Words of Advice:

"Never Feel Sorry For Anyone Who Owns an Airplane."-- Tina Marie

"
If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"
Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It.
" -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot, by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Sino-Capitalist Hollowing Out of the U.S.

In a recent blog post, BadTux discussed the Chinese long-term hollowing out of the American economy. He mentioned that a hollowed-out economy can't maintain a first-rate military, at least for very long.

But it's more than that. American military strategy in the 20th Century was, at its core, pretty basic. The US would let the Europeans kill each other while American companies would make weapons that the US would sell (or lend) to the favored side. Remember that the premier American pursuit aircraft of World War Two was initially designed and built to meet a British RFP. The rifle that the vast majority of Doughboys carried in World War One was first built for the British Army and then rechambered for the American cartridge.

The strategy of allowing the Europeans to bleed each other out before the Americans would intervene in force also allowed to the mobilization and equipping of a large American army consisting mostly of draftees. This avoided the cost of having to maintain a significant standing army, but enabled the fielding of millions of soldiers. But it required an industrial base capable of rapidly equipping such an army.

That industrial base has been hollowed out, both by Pentagon/Government/Administration mismanagement over decades.

A case in point: CDR Salamander has noted that the Navy has commissioned four littoral combat ships in just under six years. The LCS is a small, lightly armed ship.[1] In that span of time, as the good Commander has noted, the Navy commissioned 32 Perry-class FFGs. If you go back another decade or so, within that 5.75 year time window, the Navy commissioned all forty of the Knox-class frigates (1969-1974) and initial series production of 30 of the Spruance class (1975-1980).

This country has apparently lost the ability to simply design, procure and build complex weapon systems.[2]

But it goes deeper than that. Being able to rapidly equip an army required an industrial base that could shift to making military materiel. Any cursory perusal of the industrial history of the Second World War will show that companies that made consumer goods and industrial equipment transitioned to making military goods. Whether car plants or washing machine factories, they made stuff for the armed forces.

Over the last few decades, the bright boys of American industry, the capitalists and the banksters, have been actively engaged in closing American industrial plants and relocating production to nations as close as Mexico and as far as China. Go into any sporting goods shop and you will likely find that for anything other than firearms, everything that you may want to buy was made in a foreign nation.

How secure does this make us? In the First World War, Mexico was wooed by the Germans. In the Second, while the Mexicans declared war on Germany in 1942 after U-boats sank Mexican ships. Their combat contribution was one squadron of US-built P-47s that saw service beginning two months before Japan was nuked.[3]

As for China, well, they have either at times been an active enemy or a serious hindrance. The Chinese have been more-or-less complicit in the nuclearization of North Korea. It is not too big of a stretch to see China as the principal strategic adversary of the West in this Century. And yet, we keep selling them our industrial base.

Which makes one wonder about the patriotism of the capitalists and the banksters who are complicit in this. Oh, they probably salute the Flag and wear flag pins and other symbolic nonsense, but when it comes down to money, those fuckers would sell their daughters into whorehouses and sell their grandparents' carcasses to rendering plants if they could make a buck on the deal.

Lenin probably really didn't say that "capitalists will sell us the rope that we use to hang them all." But it is nonetheless true.
_____________________________________
[1] I kind of hesitate to refer to it as a "warship", as it's pretty much a fast-moving target.
[2] Other than maybe submarines.
[3] Contrast that to the efforts of Brazil, if you like.

5 comments:

S O said...

There is almost no freighter shipbuilding industry in the USA.
Poland and Croatia are more impressive shipbuilding nations than the USA.

China, meanwhile, is the #1 ship builder of the world competing with little more than South Korea and Japan. Even the European shipbuilding industry has retreated into niches.
http://www.rba.gov.au/publications/bulletin/2013/dec/images/graph-1213-2-06.gif

The USN has no chance in the long run, even if it was still competent at getting warships developed.

The New York Crank said...

The trend goes back more than 40 years. In the 1970s, somebody I knew was CFO of an American conglomerate that owned a missile nose cone factory. And where was that factory?

Well, originally here, but they figured they could maximize profits by moving the factory to where they could find cheap labor. Specifically, Pakistan. Pakistan!

Had these guys been operating just prior to WWII, they probably would have relocated our aircraft and tank factories to Japan.

Come to think of it, America tore down the 6th Avenue El (elevated subway line) in New York just before WWII and sold it to Japan for scrap. Japan returned some of it to us during, uh, combat.

Everything old is new again. Although I agree that strategically, the present situation is far more grave.

Very crankily yours,
The New York Crank

BadTux said...

One thing I'll note about China is that their traditional historical strategy for dealing with barbarians has not been conquest. It has been co-opting them, turning them into economically dependent vassal states on their borders that hopefully will serve to keep *other* barbarians far away. While Mao came close to doing a Day Zero on Chinese culture, enough still remains that they remember this. Their first such barbarian vassal state will be Russia, which is becoming increasingly dependent upon China due to their creaky economy, demographic collapse, and strained ties with the West. There are some states such as Vietnam which will not cozy up to China due to historical reasons, but I would not be surprised to see other states in the region "Finlandized" in that way.

As for the USA, anybody who is anybody has to view the USA as their primary future enemy due to recent history of the US invading multiple countries and overthrowing multiple governments. If China does not have a war plan for fighting a defensive war against the US, they have mighty inept war planners. Beyond that I doubt they have any inclination to directly war against the United States. Why, when their economic warfare is going so swell? Turning the US into an economic basket case dependent upon China for its existence -- i.e., a de facto vassal state -- is far more enticing to them and far more in keeping with Chinese culture, even if it is a project that will take decades to reach final fruition.

S O said...

There is no demographic collapse in Russia. Your info is outdated.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Russia

CenterPuke88 said...

S O, read the data, not the spin.

TFR finally hit 1.707 children per woman, replacement is still over 2.0.

"...population growth for the first time in 15 years, adding 23,300..." in 2009 is not a thing to reverse a trend. 294,500 total population increase in 2013 is a start, but it is over 90% immigration.

Russian population is still over 5 million below the peak in 1993. Population increase going forward is likely to be heavily skewed toward those of either Asian heritage and Muslim religious beliefs (view the TFR charts in the wiki you referred to), the exact groups that will help split Russia or bring it into the Chinese orbit.