China now wishes to recast the military and political dynamic in the region to reflect its own traditional centrality. Great powers are driven by a mixture of confidence and insecurity. China wants a return to the leadership position it has enjoyed so often in Asian history. It also frets about the security of its seaborne commerce, especially in the area it calls the “Near Seas” – the coastal waters that include the Yellow, East China and South China Seas. The Yalong Bay naval base on Hainan is one part of the strategy that China is starting to put in place to exert control over the Near Seas, pushing the US Navy ever farther out into the western Pacific. In the process, it is launching a profound challenge to the US-led order that has been the backbone of the Asian economic miracle.
For the past 20 years China has been undergoing a rapid military build-up, and the navy has been given pride of place. More important, China has been investing in its navy in a very specific way. American strategists sometimes talk about a Chinese “anti-navy” – a series of warships, silent submarines and precision missiles, some based on land, some at sea, which are specifically designed to keep an opposing navy as far away as possible from the mainland. The implication of the investment plan is that China is trying to prevent the US Navy from operating in large areas of the western Pacific. According to Dennis Blair, the former Pacific commander who was head of the US intelligence services early in the Obama administration: “Ninety per cent of their time is spent on thinking about new and interesting ways to sink our ships and shoot down our planes.”
China’s new navy is both an expression of power and a means to a diplomatic end. By weakening the US naval presence in the western Pacific, China hopes gradually to undermine America’s alliances with other Asian countries, notably South Korea, the Philippines and maybe even Japan. If US influence declines, China would be in a position to assume quietly a leadership position in Asia, giving it much greater sway over the rules and practices in the global economy. Through its navy, China hopes to reshape the balance of power in Asia. The naval competition in the western Pacific will set the tone for a large part of global politics in the coming decades.
For the more pessimistic observers, the US and China are doomed to repeat the intense security competition of the cold war. John Mearsheimer, the University of Chicago scholar, argues that the rivalry could be even more volatile than with the Soviet Union because there are more potential disputes. He also says he would not be surprised if China and Japan “start shooting at each other” at some stage over the next five years.
By now everyone knows that the Chinese credit bubble has hit unprecedented proportions. If they don't, we remind them with the following chart of total bank "assets" (read debt) added since the collapse of Lehman: China literally puts the US to shame, where in addition to everything, the only actual source of incremental credit growth over the same time period has been the Fed as banks have used reserves as margin for risk purchases instead of lending.
Everyone should also know that like a metastatic cancer, the amount of non-performing, badloans within the Chinese financial system is growing at an exponential pace.
Finally, what everyone learned over the past month, is that as the two massive, and unresolvable forces, come to a head, the first cracks in the facade are starting to appear as first one then another shadow-banking Trust product failed and had to be bailed out in the last minute.
However, as we showed last week, and then again last night, the default party in China is only just beginning as Trust failures in the coming months are set to accelerate at a breakneck pace.
But what could be the catalyst for this outcome which inevitably would unleash the long-overdue Chinese hard landing, and with it, a new global depression?
Ironically, the culprit may be none other than the Fed with the recently instituted taper, and the gradual, at first, then quite rapid unwind of the global carry trade.
Because, as noted above, if Lehman's collapse was bad, a deflationary collapse brought on by Chinese hard landing coupled with a full unwind of the global carry trade, would be disastrous and send the world into a depression the likes of which have never before been seen.
Unreported by the mainstream media are warnings that Iran might already have the bomb by such experts as former Director of Central Intelligence R. James Woolsey; former Chairman of the National Intelligence Council Fritz Ermarth; President Reagan's Science Advisor Dr. William R. Graham; former Director of the Defense Nuclear Agency Vice Admiral Robert Monroe; former Director of the Strategic Defense Initiative Ambassador Henry Cooper; and Israeli intelligence officers, the latter going public in the Israeli newspaper Maariv in September 2013.
If Iran already has the bomb, why have they not yet tested?
Fritz Ermarth thinks Iran is following the example of North Korea, and probably wants to clandestinely build such robust capabilities so that its nuclear status will become irreversible.
Israel and South Africa never tested because they elected to pursue a policy of deliberate ambiguity, to reap the deterrence benefits of being known nuclear weapon states while avoiding the international opprobrium of making their nuclear status official by testing.
However, most of my colleagues and I conclude from analysis of Iranian and Jihadi statements and writings that Tehran is not interested in the bomb for status or deterrence. The word "deterrence" does not even appear in their military writings about the bomb. It is all about nuclear use, in particular a nuclear electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack that would cause a protracted national blackout, potentially killing millions of Americans through starvation and societal collapse.
For example: "If the world's industrial countries fail to devise effective ways to defend themselves against dangerous electronic assaults, then they will disintegrate within a few years.... American soldiers would not be able to find food to eat nor would they be able to fire a single shot." (Tehran, Nashriyeh-e Siasi Nezami)
The Islamic Bomb has nothing to do with deterrence theory or geostrategic calculations familiar to Western nuclear strategists. The Mullahs have their own timetable for the Apocalypse. They hold a "12th Imam Conference" in Tehran every year to study signs and portents. Their development of nuclear weapons, and the failure of the West to stop them, is itself interpreted as one of the "miracles" indicating the Apocalypse is nigh.
The possibility of nuclear EMP attack is another "miracle" as it destroys the high-tech society and weaponry that is the source of U.S. strength. In this view, Western materialism and worship of the False God that is Technology becomes our downfall.
A Nuclear EMP attack would cause us to destroy ourselves by means of the corrupt lifestyles of an anti-spiritual civilization wholly focused and dependent upon high-tech materialism. We would die for our sins in the perfect act of divine retribution:
"In the context of the final battle... all of the planes and satellites will fall, computers will fail, other equipment will be made useless and... the Earth will be shaken ... by nuclear war," prophesy Abdallah and Shayk Muhammed an-Naqshbandi, "Technology will stop or turn against the Americans."
The Congressional EMP Commission warned that Iran has several times detonated its Shahab III missile at high altitudes, apparently simulating a nuclear EMP attack. Iran has also demonstrated the capability to launch a ballistic missile from a freighter and make a nuclear EMP strike anonymously, and so perhaps escape retaliation. Iran has also orbited several satellites on trajectories consistent with practicing a surprise nuclear EMP attack against the United States.
Iran has not conducted a nuclear test because its theocracy is not interested in diplomatic "signaling" or Western theories of nuclear deterrence and arms control bargaining. When the mullahs are ready, they will make a surprise nuclear attack. The vaporization of New York City and an EMP attack that crashes American society will be their nuclear tests.
The bottom line is that Iran is a nuclear truck bomb headed our way.
The threat of a breakdown of our national power infrastructure has been a growing concern for the last decade. With the invention of “Super EMP” electro-magnetic pulse weapons, the possibility of Carrington-class solar flares, and the potential for cyber attackers to remotely compromise our interconnected computer systems, there may come a time in our country’s future when our entire way of life is threatened because we no longer have access to the one thing that keeps it all moving – electricity. Outgoing Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano recently suggested that such a widespread outage is imminent and Congresswoman Yvette Clarke who is a senior member of the House Homeland Security Committee concluded that the chance of a serious geo-magnetic event crippling our power grid is 100%.
The threat is real.
And as recently as last year Americans got a taste of what such an attack may look like. Though not reported at the time out of national security concerns, it was recently revealed that an entire domestic power grid sub-station came under attack in what seems to be aprofessionally executed assault. The attackers first cut phone lines from the sub-station and they then proceeded to fire 100 rounds from long-range at critical components such as the generators that keep the station cooling systems operational. This resulted in millions of dollars worth of damage and a reported electrical outage that spanned nearly a month.
According to officials this was a sophisticated attack likely involving the coordination of multiple individuals. And they’re not the only ones who think so.
US Navy Seals have said it is a carbon copy of how they would carry out such an operation.
There are differing opinions at government agencies about what happened. Head of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Jon Wellinghoff called it “the most significant incident of domestic terrorism involving the grid that has ever occurred.”
Investigators don’t know for sure who did it or why, but it’s clear that our power grid has not been secured, despite billions of dollars being spent on the security of the homeland over the last decade.