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Indonesia cosying up to Russia shows why Australia needs to consider nukes

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  • Originally posted by tbm3fan View Post

    Obviously a NFZ is easier to implement then we think despite having to create 3 in the past.

    Let me see can I think of one guy who I know would have done absolutely nothing but sell the Ukrainians down the river. I'm grasping for straws can you help me AR?
    Something...something...something...Fat Nixon...something.
    “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
    Mark Twain

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
      Easily done, the Chinese ain't even 25% the foe the USSR was.
      ok so you are saying the spending is proportional to the threat. It does not as he argues demonstrate a lack of US resolve.

      Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
      I think FNOPs answer that well enough.
      This would be the stock counter to anyone saying China is dominating the SCS. Until they can stop or deter FONOPS then they are not in charge.

      He seems to think the time is ripe for the Chinese to call the American bluff and vice versa. He thinks the present configuration of balancing powers is dangerous and the only logical conclusion of that is a war. And the way to avoid that war is for one party to back off. When that happens its an implication that winner has enlarged or retained their sphere of influence.

      We've not reached that point yet where one makes a threat and the other has to back off. No Cuba or Berlin moments yet. They did not stop the rivalry. What they did was prevent a war.


      Trying to find where he written more about a standoff and found a couple. Too short

      China now likely to call America’s bluff over Taiwan | The Australian | Nov 21 2021

      Beijing wants to take control of Taiwan to assert its position as the leading power in East Asia, and America wants to assert its claims to that position by preventing Beijing from doing so. The one that backs down or loses over Taiwan will concede the contest for regional leadership.

      China has ceased to accept America’s longstanding position as the primary power in Asia. It wants to push America out of the region and take its place. China is doing precisely what rising powers throughout history have done.

      Behind the talk of “the rules-based order” and “a free and open Indo-Pacific” is a simple, almost primal objective – to resist China’s growing power and ambition by encouraging and supporting Washington to defend and perpetuate its regional primacy. If necessary, it seems, by going to war with China.

      Of course, no one in Canberra or Washington wants a war, or expects one. They hope and expect that the mere threat of war will make China back off. But China is playing the same game, hoping that its threats of war will make America back off. Both sides assume the other is bluffing. That is a dangerous assumption. Probably neither side is quite sure whether they themselves are bluffing or not, but in an escalating crisis countries often find it harder to admit that they have been bluffing than they expected, and decide that going to war is the less-bad option. Usually this turns out to be very wrong. This is how wars between great powers have often started in the past, when neither side wanted to fight.

      If it goes beyond a mere skirmish, a war between America and China over Taiwan would be the first between major powers since 1945, and the first between nuclear-armed states. It would be primarily a maritime war and, until quite recently, America would have been sure of a swift, cheap victory because maritime war is America’s forte. But in the past 25 years China has developed formidable air and naval capabilities specifically to counter US forces in the Western Pacific, so now the most likely outcome is a costly and inconclusive stalemate.

      The scale of forces on both sides means it would swiftly become the biggest war since 1945. After a few days or weeks both sides would have lost a lot of ships and aircraft and suffered a lot of casualties, but neither side would have inflicted enough damage on the other to force it to concede. Both sides would then consider threatening to use nuclear weapons to break the stalemate, and no one could be sure whether or when those threats might be fulfilled. On balance one would have to say that the chances of the war going nuclear are quite high. The chances of America winning such a war are very low – and whether Australia, or even Japan, joins the fight makes very little difference.

      That has two implications. First, going to war with China will not work to preserve US leadership in Asia; indeed, it will more likely destroy it. That means we in Australia cannot expect to preserve the regional order we’d prefer by going to war for it. Once war starts that order would probably be utterly destroyed.

      Second, America’s dwindling chances of winning make its threats to fight less credible in Beijing, which makes it more likely that the Chinese will provoke a crisis to call America’s bluff. All this means that threatening war is not a prudent policy, and actually going to war would be a very big policy mistake. The cost of such a war, in both blood and treasure, would be almost unthinkably large. The costs of war would probably be far higher than the costs of living under a new Chinese-led regional order.

      But what of our values? A Chinese-led order in Asia would put at risk fundamental moral precepts which many would argue should never be compromised at any cost. It is credible, for example, to argue that Taiwan’s robust democracy should not be subjugated to Beijing’s increasingly authoritarian rule under any circumstances. But those who see the question this way should be clear about the scale of the costs involved in acting on that basis. There is a mortal imperative to avoid war, and perhaps especially to avoid nuclear war, which must be balanced against the imperative to support democracy against authoritarianism. We have not yet begun seriously to debate the competing claims of these seemingly incompatible imperatives.

      Australia today needs to start debating these questions, which are perhaps comparable to the challenge of climate change in their importance for our future, and may prove to be even more urgent. Things are moving fast, as the recent AUKUS decision shows, and events could force a once-and-for-all decision on our governments literally at any time.
      So this is similar to an India-China conflict. Costly & inconclusive stalemate. Which implies an India win as China would have to win decisively and India has to just not lose. To me it means China won't start one with India unless it is very certain of winning.

      But with US-China the onus is on the US to win it. Here China has to not lose. So it is the US that will avoid a conflict and if forced into it will end up destroying the present order in the region.

      So China can keep provoking the US. Where is the downside for China ? this explains their SCS antics in the last decade. And lack of US action to counter it. At the time you said no fight over rocks. This is grey zone and whatever gains China makes are non-tactical ie. useless in a future fight.

      China has not yet pulled off a Ukraine.

      I think he interprets this provoking as calling the US bluff and at some point it could spiral into something more serious.

      Whenever we consider China Taiwan we say its too hard for China to pull off. Or a war with the US is also likewise too difficult for China.

      Nobody to date has made the case that this war is also hard for the US and the easier option is to back off because the threat to the US long term is lower than it was with the Soviets.
      Last edited by Double Edge; 10 Mar 22,, 18:13.

      Comment


      • Problems with the article

        Both sides assume the other is bluffing.
        We're not bluffing. Our FNOPs showed them quite clearly that we can kill them and they won't know it until it's too late.

        After a few days or weeks both sides would have lost a lot of ships and aircraft and suffered a lot of casualties, but neither side would have inflicted enough damage on the other to force it to concede. Both sides would then consider threatening to use nuclear weapons to break the stalemate, and no one could be sure whether or when those threats might be fulfilled
        This is most fucking stupid. First of all, the USN will sink the China Navy hands down and there is nothing the China Navy can do crap all about. 2nd, a 200 warhead power challenging a 3000 warhead power? On whose planet?
        Chimo

        Comment


        • The scale of forces on both sides means it would swiftly become the biggest war since 1945. After a few days or weeks both sides would have lost a lot of ships and aircraft and suffered a lot of casualties, but neither side would have inflicted enough damage on the other to force it to concede. Both sides would then consider threatening to use nuclear weapons to break the stalemate, and no one could be sure whether or when those threats might be fulfilled. On balance one would have to say that the chances of the war going nuclear are quite high. The chances of America winning such a war are very low – and whether Australia, or even Japan, joins the fight makes very little difference.
          The Chinese Navy is able to go toe to toe with the US Navy? With god knows how many Los Angeles Class attack subs are in the region. Combined that with the Japanese Navy? We are not talking Chinese Navy vs Indian Navy here.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by tbm3fan View Post
            We are not talking Chinese Navy vs Indian Navy here.
            That won't happen because with these two the rule -- external SLOCs are no match for internal ones applies.

            IN can't challenge PLAN in their backyard and vice versa

            For now and provided the balance of maritime power is maintained.

            Originally posted by tbm3fan View Post
            The Chinese Navy is able to go toe to toe with the US Navy? With god knows how many Los Angeles Class attack subs are in the region. Combined that with the Japanese Navy?
            That's the case today. What about in a decade or more. China continues expanding its navy. Their numbers keep increasing. Conceivably you can see they will field much more than USN isn't it.

            Still trying to find the basis for his assertions. Unless he explains that in length he's going to get called out.
            Last edited by Double Edge; 11 Mar 22,, 16:24.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
              Problems with the article

              We're not bluffing. Our FNOPs showed them quite clearly that we can kill them and they won't know it until it's too late.
              I think the Chinese get it. They won't push beyond a point.

              What i think he is conflating is grey zone with the possibility of conflict. If the grey zone works then China gets more confident.

              There is no way to deter grey zone entirely. All you can do is tit for tat. Does not have to be in the same theater or dimension.

              Russian bombers during the cold war flying close to Alaska only to turn back at the last minute still required the US to scramble jets. Like Taiwan these days.

              This does not mean a failure of deterrence. Deterrence fails if things turn kinetic and that has not happened. So long as things remain grey zone then deterrence is working.

              Just because the grey zone exists does not mean it will turn into a conflict. At least not with peer or near peer competitors.

              Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
              First of all, the USN will sink the China Navy hands down and there is nothing the China Navy can do crap all about. 2nd, a 200 warhead power challenging a 3000 warhead power? On whose planet?
              USN would sink PLAN therefore no need to threaten with nukes. You get this but it would seem many do not.

              This guy is ex-MOD. He's definitely seen stuff that isn't in the open source.

              It's not China threatening with nukes. He figures the USN would be overwhelmed conventionally presumably by numbers and would have to resort to nukes to break the stalemate. It's the US threatening with nukes which the Chinese can counter threaten back.

              Like in Europe. Soviet tanks overwhelmed in numbers whatever NATO had and the only way to keep the balance was nukes and the will to use them.

              Keep in mind the scope of this thread is 2-3 decades in the future. Not that it will happen tomorrow or next year. Though some people seem to think it will happen sooner rather than later.

              Why's that argument not work for China ?

              You have this belief that USN primacy in the region will hold indefinitely
              Last edited by Double Edge; 11 Mar 22,, 17:20.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Double Edge View Post
                You have this belief that USN primacy in the region will hold indefinitely
                It will hold in my remaining years. After that, I cannot and will not comment.

                Chimo

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Double Edge View Post
                  That won't happen because with these two the rule -- external SLOCs are no match for internal ones applies.

                  IN can't challenge PLAN in their backyard and vice versa

                  For now and provided the balance of maritime power is maintained.


                  That's the case today. What about in a decade or more. China continues expanding its navy. Their numbers keep increasing. Conceivably you can see they will field much more than USN isn't it.

                  Still trying to find the basis for his assertions. Unless he explains that in length he's going to get called out.
                  I was being quite sarcastic...

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
                    It will hold in my remaining years. After that, I cannot and will not comment.
                    That's the difficulty with this topic. Who knows what will be the case a decade or more from now. You can claim and counter claim anything you want isn't it

                    He projects current US defense spend into the future, assumes it won't change and then concludes the US cannot keep up.

                    What's to say US defense spend won't increase beyond 3.9% GDP. Because it is going up across the region i doubt the US can afford to avoid increases.

                    The assumption i would make is if the US is dominant today they they will do the required spending to maintain that position into the future.

                    While the % might have reduced earlier because back then China was still in its bide & hide mode that is not the case in the last few years.

                    Our relationship with China will be competitive when it should be, collaborative when it can be, adversarial when it must be -- Blinken

                    So its game on.
                    Last edited by Double Edge; 11 Mar 22,, 18:09.

                    Comment


                    • Chinese $60Bil defence budget has a long way to go before it can match the American $400bil+
                      Chimo

                      Comment


                      • China rejects talk of ‘hidden military spending’ as ‘baseless fantasy’, with defence budget set to mark biggest rise in 3 years | SCMP | Mar 10 2022

                        The comments from ministry spokesman Wu Qian came after Beijing revealed a 7.1 per cent rise in defence spending this year – the fastest pace of growth since 2019.

                        The increase would take the military budget to 1.45 trillion yuan (US$230 billion), up from a 6.8 per cent increase in 2021 and a 6.6 per cent rise in 2020.
                        However, Chinese military expenditure is seen to lack transparency, with critics calling out “hidden spending” that is not disclosed.

                        Wu rejected the existence of any hidden security budget. “China has actively participated in the United Nations’ military expenditure transparency system. Since 2008, it has submitted to the UN military expenditure reports for the previous fiscal year every year,” Wu said on the sidelines of China’s annual parliamentary session.

                        “The so-called hidden military spending hyped by some external forces is nothing but a baseless fantasy,” he told reporters on Wednesday.

                        “Compared with military powers such as the United States, China’s defence spending is still at a low level.”

                        China spends around 2 per cent of its GDP on defence, compared to more than 3 per cent by the US.

                        “China’s increase in defence spending is not only necessary to meet complex security challenges, but also to fulfil its responsibilities as a major power,” Wu said, asserting that “Chinese defence spending maintains its moderate and steady growth”.
                        It is interesting how the Chinese Defense spokesman tries to play down and defend the present spends.

                        It's the US that is spending too much he says
                        Last edited by Double Edge; 11 Mar 22,, 18:42.

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                        • Yep, not in my lifetime. My memory is gone. Thought it was 2006. So, pretty soon, don't even have to worry about remembering accurately anymore.
                          Chimo

                          Comment


                          • I was not sure where you got the 60B vs 400B figure from unless you deducted pensions from it somehow ?

                            Figures i have are 230B for China and 700B+ for the US.

                            We have a counter for his resolve issue. If the clock starts in 2017, then it would be premature to say the US isn't engaged lacks resolve.

                            if we were in 2030 and US defense spend was lower than 3% then we can start to worry.

                            Interesting comment from Mearsheimer as to why there is a NATO in Europe and not in Asia

                            Geography. More contiguous in Europe.

                            Harder to do in Asia. Japan & Korea were the only two treaty cold war partners. What do they have in common. Proximity. This means defendable.
                            Last edited by Double Edge; 11 Mar 22,, 19:50.

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                            • Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
                              Hugh White is a dumb ass speaking out of his asshole. He is skeptical of the US?
                              Hugh's been had by the CCP and is parroting their narrative as Clive Hamilton in his critique goes on to say below

                              This eagerness to write off the US and the near certainty of China's dominance is the give away.

                              He never answered your question. He went about it by arguing resolve and then used the CCP's line of Comprehensive national power or size of GDP.

                              Well, I can tell you that CNP isn't working for them in the mountains Chances are it won't work in the ocean either.

                              Economies don't fight wars, militaries do and stronger ones win them !

                              From Mar 07 2019, Trump era.


                              Thanks to Hugh for presenting a very compelling argument as he typically does and of course his arguments have been very influential in the Australian public debate which is why it's a bit daunting to have to take him on but nevertheless needs to.

                              So our China policy has to be based on an accurate understanding of the nature of the CCP regime, its objectives and its modus operandi and I'll argue that Hugh's analysis of the situation Australia faces is so wrong because he doesn't understand the nature of the CCP regime. In fact Hugh has actually argued that we don't need to understand the nature of the CCP regime in China. I'll get to that. And so in responding I take my cue mainly from Hugh's most detailed account, of his theory and I'm going to concentrate on a critique of Hugh because it really lays out an alternative understanding of the situation and Australia's position in it which is an understanding that dictates what our China policy should be.

                              So I'll take my cue from Hugh's influential quarterly essay 'Without America' of November 2017.

                              Hugh's theory of history is simple, the world is driven by great power rivalry, the dominant power is challenged by the rising power whose ascendancy is a function overwhelmingly of its economic strength. Sooner or later the declining power must give way unless it's willing to go to war. In the nuclear age going to war means risking massive destruction at home. So it boils down to which of the rival powers can convince the other it's more willing to use its nukes.

                              In this bull elephant theory of history, smaller nations must choose between the dominant but declining power and the rising power. This bilateral view is in Charles Edel's commentary, exactly how Beijing frames the contest -- purely as great power rivalry with all other states relegated to bit parts. Pervading all of Hugh's writings is a mood of regretful truth telling. For those who think the United States will continue to support us --he writes alas international relations don't work that way. In fact alas is Hugh's favorite word. It might be discomforting, he tells us but we have to face up to the hard truths. He writes 'so we find ourselves in a new Asia and we do not like it but that's the hand history is dealing us and we must make the best of it'. Notice that this hand of history robs us of our agency so that Australia's strategic future is determined overwhelmingly by the shifting tectonic plates of great power rivalry. Australia is just a boulder sitting on one tectonic plate which is being pushed back by another and we'd be better off rolling across to the advancing one.

                              Hugh's economic determinism, the kind of crude Marxism that Marx himself repudiated not only deprives the citizens of smaller nations like Australia of the freedom to decide the future of their country. Even great powers are at the mercy of history's forces. The United States may for a while cling to its past as the dominant power in Asia but it can't resist history. And what is history driving forth ? Hugh's very clear on this too..

                              'The richer a country is the stronger it is'

                              Measures of GDP are 'the numbers that really matter' and he said again tonight he was bowled over by Treasury's GDP estimates for 2030 showing China's economy substantially larger than that of the US. These numbers sort nations into what he calls the international pecking order. So here's Hugh's essential proposition --the shifting balance of economic power amplified by political decay in the United States will result in the withdrawal of the US from Asia, leaving it as China's sphere of influence. He couldn't put it more bluntly than this. America will lose and China will win. Even if the United States wanted to remain in Asia the fact is that Beijing is more willing to go to war he says and in a confrontation, Washington will back down and retreat.

                              In an exasperated response to the quarterly essay, the eminent China scholar, David Shambaugh wrote-- 'Hugh's argument is based on a large number of fallacious assumptions, many hyperbolic and false assertions, stretch logic and analysis devoid of evidence'. He prefaced that by saying they're good friends. And he then goes on to shred Hugh's argument in my view so completely I'm a bit surprised we're here tonight.

                              In particular how Shambaugh shows that far from withdrawing from Asia the United States has been ramping up its presence and he provides a long list of actions as evidence of that. Pretty much every claim Hugh makes about Washington's lack of interest, lack of resolve to stay and its retreat from the Asia-pacific region is actually contradicted by the facts.

                              Now Hugh's shifted his position a little bit since then and he had a very interesting article in South China Morning Post where he wrote that almost everyone in Washington these days seems to agree that resisting China's seemingly insatiable ambition is now America's highest strategic priority and then he adds that Washington assumed that a new cold war with China is going to be easy to win. So in the quarterly essay, Hugh argued that the US is not resisting and is planning to withdraw from Asia but now he's arguing US wants to resist but doesn't know how to and will inevitably fail. It's the same conclusion pretty much.

                              Well, in my meetings and nowadays who would have thought I have these kinds of meetings in Washington with senior state Department officials, leading strategic experts at think tanks, military analysts, congressional staffers and senior journalists, it's very clear that contrary to Hugh's claims no one underestimates Beijing's determination. No one is talking about withdrawing from Asia and no one thinks that a new cold war with China will be easy to win. In fact they all think, if you talk to them, precisely the opposite and this is a bipartisan view. If anything the Democrats in Washington are more resolved than the Republicans to push back.

                              Now Hugh devotes in his quarterly essay a great deal of attention to analyzing the elements of American decline, the effects of 9/11, acquiescence to Russia's seizure of Crimea, opinion polls, Trump's egotism, Obama's weakness and so on but it's interesting to note that Hugh has virtually nothing to say about the internal stresses, contradictions and strategic pressures China faces. In previous writings, Hugh said that, he doesn't need to know much about China to make his argument because it wouldn't change the story of great power rivalry.

                              Yet since 1949, China under the one-party state has experienced a number of dramatic U-turns, the onset of the Cultural Revolution in '66, the arrest of the Gang of Four in '76, economic liberalisation of the 1980s, the extraordinary political and social upheaval that followed the Tiananmen Massacre of 1989. In the last six years China under Xi Jinping has radically changed direction internally and externally against resistance from other factions in the CCP. Arguably the arrival of XJP has changed China more than the arrival of Trump has changed the United States. The US is politically fractured but China is a pressure cooker of conflicting forces that could blow at any time and the party leadership lives in absolute terror of it.

                              Hugh has argued in the past that none of these happenings and conflicts in China matter. It's Thucydides or bust. Almost nothing can stop China completing its hundred year marathon to become the world's dominant power and he claims that those who believe China's rise may well run into serious obstacles are deluding themselves with wishful thinking. It's too big already he suggests yet there is I think a broad consensus that if the growth rate fell substantially and even more so if there were a recession or a financial crisis then the legitimacy and the hold on power of the CCP would be severely challenged. At a minimum it would have to divert all its attentions inward and that would change the whole strategic dynamic of Asia. But this is where things get a bit weird-- It wouldn't matter, wrote Hugh in the quarterly essay, if the CCP fell because a new kind of government would likely be more nationalistic and more assertive. Forgetting Taiwan, Hugh seems to believe that aggression and the desire for dominance is part of the character of the Chinese people.

                              I think this is the kind of logical dead-end that we get to with Hugh's great power theory of history or should I say great powers with nuclear weapons. Hugh seems obsessed with nukes, in his quarterly essay he reached the sharpest point of the argument when he wrote Beijing would be willing to fight a nuclear war over Taiwan because it's so central to China's national priorities. Now some time back Hugh made this same claim in a talk in Washington and according to someone I met who was there in the audience, there were some Chinese generals sitting in the front row and when Hugh said China will prevail because it's more willing to fight a nuclear war over Taiwan, one general leant across and muttered to another 'Does he think we're mad' ??

                              Perhaps Hugh does because he confuses Beijing's posturing, hysterics and bullying for what the Chinese are really like. Instead of seeing it as an element of the game of psychological warfare played so skillfully by the CCP.

                              Let's say Hugh's counsel of defeat is right. What would life be like for Australian citizens living in a China sphere of influence ? This question Hugh evades. Previously Hugh argued that we don't know enough about China to say what life would be like in Australia under China's hegemony but in the quarterly essay he tells us brightly that 'China has a lot to offer'.

                              Well I'm sure that China does have a lot to offer us but what does the CCP have to offer us and in a burst of alas-ology, he says we're going to have to compromise our values. He said so again tonight but without saying which ones we're going to have to give up. Freedom of speech, freedom from arbitrary arrests, democratic practices.. which of them ? Now some of us watching the CCP's frightening internal suppression and the spread across the world of its mechanisms of censorship, interference, suppression of dissidents and generalized bullying--we think living in a CCP dominated sphere of influence would be very unpleasant indeed. We worry about our democracy, our sovereignty, our human rights and we're inclined to want a fight to protect them. Isn't that what the Anzacs gave their lives for ?

                              If Hugh is right and we're condemned by history to live under China's hegemony then a gradual process of Hong Kong-ization would see this debate we're having tonight forbidden. I would not be permitted to say the things I'm saying to you. I regret to say Hugh would be fine. Now I'm not suggesting in any way that Hugh is influenced at all or beholden to the CCP. He's reached his positions, I'm completely convinced by purely intellectual process. But the truth is that the Communist Party media in China gives Hugh's views a great deal of space including the South China Morning Post now owned by Jack Ma which we've recently discovered has been a long-term loyal member of the CCP. The propaganda department in Beijing understands very well that the CCP's path is smooth to the extent that we believe Hugh's argument that China's ascendancy is virtually unstoppable and the United States will abandon Asia. And that leads us to consider the CCP's campaign of political warfare.

                              The last part of my talk and this is extremely important to understand because when we start to look at the CCP's political warfare we start to have a completely different view of the world and the strategic circumstances Australia faces to that of the traditional great power rivalry theory that Hugh puts forward.

                              Steeped as they are in Marxist Leninist theory, CCP party leaders in China believe that they are engaged in perpetual struggle. In a recent paper by Mahnken, Ross Babbage and Toshi Yoshihara they put it this way--'It's abundantly clear that the party sees itself at war with the West. Its books portray a life-and-death struggle against dangerous ideological forces that could topple the regime. The party sees the external world and especially the West as a hostile force bent on undermining it at every opportunity. It must therefore be constantly vigilant. It must implement countermeasures and go on the offensive' That is engage in political warfare.

                              Mark Stokes and Russel Hsiao define political warfare as follows 'Political warfare seeks to influence emotions, motives, objective reasoning and behavior of foreign governments, organizations, groups and individuals in a manner favorable to one's own political military objectives'. If speaking of war seems too strong then we need to recognize that that is how the CCP leadership sees it. It sees itself at war. It's not a metaphor but a different understanding of war as a means of subduing adversaries. Essential to the PRC strategy has been to reconfigure the role of its military forces to make them expert in information, cyber and psychological warfare and to integrate these forms into conventional kinds of military pressure. These in turn are coordinated with other forms of power projection conducted by various arms of government including United Front work, propaganda work, economic statecraft and the increasingly coercive forms of diplomacy practiced by Beijing. So whether we like it or not alas, Australia and its allies are engaged in a new kind of warfare. Political warfare.

                              The aim is to subdue Australia so that we do not offer resistance to China's continued expansion and geopolitical dominance. The most important vectors of influence are through elites. Political warfare targets influential individuals with sophisticated psychological operations so that they are persuaded to argue Beijing's case. And I'm sure you don't need to think very hard in the Australian political firmament to identify several people who have been doing that on a regular basis for some years.

                              Psychological work on elites complements Beijing's most powerful weapon of political warfare-- economic persuasion and coercion and we've seen it applied with real but always deniable restrictions on imports from Australia, leading business groups to pressure the government to relent and be friendlier to Beijing. It's a view that has been absorbed into the Department of Foreign Affairs. In Taiwan I discovered when I went there which is long familiar with Beijing tactics of course, this ploy has a name, forgive the pronunciation yi shang Bei jing(?) 'Use business to pressure government'.

                              Put simply then while Hugh was preoccupied with how states use their strength to impose their will on one another, I am arguing that Beijing is playing a very different game. Rather than applying pressure from without it's attempting with considerable success to undermine resistance from within. In the canonical text, The art of war, no China debate can go without a quote from it, Sun Tzu says, It's always preferable to defeat an enemy without joining battle. The aim is to psych-out the enemy and that's what's happened I'm suggesting with Hugh.

                              When he suggests we must accept Beijing hegemony, he's been psyched out by the CCP's political warfare. So I say all this by way of critique of Hugh's position which is a very persuasive position to try to convince you that way of looking at the world and the strategic contest which is going on between China & the US, Australia, Japan, Taiwan, India and the whole region is a very different way of conducting a strategic contest and we need to understand it that way because if we're going about it thinking in terms of great power rivalry and nukes at 10 paces then we're going to not only misunderstand the situation but develop a set of responses to it that more than likely will play into the hands of Beijing.

                              A new kind of contest is underway and we need new kinds of responses to face up to it.

                              Thank you
                              Last edited by Double Edge; 13 Mar 22,, 03:31.

                              Comment


                              • I'd not heard of Hugh White before until he was mentioned earlier in the thread here

                                Reason i chased this down is i've come across articles and commentators in the Aussie media that just reek of fear and not being able to figure out why.

                                Well, we now know how to handle Hugh's style of argument.

                                Clive Hamilton i've heard of, having watched discussions about his book 'Silent Invasion' where he explains how Chinese influence operations were targeting Australia's institutions with the intent to corrupt them. You can see that in the last paras of his critique.

                                This is SOP for the CCP every where. It just bubbled to the surface faster in Australia.

                                The next commentator Jim Molan that i will post about is harder to tackle.
                                Last edited by Double Edge; 13 Mar 22,, 00:44.

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