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Author Topic: The Wheels Come Off the United States of America  (Read 10350 times)

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Offline Oniya

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Re: The Wheels Come Off the United States of America
« Reply #75 on: January 05, 2009, 07:19:48 AM »
Russia also has General Winter.  Napoleon and Hitler both ran into that issue when trying to invade Moscow.  Land wars in Asia have always been a losing proposition.

Offline The Overlord

Re: The Wheels Come Off the United States of America
« Reply #76 on: January 05, 2009, 08:10:23 AM »

And moving and feeding an army of that size through the Russian hinterland is going to plain out suck. The Germans waited until late June, a smart general would launch earlier in the year but the Russians can play a delaying action and attrition game to keep you there until winter has you by the balls.

The one thing that's been pointed out in recent years is that China has a massive standing army but it's mostly a stay at home army. Had the US and China gone into the battle over Taiwan scenario, the US could still drop more troops in Taiwan from across the Pacific even while denying a Chinese beachhead.

Now, as China's GNP rises, I'm sure it's retooling toward one of the requisites of a superpower; the ability to project massive force abroad and deliver a sledgehammer blow, as the US did in Iraq. However, that sort of thing doesn't happen overnight, and even possessing that ability in no way assures a strategic superiority over its two potentially greatest rivals, once the natural resources start dwindling in Asia.

Offline VandalSavage

Re: The Wheels Come Off the United States of America
« Reply #77 on: January 05, 2009, 08:14:04 AM »
...Land wars in Asia have always been a losing proposition.

It's the most famous classic blunder, with 'Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line'.

Land war in Asia is also one of my favorite topics, because it is so horrible.  Unfortunately, there seems to be little prospect of it between China and Russia soon.  As was noted by Overlord, most superpowers find it more cost effective to project their power through the threat of WMDs and smaller local land grabs.  It is highly unlikely that China is going to be strolling into Central Asia in search of oil or natural gas any time soon.  After all, top of their list is taking back The Nation, Formerly Known As Formosa.

No, most nations in the opening phases of the 21st century will be trying to snatch up some local territory - like Russia is with its former satellite states.  The Big Conflict will not be over who has the actual resources, but who has the technology to manage them as the population and GDP of superpowers swells beyond sustainable limits.

Offline The Overlord

Re: The Wheels Come Off the United States of America
« Reply #78 on: January 05, 2009, 08:32:20 AM »
 After all, top of their list is taking back The Nation, Formerly Known As Formosa.


I'd err on the side of caution and consider Taiwan small but mighty, and quite capable of being a very sharp thorn in the side of China, should they elect to try and take it. I think that's a guerilla war even the largest standing army could do without.

Online RubySlippers

Re: The Wheels Come Off the United States of America
« Reply #79 on: January 05, 2009, 08:54:13 AM »
I don't any of this as an issue for the US for all our faults we tend to keep MAD as a viable defense any nation or group of nations threatening us with a full scale invasion would meet our nuclear capability and end all of us. Pretty effective reason not to ever go into a total war scenario and it has worked so far.

Actually I would set aside our differences and join with China with their population and our technology we would have the greatest power bloc ever seen and be able to hold off any threat. And if we aren't knocking heads together we can focus on making sure we stay on top and keep the rest of you properly intimidated. I don't care about their human rights record that is inside their nation its no one elses business but China's and its citizens. We should focus on the areas we must both be concerned with and can agree on which are likely many if we stop making ourselves a nuisance over a few internal matters in China that are none of our business.


Offline VandalSavage

Re: The Wheels Come Off the United States of America
« Reply #80 on: January 05, 2009, 08:59:59 AM »
I'd err on the side of caution and consider Taiwan small but mighty, and quite capable of being a very sharp thorn in the side of China, should they elect to try and take it. I think that's a guerilla war even the largest standing army could do without.

Yes - Taiwan is small, mighty and, usually, pretty well protected by international alliances.  I think that the Chinese will likely be pragmatic about it and decide that the disruption in business would outweigh prospective gains from trying to occupy Taiwan.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2009, 01:43:13 PM by VandalSavage »

Offline Zakharra

Re: The Wheels Come Off the United States of America
« Reply #81 on: January 05, 2009, 10:36:55 AM »
I don't any of this as an issue for the US for all our faults we tend to keep MAD as a viable defense any nation or group of nations threatening us with a full scale invasion would meet our nuclear capability and end all of us. Pretty effective reason not to ever go into a total war scenario and it has worked so far.

Actually I would set aside our differences and join with China with their population and our technology we would have the greatest power bloc ever seen and be able to hold off any threat. And if we aren't knocking heads together we can focus on making sure we stay on top and keep the rest of you properly intimidated. I don't care about their human rights record that is inside their nation its no one elses business but China's and its citizens. We should focus on the areas we must both be concerned with and can agree on which are likely many if we stop making ourselves a nuisance over a few internal matters in China that are none of our business.

 Unfortunately the Chinese government is against many of the freedomes we in the US take for granted and are protected by the Constitution. Freedom of speech, religion, free assembly, the right to bear arms. None of which are allowed to the Chinese citizen. Joining with them would be problematic politically, economically and culturally at best.

 
I'd err on the side of caution and consider Taiwan small but mighty, and quite capable of being a very sharp thorn in the side of China, should they elect to try and take it. I think that's a guerilla war even the largest standing army could do without.

Yes - Taiwan is small, mighty and, usually, pretty well protected by international alliances.  I think that the Chinese will likely be pragmatic about it and decide that the disruption in business would outweigh prospective gains from trying to occupy Taiwan.

 I think if they thought they could take the island, they'd do it. Whether the world wanted or not. Several nukes overhead delivering EMPs to knock out communucation, coupled with a massive invasion by ship borne troops, air strokes, a brief naval blockade, they could take the island. With massive casualties on both sides. In China's history, they have proven they are willing to take and inflict massive body counts to attain their goals, and with a few hundred million men, they have the bodies to spare.

 
Quote
Problem is that they can't really use it. Any large countries that have the capacity, namely Russia or India, will use WMD's or something nearly as horrific to blunt a club that big.

Russia has proven historically they'll endure tremendous hardship to kick out invaders; they'll bleed China white if it comes to it. A battle of China vs. India is going to be the mother of all attrition battles that will make the casualties from the biggest Eastern Front battles from WWII look small.

 China has a much larger population than Russia. Vastly so, and they are not likely to invade Russia, but go south or west. Would they be fought? es, but remember China has WMDs of it's own. Far more than India has, and India has to keep a close watch on it's western boarder against Pakistan. Militarilly, China could take India

 
Quote
And moving and feeding an army of that size through the Russian hinterland is going to plain out suck. The Germans waited until late June, a smart general would launch earlier in the year but the Russians can play a delaying action and attrition game to keep you there until winter has you by the balls.

The one thing that's been pointed out in recent years is that China has a massive standing army but it's mostly a stay at home army. Had the US and China gone into the battle over Taiwan scenario, the US could still drop more troops in Taiwan from across the Pacific even while denying a Chinese beachhead.

Now, as China's GNP rises, I'm sure it's retooling toward one of the requisites of a superpower; the ability to project massive force abroad and deliver a sledgehammer blow, as the US did in Iraq. However, that sort of thing doesn't happen overnight, and even possessing that ability in no way assures a strategic superiority over its two potentially greatest rivals, once the natural resources start dwindling in Asia.

 Depending who is in office and where the fight comes from. It's unlikely that the US would get involved in a mnilitary conflict. China is working hard to get the capability to neutralize the US in the Straits of Formosa. They want Taiwan back in a bad way and will try to get it as soon as they think they can take it. If that included killing off most of the population of the island, they'd do it and tell the workld to fsck itself, that it was a Chinese internal matter. A guerilla war in Taiwan is doomed to failure, since that would mean the extermination of the local population, or the forceful relocating of it.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2009, 11:49:21 AM by Zakharra »

Offline Valerian

Re: The Wheels Come Off the United States of America
« Reply #82 on: January 05, 2009, 11:08:01 AM »
I don't care about their human rights record that is inside their nation its no one elses business but China's and its citizens. We should focus on the areas we must both be concerned with and can agree on which are likely many if we stop making ourselves a nuisance over a few internal matters in China that are none of our business.
I think referring to the problems in China as "a few internal matters" grossly misrepresents the situation there.  Dismiss them as purely internal if you like -- though personally I incline towards the theory that what diminishes one of us, diminishes all of us.  I can even understand preferring to ignore them for purposes of the current discussion.  But I'm a little surprised to see you treating their civil rights record as such a minor issue, when they're still disallowing so many things that we take for granted, as Zakharra mentioned.  Until they at least stop practicing infanticide on so many of their newborn girls, I'm not at all interested in joining with them in any sort of serious, socio-political way, even aside from all the legal issues.

If they want to work with us more closely on environmental and energy problems, then given the current state of things, it would be difficult to argue against that.  At this point, planetary survival has to trump other considerations.  But that doesn't diminish the seriousness of their internal issues.

And yes, I realize that all nations have such problems to one degree or another, not least the U.S.  China has even further to go than most.

Offline The Overlord

Re: The Wheels Come Off the United States of America
« Reply #83 on: January 05, 2009, 04:26:20 PM »



 I think if they thought they could take the island, they'd do it. Whether the world wanted or not. Several nukes overhead delivering EMPs to knock out communucation, coupled with a massive invasion by ship borne troops, air strokes, a brief naval blockade, they could take the island. With massive casualties on both sides. In China's history, they have proven they are willing to take and inflict massive body counts to attain their goals, and with a few hundred million men, they have the bodies to spare.

 
 China has a much larger population than Russia. Vastly so, and they are not likely to invade Russia, but go south or west. Would they be fought? es, but remember China has WMDs of it's own. Far more than India has, and India has to keep a close watch on it's western boarder against Pakistan. Militarilly, China could take India

 
 Depending who is in office and where the fight comes from. It's unlikely that the US would get involved in a mnilitary conflict. China is working hard to get the capability to neutralize the US in the Straits of Formosa. They want Taiwan back in a bad way and will try to get it as soon as they think they can take it. If that included killing off most of the population of the island, they'd do it and tell the workld to fsck itself, that it was a Chinese internal matter. A guerilla war in Taiwan is doomed to failure, since that would mean the extermination of the local population, or the forceful relocating of it.


Problem is, we're talking full-scale genocide or use of nukes here. China will not be able to do that without reprisal. The US, Russia, and India are capable of delivering a nuclear response, and yes that's the worst case scenario, but I really don't see a scenario where China doesn't face massive reprisals for it. If anything else we can put enough EMP's over them to send them back to the Dark Ages.

What it comes down to is that old moral about the dog that finds a bone and sees its reflection in the water; believing it found a dog with another bone. It grabs for it reflection and loses its real bone in the water. That's where China sits with the Taiwan situation; in an effort to gain the isle it risks losing everything. We'll just have to pray 6000 years of alleged Chinese wisdom will urge them to do the right thing.

With the booming economy and infrastructure on Taiwan, any efforts to take the island will also likely devastate it. Killing or relocating the population isn't going to get them anything but a dead island.


As far as the Straight of Formosa goes, not even an Obama administration is going to allow to get the upper edge there.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2009, 04:27:45 PM by The Overlord »

Offline The Overlord

Re: The Wheels Come Off the United States of America
« Reply #84 on: January 05, 2009, 04:29:08 PM »
Yes - Taiwan is small, mighty and, usually, pretty well protected by international alliances.  I think that the Chinese will likely be pragmatic about it and decide that the disruption in business would outweigh prospective gains from trying to occupy Taiwan.

Exactly.

Offline Zakharra

Re: The Wheels Come Off the United States of America
« Reply #85 on: January 06, 2009, 12:36:34 AM »
 If China thinks they can take it, they would and with the proper administration in charge in the US, they'd do it. Unless the President has a pair. It's very unlikely Japan would get involved. They'd have the threat of nukes headed their way to ward of any real responce by them. Russia? They wouldn't do anything. Hells, they'd probably provide intelligence to China since it would be a large blow against the US if Taiwan fell. Which helps Russia. Europe wouldn't get involved other than laying down sanctions that might or might not affect anything. no military response at all either. The UN, it'd be ignored.

 China's responce would be 'It's an internal Chinese manner. Formosa is Chinese territory that was in a state of rebellion. It's been brought back into China now.'

 The only nation that could stand up to China is the US, and if the then President, which could be Obama, does not have an iron will and determination to defend an ally against a nation that is 5 times our size, then Taiwan will be lost. China wil not care what the world thinks. They will take it period, if they think they can. Even if it means destroying everything on it. They can rebuild it later.

Offline The Overlord

Re: The Wheels Come Off the United States of America
« Reply #86 on: January 06, 2009, 01:44:50 AM »
Even if it means destroying everything on it. They can rebuild it later.

Which would be dumb as hell, even for an egotistical dictatorship. Rebuilding it makes the point moot.

Offline Zakharra

Re: The Wheels Come Off the United States of America
« Reply #87 on: January 06, 2009, 10:15:36 AM »
 You are forgetting national pride. They think of it as their land. Taking it back is paramount. You might think it's dumb as hell, but they do not. It's a matter of pride and nationhood. The last remmants of a civil war that hasn't ended even though the shooting has stopped. For now.

 As it stands, no one but the US would come to Taiwan's aid militarily. Any attack will be sudden and massive. It's likely they'd goad N. Korea into attacking the south just to draw attention away from what they are doing/planning in Formosa. China is on the verge of becoming a superpower, as Russia is trying to reclaim that title too. Russia is allied to the US and would absolutely love to see our military taken down a notch by seeing Taiwan fall. Thereby -proving- the US is incapable of protecting or is willing, depending on the administration, to come to an ally's aid.

 You are also forgetting the Chinese government does NOT think in a Western way. There's is an ancient culture that thinks and acts in a much different way that we do. Their reasoning is much different.

Offline The Overlord

Re: The Wheels Come Off the United States of America
« Reply #88 on: January 06, 2009, 06:19:27 PM »

Using the Koreas as a pawn is going to end up going nuclear, and that's going to get everyone's attention. There's also a lot of ways that a country as capable as the US can hit an enemy, without firing a shot.

There are major differences in the relationship between the US and China vs. the old relationship between the US and USSR. American and Soviet economies were not joined at the hip; so trying to outspend one another on military toys isn't going to work. China, greedy that it might be, can't provoke the US without consequences.


Also, it's not just Chinese philosophy here; there is a marked difference between Western vs. Eastern and Middle-Eastern ideals. One of the biggest differences; regard or disregard for life, and the capacity to extinguish it for something that can't even proven. Life doesn't mean much on Asia.

If you widely export fighters that are willing to kill themselves and others in the misguided belief it's going to get you into heaven, you're a barbarian culture. Between China and the Middle East there's tons of different ways to marginalize women as second class citizens, from selective breeding to outright oppression.

I scoff at the arrogant Eastern alleged self superiority.


If the Chinese want to go for broke on Taiwan, then all means. They better start up production on body bags, because if they drag the West into it, they're going to need all they can get.

Offline Zakharra

Re: The Wheels Come Off the United States of America
« Reply #89 on: January 06, 2009, 06:57:48 PM »
 That if, and it's a big if, the West gets involved. I cannot see the EU getting involved except for talk and sanctions. Russia would likely not do anything either. If China took Taiwan, it would blacken the US image and possibly drive a wedge against those allied to us. They'd use that in propaganda.

 China is used to big wars and large body counts. There are people still alive who fought in in the chaos of Japan's invasion before WWII, during the war and afterwards when the communists took over the country. China's proven it is capable of what we consider ruthless tacics. Forced relocations of populations, mass slaughter. It simply comes down to the fact they consider Taiwan/Formosa theirs and they will try to take it back. They'd take the hit with trade. It's the leaders that run the country, not the people.

 Also remember, China has long ranged nukes to. In any conflict, I doubt nukes would be used against China if none came flying to the US. If the only ones were used against Taiwan, as EMPs, there's be a crap load of screaming, but not much more than that. The US is the only significant opposition that China would face.

Offline The Overlord

Re: The Wheels Come Off the United States of America
« Reply #90 on: January 06, 2009, 08:56:15 PM »

 Also remember, China has long ranged nukes to. In any conflict, I doubt nukes would be used against China if none came flying to the US. If the only ones were used against Taiwan, as EMPs, there's be a crap load of screaming, but not much more than that. The US is the only significant opposition that China would face.

You've completely ignored Russia, India and the EU. All three are capable of causing China grevious harm in one form or another. Having the world's largest standing army in no way guarantees a victory for you.

Offline Zakharra

Re: The Wheels Come Off the United States of America
« Reply #91 on: January 06, 2009, 10:13:56 PM »
 Russia has no beef with China. They are relative allies. Both against the US. India is no threat to China either. They have to keep a close eye on Pakistan, which is their biggest threat. They don't have many nukes either. The EU, doesn't have the will to fight a war atm. I seriously do not think they would attack with nukes first, or throw many around if nothing came their way. If the war stayed in the China area, they'd essentually do nothing.

 Any sanctions would be short lasting, if ever applied.

Offline OldSchoolGamerTopic starter

Re: The Wheels Come Off the United States of America
« Reply #92 on: January 06, 2009, 10:20:08 PM »
The Chinese are going to face two major potholes ("craters" is more like it) on the road to superpower-dom: the collapse of their export markets and the cheap oil that makes an export-driven economy viable.

Over the next couple of years, it's going to become apparent that almost as many bad economic bets were placed on eternal growth in China as were placed on cheap oil and easy credit lasting forever in America.

Those trillions of dollars in markers are going to have to be covered one way or another...

I'm betting that the next decade marks the birth of the Mother of All Rust Belts in China.

Offline The Overlord

Re: The Wheels Come Off the United States of America
« Reply #93 on: January 07, 2009, 06:28:38 AM »
Russia has no beef with China.

You might have wanted to check your history before you posted this.


India is no threat to China either.


You're joking, right?


They don't have many nukes either.


All it will take for even a country the size of China is about six well placed bombs over their largest cities. Yeah they'll still have an army in the field, but the country will be an economic and social Titanic, just biding time until they go under.


The EU, doesn't have the will to fight a war atm.


Really?


I seriously do not think they would attack with nukes first, or throw many around if nothing came their way.


I reiterate: You don't need to nuke them to give them hell.


If the war stayed in the China area, they'd essentually do nothing.



I wouldn't put my money on that claim.


  Any sanctions would be short lasting, if ever applied.


Look, we can argue this all day. You're convinced you're right, I don't believe you are, and you’ve done very little to actually convince me here. The bottom line here is that we just won't know until we know.


...and between you and me, I hope we ever don't.  :-\

Offline Zakharra

Re: The Wheels Come Off the United States of America
« Reply #94 on: January 07, 2009, 08:38:20 AM »
 TO, you are thinking from a western point of view. Russia has no real problem with China atm. Militarily, they are more aligned with China and would -love- to see the US taken down a notch. They'd butt head over some things, but if China went after Taiwan, Russia would stay at the sidelines.  They might even supply some intelligence to China on the side.

  Europe has shown no signs it is willing to fight a war. Especially against one that's half way across the world. The EU military isn't up to the task for one, nor do they have the quick response forces close enough to make any difference. Sanctions are all that they'd really do. It's debatable if those would even work too.

  India would be hesitent to take a shot at China since China would respond and India has more to worry about from Pakistan than from China atm. If the only nukes that flew at first, detonated over Taiwan, it's very debatable that anyone would respond. India has more problems inside that would tear it apart than China.With it's hindu and muslim population that are more than ready to kill eachother. Pakistan would love to bite off the rest of the Kashmir region.

 China's biggest military threat is from the US. If they could stiffle us, they'd do it in a grab for Taiwan.

Offline Oniya

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Re: The Wheels Come Off the United States of America
« Reply #95 on: January 07, 2009, 09:24:03 AM »
If the only nukes that flew at first, detonated over Taiwan, it's very debatable that anyone would respond.

The problem I have with this statement is that detonating nukes above ground is going to result in fallout.  Depending on prevailing winds and other factors, that's going to affect more than just the intended target.  Any neighboring country that gets nuclear material rained down on it is likely to be ticked off, to say the least.

Am I wrong?

Offline VandalSavage

Re: The Wheels Come Off the United States of America
« Reply #96 on: January 07, 2009, 09:32:33 AM »
Am I wrong?

No, you are correct about the concerns of environmental damage.  That has been a restraining factor against nuclear weapons use since Nagasaki.

The other, perhaps even more significant factor, is that the use of nuclear weapons in a world with several nuclear powers leads to them being a fair card to play:  Put simply, nobody uses nukes because it would make all other nuclear nations then plan to use nukes.  Even a limited strike by China against Taiwan would mean nations like India, Pakistan and the US would then feel not only free, but impelled, to use nuclear weapons in engagements.  Weapons of Mass Destruction are best employed as deterrents, and the strategic minds of the globe recognize this.  That is a primary factor in the development of weaponry like Fuel-Air Explosive munitions, which are tantamount in their effects to low-yield nuclear bombs - a kind of "safe" replacement for tactical nuclear weapons.

It is also the keystone of many nations' defense strategy: We have nukes, but do not use them, so that other nuclear nations don't employ them.

Offline Zakharra

Re: The Wheels Come Off the United States of America
« Reply #97 on: January 07, 2009, 09:42:52 AM »
 Not necessarily. If the detonations were high in the air, they'd be used mainly for the EMP effect. Any radiation would be minimized since not so much stuff would be kicked up as a explxosion closer to the ground would do. Other nations would go on high alert, but they would -not- throw nuclear weapons if none where headed their way. The nuclear stratagy is 'You nuke us, we will nuke you'. China could avoid that if they just concentrated on Taiwan.

 There'd be political consequences, but again, if the Chinese leadership thought they could do it, they would and to the hell with the rest of the world on a Chinese intrernal matter. They've proven they ignore what outsiders think often enough.

 I do not see any nation tossing nukes around unless China starts throwing them at other nations.

 
Quote
That is a primary factor in the development of weaponry like Fuel-Air Explosive munitions, which are tantamount in their effects to low-yield nuclear bombs - a kind of "safe" replacement for tactical nuclear weapons.

 Except it doesn't deliver a EMP, which is one of the main uses for a nuke.

Offline Silk

Re: The Wheels Come Off the United States of America
« Reply #98 on: January 07, 2009, 02:31:39 PM »
"  Europe has shown no signs it is willing to fight a war. Especially against one that's half way across the world. The EU military isn't up to the task for one, nor do they have the quick response forces close enough to make any difference. Sanctions are all that they'd really do. It's debatable if those would even work too. "

Umm sorry? Not willing to fight in wars? Tell that to the European servicemen stationed in Afghanistan and Iraq, yeah were not fighting wars at all!

Again quick response? Iraq's and Afghanistan has a large bulk of Europe's forces, I'm pretty sure a mobilised army can quite quickly get remobalised when its not that far away if the need arises? i mean terrorist threat or outright invasion with the Geneva convention getting thrown out the window, Europe isn't some dumbfounded child who wants to play nice, just because we like to play by the rules in war, and not throw its rattle out of its crib every time something doesn't go our way.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2009, 02:33:04 PM by Silk »

Offline Zakharra

Re: The Wheels Come Off the United States of America
« Reply #99 on: January 07, 2009, 02:49:54 PM »
 The European soldiers fighting are doing good.But they are not the mainstay in Afghanistan and Iraq. The single larghest contributor in the fighting, besides the local forces, are US service men. I'm not denegrating the soldiers. It's the Eurpoean leadership and population that I wonder about.

  Do they have the stomach for a war half way across the world? Europe doesn't have the infrastructure that the US does in rapid deployment. Could they? Yes, but the US has a 60 year advantage of being geared to fight the Soviets anywhere in the world and the military is structured to a size to do that. Military projection of power was a mainstay of both the US and Soviets. Europe as I understand it, was geared mainly to defend it's own land, not to project fleets and armies soutside of it's borders. With the then Soviet threat on the eastern borders, that made sense.

 A army can be mobilized quickly, but getting it to the theater of clinflict in time, that's the problem. Any fight for Taiwan will likely be over in a few weeks. Aside from some stuff on the island itself.  At this time, the EU has not shown it is willing to attack a nation that has not attacked it. Also remember, Taiwan is not an independant nation, but is still technically a part of China. Which is my reasoning the Chinese can say, 'It is a Chinese internal matter, please go away.'