Chaney, Bhutan, and MongoliaSteven Lieberman
Once again, my Third Amendment Rights are being violated.
Cadet Lieberman has returned from West Point for a brief stay this week, and we have, as you can imagine, taken every moment possible to spend time with her.
Tonight (for those of you reading this on the publication date of June 16) Chaney has decided to provide a “community service”.
Throughout her two years spent at West Point she has been asked by different high schools and youth groups across the country to provide insight into life at West Point and the application process for prospective cadets. We asked her a couple of weeks ago if she would be willing to do something similar during her one-week summer vacation and she wholeheartedly agreed.
From 18:00 to 21:00 the Cadet will be at the Artemis Defense Institute talking about life at the academy, what is in store for her post commissioning, and how to actually go about applying for an appointment to all of the academies. While this presentation and question-and-answer session is typically oriented towards teenagers, it is by no means limited to them. If you would like to come by and simply hear what your Army’s Officer Academy is doing, and even the threats that are metastasizing on the horizon, please know that you are more than welcome!
If you would like to come tonight, you may register online at artemishq.com or just call the office (949) 305-6586 and we will put you on the list.
With that said, let’s talk about one of those threats…
Prior to COVID, the United States had a conflicted schizophrenic relationship with China. President Trump hosted Premier Xi and lauded him with accolades. Sure, we kvetched about their predatory intellectual property accusation policies (they steal shit)… and we ruffled our feathers and showed our furrowed brows when they threw the hammer down in Hong Kong. But here is the thing… we want two things from them, and we want them really, really badly: access to markets and access to capital.
The Chinese have manipulated their currency for years. Keeping it artificially low, they have allowed for a huge acquisition of American debt. They have also enabled extremely low-priced goods to flow into the American marketplace; put in a more meaningful way: Walmart, Costco, and Amazon could never have existed in the first place without China.
This reliance upon China for our infrastructure debt, along with our quality of life and shopping habits has literally allowed for them to put a knife to our neck. But like the film noir detective movies of the 1940s, we have, at the same time, put a pistol to their heart. At this point in history, we both have the real possibility to negate the global power ambitions of each other.
Post-COVID, the bloom is off the rose. Notwithstanding the members of the “China Class” in the United States (that I have written about before), China is losing its influence both here as well as abroad.
We see this in Australia where the rhetoric in Canberra canceling China development programs in the Australian interior rivals only the rhetoric coming out of Beijing, where there have been calls to engage in a limited nuclear strike against Australia for their temerity in questioning the veracity of China’s COVID-19 responses.
Bhutan and Mongolia, however, are the two really, really interesting ones.
(If you have arrived here from our newsletter, continue reading here…)
You may remember me talking about Bhutan a couple of weeks ago. The Chinese have begun a program of literally invading their neighbor and taking physical territory. This is a departure from what, up to this point, has been an existing Chinese strategy. Throughout Africa, Latin America, and here in the U.S. they have been lending money to governments then foreclosing on properties that are in arrears. This has happened in seaports and airports across the African continent, and is in the process of beginning in Peru and Chile. In the U.S., they simply buy buildings and businesses directly.
Evidently, the idea of being subject to host-country laws does not work when the country shares a border with them.
Bhutan has very little in the way of defense. For being a client state of China, for all intents and purposes, it still putatively has territorial integrity, that is until there are parts of it that China wants to consume. They have recently begun a program of crossing the border and building military outposts on Bhutan land. Bhutan is really in no position to stop them. Imagine if the U.S. were to cross the border and build a military installation in Tijuana or Quebec. The international outrage would be deafening.
From the rest of the world we get crickets and cautious anticipation of a forthcoming invasion of Taiwan.
Mongolia now looks to its south with interest.
This one could get really, really interesting.
The Mongol Empire was the largest connected empire the Earth had ever seen, stretching from the Pacific and extending all the way to the Baltic Sea. The Mongols were the most advanced and dynamic fighting and administrative force on the planet in the 13th century. The only thing that stopped the Mongol march into Western Europe… which most historians agree they would have won… was the death of Ogedei Khan. (His death necessitated an immediate return to Karakorum to choose a new ruler.)
The Mongols were so feared and successful because of a number of factors… chief, though, was their nomadic lifestyle that suited itself to rapid mobilization and their ability to outmaneuver and thoroughly decimate their enemies.
While the empire may have disintegrated into factionalism, the Mongols never went away. They are still present, still tough, still mobile, still proud, and still represent a serious asymmetric threat to China.
China may be able to occupy Bhutan. It may be able to occupy Taiwan. It may even be able to “occupy” Mongolia… but digesting it may be another issue.
I have long suspected our next major battlefield would be Africa. I still believe that is a strong possibility, but there may be a refocusing of efforts on the part of China over the next few years closer to home, as they have to deal with the hell they have wrought from their neighbors.