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The myth of China’s military might Beijing's defence budget doesn't tell the whole story

Do the maths (CFOTO/Future Publishing via Getty Images)

Do the maths (CFOTO/Future Publishing via Getty Images)


March 7, 2023   4 mins

The day after Li Keqiang, China’s departing Prime Minister and the last of Beijing’s moderates, called for more market liberalisation to reach this year’s 5% growth target, Xi Jinping responded by announcing a muscle-flexing 7.2% increase in China’s defence spending. That is certainly consistent with Xi’s truculent stance (he replied to Nancy Pelosi’s recent Taiwan visit with a series of ballistic missile launches), and with his official promise to the Communist Party that China will become the world’s dominant power by 2049. But what do those percentages actually mean?

The declared total of China’s newly increased defence budget at 1.56 trillion yuan amounts to $230 billion, according to the current exchange rate. If that were the case, it would mean that China is falling further behind the United States, whose own fiscal 2023 defence spending is increasing to $797 billion (and actually more, since that figure does not include its funding for military construction or the added help to Ukraine).

China’s own figure is also generally assumed by experts to be greatly understated — not by fiddling the numbers one by one, but rather by wholesale exclusions, such as the attribution of research-and-development spending to civilian budgets. Even if a commando team of elite forensic accountants were sent into action to uncover China’s actual defence spending, with another team dispatched to determine what’s missing from the US budget, we would still only have a very loose indication of how much actual military strength China and the United States hope to add.

But one thing can be said with absolute certainty: each side is adding less than the rising numbers imply.

In China’s case, a manpower shortage undercuts military spending in the PLA’s ground forces and naval forces, and soon it will affect manned air units as well. The PLA ground forces now stand at some 975,000, a very small number for a country that has 13,743 miles of borders with 14 countries — including extreme high-mountain borders where internal combustion engines lose power, jungle-covered borders where remote observation is spoiled by foliage, Russian-river borders with endemic smuggling, and the border with India’s Ladakh where an accumulation of unresolved Chinese intrusions have forced each side to deploy substantial ground forces, with at least 80,000 on the Chinese side.

Except for Ladakh, which now resembles a war-front, borders are not supposed to be guarded by army troops but by border police. And China did in fact have a substantial dedicated border force, but it was abolished for the same reason that the PLA ground army is so small: a crippling shortage of physically fit Chinese men willing to serve in these regions. Cities and towns, by contrast, do not seem afflicted by such severe manpower shortages, leading to the weird phenomenon on Nepal’s main border crossing to Tibet where, according to an acquaintance, a group of freezing Cantonese city policemen were checking travellers and “guarding the border”. (They said they had been “volunteered” for two months.)

Even the Party’s strong-arm “People’s Armed Police” — China’s equivalent of the uniformed and combat-armed French Gendarmerie, Italian Carabinieri and Guardia di Finanza, and Spain’s Guardia Civil — is affected by the refusal of young Chinese men to serve. Its 1.5 million total may sound like a lot, but Italy has 150,000 Carabinieri and Finanzieri for a 60-million population — 10% of the numbers for 5% of the population. And Italy does not have to allocate vast numbers of armed men to corral and control Uyghurs and Kazakhs in Xinjiang, Tibetan herdsmen or severely disaffected Mongols.

There are no such conclusive comparisons to determine the impact of manpower shortages on the air and naval forces, but here there is another consideration: much more than the ground army, which continues to accept some recruits of low intelligence, the naval and air forces really do need recruits who can absorb technical skills quickly enough to maintain competence as their personnel turns over. High-glamour roles such as pilots will always attract enough bright people, but these days air and naval forces need high skill levels across the board, and that is the PLA’s Achilles’ heel: bright young Chinese are possibly the planet’s most civilian-minded population, least inclined to serve under the command of a military hierarchy. More money would only help to induce them to volunteer if there were a concurrent economic downturn. There is one right now, as it happens, with very high youth unemployment numbers declared to be around 20%. But that is hardly a stable remedy for a demographic and cultural reality with deep roots in Chinese history; it’s a key reason for the long sequence of foreign conquest dynasties that ruled China until 1912. They could do so because their Turkic, Manchurian and Mongol populations preferred to serve as soldiers rather than farmers, while with the Han Chinese it was the other way round.

As for the United States, what diminishes the value of $797 billion is much more obvious: decades of “research and development” without war against peer antagonists has generated a culture of baroque, even rococo, weapon designs, offering wonderful capability enhancements in exchange for costs only sustainable if there is no war. For example, an F-35 fighter is so extraordinarily and unrealistically complex that, since production started in 2006, a measly 890 have been delivered (as of February this year) for the US Air Force, US Navy, US Marine Corps and all foreign allies. This year, a grand total of 156 F-35s are to be produced in all versions for all countries. In other words, the F-35 is not actually a practical weapon of war because, stealth or no stealth, 100 aircraft could be lost in a single day of combat. Much the same is true of tanks, as was revealed when Canada was bountifully praised for finding four Leopards to donate to Ukraine — even though an army can lose 40 tanks before breakfast on a bad day.

In other words, because of the accumulated drift from reality, caused by decades without large wars with peer antagonists (already in 1914 it was discovered that colonial wars taught nothing of value when it came to fighting Germans), military equipment and military organisations cannot benefit proportionally from budget increases. What would really increase China’s military power is radical military reform — not increased spending on PLA forces that keep trying to imitate American forces, technologies and strategies designed long ago.


Professor Edward Luttwak is a strategist and historian known for his works on grand strategy, geoeconomics, military history, and international relations.

ELuttwak

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Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
1 year ago

Just because they are likely much weaker than they project, does not mean we should underestimate them. There are whole shelves in the history sections of libraries dedicated to former nations and weakened empires who made the mistake of dismissing their opponents. I also cannot take them lightly simply because they have a lot of bodies and a massive industrial base. Those two factors always have a way of complicating things.

Last edited 1 year ago by Matt Hindman
Methadras Aszlosis
Methadras Aszlosis
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

Let’s be honest about what China is and is not militarily. They have built a large armed force. They have the people for it, but believe it or not that is in limited supply. They can afford to lose large numbers of troops, but they can’t afford to replace them with trained soldiers fast enough. However, I doubt that the US military underestimates China’s military force, but there are many things that make the US military dubious of China’s military.
The first is their sheer size and what they’ve done with it. China doesn’t have any meaningful long-standing military engagements under its belt. They have little to no battle-hardened veterans of any war in the last 50 years. The US on the other hand has entire divisions, carrier groups, and air wings of battle-hardened fighting forces. These men and women have seen long and aggressive combat and their combat experience can’t be undersold. China knows this
China has none of that and I’m pretty sure their military parades ala DPRK style don’t count. Also, they haven’t innovated any new military technologies. They run and develop on the backs of countries through espionage and copycatting. They are a copycat nation from a consumption and military point of view. Their reliance on this espionage to develop military tech to arm themselves is going to come back to haunt them simply because the US will out-develop them and shut them out more and more from their spying activities.
So while China could in theory go toe-to-toe with the US. It wouldn’t last long because, in reality, they are a paper tiger. China has, outside of the Korean war, not engaged the US military in any longstanding or meaningful ways. It would be interesting to see if they have the resolve against a country like the US with a strong president, strong cabinet, strong citizenry, and a strong congress. The only reason you see their maneuvers today is that they see weakness and are acting on it and I don’t blame them. We have weak leadership now that wants to decimate the American way of life to integrate it into a global commune with China at the collectivist helm. Americans however will not fall in line.

Last edited 1 year ago by Methadras Aszlosis
Stephen Magee
Stephen Magee
1 year ago

Battle-hardened carrier groups? The last time a US carrier group fought a naval opponent was WW2.

Stephen Magee
Stephen Magee
1 year ago

Battle-hardened carrier groups? The last time a US carrier group fought a naval opponent was WW2.

Methadras Aszlosis
Methadras Aszlosis
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

Let’s be honest about what China is and is not militarily. They have built a large armed force. They have the people for it, but believe it or not that is in limited supply. They can afford to lose large numbers of troops, but they can’t afford to replace them with trained soldiers fast enough. However, I doubt that the US military underestimates China’s military force, but there are many things that make the US military dubious of China’s military.
The first is their sheer size and what they’ve done with it. China doesn’t have any meaningful long-standing military engagements under its belt. They have little to no battle-hardened veterans of any war in the last 50 years. The US on the other hand has entire divisions, carrier groups, and air wings of battle-hardened fighting forces. These men and women have seen long and aggressive combat and their combat experience can’t be undersold. China knows this
China has none of that and I’m pretty sure their military parades ala DPRK style don’t count. Also, they haven’t innovated any new military technologies. They run and develop on the backs of countries through espionage and copycatting. They are a copycat nation from a consumption and military point of view. Their reliance on this espionage to develop military tech to arm themselves is going to come back to haunt them simply because the US will out-develop them and shut them out more and more from their spying activities.
So while China could in theory go toe-to-toe with the US. It wouldn’t last long because, in reality, they are a paper tiger. China has, outside of the Korean war, not engaged the US military in any longstanding or meaningful ways. It would be interesting to see if they have the resolve against a country like the US with a strong president, strong cabinet, strong citizenry, and a strong congress. The only reason you see their maneuvers today is that they see weakness and are acting on it and I don’t blame them. We have weak leadership now that wants to decimate the American way of life to integrate it into a global commune with China at the collectivist helm. Americans however will not fall in line.

Last edited 1 year ago by Methadras Aszlosis
Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
1 year ago

Just because they are likely much weaker than they project, does not mean we should underestimate them. There are whole shelves in the history sections of libraries dedicated to former nations and weakened empires who made the mistake of dismissing their opponents. I also cannot take them lightly simply because they have a lot of bodies and a massive industrial base. Those two factors always have a way of complicating things.

Last edited 1 year ago by Matt Hindman
Chris Keating
Chris Keating
1 year ago

I don’t know what China does with it’s military budget but you would have to think that they get better value for money than the US government.
The huge US military budget appears to be a giant scam and I have been reading for years about their $100 screws, $50 nuts, $1000 seats and $10 split pins to know that the money spent has little relationship to the effectiveness of the weaponry and that’s before you get to excessive over-engineering of their equipment. So perhaps as much as 60% of the money spent is totally wasted, maybe even more. The Pentagon has failed almost all of it’s audits and there are trillions missing. https://responsiblestatecraft.org/2022/11/22/why-cant-the-dod-get-its-financial-house-in-order/
I hope we don’t get to find out which is the best working model but I would be surprised if the thievery of the US system would be a winner.

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Keating

You don’t think that’s because the money goes for programs and operations that officially don’t exist, or are too secret to disclose?

Simon Blanchard
Simon Blanchard
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Keating

Exactly what I was thinking. The Chinese will be getting far more bangs per buck.

Robbie K
Robbie K
1 year ago

Yeah probably because they are using Uyghur Muslims to build stuff.

Robbie K
Robbie K
1 year ago

Yeah probably because they are using Uyghur Muslims to build stuff.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Keating

However, we do know what the US military and its kit can do and have seen it working. It may well be expensive, but it works. We also know that the US has regular, real, large scale “kit testing” exercises (Iraq, Afghanistan, etc) around the world to make sure its kit is working in practice.
We know nothing at all about whether the Chinese military or its equipment is any good.
I have an adage I use for complex chip design software: “if it hasn’t been tested, it doesn’t work”. The more complex the kit, the more true that is.
Luttwak’s assertion that the F35 “is not actually a practical weapon of war because, stealth or no stealth, 100 aircraft could be lost in a single day of combat” is absurd. “a measly 890 have been delivered”. There’s no way the US would lose 100 F35s in a single day. The idea that 890 isn’t troubling the scorers is just ludicrous. Add in the fact that the US has thousands of other fighters. This man is apparently some sort of authority on military history and makes statements like these ?

Chuck Pezeshki
Chuck Pezeshki
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

People like Luttwak don’t have the breadth of perception to understand that weapons like the F35 are really not fighter planes. They are flying supersonic AWACS that work in a network mode. Looking at a single aircraft doesn’t tell you much.

Alex Colchester
Alex Colchester
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

There is a world of difference between using A10s or Apache’s to mini-gun to death insurgents brandishing Ak47s compared to fighting a similarly armed opponent. The author highlights this difference many times in the article. Returning western soldiers who had volunteered in Ukraine (‘hardened’ by conflicts in Iraq etc) were shell-shocked by the intensity of modern warfare between two equally armed forces.

Last edited 1 year ago by Alex Colchester
A Spetzari
A Spetzari
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

This in a nutshell.
There’s a hell of a lot of inefficiency in Western defence spending. But it would be daft to think it was much better elsewhere. Case in point would be Russia as has become very apparent over the past year.
Yes we should be careful to underestimate our opponents, but equally the same military industrial complex has a vested interest in maximising the supposed threats of potential future adversaries – otherwise it’s hard for them to push Western governments to fork out for the latest bits of kit.
But back to your point – I think you are correct. US and Western equipment is expensive yes, but very much more tested and proven.

Chuck Pezeshki
Chuck Pezeshki
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

People like Luttwak don’t have the breadth of perception to understand that weapons like the F35 are really not fighter planes. They are flying supersonic AWACS that work in a network mode. Looking at a single aircraft doesn’t tell you much.

Alex Colchester
Alex Colchester
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

There is a world of difference between using A10s or Apache’s to mini-gun to death insurgents brandishing Ak47s compared to fighting a similarly armed opponent. The author highlights this difference many times in the article. Returning western soldiers who had volunteered in Ukraine (‘hardened’ by conflicts in Iraq etc) were shell-shocked by the intensity of modern warfare between two equally armed forces.

Last edited 1 year ago by Alex Colchester
A Spetzari
A Spetzari
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

This in a nutshell.
There’s a hell of a lot of inefficiency in Western defence spending. But it would be daft to think it was much better elsewhere. Case in point would be Russia as has become very apparent over the past year.
Yes we should be careful to underestimate our opponents, but equally the same military industrial complex has a vested interest in maximising the supposed threats of potential future adversaries – otherwise it’s hard for them to push Western governments to fork out for the latest bits of kit.
But back to your point – I think you are correct. US and Western equipment is expensive yes, but very much more tested and proven.

John Riordan
John Riordan
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Keating

There is some justification for the $100 screw etc, it’s simply that the same screw costing 5c in a hardware store only has to hold the door onto your kitchen cabinet but has to hold the wing onto a jet fighter when purchased by the military. The quality control processes are therefore hugely more onerous and that’s why they cost a lot more. That said, it only accounts for some of the difference.

William Hocter
William Hocter
1 year ago
Reply to  John Riordan

It’s like your $10 Tylenol at the hospital. You can’t bill for security, electricity or water. So you tack those costs on to what you bill for.

mike otter
mike otter
1 year ago
Reply to  John Riordan

True – moral not cost hazards cause the $10 split pin and the Brit NHS $100 light bulb – too many players wanting to wet their beaks. Our company has always had rules of thumb for design:build cost ratios, over my 4 decades they’ve all changed in favour of design. Examples are Commercial construction(offices, hotels etc) 1:4 (so 20% of cost is paperwork and 80% materials and labour). Specialist construction -pharma, oil&gas, chemical etc 1:1. Nuclear powergen 3:1. Weaponry – inc nukes, F35Bs, T45 Destroyers between 6:1 and 10:1
So the Âą50 split pin should be $5.50ish. There are good reasons for this – mostly under “Integrated Logistical Support” so design & test for reliability, maintainability, life and failure/criticality analysis etc etc. One solution tried was COTS (commercial off the shelf) where civil use kit was bought by the DOD/MOD. One of its many failures was manufacturers jacking up the price to taxpayers knowing there were no Rottweiler- Buyers in the Civil Service to protect them.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
1 year ago
Reply to  mike otter

Is the increase in design cost due to greater complexity or decline in calibre of Engineers or decision making by clients?
What appears to be occuring is that clients change specification during design. Why do clients, senior military and politicians, not make sure sure they have decided upon requirements prior to specifications being issued? In particular, those who have to use and maintain the equipment ( especially Senior NCOs ) appear to be ignored.

Charlie Crook
Charlie Crook
1 year ago
Reply to  mike otter

As a former “Rottweiler Buyer” (Great term!) in both private industry and government, I agree with Mr.Otter. The few Rottweiler Buyers in government, especially feds, are often suppressed and thwarted by bureaucrats and legislators up the chain of command through red tape and laws written to restrict real competition.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
1 year ago
Reply to  mike otter

Is the increase in design cost due to greater complexity or decline in calibre of Engineers or decision making by clients?
What appears to be occuring is that clients change specification during design. Why do clients, senior military and politicians, not make sure sure they have decided upon requirements prior to specifications being issued? In particular, those who have to use and maintain the equipment ( especially Senior NCOs ) appear to be ignored.

Charlie Crook
Charlie Crook
1 year ago
Reply to  mike otter

As a former “Rottweiler Buyer” (Great term!) in both private industry and government, I agree with Mr.Otter. The few Rottweiler Buyers in government, especially feds, are often suppressed and thwarted by bureaucrats and legislators up the chain of command through red tape and laws written to restrict real competition.

Mechan Barclay
Mechan Barclay
1 year ago
Reply to  John Riordan

To piggy back, the R&D cost of building the proper screw must be put into consideration. You can’t just buy a local screw for 5c and call it a day. I think as home (not even commercial) consumers we are often fooled by the quality of our products based on our personal use of it. We don’t think of the additional costs of better metals, R&D, viscosity, wear & tear when we use a product once a week.

Geoffrey Kolbe
Geoffrey Kolbe
1 year ago
Reply to  John Riordan

Then you get the example of the binoculars holder in the turret of a Challenger tank. It was specified that it should be made of one piece of aircraft grade aluminium and the associated cost was ÂŁ10,000 each. A piece of bent steel sheet would have done the same job at ÂŁ10 each. Such “over-engineering” can get institutionalised and become acceptable, even expected.

William Hocter
William Hocter
1 year ago
Reply to  John Riordan

It’s like your $10 Tylenol at the hospital. You can’t bill for security, electricity or water. So you tack those costs on to what you bill for.

mike otter
mike otter
1 year ago
Reply to  John Riordan

True – moral not cost hazards cause the $10 split pin and the Brit NHS $100 light bulb – too many players wanting to wet their beaks. Our company has always had rules of thumb for design:build cost ratios, over my 4 decades they’ve all changed in favour of design. Examples are Commercial construction(offices, hotels etc) 1:4 (so 20% of cost is paperwork and 80% materials and labour). Specialist construction -pharma, oil&gas, chemical etc 1:1. Nuclear powergen 3:1. Weaponry – inc nukes, F35Bs, T45 Destroyers between 6:1 and 10:1
So the Âą50 split pin should be $5.50ish. There are good reasons for this – mostly under “Integrated Logistical Support” so design & test for reliability, maintainability, life and failure/criticality analysis etc etc. One solution tried was COTS (commercial off the shelf) where civil use kit was bought by the DOD/MOD. One of its many failures was manufacturers jacking up the price to taxpayers knowing there were no Rottweiler- Buyers in the Civil Service to protect them.

Mechan Barclay
Mechan Barclay
1 year ago
Reply to  John Riordan

To piggy back, the R&D cost of building the proper screw must be put into consideration. You can’t just buy a local screw for 5c and call it a day. I think as home (not even commercial) consumers we are often fooled by the quality of our products based on our personal use of it. We don’t think of the additional costs of better metals, R&D, viscosity, wear & tear when we use a product once a week.

Geoffrey Kolbe
Geoffrey Kolbe
1 year ago
Reply to  John Riordan

Then you get the example of the binoculars holder in the turret of a Challenger tank. It was specified that it should be made of one piece of aircraft grade aluminium and the associated cost was ÂŁ10,000 each. A piece of bent steel sheet would have done the same job at ÂŁ10 each. Such “over-engineering” can get institutionalised and become acceptable, even expected.

Andrew Dalton
Andrew Dalton
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Keating

Yes, it reminds me of the old joke that NASA spend millions inventing a pen that works in space while the Soviets use a pencil.

Dom Martin
Dom Martin
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Dalton

Wasn’t the reason for that because when you sharpen a pencil in zero gravity you get graphite particles floating about which get inside, and short out, delicate electronics – a problem NASA had forseen and the Russians hadn’t?

Iris C
Iris C
1 year ago
Reply to  Dom Martin

Pencils don’t need to be sharpened. They can come in a long graphite cylinder within a “pencil”.

Andrew Dalton
Andrew Dalton
1 year ago
Reply to  Dom Martin

Entirely possible – you could use one of those sharpeners with the integrated bucket though.

mike otter
mike otter
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Dalton

Pencil Âą50, Bucket $500 + service and life warranty costs – Bucket control software $1000 then $500 pa “:)”

mike otter
mike otter
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Dalton

Pencil Âą50, Bucket $500 + service and life warranty costs – Bucket control software $1000 then $500 pa “:)”

Tom Condray
Tom Condray
1 year ago
Reply to  Dom Martin

Actually everybody used pencils, but there was concern about free floating graphite particles. See above re Fisher Space Pen.

Iris C
Iris C
1 year ago
Reply to  Dom Martin

Pencils don’t need to be sharpened. They can come in a long graphite cylinder within a “pencil”.

Andrew Dalton
Andrew Dalton
1 year ago
Reply to  Dom Martin

Entirely possible – you could use one of those sharpeners with the integrated bucket though.

Tom Condray
Tom Condray
1 year ago
Reply to  Dom Martin

Actually everybody used pencils, but there was concern about free floating graphite particles. See above re Fisher Space Pen.

Tom Condray
Tom Condray
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Dalton

It is a joke, actually. The Fisher Company designed and constructed a pen that work in zero G using only corporate funding. They asked NASA to try them out. NASA ended up purchasing 400 at $2.95 each. Not cheap for era, but hardly extortionate.

Look up Wiki’s article on “Fisher Space Pen” for more details.

Dom Martin
Dom Martin
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Dalton

Wasn’t the reason for that because when you sharpen a pencil in zero gravity you get graphite particles floating about which get inside, and short out, delicate electronics – a problem NASA had forseen and the Russians hadn’t?

Tom Condray
Tom Condray
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Dalton

It is a joke, actually. The Fisher Company designed and constructed a pen that work in zero G using only corporate funding. They asked NASA to try them out. NASA ended up purchasing 400 at $2.95 each. Not cheap for era, but hardly extortionate.

Look up Wiki’s article on “Fisher Space Pen” for more details.

Laura Pritchard
Laura Pritchard
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Keating

You might not choose for the money to go on these things but I always question the word ‘wasted’ when referring to government spending. The US military industrial complex is so industrial and complex because state after state petitions for the work to keep 1000s of people employed so that the politicians get reelected. But also the wages keep those communities afloat and this feeds into tier after tier of the economy. Change the whole thing to something non violent maybe but you can’t just dismiss the effect of the investment to the people that benefit from it. This applies to all large investments by government as long as the money stays within the borders.

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Keating

You don’t think that’s because the money goes for programs and operations that officially don’t exist, or are too secret to disclose?

Simon Blanchard
Simon Blanchard
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Keating

Exactly what I was thinking. The Chinese will be getting far more bangs per buck.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Keating

However, we do know what the US military and its kit can do and have seen it working. It may well be expensive, but it works. We also know that the US has regular, real, large scale “kit testing” exercises (Iraq, Afghanistan, etc) around the world to make sure its kit is working in practice.
We know nothing at all about whether the Chinese military or its equipment is any good.
I have an adage I use for complex chip design software: “if it hasn’t been tested, it doesn’t work”. The more complex the kit, the more true that is.
Luttwak’s assertion that the F35 “is not actually a practical weapon of war because, stealth or no stealth, 100 aircraft could be lost in a single day of combat” is absurd. “a measly 890 have been delivered”. There’s no way the US would lose 100 F35s in a single day. The idea that 890 isn’t troubling the scorers is just ludicrous. Add in the fact that the US has thousands of other fighters. This man is apparently some sort of authority on military history and makes statements like these ?

John Riordan
John Riordan
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Keating

There is some justification for the $100 screw etc, it’s simply that the same screw costing 5c in a hardware store only has to hold the door onto your kitchen cabinet but has to hold the wing onto a jet fighter when purchased by the military. The quality control processes are therefore hugely more onerous and that’s why they cost a lot more. That said, it only accounts for some of the difference.

Andrew Dalton
Andrew Dalton
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Keating

Yes, it reminds me of the old joke that NASA spend millions inventing a pen that works in space while the Soviets use a pencil.

Laura Pritchard
Laura Pritchard
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Keating

You might not choose for the money to go on these things but I always question the word ‘wasted’ when referring to government spending. The US military industrial complex is so industrial and complex because state after state petitions for the work to keep 1000s of people employed so that the politicians get reelected. But also the wages keep those communities afloat and this feeds into tier after tier of the economy. Change the whole thing to something non violent maybe but you can’t just dismiss the effect of the investment to the people that benefit from it. This applies to all large investments by government as long as the money stays within the borders.

Chris Keating
Chris Keating
1 year ago

I don’t know what China does with it’s military budget but you would have to think that they get better value for money than the US government.
The huge US military budget appears to be a giant scam and I have been reading for years about their $100 screws, $50 nuts, $1000 seats and $10 split pins to know that the money spent has little relationship to the effectiveness of the weaponry and that’s before you get to excessive over-engineering of their equipment. So perhaps as much as 60% of the money spent is totally wasted, maybe even more. The Pentagon has failed almost all of it’s audits and there are trillions missing. https://responsiblestatecraft.org/2022/11/22/why-cant-the-dod-get-its-financial-house-in-order/
I hope we don’t get to find out which is the best working model but I would be surprised if the thievery of the US system would be a winner.

Anthony Roe
Anthony Roe
1 year ago

Take a look at the Chinese military parades. Just like the Russians there are goose-stepping soldiers in fancy uniforms, cold war missiles and rows of generals with more medals than space on their chests who have never fought in a war.

Anthony Roe
Anthony Roe
1 year ago

Take a look at the Chinese military parades. Just like the Russians there are goose-stepping soldiers in fancy uniforms, cold war missiles and rows of generals with more medals than space on their chests who have never fought in a war.

Nell Clover
Nell Clover
1 year ago

The USA’s military may suffer from decades without large wars with peer antagonists, but China’s military suffers from decades without wars with any sort of antagonist.

The West’s constant wars have an underlying logic of maintaining basic capability, and still we often come up short.

China has no such basic experience. This is China’s single biggest military weakness. And there is no obvious way to remedy this unless there is a fundamental shift in war making technology that makes the West’s accumulated experience redundant.

Last edited 1 year ago by Nell Clover
Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

Absolutely agree about China’s lack of experience,
But not true (for the US). The US military somehow make sure they engage in a significant conflict at least once a decade (Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, various proxy wars) which makes sure that their kit and troops are regularly tested. You do sometimes wonder if this is simply coincidence …

Rocky Martiano
Rocky Martiano
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

I don’t wonder.

mike otter
mike otter
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Agreed – and they are happy to be seen to be beaten by barefoot VietCong or Hilux mounted jihadis which gives false confidence to better armed enemies. If USA was willing to use “totaler krieg” they could wipe out whole populations but that would not help them at home or in future wars.

Rocky Martiano
Rocky Martiano
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

I don’t wonder.

mike otter
mike otter
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Agreed – and they are happy to be seen to be beaten by barefoot VietCong or Hilux mounted jihadis which gives false confidence to better armed enemies. If USA was willing to use “totaler krieg” they could wipe out whole populations but that would not help them at home or in future wars.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

Perhaps that’s why their war will not be fought in combat but by buying our politicians and corporations, who then implement the Chinese social credit and surveillance system that we’re only just now beginning to experience.

mike otter
mike otter
1 year ago

Could be a mix IMO. Whilst i agree Social Credit systems are a threat they are, after all, faster software based versions of curtain twitchers, compulsory church attendance and use of police against the poor or minorities rather than against criminals per se. The return of the “house party” during Covid shows how weak these tyrants really are. They can be fooled by simply parking down the lane and climbing over the back fence – remember to leave you mobiles at home, switched on and near the telly!

Last edited 1 year ago by mike otter
mike otter
mike otter
1 year ago

Could be a mix IMO. Whilst i agree Social Credit systems are a threat they are, after all, faster software based versions of curtain twitchers, compulsory church attendance and use of police against the poor or minorities rather than against criminals per se. The return of the “house party” during Covid shows how weak these tyrants really are. They can be fooled by simply parking down the lane and climbing over the back fence – remember to leave you mobiles at home, switched on and near the telly!

Last edited 1 year ago by mike otter
Atticus Basilhoff
Atticus Basilhoff
1 year ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

The PLA did invade the former North Vietnam in 1979 over a border dispute, and IIRC, got their collective asses handed to them. Now, in all fairness, the NVA had been actively engaged in combat for 25 years, but the Wolf Warrior propaganda is probably just that. Sort of like the Iraqi Guards and regular forces who couldn’t beat the Iranians in 10 year of fighting but were rolled up by the US and coalition forces in less than 100 hours of fighting, or the vaunted Russian forces that stalled 72 hours into the invasion of Ukraine and remain in the same state a year later.
I joked a year ago wondering what would happen when Wolf Warrior meets Woke Warrior, and how our pronoun platoons would prevail, but I think our forces will do what they have always done; show up and kick ass.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

Absolutely agree about China’s lack of experience,
But not true (for the US). The US military somehow make sure they engage in a significant conflict at least once a decade (Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, various proxy wars) which makes sure that their kit and troops are regularly tested. You do sometimes wonder if this is simply coincidence …

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

Perhaps that’s why their war will not be fought in combat but by buying our politicians and corporations, who then implement the Chinese social credit and surveillance system that we’re only just now beginning to experience.

Atticus Basilhoff
Atticus Basilhoff
1 year ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

The PLA did invade the former North Vietnam in 1979 over a border dispute, and IIRC, got their collective asses handed to them. Now, in all fairness, the NVA had been actively engaged in combat for 25 years, but the Wolf Warrior propaganda is probably just that. Sort of like the Iraqi Guards and regular forces who couldn’t beat the Iranians in 10 year of fighting but were rolled up by the US and coalition forces in less than 100 hours of fighting, or the vaunted Russian forces that stalled 72 hours into the invasion of Ukraine and remain in the same state a year later.
I joked a year ago wondering what would happen when Wolf Warrior meets Woke Warrior, and how our pronoun platoons would prevail, but I think our forces will do what they have always done; show up and kick ass.

Nell Clover
Nell Clover
1 year ago

The USA’s military may suffer from decades without large wars with peer antagonists, but China’s military suffers from decades without wars with any sort of antagonist.

The West’s constant wars have an underlying logic of maintaining basic capability, and still we often come up short.

China has no such basic experience. This is China’s single biggest military weakness. And there is no obvious way to remedy this unless there is a fundamental shift in war making technology that makes the West’s accumulated experience redundant.

Last edited 1 year ago by Nell Clover
Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
1 year ago

I suspect the Chinese armed forces would turn out to be as much paper tigers as the Russians have … but I’d prefer my hypothesis not to be tested.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
1 year ago

I suspect the Chinese armed forces would turn out to be as much paper tigers as the Russians have … but I’d prefer my hypothesis not to be tested.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago

Good article reminding us that adversaries often have greater problems than we believe of ourselves.
I guess the bit I’d like to read more about not covered was the CCPs ability to blockade Taiwan without it almost immediately turning into a ‘hot’ conflict. The scenario is blockade initiated after 2024 Taiwanese elections secure a majority for the pro-full independence advocates. US elections may also play into this if CCP believes that’ll weaken US and Western resolve. One can be fairly sure both sides war-gaming this though. And the Ukrainian’s ability to sink the Moskva and essentially tie up the entire Russian fleet in port would have registered with both sides too.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago

Good article reminding us that adversaries often have greater problems than we believe of ourselves.
I guess the bit I’d like to read more about not covered was the CCPs ability to blockade Taiwan without it almost immediately turning into a ‘hot’ conflict. The scenario is blockade initiated after 2024 Taiwanese elections secure a majority for the pro-full independence advocates. US elections may also play into this if CCP believes that’ll weaken US and Western resolve. One can be fairly sure both sides war-gaming this though. And the Ukrainian’s ability to sink the Moskva and essentially tie up the entire Russian fleet in port would have registered with both sides too.

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago

The real problem may be that, like Russia, China will think it is stronger and more capable than it really is.
An amphibious operation is one of the most complex there is. That China could successfully mount one against Taiwan is doubtful. Moreover, a blockade might last years, with all the economic problems that now haunt Russia.
But once in a war that is going badly–as Putin demonstrates–authoritarian leaders tend to “double-down” rather than admit defeat. They keep deluding themselves that “just one more push” will bring victory.
So our problem is: how do we show an adversary that their army may be less competent than their generals claim?

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

The only place that the Chinese military is being tested is on the Himalayan borders with India (disputes seem to be largely about controlling water). I understand that they haven’t made any real impression on the Indians.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

However the Chinese performance in the Korean War was impressive, so impressive that Douglas MacArthur was rather keen on ‘nuking’ them, to achieve victory.

In the end ‘we’ had a ‘qualified draw’ and MacArthur was dismissed, but it was “ a close run thing.”.

Brian Burnell
Brian Burnell
1 year ago

Not true at all.
My cousin fought in Korea, in the Third Battle of The Hook, a strategic strongpoint on the invasion route to Seoul, where he was wounded in hand-to-hand fighting. The Chinese tactics were to swamp their opponents with massive numbers of poorly trained inexperienced boys, and they died in the tens of thousands every day.
And for why they did it?
Politics.
To improve their bargaining position at the impending armistice talks. If you believe our politicians were cretins, try the Chinese.
And BTW, my conscripted cousin was wounded but survived.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Brian Burnell

So why did MacArthur want to nuke them?

Incidentally wasn’t it those ‘ inexperienced boys’ who ultimately destroyed the Ist Battalion The Gloucestershire Regiment, albeit at enormous cost as you say?

And how do you ‘explain’ North Korea if it wasn’t a qualified ‘draw’?

Arthur G
Arthur G
1 year ago

Because in 1950, most military men viewed the A-bomb as just another weapon. A way to use one plane to achieve the same result as 300.
US military planning was based on using nukes early and often all throughout the 50’s and 60’s. The answer to a Soviet invasion of Western Europe was nukes. The answer to a Chinese incursion into Laos or Vietnam was nukes.
MacArthur wanted to use nukes because to him they were no big deal.

Scott Towns
Scott Towns
1 year ago

You have to remember the Nuke was still the latest and greatest weapon on the planet. Eisenhower reduced the Army numbers because he had the Nuke at his disposal. MacArthur saw the nuke in the same light. I can save how many American and South Korean lives with the Nuke?

Arthur G
Arthur G
1 year ago

Because in 1950, most military men viewed the A-bomb as just another weapon. A way to use one plane to achieve the same result as 300.
US military planning was based on using nukes early and often all throughout the 50’s and 60’s. The answer to a Soviet invasion of Western Europe was nukes. The answer to a Chinese incursion into Laos or Vietnam was nukes.
MacArthur wanted to use nukes because to him they were no big deal.

Scott Towns
Scott Towns
1 year ago

You have to remember the Nuke was still the latest and greatest weapon on the planet. Eisenhower reduced the Army numbers because he had the Nuke at his disposal. MacArthur saw the nuke in the same light. I can save how many American and South Korean lives with the Nuke?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Brian Burnell

So why did MacArthur want to nuke them?

Incidentally wasn’t it those ‘ inexperienced boys’ who ultimately destroyed the Ist Battalion The Gloucestershire Regiment, albeit at enormous cost as you say?

And how do you ‘explain’ North Korea if it wasn’t a qualified ‘draw’?

Peter Shevlin
Peter Shevlin
1 year ago

They no longer have the same amount of cannon fodder to waste.It’s a different era and that was fought mainly on a single front with very old equipment. No comparison with present day professional armies.

Last edited 1 year ago by Peter Shevlin
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Shevlin

Really? It looks fairly traditional in the Ukraine at the moment, where despite all the ‘toys’ it is the PBI* who doing most of dying & fighting.

(*Poor Bloody Infantry.)

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Shevlin

Really? It looks fairly traditional in the Ukraine at the moment, where despite all the ‘toys’ it is the PBI* who doing most of dying & fighting.

(*Poor Bloody Infantry.)

Brian Burnell
Brian Burnell
1 year ago

Not true at all.
My cousin fought in Korea, in the Third Battle of The Hook, a strategic strongpoint on the invasion route to Seoul, where he was wounded in hand-to-hand fighting. The Chinese tactics were to swamp their opponents with massive numbers of poorly trained inexperienced boys, and they died in the tens of thousands every day.
And for why they did it?
Politics.
To improve their bargaining position at the impending armistice talks. If you believe our politicians were cretins, try the Chinese.
And BTW, my conscripted cousin was wounded but survived.

Peter Shevlin
Peter Shevlin
1 year ago

They no longer have the same amount of cannon fodder to waste.It’s a different era and that was fought mainly on a single front with very old equipment. No comparison with present day professional armies.

Last edited 1 year ago by Peter Shevlin
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Apparently the score was 40-20 to India in the last little disturbance in 2020, conducted at 18,000’ with clubs and crowbars.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

However the Chinese performance in the Korean War was impressive, so impressive that Douglas MacArthur was rather keen on ‘nuking’ them, to achieve victory.

In the end ‘we’ had a ‘qualified draw’ and MacArthur was dismissed, but it was “ a close run thing.”.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Apparently the score was 40-20 to India in the last little disturbance in 2020, conducted at 18,000’ with clubs and crowbars.

Matthew Fox
Matthew Fox
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

I quite agree.
Most people have no idea just how hard an amphibious assault with the insane quantity of logistic back up would be. Projecting that over 90 miles of contested seaways would be “tricky “ at least.
I’m always amazed that western commentators delude themselves into thinking that dictators think and act like democratic politicians. How can you do wilfully misunderstand your opponent?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Matthew Fox

Sinbad & Co executed a very successful “amphibious assault “ on the the UK last year, landing in excess of 45,0000.*

(* Slightly more than the Roman Invasion of 43AD.)

Brian Burnell
Brian Burnell
1 year ago

But only because we didn’t mount a defence of our shores. Sinbad & Co were invited in with goodie bags.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Brian Burnell

Plus ‘heroic’ assistance from the wretched Border Force and the simply pathetic RNLI.*

(Royal National Lifeboat Institution for US readers.)

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Brian Burnell

Plus ‘heroic’ assistance from the wretched Border Force and the simply pathetic RNLI.*

(Royal National Lifeboat Institution for US readers.)

Brian Burnell
Brian Burnell
1 year ago

But only because we didn’t mount a defence of our shores. Sinbad & Co were invited in with goodie bags.

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  Matthew Fox

It is unlikely, in the 21st century to be anything like a traditional amphibious assault. Drones, missiles etc.
They already blockaded Taiwan after pelosi visited, got fairly close, fired a load of missiles.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2022/08/03/nancy-pelosi-taiwan-visit-china-invade-us-speaker-flight/

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nytimes.com/live/2022/08/03/world/pelosi-visit-taiwan-china.amp.html

Last edited 1 year ago by B Emery
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Matthew Fox

Sinbad & Co executed a very successful “amphibious assault “ on the the UK last year, landing in excess of 45,0000.*

(* Slightly more than the Roman Invasion of 43AD.)

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  Matthew Fox

It is unlikely, in the 21st century to be anything like a traditional amphibious assault. Drones, missiles etc.
They already blockaded Taiwan after pelosi visited, got fairly close, fired a load of missiles.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2022/08/03/nancy-pelosi-taiwan-visit-china-invade-us-speaker-flight/

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nytimes.com/live/2022/08/03/world/pelosi-visit-taiwan-china.amp.html

Last edited 1 year ago by B Emery
j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

Deterrence matters. What the West is doing in aiding Ukraine will have changed some perceptions in the CCP about the wisdom of any military intervention to acquire Taiwan. Both because of Ukrainian and Western resolution but also because it demonstrated the ineffectiveness of the Russian military. If Putin outlasts the West there then the CCP will be re-fortified in it’s belief the West will similarly not have the stomach for any major, sustained altercation in the South China sea. Thus Cold War II already very much underway.
The more recent increase in public discourse, and that of course includes even articles on UnHerd, show we are awakening now to the threat.

Last edited 1 year ago by j watson
mike otter
mike otter
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

Putin may fall for the sunk cost fallacy but Chinese society is infinitely more “group” than “self” based. Plus they will always hang on the the conclusion Sun Tzu drew from the wise generals: “The best way to win a war is not to fight at all”

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

The only place that the Chinese military is being tested is on the Himalayan borders with India (disputes seem to be largely about controlling water). I understand that they haven’t made any real impression on the Indians.

Matthew Fox
Matthew Fox
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

I quite agree.
Most people have no idea just how hard an amphibious assault with the insane quantity of logistic back up would be. Projecting that over 90 miles of contested seaways would be “tricky “ at least.
I’m always amazed that western commentators delude themselves into thinking that dictators think and act like democratic politicians. How can you do wilfully misunderstand your opponent?

j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

Deterrence matters. What the West is doing in aiding Ukraine will have changed some perceptions in the CCP about the wisdom of any military intervention to acquire Taiwan. Both because of Ukrainian and Western resolution but also because it demonstrated the ineffectiveness of the Russian military. If Putin outlasts the West there then the CCP will be re-fortified in it’s belief the West will similarly not have the stomach for any major, sustained altercation in the South China sea. Thus Cold War II already very much underway.
The more recent increase in public discourse, and that of course includes even articles on UnHerd, show we are awakening now to the threat.

Last edited 1 year ago by j watson
mike otter
mike otter
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

Putin may fall for the sunk cost fallacy but Chinese society is infinitely more “group” than “self” based. Plus they will always hang on the the conclusion Sun Tzu drew from the wise generals: “The best way to win a war is not to fight at all”

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago

The real problem may be that, like Russia, China will think it is stronger and more capable than it really is.
An amphibious operation is one of the most complex there is. That China could successfully mount one against Taiwan is doubtful. Moreover, a blockade might last years, with all the economic problems that now haunt Russia.
But once in a war that is going badly–as Putin demonstrates–authoritarian leaders tend to “double-down” rather than admit defeat. They keep deluding themselves that “just one more push” will bring victory.
So our problem is: how do we show an adversary that their army may be less competent than their generals claim?

Andrew Mashton
Andrew Mashton
1 year ago

A few years ago I worked alongside an engineer and our off duty discussions were wide ranging. I once asked him if he was worried about the threat from China, his response, ‘no, when they come to press the button it won’t work.’

Brian Burnell
Brian Burnell
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Mashton

We don’t listen to engineers enough.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Mashton

I’m an engineer. You are right about some things but not others. The higher the technology, the more you are correct. For lower tech things, things we use every day, most car parts, they are as good as us.

Kent Ausburn
Kent Ausburn
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Mashton

I ran a project in China for about three years and just about everything they built, from infrastructure to machinery, was crap. Nothing worked or lasted as it should. Rolling brownouts, etc. Even now, you can read about the slopily built infrastructure projects around the world related to their belt and road initiative that are falling apart before they’re even finished. Who’s to say that their military equipment is any different?

Brian Burnell
Brian Burnell
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Mashton

We don’t listen to engineers enough.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Mashton

I’m an engineer. You are right about some things but not others. The higher the technology, the more you are correct. For lower tech things, things we use every day, most car parts, they are as good as us.

Kent Ausburn
Kent Ausburn
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Mashton

I ran a project in China for about three years and just about everything they built, from infrastructure to machinery, was crap. Nothing worked or lasted as it should. Rolling brownouts, etc. Even now, you can read about the slopily built infrastructure projects around the world related to their belt and road initiative that are falling apart before they’re even finished. Who’s to say that their military equipment is any different?

Andrew Mashton
Andrew Mashton
1 year ago

A few years ago I worked alongside an engineer and our off duty discussions were wide ranging. I once asked him if he was worried about the threat from China, his response, ‘no, when they come to press the button it won’t work.’

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

“long sequence of foreign conquest dynasties that ruled China until 1912”.

Really? Two*out six if we start with the Han circa 200BC.

(* Yuan (Mongol) & Qing ( Manchu.)

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

“long sequence of foreign conquest dynasties that ruled China until 1912”.

Really? Two*out six if we start with the Han circa 200BC.

(* Yuan (Mongol) & Qing ( Manchu.)

William Shaw
William Shaw
1 year ago

There’s no need to fight a war with China. Just impose sanctions: no oil, no food and no fertiliser imports. The country would collapse in 3 months.
China is one of the most vulnerable and fragile countries on the planet. They are totally dependent on globalisation and long oversea supply lines for raw materials and they don’t have a navy to protect them.

Last edited 1 year ago by William Shaw
Samir Iker
Samir Iker
1 year ago
Reply to  William Shaw

“no oil, no food and no fertiliser imports.”
True.
Just as well then that the West isn’t antagonising that major country to their north that is the biggest source globally for these three key materials, I guess.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
1 year ago
Reply to  William Shaw

“no oil, no food and no fertiliser imports.”
True.
Just as well then that the West isn’t antagonising that major country to their north that is the biggest source globally for these three key materials, I guess.

William Shaw
William Shaw
1 year ago

There’s no need to fight a war with China. Just impose sanctions: no oil, no food and no fertiliser imports. The country would collapse in 3 months.
China is one of the most vulnerable and fragile countries on the planet. They are totally dependent on globalisation and long oversea supply lines for raw materials and they don’t have a navy to protect them.

Last edited 1 year ago by William Shaw
Steven Campbell
Steven Campbell
1 year ago

This reminds me of the leadup to the first Iraq war. The press, especially the old generals and “intelligence” community were bleating about Sadam’s million man army, huge numbers of armored vehicles, modern Russian aircraft, WMD and that huge cannon. After putting together the most remarkable sea and air lift, positioning the needed assets and launching, mission complete for the “coalition” in weeks. A bit of historical study can often clarify even if China is not Iraq and all of that is taken into consideration. We should always take the experts opinions with a block of salt.
“Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth.” Combat expert, Mike Tyson.

Steven Campbell
Steven Campbell
1 year ago

This reminds me of the leadup to the first Iraq war. The press, especially the old generals and “intelligence” community were bleating about Sadam’s million man army, huge numbers of armored vehicles, modern Russian aircraft, WMD and that huge cannon. After putting together the most remarkable sea and air lift, positioning the needed assets and launching, mission complete for the “coalition” in weeks. A bit of historical study can often clarify even if China is not Iraq and all of that is taken into consideration. We should always take the experts opinions with a block of salt.
“Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth.” Combat expert, Mike Tyson.

William Hocter
William Hocter
1 year ago

I really don’t think it’s terribly likely that we’ll lose 100 F35s or Abrams tanks in a day. I think we lost 1 Abrams in Desert Storm and only 1 stealth aircraft has ever been shot down, an F117. Quality has a quantity all its own.

Frankly, if we ever did face an adversary who could do those things, I don’t think five times as many F18s or less capable tanks would save us.

William Hocter
William Hocter
1 year ago

I really don’t think it’s terribly likely that we’ll lose 100 F35s or Abrams tanks in a day. I think we lost 1 Abrams in Desert Storm and only 1 stealth aircraft has ever been shot down, an F117. Quality has a quantity all its own.

Frankly, if we ever did face an adversary who could do those things, I don’t think five times as many F18s or less capable tanks would save us.

Philip Clayton
Philip Clayton
1 year ago

I long believed in nuclear disarmament, but as a non-pacifist I also believed in having strong armed forces. But what is meant by strong? If Ukraine had not surrendered its nuclear capability would Putin have invaded? That is one question? But Ukraine surrendered its nuclear weapons because they were promised by NATO that in return they would be supplied with modern battlefield weapons and training. If that promise had been kept would Putin have invaded?That is another question.

Of course Britain is not a superpower but our military capabilities have been shredded and only our nuclear fig leaf allows any pretension to be taken seriously.

The U.S. is streets ahead of any other country in its armed military forces technology, but I am reminded of the battle for Malta where pilots of aged planes, many biplanes, held at bay the much superior technology of the Luftwaffe. Always being at the cutting edge of tech does not guarantee ‘superiority’.

Apparently U.S. nuclear forces, and I assume Russian, are using extremely old computer programmes to control their missiles. Tee hee. How quaint. Except these old computer programmes are difficult to hack.

But the point about over complicated tech is extremely valid. The costs of these weapons is astronomical, which is great for the companies that make them. But not so good for society. The money the U.S. spends on its armed forces is around a 5th of the entire UK economy.

So the U.S. can beat its metaphorical chest as the biggest beast in the jungle. But there is no point in carrying the ‘biggest stick’ if you are not prepared to use it.

Although I welcomed the election of Barack Obama I will never forgive him for not making it clear that his red line warning to Assad about chemical weapons was serious. If I had been in his position I would have told the general Staff to draw up plans to destroy every single airfield and aeroplane that Syria possesed, including civilian aircraft and airports.

If that had been done we wouldn’t now be dealing with the Ukraine war and invasion, or Xi threatening Taiwan. There is no point in all this horrendous spending if you don’t use the power it supplies you.

The real problem though is that most of this money spent on the military is misguided. The earthquake in Turkey and Syria is estimated to have caused at least $100 billion in damages. A huge sum, but only 1/7th of U.S. ANNUAL military spending.

If the U.S. spent the equivalent of its military budget on overseas aid and building economies a great many of the problems faced by the poorest people on earth could be solved. If they were solved so too would be problems of mass migration, internecine conflicts, and routes to war.(And the U.S. economy would expand greatly if currently poor countries suddenly had industries and spending power.)

That does not mean that there would be no conflicts, or that a rabid Putin would become innoculated against territorial ambitions,but that could have been achieved if the U.S. and NATO had kepts its promises to Ukraine in the first place.

Military tech is one thing, but diplomacy is another.Biden, and by extension NATO, have said they will retaliate if China invades and tried to take over Taiwan.China has no reason to believe this is true. By sheer distance it would be difficult for NATO to stop China if they decided to annexe Taiwan.

Therefore the only real possibility of stopping China is to arm Taiwan to the proverbial teeth with the latest missile systems, aircaft, ships (Build and give themn a couple of aircraft carriers), submarines, and then arm and train a civilian militia so every home has weapons. Then tell China to do one. Don’t make the same mistake that was made with Ukraine.

Stevie K
Stevie K
1 year ago
Reply to  Philip Clayton

Loving that last paragraph. Otherwise known a the Swiss approach. I think they might just be onto something.

Stevie K
Stevie K
1 year ago
Reply to  Philip Clayton

Loving that last paragraph. Otherwise known a the Swiss approach. I think they might just be onto something.

Philip Clayton
Philip Clayton
1 year ago

I long believed in nuclear disarmament, but as a non-pacifist I also believed in having strong armed forces. But what is meant by strong? If Ukraine had not surrendered its nuclear capability would Putin have invaded? That is one question? But Ukraine surrendered its nuclear weapons because they were promised by NATO that in return they would be supplied with modern battlefield weapons and training. If that promise had been kept would Putin have invaded?That is another question.

Of course Britain is not a superpower but our military capabilities have been shredded and only our nuclear fig leaf allows any pretension to be taken seriously.

The U.S. is streets ahead of any other country in its armed military forces technology, but I am reminded of the battle for Malta where pilots of aged planes, many biplanes, held at bay the much superior technology of the Luftwaffe. Always being at the cutting edge of tech does not guarantee ‘superiority’.

Apparently U.S. nuclear forces, and I assume Russian, are using extremely old computer programmes to control their missiles. Tee hee. How quaint. Except these old computer programmes are difficult to hack.

But the point about over complicated tech is extremely valid. The costs of these weapons is astronomical, which is great for the companies that make them. But not so good for society. The money the U.S. spends on its armed forces is around a 5th of the entire UK economy.

So the U.S. can beat its metaphorical chest as the biggest beast in the jungle. But there is no point in carrying the ‘biggest stick’ if you are not prepared to use it.

Although I welcomed the election of Barack Obama I will never forgive him for not making it clear that his red line warning to Assad about chemical weapons was serious. If I had been in his position I would have told the general Staff to draw up plans to destroy every single airfield and aeroplane that Syria possesed, including civilian aircraft and airports.

If that had been done we wouldn’t now be dealing with the Ukraine war and invasion, or Xi threatening Taiwan. There is no point in all this horrendous spending if you don’t use the power it supplies you.

The real problem though is that most of this money spent on the military is misguided. The earthquake in Turkey and Syria is estimated to have caused at least $100 billion in damages. A huge sum, but only 1/7th of U.S. ANNUAL military spending.

If the U.S. spent the equivalent of its military budget on overseas aid and building economies a great many of the problems faced by the poorest people on earth could be solved. If they were solved so too would be problems of mass migration, internecine conflicts, and routes to war.(And the U.S. economy would expand greatly if currently poor countries suddenly had industries and spending power.)

That does not mean that there would be no conflicts, or that a rabid Putin would become innoculated against territorial ambitions,but that could have been achieved if the U.S. and NATO had kepts its promises to Ukraine in the first place.

Military tech is one thing, but diplomacy is another.Biden, and by extension NATO, have said they will retaliate if China invades and tried to take over Taiwan.China has no reason to believe this is true. By sheer distance it would be difficult for NATO to stop China if they decided to annexe Taiwan.

Therefore the only real possibility of stopping China is to arm Taiwan to the proverbial teeth with the latest missile systems, aircaft, ships (Build and give themn a couple of aircraft carriers), submarines, and then arm and train a civilian militia so every home has weapons. Then tell China to do one. Don’t make the same mistake that was made with Ukraine.

Elliott Bjorn
Elliott Bjorn
1 year ago

China was completely unable to conduct war because it is completely surrounded and requires an astoundingly large amount of raw materials streaming in or it starves almost instantly.

Now the WEF Biden has pushed Russia and Iran into becoming Chinese allies it is a lot different – but still…..

Japan was defeated by sinking their cargo ships with submarines. Britain, even with the USA vast resources and shipping, almost lost WWII to the German submarines sinking their cargo ships.

China cannot get into a shooting war or all the tankers and freighters going there get sunk and the Chinese starve in an instant great Famine. They could Never get troop transports to carry an army overseas in a shooting war either. I guess they could take Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Burma and get resources by land – but where then? India and Pakistan are Nuke countries (as is Iran). I do not see them being able to keep sea lines open.

Every wonder why Australia wants the world’s best submarines? Sink the super freighters going through the straits and it is over for China.

If they tried to cross Asia to take Europe – the great open thousands of miles – couple tactical nukes and that would end.

China cannot fight and win an invasion war against the West. It never could unless it had become a great Naval sea-power like Japan – but those days ended with WWII.

Now they could do something 5th Generation I suppose – launching a 20 million swarm drones….or something. An electromagnetic pulse (EMP) weapon against our infrastructure? hit all the undersea cables and pipelines, But then they get it back.

China may be a threat to Taiwan – but not to the rest of the developed world. They have NO way of keeping the tankers and freighters going and would starve if it became kinetic war. They are a Paper Tiger. They live in a glass castle. They must have oil. metals, food by millions of tons – by shipping, or they starve in a Famine, and ships are sitting ducks.

Well, until WEF Biden got Russia and Iran to become their allies with his insane starting of a WWIII – but even that – those steppes – not really totally different to the sea.

If you listened to Trump at CPAC (and his winning 2024 is the only chance the world has to not fall into eternal darkness) he stated as a commitment to Bring all industry back to America! America is laden with resources – cannot be invaded over land, and once it is again self sufficient industrially – America cannot be touched.

This is also a wake up call to Europe. If America reduces its funding and military for NATO – Europe is helpless! Toast.

Europe did not keep a Military – instead it spent its money on National Health. Like Canada. Like Australia and Japan…… USA kept private medical – it had to to keep the military. Now you Europeans – what do you want? Free Health care and no military? That will be the choice if USA decides it has had enough. But then I despise the NHS – and think it going private would be a good thing.

P.S. the world ends, and in 20 years likely, by AI and the WEF taking the West from the inside, through their agents – Biden, Democrat Party, and the American Elites and their ilk in Europe (Boris and every one in the EU Leadership but maybe 6, are creatures of the WEF). If Trump does not win in 2024, that is guaranteed.

Goodnight you sheep. And it is those phone you clutch which will conquer and own you – you do not own the phone, it owns you.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
1 year ago
Reply to  Elliott Bjorn

Tedious Alt-Right conspiracy nonsense. Isn’t Trump part of the conspiracy too, he was promoting those DNA changing mRNA vaccines wasn’t he? You just can’t quite go all the way with this can you. On the one hand the US and Europe are all being controlled by the WEF or whatever, on the other hand you Americans are still the saviours! Didn’t Trump negotiate a 1973 Paris Peace settlement type deal, actually a surrender, to the Taliban not so long ago?

Last edited 1 year ago by Andrew Fisher
Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
1 year ago
Reply to  Elliott Bjorn

Trump wants to bring all manufacturing home. So, ordinary Americans will pay $50 for a T-shirt, $300 for a frying pan? The last time I visited I landed in Houston on St.Patrick’s Day. Girls in the parade were giving out free American flags for us to wave. I still have some. All were stamped, ‘Made In China’. It is too late. You are just like Europe. You couldn’t do it.
At the beginning of this century I was visiting many of our customers all over the USA – literally all over the country. These were manufacturers making metal parts for cars and sometimes planes – not special Hi-Tech. These US manufacturers were years behind our European customers. Their machines were hopelessly inefficient, quality systems were poor, there was no guarding, no noise protection. Plenty of flags.
Now, 20 years later, Europe can’t compete with Asia on price. American manufacturers have no chance – except in armaments.
But it’s a great thing to say.

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  Elliott Bjorn

America can certainly keep its ‘defence’ thank you. I’m happy to rely on the British army. If you Americans and the Russians didn’t keep sh’t stirring all the time, Europe would not be in this mess.
Isn’t the idealogical crap from the American army ruining ours anyway?

Last edited 1 year ago by B Emery
Samir Iker
Samir Iker
1 year ago
Reply to  Elliott Bjorn

“China may be a threat to Taiwan – but not to the rest of the developed world.”
Yes, the developed world will do just fine without Taiwanese semiconductors.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
1 year ago
Reply to  Elliott Bjorn

Tedious Alt-Right conspiracy nonsense. Isn’t Trump part of the conspiracy too, he was promoting those DNA changing mRNA vaccines wasn’t he? You just can’t quite go all the way with this can you. On the one hand the US and Europe are all being controlled by the WEF or whatever, on the other hand you Americans are still the saviours! Didn’t Trump negotiate a 1973 Paris Peace settlement type deal, actually a surrender, to the Taliban not so long ago?

Last edited 1 year ago by Andrew Fisher
Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
1 year ago
Reply to  Elliott Bjorn

Trump wants to bring all manufacturing home. So, ordinary Americans will pay $50 for a T-shirt, $300 for a frying pan? The last time I visited I landed in Houston on St.Patrick’s Day. Girls in the parade were giving out free American flags for us to wave. I still have some. All were stamped, ‘Made In China’. It is too late. You are just like Europe. You couldn’t do it.
At the beginning of this century I was visiting many of our customers all over the USA – literally all over the country. These were manufacturers making metal parts for cars and sometimes planes – not special Hi-Tech. These US manufacturers were years behind our European customers. Their machines were hopelessly inefficient, quality systems were poor, there was no guarding, no noise protection. Plenty of flags.
Now, 20 years later, Europe can’t compete with Asia on price. American manufacturers have no chance – except in armaments.
But it’s a great thing to say.

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  Elliott Bjorn

America can certainly keep its ‘defence’ thank you. I’m happy to rely on the British army. If you Americans and the Russians didn’t keep sh’t stirring all the time, Europe would not be in this mess.
Isn’t the idealogical crap from the American army ruining ours anyway?

Last edited 1 year ago by B Emery
Samir Iker
Samir Iker
1 year ago
Reply to  Elliott Bjorn

“China may be a threat to Taiwan – but not to the rest of the developed world.”
Yes, the developed world will do just fine without Taiwanese semiconductors.

Elliott Bjorn
Elliott Bjorn
1 year ago

China was completely unable to conduct war because it is completely surrounded and requires an astoundingly large amount of raw materials streaming in or it starves almost instantly.

Now the WEF Biden has pushed Russia and Iran into becoming Chinese allies it is a lot different – but still…..

Japan was defeated by sinking their cargo ships with submarines. Britain, even with the USA vast resources and shipping, almost lost WWII to the German submarines sinking their cargo ships.

China cannot get into a shooting war or all the tankers and freighters going there get sunk and the Chinese starve in an instant great Famine. They could Never get troop transports to carry an army overseas in a shooting war either. I guess they could take Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Burma and get resources by land – but where then? India and Pakistan are Nuke countries (as is Iran). I do not see them being able to keep sea lines open.

Every wonder why Australia wants the world’s best submarines? Sink the super freighters going through the straits and it is over for China.

If they tried to cross Asia to take Europe – the great open thousands of miles – couple tactical nukes and that would end.

China cannot fight and win an invasion war against the West. It never could unless it had become a great Naval sea-power like Japan – but those days ended with WWII.

Now they could do something 5th Generation I suppose – launching a 20 million swarm drones….or something. An electromagnetic pulse (EMP) weapon against our infrastructure? hit all the undersea cables and pipelines, But then they get it back.

China may be a threat to Taiwan – but not to the rest of the developed world. They have NO way of keeping the tankers and freighters going and would starve if it became kinetic war. They are a Paper Tiger. They live in a glass castle. They must have oil. metals, food by millions of tons – by shipping, or they starve in a Famine, and ships are sitting ducks.

Well, until WEF Biden got Russia and Iran to become their allies with his insane starting of a WWIII – but even that – those steppes – not really totally different to the sea.

If you listened to Trump at CPAC (and his winning 2024 is the only chance the world has to not fall into eternal darkness) he stated as a commitment to Bring all industry back to America! America is laden with resources – cannot be invaded over land, and once it is again self sufficient industrially – America cannot be touched.

This is also a wake up call to Europe. If America reduces its funding and military for NATO – Europe is helpless! Toast.

Europe did not keep a Military – instead it spent its money on National Health. Like Canada. Like Australia and Japan…… USA kept private medical – it had to to keep the military. Now you Europeans – what do you want? Free Health care and no military? That will be the choice if USA decides it has had enough. But then I despise the NHS – and think it going private would be a good thing.

P.S. the world ends, and in 20 years likely, by AI and the WEF taking the West from the inside, through their agents – Biden, Democrat Party, and the American Elites and their ilk in Europe (Boris and every one in the EU Leadership but maybe 6, are creatures of the WEF). If Trump does not win in 2024, that is guaranteed.

Goodnight you sheep. And it is those phone you clutch which will conquer and own you – you do not own the phone, it owns you.

Saul D
Saul D
1 year ago

Why are we discussing the possibilities of war with China? The same sort of military chatter in the media also happened about three months prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

M Lux
M Lux
1 year ago
Reply to  Saul D

Because the media are ginning up war fervor in the same people who are cheering on the Ukraine war (which is way too many for my taste). This creates the (likely false) impression that war with China will run just as smoothly for the US/UK war machine as the Ukraine war is and therefore makes it more palatable to the wider public (who will usually accept the standard MSM footnotes on a given conflict – i.e. “we good, they bad”).
This conveniently elides the fact that everyone was surprised by Russia’s poor performance in Ukraine and now the assumption in these (warmongering) corners is that China will just repeat the same mistakes (as plenty of commenters are doing here), which strikes me as unwise at best (one should never underestimate an opponent), but then again, I’m not heedlessly cheering for WW3…

Last edited 1 year ago by M Lux
Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  M Lux

Your use of the term “cheering” when referring to those who stoically support the right of Ukraine to self-determination whilst wishing they didn’t have to is more significant than any point you’re trying to make.

M Lux
M Lux
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

They wouldn’t need your “stoic support” (which just strikes me as warmongering made palatable for the woke) if Boris hadn’t talked them out of taking a peace deal (presumably on US orders). Now they’ll likely lose the same amount of land (if not more) they would have back then, in addition to a massive loss of life, a likely irreversible brain drain and destruction of vast swathes of the country.
But I’m sure it’s all worth it to have your “stoic support” and the “self-determination” to become (at the very best) an American protectorate or (more likely) a failed/rump state (once your stoicism runs out).

Last edited 1 year ago by M Lux
M Lux
M Lux
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

They wouldn’t need your “stoic support” (which just strikes me as warmongering made palatable for the woke) if Boris hadn’t talked them out of taking a peace deal (presumably on US orders). Now they’ll likely lose the same amount of land (if not more) they would have back then, in addition to a massive loss of life, a likely irreversible brain drain and destruction of vast swathes of the country.
But I’m sure it’s all worth it to have your “stoic support” and the “self-determination” to become (at the very best) an American protectorate or (more likely) a failed/rump state (once your stoicism runs out).

Last edited 1 year ago by M Lux
Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  M Lux

Your use of the term “cheering” when referring to those who stoically support the right of Ukraine to self-determination whilst wishing they didn’t have to is more significant than any point you’re trying to make.

M Lux
M Lux
1 year ago
Reply to  Saul D

Because the media are ginning up war fervor in the same people who are cheering on the Ukraine war (which is way too many for my taste). This creates the (likely false) impression that war with China will run just as smoothly for the US/UK war machine as the Ukraine war is and therefore makes it more palatable to the wider public (who will usually accept the standard MSM footnotes on a given conflict – i.e. “we good, they bad”).
This conveniently elides the fact that everyone was surprised by Russia’s poor performance in Ukraine and now the assumption in these (warmongering) corners is that China will just repeat the same mistakes (as plenty of commenters are doing here), which strikes me as unwise at best (one should never underestimate an opponent), but then again, I’m not heedlessly cheering for WW3…

Last edited 1 year ago by M Lux
Saul D
Saul D
1 year ago

Why are we discussing the possibilities of war with China? The same sort of military chatter in the media also happened about three months prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

James Kirk
James Kirk
1 year ago

Civilian commenters always do this numbers game. Like Risk they assume countries want to take ground or defend it. Look at the pointless, globally upsetting and heartbreaking result of a 100,000 strong army moving into Ukraine. With full NATO support, in a board game, they would have been thrust back to the border in no time. Ukraine had 250,000 troops with 900,000 in reserve. Putin needed 5-7 times the troops to force a surrender and hold the taken ground. The USA presumably has no intention of invading anywhere after Iraq. The Chinese will deploy cannon fodder while US drones are piloted by nerds in bedrooms and F35 pilots will never see who they shoot down. As usual the nuclear elephant in the room is ignored as too difficult.

James Kirk
James Kirk
1 year ago

Civilian commenters always do this numbers game. Like Risk they assume countries want to take ground or defend it. Look at the pointless, globally upsetting and heartbreaking result of a 100,000 strong army moving into Ukraine. With full NATO support, in a board game, they would have been thrust back to the border in no time. Ukraine had 250,000 troops with 900,000 in reserve. Putin needed 5-7 times the troops to force a surrender and hold the taken ground. The USA presumably has no intention of invading anywhere after Iraq. The Chinese will deploy cannon fodder while US drones are piloted by nerds in bedrooms and F35 pilots will never see who they shoot down. As usual the nuclear elephant in the room is ignored as too difficult.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

They don’t have a Bligrade of Gluards or Hrousehrold Clavalee…

Jonathan Lau
Jonathan Lau
1 year ago

I don’t fear China’s military. I fear the fifth columns from within my borders assisting China willingly or unwillingly whether big businesses, blm, leftists or defeatists on some on the right.

Jonathan Lau
Jonathan Lau
1 year ago

I don’t fear China’s military. I fear the fifth columns from within my borders assisting China willingly or unwillingly whether big businesses, blm, leftists or defeatists on some on the right.

Reginald Duquesnoy
Reginald Duquesnoy
1 year ago

Dopey, dopey…suus cuisque crepitus bene olet…Let me count the number of Yankee victories since 1945: Panama, Grenada? I am at a loss to find anymore. So much for the bean counters…the fingers of one hand suffice.
Sick(!) transit gloria mundi…
Luttwaky, another Dr. Folamour.

Arthur G
Arthur G
1 year ago

Look at the difference between North and South Korea. It’s pretty clear we won that one. And the first Gulf War was a clear win. The only wars we “lost” were counterinsurgencies. Almost everybody loses counterinsurgencies when they fight them in another country without significant local support.

Last edited 1 year ago by Arthur G
mike otter
mike otter
1 year ago

Vietnam, Angola, Lat Am all now capitalist, Baathism dead- replaced by Islam – USSR/China also integrated into world markets so can be leveraged – though still capable of surviving in totalitarian isolation. Various Chinese sayings apply: “muddy the water to catch the fish” and “make a noise in the east then attack in the west”. Only NK, Cuba and South Africa were truly lost and i think the latter may yet escape the ANC/Soviet yoke as they did the Broederbond before that.

Last edited 1 year ago by mike otter
Arthur G
Arthur G
1 year ago

Look at the difference between North and South Korea. It’s pretty clear we won that one. And the first Gulf War was a clear win. The only wars we “lost” were counterinsurgencies. Almost everybody loses counterinsurgencies when they fight them in another country without significant local support.

Last edited 1 year ago by Arthur G
mike otter
mike otter
1 year ago

Vietnam, Angola, Lat Am all now capitalist, Baathism dead- replaced by Islam – USSR/China also integrated into world markets so can be leveraged – though still capable of surviving in totalitarian isolation. Various Chinese sayings apply: “muddy the water to catch the fish” and “make a noise in the east then attack in the west”. Only NK, Cuba and South Africa were truly lost and i think the latter may yet escape the ANC/Soviet yoke as they did the Broederbond before that.

Last edited 1 year ago by mike otter
Reginald Duquesnoy
Reginald Duquesnoy
1 year ago

Dopey, dopey…suus cuisque crepitus bene olet…Let me count the number of Yankee victories since 1945: Panama, Grenada? I am at a loss to find anymore. So much for the bean counters…the fingers of one hand suffice.
Sick(!) transit gloria mundi…
Luttwaky, another Dr. Folamour.