peter Schiff video the and Mark Faber video and was completely unimpressed. In the Schiff video dated 6/2012 he completely knocks the Euro. It has climbed from that video from 120 up to 136 today. In the Faber video dated 6/2013 he talks about the incredible strength of the dollar which was 84 at the time of the video today it's 81.

I get tired of people that bash gold without confirmation from the dollar that it is doing the mirror opposite of what gold is doing. Yes gold has dropped 43% from high to low during this correction while the dollar has risen only 9% over that same period of time.

Feb 6, 2014 - 3:34pm
cp3 SilverRunNW
Feb 6, 2014 - 3:45pm


silver run, first thanks for your comments,

I am new to this posting and tried several ways to

figure out how to post some of his YT vids but could not,

can you help there?

also I am curious about why Turd would not invite

Stathis on and debate, always healthy to have a diff

POV ... stathis, who I just heard about last night,

seems to have a well documented record of success.

I am in seattle, SRNW, where do you live?

Just trying to figure out all angles and not dismiss anything

w/o looking into it ... have to admit the metals have taken

huge beating and no one is making a dime off it other than

the pumpers the last 2.5 years and pay sites, right?



Feb 6, 2014 - 3:51pm
ancientmoney cp3
Feb 6, 2014 - 4:07pm

@CP3 re: making a dime . . .

"have to admit the metals have taken

huge beating and no one is making a dime off it other than

the pumpers the last 2.5 years . . . right?"


You didn't ask my opinion, but I couldn't let this comment pass unchallenged.

First, I think JPM made boatloads off their short positions in PMs. Some others privvy to the manipulation maps did as well.

Second, why not look at, say, the last 11-12 years? Many of us, who were early to this game, have had 300-400% gains in that time, even with the JPM shenanigans the last 2.5 years.

ancientmoney abguy4
Feb 6, 2014 - 4:16pm

@abguy4 re: Chinese . . .

Yeah, not a people to ignore as incompetents. Another person wrote:

"When I was a kid in Catholic school, the nuns taught us that one of the secret prophesies revealed by Mary, the Mother of Jesus, when she appeared to three poor shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal in 1917, was allegedly: “The yellow race will rule the world.” Even in the 1950s, we understood that the yellow race meant the Chinese. We joked that we all loved Chinese food so maybe it wouldn’t be so bad. But now I am of a different mind. For the most part, it’s the Chinese who stitch our underwear, make our plastic flowers, and sell us software online. "

And, I would add, who now owns the most modern factories in the world, and to whom we owe $2trillion. How did that happen?

Feb 6, 2014 - 4:43pm

Why would anyone...

...push a pundit they had JUST heard about, and don't know the track record of, on a site they had JUST joined, that for the most part holds a diametrically opposing viewpoint? And when resistance/objection is raised, counter with the need for a healthy debate? Should we also invite Jim Cramer to, you know, maintain a diversity of opinion? Curious to hear some of your better-reasoned viewpoints, but you seem to be off to a poor start

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