1 pointThe U.S. is somewhat on the wane, about time, the tensions of the Cold War era meant they built up into the world cop and the largest military on earth with presence globally. The collapse of the U.S.S.R. left all that infrastructure that had built up flailing around so what happened ? They went off sticking their nose in wherever they felt like and exacerbating an already extant terrorist problem that isn't and was not going to go quietly but it is easy to argue that they made it worse. The resurgence of Russia and the emergence of China has given the military mavens in Washington all the reason they needed to play military catch-up for the reductions that had begun in the brief, historically, gap that had Russia pretty much on the ropes, China rising and what had been Eastern Europe getting national identities re-established, not always peacefully.. It's not in the interests of the world at all to return to the Cold War period but that is where we are at, in a changed landscape. Russia is back to a condition normal of paranoia enhanced by not having the buffer nations of the Warsaw Block between it and the rest of Europe and whilst it might be cosying up to China really it is both jealous of and fearful of that emergent nation. A perfect breeding ground for a psychotic but cunning lunatic like Putin to arise and set about sending the regime bankrupt on grandiose military build-ups-again. China though, it's different, what they really care about is keeping the people fed, a non-trivial task that has led to revolt from the hinterlands in the past. The biggest power block in China is the PLA, a rather tightly integrated military organisation that is not only that, it has influence and interests all across the nation, it owns hotels by the score, is behind many of the emergent megacorps and is not an entity that is totally within political control, it IS political. However the PLA is not really about threatening other nations, China has enough trouble keeping itself under control without taking on other countries. A lot of the PLA is as focused on internal security as it is on border protection. In large measure the Chinese leadership has to keep the PLA on side, it does that through a deal of sabre rattling, insignificant but satisfying to the military leadership projects such as the artificial islands and exerting what is not particularly unreasonable influence in the South China Sea. Think about it, that body of water is the shore of China, not of the U.S. They also had a rather urgent need to modernise their military, it was pre the Iron Rice Bowl pretty much stuck in the fifties. However because China takes those sort of actions they are perceived as a threat. Really ? the U.S. has been on that path for decades but because another nation does the same people want to respond and be fearful - frankly that's ridiculous. They may well become the new super-power, does it matter ? The U.S has been at the centre of an awful lot of atrocious behaviour during its time in the ascendance, China could hardly do worse and to repeat their politics is not that of Russia, which is a different topic, the country is now filling with capitalists. I find it ironic that most every Western Nation has embraced China as their biggest trading partner and now views them with suspicion, laughable. China is a complex country but not a stupid one. Cheers
1 pointdoesnt like coffee, doesnt like bacon either... cant be serious!
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