“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Finally the US is worried about Chinese military expansion.

It doesn't take much of a military genius to recognize that China is building a worldwide economic system of markets and sources of raw material.

A great worldwide economic power requires the guns and muscle to keep its status, position and property.

China is well on the way to being a major super power. Recall the voices from the not too distant past that poo-pooed the idea of China achieving parity with the US.

Of course that was before we pissed away a few trillion in bad trade deals and military adventures in the FME (formerly known as the ME but more richly deserving of the F bomb appellation).

Well here we are urging the Chinese not to surprise us and please keep us informed. Our urgency will surely impress them.

Don't look for help from anywhere else. It looks like the Indians are throwing in the towel.


US urges China military dialogue BBC

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates has called for a lasting dialogue with China's military after meeting a top Chinese general at the Pentagon.

A Pentagon spokesman said Mr Gates told China's Gen Xu Caihou the two sides should "break the on-again, off-again cycle" in their military relationship.

The talks marked the highest bilateral military contact since 2006.

Last year, Beijing halted military dialogue with Washington to protest against US arms sales to Taiwan.
China has also criticised US surveillance of waters off Chinese coast.


"There is a need to break the on-again-off-again cycle of our military-to-military relationship," said Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell, briefing reporters on Mr Gates' talks with Gen Xu, vice-chairman of the People's Liberation Army Central Military Commission.

China has been rapidly expanding its armed forces

In the past, there had been progress "and then there will be a hiccup that will cause there to be a suspension" in military co-operation, Mr Morell said.

The spokesman described the talks as "productive", adding that Mr Gates accepted Gen Xu's invitation to visit China.

Meanwhile, US officials - who were speaking on the condition of anonymity - said Gen Xu was open to boosting military co-operation, but reiterated "obstacles" to deepening ties, such as the presence of US surveillance ships off China's coast.

Speaking earlier this week, Gen Xu said that China did not want "hegemony" or an arms race.
Washington has repeatedly urged China to be more open about its rapidly rising military spending.


  1. China's a playah. Going to be a Super-Playah. We need to treat them as such.

  2. Okay Rufus now you've moved from peak oil to my field of expertise. We've got 11 carriers, land forces being battle-hardened as we speak, and we spend 9.44 times as much as China on the military. We've got an array of defense arrangements with allies that encircle China everywhere they look from Korea and Japan to Australia, Indonesia, Philippines, and Taiwan. Especially Japan. Their "self-defense force" is formidable. The best China can hope for is to make it so costly in lives that the US never contemplates attacking her, but then again that hasn't been an option since they went nuclear.

  3. I agree, T. I'm just saying they deserve respect, and cooperation. Maybe it's just me, but I haven't seen any indications that they have any agressive plans.

    Sure, they have an ongoing beef with the Tibetans, and every 100 years, or so, get into a little dust-up with Vietnam, and during the cold war they backed their Nkor bros, but, basically, they strike me as being a fairly peaceful people.

    They get their panties in a wad over Taiwan, every once in a while; but, I haven't seen the "landing crafts" heading across the strait.

    They might end up being a Very, very Powerful Nation. I just think we need to "work with them" all we can.

  4. Look, the only one of the Japanese High Command that had ever spent any time in America told them, "Guys, you're really Fucking Up. You don't know these people."

    They ignored him. We got War with Japan.

    Might've been a good thing in the final analysis, but that's a subject for another argument.

    It' easy for cultures as different as ours to make mistakes based on "Misunderstanding, and Misunerestimating." We don't want any "Mistakes" with China.

  5. That War with Japan that we got, based on misunderestimating them or what-have-you, should serve as notice on China, not we, that China should go out of THEIR way to avoid stumbling into a scrap with US. It has been more than sixty years since the order went out authorizing unrestricted warfare against a belligerent. They've all been police actions with one hand tied behind our back.

  6. I'm not disagreeing with you, T. I just think we need to go out of our way to make sure they "understand history, and understand us." That's all.

  7. I have to agree with Rufus on this one T. Not disagreeing with you regarding the US military capability versus that of the Chinese; however, what is the point of getting into a battle with these guys if we don't have to?

    What Obama is trying to set up with China is the same type of protocols we had with the Soviet Union when there was a Soviet Union. It only makes sense. China is modernizing there military and extending their reach.

    We need a modus vivendi set up with China that addresses those instances when our militaries bump into each other. It's not like we haven't had enough instances already.

    Chinese Military Expansion

  8. Every once in a while Rufus is right.
    Think you got the misunderestimatin backwards there, T.

    No Wonder Pussy Galore Was A Lesbian

  9. Just linked this for Trish in the previous thread, but after reading it again, I'll link it here too:

    Sara's description of her Husband

  10. Good Old NY Times
    Brother of Afghan Leader Is Said to Be on C.I.A. Payroll

    Ahmed Wali Karzai, the brother of President Hamid Karzai and a suspected player in the opium trade, has gotten payments from the C.I.A. for eight years, American officials said.
    Times Topics: Ahmed Wali Karzai

  11. heh, young Karzai seems to have gotten control over the local trade routes--

    a top former Afghan Interior Ministry official familiar with Afghan counternarcotics operations said that a major source of Mr. Karzai’s influence over the drug trade was his control over key bridges crossing the Helmand River on the route between the opium growing regions of Helmand Province and Kandahar.

  12. The Oldest Profession in that part of the World!

  13. Some days, nobody has anything to say to you. Doesn't matter who they're from. They got nothing. Nothing.

    And I think that's the saddest thing in the world.

  14. "China's a playah."

    What're you, fucking ten years old?

    Grow up!

  15. Holy shit.

    Good to cut out now.

  16. Doug: Every once in a while Rufus is right.

    Rufus is right most of the time, but he has a slightly pessimistic outlook that reminds me a little bit of Coast to Coast AM with George Noori.

    No Wonder Pussy Galore Was A Lesbian

    Perks of the job