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The clue China is preparing for war Xi is laying the groundwork while the West looks away

President Xi is preparing for war (Annabelle Chih/Getty Images)

President Xi is preparing for war (Annabelle Chih/Getty Images)


July 19, 2023   4 mins

In a sinister reversion to the very worst days of Mao’s rule, Communist Party officials across China are blindly obeying orders to rapidly increase the supply of arable land by any means possible. As with the “Great Leap Forward” that starved tens of millions to death in a futile attempt to produce more steel to industrialise overnight, the official aim is straightforward: to grow more “grain”.

In reality, however, China produces more than enough rice, wheat and maize to feed its human population. So why the sudden rush? Xi Jinping, it seems, is preparing for war.

At present, China relies on colossal imports of soya beans, maize, wheat and other cereals to feed its pigs, cattle, chickens and ducks — more than 120 million metric tons last year. These are supplied by the daily arrival of bulk carriers into Chinese ports from Argentina, Brazil, Canada and the United States. If war were to break out, these imports would quickly dry up.

In China, there is no spare land for crops, leaving Beijing little choice but to uproot the trees recently planted by its costly and much-admired reforestation efforts — even though China’s forests are mostly on slopes, and new crop plantings are often swept away by the first serious rain. Local party officials executing Beijing’s orders  know this perfectly well, but disobeying means instant demotion at best.

After the colossal Yangtze River floods of 1998 destroyed 13 million homes, drowned thousands and swept away highways and rail lines, the CCP recognised that the floods had been made worse by uncontrolled deforestation. Orders were issued all across China to stop logging and to plant trees instead, with vast funding allocated to add up to roughly 90 billion trees over the next decade. Thousands of tree nurseries were established, and an army of tree-planters set to work on the bare deforested slopes, with local farmers hired to nurture the new trees. As a result, China became visibly greener in satellite images, as forest cover increased from 12% in 1998 to 24% in 2020 to then increase further — until last year. No figures have been published, but what has happened since greatly exceeds the rate of the Amazon’s deforestation, even though the West’s environmentalists have so far remained entirely silent.

 

There are no further forests to uproot; all that is left are the very small fruit orchards cultivated by individual farmers. And so, to the horror of the elderly peasants who planted each tree by hand, a local Party official will arrive one day with the People’s Armed Police in camouflage uniforms, and cut them down. Sometimes, this is not enough: many farmers raise ducks in their backyards to supplement their income, which the police then club to death, issuing orders to plant cereals instead. Even room-sized pigsties are destroyed to free up the few square yards of soil underneath.

Local officials know that it is madness to destroy so many livelihoods to produce a few truckloads of cheap cereals, but they have no way of changing Xi’s policies — especially when each official has juniors ready to denounce him in the hope of taking his place. It was this dynamic that produced the tragedy of the Great Leap Forward. Peasants were ordered to melt down their pots and pans to make steel in backyard furnaces, with the promise they would instead eat in the dining rooms of the promised new “communes”; they were also told to melt down their animal ploughs because new tractors were arriving. In a mere four years from 1958 to 1962, at least 30 million died of hunger — some to be eaten by those who survived — and hardly any usable steel was produced.

Now, there is no question that China has very little arable land, having lost some 4 million acres to urbanisation and industry between 1957 and 1996 — an average loss of 100,000 acres per year, which jumped to more than 1.5 million acres per year from 1997, with China’s explosive economic growth that followed the opening of the US and world markets. As a result, China now has less arable land per inhabitant than India.

But why should this matter? As a very successful exporter of increasingly advanced and costly manufactures, China can certainly pay for all its food and animal feed imports easily enough. And this is how we arrive at something much worse than the destruction of China’s new forests and the human tragedy of its destroying orchards and ducks: the reason for it all.

The crescendo of Xi Jinping’s “rice bowl” speeches came on 21 June, when he claimed it was imperative to prepare for “extreme circumstances”, having previously warned on 6 May that China must be prepared “for worst-case and extreme scenarios” to survive “high winds, choppy waters and even dangerous storms” — all transparent codewords for “the danger of war”. He returned to the topic on 6 July when, on a visit to the Eastern Theater Command, whose jurisdiction includes the Strait of Taiwan, he called for increased “training under real combat conditions to raise the capability to fight and win”.

Xi’s incessant calls for “combat readiness” may mean that he actually doubts that Chinese military forces are ready for real combat. Its navy, after all, is brand new and inexperienced, while the air force is greatly inferior in its technology, mostly relying on Soviet jet engines, radar-evading “stealth” that is not really stealthy, and inferior missiles. But more importantly, Xi’s intense bellicosity and intense calls for “the rejuvenation of the Chinese people” suggests motives that we cannot even imagine. No, not Taiwan, which China could have had for the asking by merely treating Hong Kong’s freedoms with demonstrative respect, making “one country, two systems” very attractive to the Taiwanese.

Much more likely is his personal sense of shame that China’s history is a long sequence of defeats at the hands of badly outnumbered invaders — the Turkic, Mongol and Manchurian Jurchen tribespeople, and then the Japanese who might still be there if they had not attacked the US. As with Mussolini, then, Xi’s real aim may well be to turn his unwarlike people into warriors.

So far, China’s future war might appear to be all talk, but preparations are well underway. Already, catastrophic deforestation is harming all humanity while the destruction of orchards and the mass killings of ducks are impoverishing tens of millions. That is not just talk.


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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Nell Clover
Nell Clover
11 months ago

Xi is a classic authoritarian and his centralised planning will be utterly counterproductive. I don’t doubt one reason for the central plan to increase internal food production is greater resilience during any future war. Yet it is odd that two of Xi’s publicly stated reasons for the Ministry of Agriculture’s plan are not mentioned.

Xi has warned that Western net zero efforts will reduce global food output. For a huge food importer like China, that will severely dent the rate at which it can accumulate foreign assets (and financial power) and increase its internal inflation. He’s not wrong either: the UK is paying farmers to exit farming and take their land out of production, and variations of this scheme are happening across Europe. UK / EU policy is making sure there *will* be less food produced in Europe, which means less food produced globally. In this context, Xi’s response isn’t irrational. This begs the question: what is my response to my government actively reducing the abundance of my food?!

Xi has also warned that the USA is going to increasingly use its remaining financial hegemony to force policy alignment. I don’t think this is disputed. Sanctions have not just been used to hurt Russia, the resultant disruption to grain export routes has seen the EU *increase* its imports of Russian grain, and the EU has controlled inward shipping inside the EU to punish Polish farmers and exports outside the EU as a means to force NATO policy alignment concessions from non-aligned countries. No doubt this is real politik, but the West has crossed a line from using food aid as a carrot to using food denial as a stick, and I’m not sure this is a positive policy development.

There are of course a whole host of feedback loops driving international policy on all sides. There’s no use pointing fingers, but it is a poor analysis that omits some of the key drivers behind a policy painted as wholly irrational warmongering by one side.

As a footnote, the author makes it seem like Xi has commanded a WW2-like mad dash for self sufficiency in readiness for an imminent war. The actual numbers are a bit more sober. The immediate plan is to maintain (not increase) the 120m ha of farmland and increase the proportion of this rated as excellent or very good quality for growing crops. This follows years of declining arable land acreage due to development, and years of reclaiming of sub-optimal (lower grade) land for arable farming encouraged by previous policies.

Last edited 11 months ago by Nell Clover
Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
11 months ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

Interesting additions, thanks. It doesn’t seem to matter what the publication is, everything you read these days selects only those facts which support the click bait headline.

Norman Powers
Norman Powers
11 months ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

Would you have read the article (or run it) if it had simply said “Xi is attempting to maintain farmland quality due to the expectation of export reductions elsewhere”? We bring this on ourselves by demanding a flow of interesting articles, maybe. Although arguably Unherd should be able to find enough interesting topics to write about without needing to exaggerate.

Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
11 months ago
Reply to  Norman Powers

Maybe with N.Clover’s insightful addition Article could have a headline like: “China is preparing food supply independence as a Consequence of Western Net Zero policies.”

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
11 months ago
Reply to  Norman Powers

A while ago now (a long while) when I was starting out, one of the best lessons in the ‘art’ of journalism was provided by an old newspaper seller (look it up) who used to walk around New Road, Worcester Cricket pitch with an armful of papers to sell to punters.
He’d shout headlines..like ‘at least 3 dead in City lift accident’ but without revealing the City was Bangkok or Minsk, and not Worcester, as his anguished rendition invariably implied..
He’d be right at home in our era of Social Media clickbait harvesting.

Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
11 months ago
Reply to  Norman Powers

Maybe with N.Clover’s insightful addition Article could have a headline like: “China is preparing food supply independence as a Consequence of Western Net Zero policies.”

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
11 months ago
Reply to  Norman Powers

A while ago now (a long while) when I was starting out, one of the best lessons in the ‘art’ of journalism was provided by an old newspaper seller (look it up) who used to walk around New Road, Worcester Cricket pitch with an armful of papers to sell to punters.
He’d shout headlines..like ‘at least 3 dead in City lift accident’ but without revealing the City was Bangkok or Minsk, and not Worcester, as his anguished rendition invariably implied..
He’d be right at home in our era of Social Media clickbait harvesting.

Norman Powers
Norman Powers
11 months ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

Would you have read the article (or run it) if it had simply said “Xi is attempting to maintain farmland quality due to the expectation of export reductions elsewhere”? We bring this on ourselves by demanding a flow of interesting articles, maybe. Although arguably Unherd should be able to find enough interesting topics to write about without needing to exaggerate.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

The US successfully goaded the Japanese into war in 1941, so why not China now?
It makes sense while ‘they’ still have a considerable advantage.

ps. Who seriously disputes this?

Brilliant! As at 20.23. BST, 22thumbs down! More than I had dared hope for.

Presumably most if not all are American?
Thus they should start to do some real research and NOT rely on Hollywood drivel for their history. QED.

Last edited 11 months ago by Charles Stanhope
m3pc7q3ixe
m3pc7q3ixe
11 months ago

I would. The policy adopted by Trump and continued by Biden has been to a) “protect” US manufacturing by imposing 20% tariffs on many Chinese exports b) “contain” China militarily to prevent it conquering or intimidating its neighbours and c) prevent Chinese dominance of certain key strategic industries. I have never heard of any sane American general or strategist wanting to invade China (MacArthur was losing the plot by 1951).

The 1941 situation was very different. Roosevelt was trying to manipulate the Japanese into declaring war despite having promised peace during the recent election campaign. Strategically, it was not a question of deterring aggression but reversing Japan’s conquest of half of China. Containment was insufficient.

There may be elements in the Pentagon who think war is inevitable but they anticipate it starting with a Chinese attack on Taiwan or elsewhere. I see no evidence they wish to precipitate this not least since the US is only part way through rearmament.

Alex Carnegie

Last edited 11 months ago by m3pc7q3ixe
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  m3pc7q3ixe

As I recall McArthur did not want to “invade” China but rather, and to lapse into the vernacular, ‘Nuke the place off the planet’ or something similar.

Your second paragraph rather confirms my point does it not that Roosevelt and the US very deliberately goaded Japan into attacking. I made NO mention of whether this was supposed to be a deterrent or not, did I?

The only drawback I can see to destroying China now would be that then there would be NO credible ‘enemy’ left to dispute US hegemony of the planet. This would thus have a somewhat negative impact on the currently flourishing US Defence Industry would it not?

m3pc7q3ixe
m3pc7q3ixe
11 months ago

I totally agree that Roosevelt deliberately goaded the Japanese into war. My point is that I don’t think Biden or any other senior American actually wants a war. Their aims are more limited even if they accept that war is a real risk.

Re the US Defence Industry, my impression is that it is content with the orders flowing from possible wars and does not need to agitate for actual ones. As you say, victory would kill the goose which lays so many golden eggs.

Incidentally, Luttwak – and possibly yourself – assume an American victory is a foregone conclusion if hostilities break out. Technologically, the Chinese are actually ahead in missiles at the moment – which would be pivotal in any naval clash – and the view that the Chinese are inherently militarily inept is debatable. My father was a professional soldier, spent a year fighting their army in Korea and had a considerable respect for them.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  m3pc7q3ixe

I suspect war is inevitable if only because the Chinese think it is ‘their turn” and really believe they’ll win.

Victory is never inevitable, but I would put my trust in the USN’s 14/18 Ohio class subs and their ability to deliver some 324 nuclear warheads from a distance of at least 7,000 nautical miles. I gather China has about 102 ‘target cities’ with a population of million or more.

Whether the Chinese could actually hit the US is a moot point. However all ‘our’ theatre ‘allies’, such a Japan, South Korea, Taiwan etc will be vaporised sadly.

m3pc7q3ixe
m3pc7q3ixe
11 months ago

You are assuming any war would go nuclear. I think most observers think (or hope) it would remain conventional as in Ukraine. You may be right.

Jim McDonnell
Jim McDonnell
11 months ago

I suspect it will come soon. Xi wants to be the one to conquer Taiwan and he knows he isn’t getting any younger.

m3pc7q3ixe
m3pc7q3ixe
11 months ago

You are assuming any war would go nuclear. I think most observers think (or hope) it would remain conventional as in Ukraine. You may be right.

Jim McDonnell
Jim McDonnell
11 months ago

I suspect it will come soon. Xi wants to be the one to conquer Taiwan and he knows he isn’t getting any younger.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  m3pc7q3ixe

I suspect war is inevitable if only because the Chinese think it is ‘their turn” and really believe they’ll win.

Victory is never inevitable, but I would put my trust in the USN’s 14/18 Ohio class subs and their ability to deliver some 324 nuclear warheads from a distance of at least 7,000 nautical miles. I gather China has about 102 ‘target cities’ with a population of million or more.

Whether the Chinese could actually hit the US is a moot point. However all ‘our’ theatre ‘allies’, such a Japan, South Korea, Taiwan etc will be vaporised sadly.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
11 months ago

I think this is absolute nonsense, uttered by another of our resident band of America -phobes! (I’m pretty glad they “won” and not National Socialist Germany or the Soviet Union anyway. Obviously these were not of course real threats, just a foil for US hegemony!)

In any case, the US managed to lose to developing world nations in both Vietnam and Afghanistan. It is also still a democracy so the idea that it could just launch some sort of pre-emptive attack on China which had the slightest chance of success is completely fanciful.

Isn’t it bizarre that the only defence industry which supposedly decrees a government’s foreign policy is the US one!

Last edited 11 months ago by Andrew Fisher
m3pc7q3ixe
m3pc7q3ixe
11 months ago

I totally agree that Roosevelt deliberately goaded the Japanese into war. My point is that I don’t think Biden or any other senior American actually wants a war. Their aims are more limited even if they accept that war is a real risk.

Re the US Defence Industry, my impression is that it is content with the orders flowing from possible wars and does not need to agitate for actual ones. As you say, victory would kill the goose which lays so many golden eggs.

Incidentally, Luttwak – and possibly yourself – assume an American victory is a foregone conclusion if hostilities break out. Technologically, the Chinese are actually ahead in missiles at the moment – which would be pivotal in any naval clash – and the view that the Chinese are inherently militarily inept is debatable. My father was a professional soldier, spent a year fighting their army in Korea and had a considerable respect for them.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
11 months ago

I think this is absolute nonsense, uttered by another of our resident band of America -phobes! (I’m pretty glad they “won” and not National Socialist Germany or the Soviet Union anyway. Obviously these were not of course real threats, just a foil for US hegemony!)

In any case, the US managed to lose to developing world nations in both Vietnam and Afghanistan. It is also still a democracy so the idea that it could just launch some sort of pre-emptive attack on China which had the slightest chance of success is completely fanciful.

Isn’t it bizarre that the only defence industry which supposedly decrees a government’s foreign policy is the US one!

Last edited 11 months ago by Andrew Fisher
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  m3pc7q3ixe

As I recall McArthur did not want to “invade” China but rather, and to lapse into the vernacular, ‘Nuke the place off the planet’ or something similar.

Your second paragraph rather confirms my point does it not that Roosevelt and the US very deliberately goaded Japan into attacking. I made NO mention of whether this was supposed to be a deterrent or not, did I?

The only drawback I can see to destroying China now would be that then there would be NO credible ‘enemy’ left to dispute US hegemony of the planet. This would thus have a somewhat negative impact on the currently flourishing US Defence Industry would it not?

Jim Bocho
Jim Bocho
11 months ago

Let’s not forget that more recently the US has also successfully goaded Russia into a highly profitable war in Ukraine.

Last edited 11 months ago by Jim Bocho
michael harris
michael harris
11 months ago

In 1941, Charles, the Japanese had been at war in China for several years. They had even, briefly, fought the Red Army (USSR) in Manchuria.
Like Adolf H. with Barbarossa they could easily have avoided a two front war. Intense (clan?) rivalry between army and navy led to the navy guys (Yamamoto leading) demanding a Pacific war to out crow the army and its atrocities in China.
We easily forget that of the 75 million odd casualties in WW2 more than 30 million were in China. For this you must look at the timeframe of the war starting some years earlier with Japan’s strike on China.
Our forgetfulness blinds us to some of the causes of what we imagine to be Chinese aggressiveness and chauvinism.

Last edited 11 months ago by michael harris
L Walker
L Walker
11 months ago

Read a history book, you dolt..

ALLEN MORRIS-YATES
ALLEN MORRIS-YATES
11 months ago
Reply to  L Walker

Indeed. I found Richard Frank’s history of the Asia-Pacific war particularly enlightening, and truly horrifying.

ALLEN MORRIS-YATES
ALLEN MORRIS-YATES
11 months ago
Reply to  L Walker

Indeed. I found Richard Frank’s history of the Asia-Pacific war particularly enlightening, and truly horrifying.

m3pc7q3ixe
m3pc7q3ixe
11 months ago

I would. The policy adopted by Trump and continued by Biden has been to a) “protect” US manufacturing by imposing 20% tariffs on many Chinese exports b) “contain” China militarily to prevent it conquering or intimidating its neighbours and c) prevent Chinese dominance of certain key strategic industries. I have never heard of any sane American general or strategist wanting to invade China (MacArthur was losing the plot by 1951).

The 1941 situation was very different. Roosevelt was trying to manipulate the Japanese into declaring war despite having promised peace during the recent election campaign. Strategically, it was not a question of deterring aggression but reversing Japan’s conquest of half of China. Containment was insufficient.

There may be elements in the Pentagon who think war is inevitable but they anticipate it starting with a Chinese attack on Taiwan or elsewhere. I see no evidence they wish to precipitate this not least since the US is only part way through rearmament.

Alex Carnegie

Last edited 11 months ago by m3pc7q3ixe
Jim Bocho
Jim Bocho
11 months ago

Let’s not forget that more recently the US has also successfully goaded Russia into a highly profitable war in Ukraine.

Last edited 11 months ago by Jim Bocho
michael harris
michael harris
11 months ago

In 1941, Charles, the Japanese had been at war in China for several years. They had even, briefly, fought the Red Army (USSR) in Manchuria.
Like Adolf H. with Barbarossa they could easily have avoided a two front war. Intense (clan?) rivalry between army and navy led to the navy guys (Yamamoto leading) demanding a Pacific war to out crow the army and its atrocities in China.
We easily forget that of the 75 million odd casualties in WW2 more than 30 million were in China. For this you must look at the timeframe of the war starting some years earlier with Japan’s strike on China.
Our forgetfulness blinds us to some of the causes of what we imagine to be Chinese aggressiveness and chauvinism.

Last edited 11 months ago by michael harris
L Walker
L Walker
11 months ago

Read a history book, you dolt..

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
11 months ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

Interesting additions, thanks. It doesn’t seem to matter what the publication is, everything you read these days selects only those facts which support the click bait headline.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

The US successfully goaded the Japanese into war in 1941, so why not China now?
It makes sense while ‘they’ still have a considerable advantage.

ps. Who seriously disputes this?

Brilliant! As at 20.23. BST, 22thumbs down! More than I had dared hope for.

Presumably most if not all are American?
Thus they should start to do some real research and NOT rely on Hollywood drivel for their history. QED.

Last edited 11 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Nell Clover
Nell Clover
11 months ago

Xi is a classic authoritarian and his centralised planning will be utterly counterproductive. I don’t doubt one reason for the central plan to increase internal food production is greater resilience during any future war. Yet it is odd that two of Xi’s publicly stated reasons for the Ministry of Agriculture’s plan are not mentioned.

Xi has warned that Western net zero efforts will reduce global food output. For a huge food importer like China, that will severely dent the rate at which it can accumulate foreign assets (and financial power) and increase its internal inflation. He’s not wrong either: the UK is paying farmers to exit farming and take their land out of production, and variations of this scheme are happening across Europe. UK / EU policy is making sure there *will* be less food produced in Europe, which means less food produced globally. In this context, Xi’s response isn’t irrational. This begs the question: what is my response to my government actively reducing the abundance of my food?!

Xi has also warned that the USA is going to increasingly use its remaining financial hegemony to force policy alignment. I don’t think this is disputed. Sanctions have not just been used to hurt Russia, the resultant disruption to grain export routes has seen the EU *increase* its imports of Russian grain, and the EU has controlled inward shipping inside the EU to punish Polish farmers and exports outside the EU as a means to force NATO policy alignment concessions from non-aligned countries. No doubt this is real politik, but the West has crossed a line from using food aid as a carrot to using food denial as a stick, and I’m not sure this is a positive policy development.

There are of course a whole host of feedback loops driving international policy on all sides. There’s no use pointing fingers, but it is a poor analysis that omits some of the key drivers behind a policy painted as wholly irrational warmongering by one side.

As a footnote, the author makes it seem like Xi has commanded a WW2-like mad dash for self sufficiency in readiness for an imminent war. The actual numbers are a bit more sober. The immediate plan is to maintain (not increase) the 120m ha of farmland and increase the proportion of this rated as excellent or very good quality for growing crops. This follows years of declining arable land acreage due to development, and years of reclaiming of sub-optimal (lower grade) land for arable farming encouraged by previous policies.

Last edited 11 months ago by Nell Clover
Alex Colchester
Alex Colchester
11 months ago

As ever during war, it is the innocent ducks who pay the steepest price.

Last edited 11 months ago by Alex Colchester
Alex Colchester
Alex Colchester
11 months ago

As ever during war, it is the innocent ducks who pay the steepest price.

Last edited 11 months ago by Alex Colchester
Simon Neale
Simon Neale
11 months ago

No figures have been published, but what has happened since greatly exceeds the rate of the Amazon’s deforestation, even though the West’s environmentalists have so far remained entirely silent.

Funny, that. But I’m sure that once those figures are published, Greta will set sail up the Yangtze in her carbon fibre boat, having learned “How dare you!!” in snarling mandarin.

Simon Neale
Simon Neale
11 months ago

No figures have been published, but what has happened since greatly exceeds the rate of the Amazon’s deforestation, even though the West’s environmentalists have so far remained entirely silent.

Funny, that. But I’m sure that once those figures are published, Greta will set sail up the Yangtze in her carbon fibre boat, having learned “How dare you!!” in snarling mandarin.

Steve White
Steve White
11 months ago

I think from a general war footing we in the West are in trouble. One thing that seems to be clear, past the propaganda is that a purpose driven weapons industry is more important than having a profit driven industry. I think there are also a lot of changes happening in military strategy terms. First off the whole combined arms NATO model is complex, requires years of training, and without every piece in place, it fails. I think we have seen this with the failed Ukrainian offensive. The second thing is that drones and hypersonic missiles are a must. We have got to get a functioning hypersonic missile, and it needs to be affordable. Also, we need a lot more ammunition manufacturing. Right now we can’t even keep up in Ukraine. It will take at least 2 or 3 years to get things setup to be able to. We can’t afford to get in a war right now because we don’t have the troops, the hardware, or the ammunition we need to fight a real peer level land war.  

Steve White
Steve White
11 months ago

I think from a general war footing we in the West are in trouble. One thing that seems to be clear, past the propaganda is that a purpose driven weapons industry is more important than having a profit driven industry. I think there are also a lot of changes happening in military strategy terms. First off the whole combined arms NATO model is complex, requires years of training, and without every piece in place, it fails. I think we have seen this with the failed Ukrainian offensive. The second thing is that drones and hypersonic missiles are a must. We have got to get a functioning hypersonic missile, and it needs to be affordable. Also, we need a lot more ammunition manufacturing. Right now we can’t even keep up in Ukraine. It will take at least 2 or 3 years to get things setup to be able to. We can’t afford to get in a war right now because we don’t have the troops, the hardware, or the ammunition we need to fight a real peer level land war.  

Right-Wing Hippie
Right-Wing Hippie
11 months ago

The Plan:
Step 1: Two countries, two systems
Step 2: One country, two systems
Step 3: One country, one system.

james goater
james goater
11 months ago

That’s a very neat, pithy summation, RWH.

james goater
james goater
11 months ago

That’s a very neat, pithy summation, RWH.

Right-Wing Hippie
Right-Wing Hippie
11 months ago

The Plan:
Step 1: Two countries, two systems
Step 2: One country, two systems
Step 3: One country, one system.

Bob Downing
Bob Downing
11 months ago

Thanks for the warning, and the curious behaviour of China, particularly given their recent self-imposed history of what happens in Great Wild Leaps. Not to mention what their then ideological ally also achieved with not dissimilar politically driven land management. Can we take it that China is definitely now a country ruled by a dangerous madman like, say, Stalin, Putin etc, and that the previous century was merely a rehearsal?

Stu B
Stu B
11 months ago
Reply to  Bob Downing

It’s weird how a country that could rule the world quietly through it’s wealth and influence, and obtain whatever it needs without a fight still finds a way for that not to be enough.

Jim Bocho
Jim Bocho
11 months ago
Reply to  Stu B

Are you referring to the USA or China?

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim Bocho

That’s funny Jim, definately should be USA

Stu B
Stu B
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim Bocho

Of course it applies to both. But today the US is too busy staring at its navel wondering what gender it is.

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim Bocho

That’s funny Jim, definately should be USA

Stu B
Stu B
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim Bocho

Of course it applies to both. But today the US is too busy staring at its navel wondering what gender it is.

Jim Bocho
Jim Bocho
11 months ago
Reply to  Stu B

Are you referring to the USA or China?

Stu B
Stu B
11 months ago
Reply to  Bob Downing

It’s weird how a country that could rule the world quietly through it’s wealth and influence, and obtain whatever it needs without a fight still finds a way for that not to be enough.

Bob Downing
Bob Downing
11 months ago

Thanks for the warning, and the curious behaviour of China, particularly given their recent self-imposed history of what happens in Great Wild Leaps. Not to mention what their then ideological ally also achieved with not dissimilar politically driven land management. Can we take it that China is definitely now a country ruled by a dangerous madman like, say, Stalin, Putin etc, and that the previous century was merely a rehearsal?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago

As at 07.40 BST. 20.07.2023. 8 of the comments out of 22 have been culled!
Why? And is Legal action pending?

Bruce V
Bruce V
11 months ago

It is curious at times. The only thing I’ve come up with is the following: the comments are hierarchical in structure so if a given comment is “culled” then all it’s children are temporarily wiped out as well even if they’re totally innocent. Would be nice if UnHerd could speak to this a bit. Maybe it’s already in some fine-print somewhere.

Bruce V
Bruce V
11 months ago

It is curious at times. The only thing I’ve come up with is the following: the comments are hierarchical in structure so if a given comment is “culled” then all it’s children are temporarily wiped out as well even if they’re totally innocent. Would be nice if UnHerd could speak to this a bit. Maybe it’s already in some fine-print somewhere.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago

As at 07.40 BST. 20.07.2023. 8 of the comments out of 22 have been culled!
Why? And is Legal action pending?

Michael Layman
Michael Layman
11 months ago

As always, the Chinise will punish the common laborer. Militarily, China can be defeated in a week by the U.S. This is all for naught, another example of Chinese ineptitude. In the end, there will be no war, just Chinese suffering as a third world country pretending to be a world power.

Michael Layman
Michael Layman
11 months ago

As always, the Chinise will punish the common laborer. Militarily, China can be defeated in a week by the U.S. This is all for naught, another example of Chinese ineptitude. In the end, there will be no war, just Chinese suffering as a third world country pretending to be a world power.

harry storm
harry storm
11 months ago

These are big issues far beyond my purview. The only result of all these big speculations about world war is frightening the crap out of each other.

harry storm
harry storm
11 months ago

These are big issues far beyond my purview. The only result of all these big speculations about world war is frightening the crap out of each other.

Max Price
Max Price
11 months ago

They are just so dumb.

Doug Pingel
Doug Pingel
11 months ago
Reply to  Max Price

Shush. Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake. Prussian Field Marshal Helmuth von Molke (late 1880s?)

Doug Pingel
Doug Pingel
11 months ago
Reply to  Max Price

Shush. Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake. Prussian Field Marshal Helmuth von Molke (late 1880s?)

Max Price
Max Price
11 months ago

They are just so dumb.