Before anything else, we must express our Thanksgiving for the remarkable gift we have been given of life and freedom. It is a precious gift and an important part of the pursuit of peace, something sorely lacking in this tumultuous world. In fact, the Bible gives us a powerful prayer formula for finding peace and it requires Thanksgiving. From the book of Philippians, Chapter 4 (KJV):
6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
I share all of this because we face so many global challenges, many of which we have largely ignored. So this Thanksgiving weekend, we should pause and acknowledge the goodness of God, appealing to Him with prayers for peace.
Four and one-half years ago, we made the case that the race for military dominance was a matter of economics. We based the conclusion on a report from the Carnegie Institute for World Peace, a globalist group that promptly disagreed with our conclusions. This set up a most interesting debate inside the Defense Intelligence Agency between two of the most accomplished China experts (one who was senior at the World Bank and the other a head of an important think tank) and myself and a colleague, David Hemenway. They had everything on their side including multi-million dollar research budgets, prestige, doctoral education, and the status of high position. All we had on our side was the truth. Fortunately, the truth won.
Here are links to two of our posts:
The facts presented in the Carnegie report were accurate but the analysis was suspect. Basically, we connected the dots they were unwilling to connect. The global winner militarily would be the global winner economically. That's what their paper was screaming. What they did not want to admit, however, was that China would recognize this and therefore focus on economic warfare to gain the military advantage. In the debate we demonstrated this repeatedly. They made the argument that China would not move to replace the Western financial system or replace the dollar as the world's reserve currency. They made quite the case, especially with a Chinese national debating on their side who had also served as the number two at the World Bank. Of course, just a few months later, the official Chinese government policy became to "de-Americanize the world" and to remove the dollar as the world's reserve currency.
We posted at the time about the debate held but were ordered to remove the information from our Blog by the DIA. We complied, but continued to tell the truth in other posts, speeches, books, and interviews.
Last week, a NATO report was reported on that largely confirms our key point. The race for military dominance is an economic one, to a large degree. From The Hill (emphasis added):
November 17, 2017–A senior NATO official said Thursday that the "risk for a major interstate conflict has increased" in recent years, pointing to a shift in military and economic power to countries such as China and Russia.
"China is leveraging its economic power to increase defense spending as a foundation of the growing global power strategy," NATO Supreme Allied Commander Transformation Gen. Denis Mercier said during an address to the Atlantic Council.
"The neighboring India is following the same path and could reach a comparable status in the medium term. At the same time, Russia is resurfacing with the will to become a major power again, challenging the established order in the former Soviet space," he said.
The French general summarized the findings of the latest Strategic Foresight Analysis (SFA) report, comparing it to the first SFA report released in 2013. The 2017 report, released last month, identifies 20 global trends and 59 of their policy implications for NATO.
Mercier highlighted some of the major trends, including a worldwide shift in economic and military power from North America and western Europe to countries such as China and Russia.
The report notes that China and Russia are major defense spenders, with China spending about $215 billion on defense in 2015. It also mentions that among NATO countries, 22 declared increased defense spending in 2016.
The report predicts that this trend will continue, stating, "Asia-Pacific economies are projected to drive 60% of the total global increase in defence acquisition, research and development and 30% of the total defence acquisition budget through 2020."
According to the report, the shift in political power will require NATO to develop stronger ties with more countries…. [To CONTINUE READING at The Hill…]
It is important to note that this is a significant change in conclusion from what the same report was saying in 2013 (they are starting to come around):
"The 2013 report acknowledged the complexity of the security environment and identified less potential for major conflict," Mercier said. "This demonstrates that our starting assumptions will always be challenged."
Others are beginning to see what we have been saying as well. Basically, Russia and China have been working together to replace our economic dominance in a long-term bid for global power. While many still fail to connect the dots, they are seeing that our conclusions are correct. From a Newsweek article last week. Here are some important quotes:
By Tom O'Connor On 11/17/17
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands during a meeting on the sidelines of the APEC summit in Danang, Vietnam November 10, 2017. In addition to empowering their own nations, Putin and Xi have sought greater ties with one another in order to present a united challenge to U.S. and Western interests….
In September, the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, Marine General Joseph Dunford, told the Senate Armed Services Committee at his reappointment hearing that, while he considered North Korea the foremost threat to the U.S. "in terms of the sense of urgency," Russia led "in terms of overall military capability" and he expected China would become "the greatest threat to our nation by about 2025."
China's increasingly important role on the international stage was put in the spotlight last month during the quinquennial Communist Party Congress, which made President Xi Jinping's consolidation of power and influence apparent for the world to see. Xi has rapidly reformed his country's military, which boasted the largest standing army on Earth, to create a 21st-century fighting force capable of protecting Beijing's initiative to establish trading routes across Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East, as well as countering the U.S. presence in the Pacific.
Meanwhile, Russia's military rise has been viewed as particularly challenging to Western interests, as the country has already begun to replace the U.S. as the leading power broker in the Middle East and has expanded its influence in Europe. Following Russian President Vladimir Putin's 2014 annexation of the Crimean Peninsula, NATO assumed a more militant stance toward its rival, and the two have embarked on a major arms race across the region.
Xi and Putin have also sought to establish greater ties with one another in order to provide an alternative to the Western status quo. China and Russia have conducted joint drills across the world, from East Asia to the Baltics, and the Chinese Defense Ministry announced Friday that China and Russia would team up for an anti-missile exercise as both countries express opposition to the U.S.'s installation of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system in South Korea, according to Reuters. [To read the ENTIRE ARTICLE at NEWSWEEK…]
If you knew that economic power is essential for military power, why wouldn't you make every effort to undermine your adversary's economy while strengthening your own? This is the essential understanding of economic warfare. You'd think our leadership would grasp this simple concept. And yet, we assume that our adversaries will be rational economic actors as we define it, ignoring the larger geopolitical issues. This is willful blindness, leading to the notion that our economic activity should always be for the global good and to maximize global profits. Thus, our American-based companies see themselves as global citizens. As we say constantly, "What we see as a global marketplace, our enemies see as a global battle space." No wonder we have been losing at chess while thinking we were playing checkers.
The NATO report is an important step in connecting the dots. Now, we must recognize that this is a global economic war and it has been underway for some time. How we respond will determine our future.