BERLIN (Own report) – Berlin is intensifying its relations to the new Latin American “Pacific Alliance” and, thereby, heightening tension on the subcontinent. The Pacific Alliance, a network of four Pacific bordering Latin American nations, has a neo-liberal orientation and is closely allied with the EU and the USA through free trade agreements. It is currently growing rapidly stronger and could, possibly also threaten Brazil’s standing as the subcontinent’s most powerful economic power. However, it is mainly aimed at Latin America’s Venezuela-inspired ALBA alliance, struggling for autonomous development, which includes strong socially oriented policies. “The strategy of the Pacific Alliance” is “not just commercial,” it is more “a political and military strategy [seeking] to reinstall the Washington Consensus,” according to a minister of ALBA member Bolivia. At the beginning of the month, Germany obtained observer status at the Pacific Alliance, with which the German industry is expanding its trade relations. Alongside its increasing tensions on the Latin American continent, the alliance is helping the West prepare for the conflict of the century – between China and the USA. Continue reading
For the first time, the Obama administration invited China’s People’s Liberation Army to participate in the 2014 Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise, an annual maritime exercise that enlists a variety of nations typically allied with the United States. But in wake of concerted Chinese attempts to obtain U.S. military secrets, not everyone is thrilled about the two naval powers floating side-by-side.
“The administration made a mistake by letting China play a role in the Rim of the Pacific exercises,” Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH), chairman of the House Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia, tells The Cable. “They will likely utilize these exercises to their advantage: stealing our military secrets and better understanding our military strategy.” Continue reading
Recent reports about the imminence of the opening of a massive reprocessing facility in Rokkasho, northern Honshu, have analysts wondering about the Japanese government’s intent for its use. The real concern is that the plant could produce weapons-grade plutonium for manufacturing nuclear weapons. Continue reading
Well, it’s been pretty obvious for a while now that China’s been hacking into some of America’s most important businesses and government agencies and stealing reams of data. We’ve heard countless reports about Pentagon info being stolen orabout critical data on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter being plucked from defense contractors networks — with China being the main suspect.
Here’s what Clarke Recently told Smithsonian Magazine:
“My greatest fear,” Clarke says, “is that, rather than having a cyber-Pearl Harbor event, we will instead have this death of a thousand cuts. Where we lose our competitiveness by having all of our research and development stolen by the Chinese. And we never really see the single event that makes us do something about it. That it’s always just below our pain threshold. That company after company in the United States spends millions, hundreds of millions, in some cases billions of dollars on R&D and that information goes free to China.…After a while you can’t compete.”
But Clarke’s concerns reach beyond the cost of lost intellectual property. He foresees the loss of military power. Say there was another confrontation, such as the one in 1996 when President Clinton rushed two carrier battle fleets to the Taiwan Strait to warn China against an invasion of Taiwan. Clarke, who says there have been war games on precisely such a revived confrontation, now believes that we might be forced to give up playing such a role for fear that our carrier group defenses could be blinded and paralyzed by Chinese cyber intervention. (He cites a recent war game published in an influential military strategy journal called Orbis titled “How the U.S. Lost the Naval War of 2015.”)
Full article: Richard Clarke: All U.S. Electronics From China Could Be Infected (Defense Tech)
As you read the selected passage, bear in mind this book was written roughly around 500 BC. Now fast-forward to 2012. Do you see any parallels?
Sun Tzu — The Art of War; Chapter Two: Doing Battle
A nation can be impoverished by the army when it has to supply the army at great distances.
When provisions are transported at great distances, the citizens will be impoverished.
Those in proximity to the army will sell goods at high prices.
When goods are expensive, the citizens’ wealth will be exhausted.
When their wealth is exhausted, the peasantry will be afflicted with increased taxes.
When all strength has been exhausted and resources depleted, all houses in the central plains utterly impoverished, seven-tenths of the citizens’ wealth dissipated,
the government’s expenses from damaged chariots, worn-out horses, armor, helmets, arrows and crossbows, halberds and shields, draft oxen, and heavy supply wagons,
will be six-tenths of its reserves.
Therefore, a wise general will strive to feed off the enemy.