The Next Big War

In the comments below, contrariandutchman writes:

War between major powers seems unlikely as all the major powers have serious internal stability issues, major demographic problems and mostly both. China faces demographic collapse end may well fragment into another warring states period, that will rather distract from any designs against the outside world.

A strong argument. I suggest, advocatus diaboli, another interpretation: That sounds an awful lot like the start of World War I to me.

Around 1914, Britain was coping with massive changes to its Parliamentary system. H.H. Asquith, the People’s champion, “played a central role in the design and passage of major liberal legislation and a reduction of the power of the House of Lords.” Wilhelm II forced von Bismarck out in 1890 and went it alone, with predictable results. And as for the French, what Republic are they on now? Six, seven? Russian radicals shot their one competent (by Imperial Russian standards) minister, Pyotr Stolypin, in 1911, leaving Nicholas II to the mercy of Rasputin and, far worse, himself. Serious internal stability issues indeed!

Demographically the situation was little better, though in this case the problems were over the horizon, in the colonies. J.A. Hobson’s criticism of imperialism was both basically right, and hugely influential. Colonies didn’t even cover their costs of administration, and as for defense, their position was ridiculous and the expense damnable, as a wise man once said about something similar. The situation in the colonies was bound to get you into a war sooner or later… but so would decolonization, except faster.

That being the case, the bottom line for all belligerents in World War I seemed to be: Fight now, risking everything while we’re relatively weak, or fight later, when we’ve declined absolutely. The British knew their empire was a huge drain on resources, and anyway a tiny little island couldn’t possibly compete with that rising industrial giant, Germany. Germany knew she had a world-class land army, but was starved of sea access, and no amount of crash dreadnought-building would enable her to catch up to the Royal Navy. Russia had a crappy land army and no sea access, plus a recent stinging defeat staining her escutcheon. France was France, and all of them combined couldn’t match up to the rising industrial, economic, and military power of the United States.

So they fought, striking while the iron was hot.

I certainly wouldn’t put it past China to try it, whoever wins in November. If Trump, can he be sure that his generals will follow his orders to defend, say, Taiwan or Japan? If Biden, will he even know what’s happening enough to grovel to Beijing? Nor does it even have to start as a direct US-China engagement — China could wipe the floor with India any time she chooses, and there’s lots of tension with resurgent Russia in Central Asia. “Americans losing to Chinese while fighting on Russia’s behalf” would be ironic, but certainly not outside the realm of possibility.

I’d watch Japan and India. Both are real, actual countries, with at least a few grownups in their governments, and uninfected — insofar as any First World nation can be — with the SJW toxoplasma. The Japanese have been stealthily but steadily rearming here these past few years, and since their demographics are even worse they’re really going to have to kick it into overdrive here soon.

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23 thoughts on “The Next Big War

  1. BadThinker

    I wouldn’t count India out so fast in a war against China, if only because of their Nukes.

    1. WOPR

      India suffers from mixed demographics, Muslims and the caste system. Also, they got hammered the last time they took on the Chinese. If it comes to a serious war between the two, I predict the Chinese will neutralize the Indian nukes as a first step. Just doing that would likely collapse the Indian gov’t and result in a humiliating surrender. I’ll take India loses badly until proven otherwise or they elect Nuclear Ghandi*.

      *PC game Civilization reference.

      1. Severian Post author

        Nuclear Gandhi!!! For a while there I’d make it a point to ICBM the shit out of him every single game, because seriously, fuck that guy. I even did it in the versions of Civ where they fixed the glitch, because seriously, fuck that guy. Possibly the greatest computer game character of all time.

      2. contrariandutchman

        China cant decisively beat India and India cant decisively beat China, the terrain between them prevents it.

        Both have nuclear weapons and have many major cities within IRBM range. That pretty much rules out using those nukes since neither is remotely close to a disarming first strike capability.

        And India can at minimum harass and possibly block Chinese sea lanes to the Middle East and its oil. The PLAN is stronger the the Indian Navy but isnt ready for a major campaign far from its bases against even a semi competent enemy fighting in his backyard.

        Still, the Chinese might do something stupid and that may well turn out to be the trigger for a breakup of China. China basically laks a suitable target for a short victorious war so anything they do try is bound to end badly.

        After all, if the rulers of Europe could be stupid in 1914 surely the chicoms can.

        1. Severian Post author

          There it is.

          Of all the infuriating things about America’s COVID Adventure, perhaps the most irritating is our Left’s insistence that “China handled it so much better.” Anyone who knows anything about a) Chinese, and b) Communists, and c) Chinese Communists assumes they spectacularly botched it, for reasons a-c inclusive. Sure, they probably instituted a more “effective” lockdown… but all that means is they were more effective at forcing their serfs to remain in place — a police state is just aces for that. As for what effect it had on the actual virus, well, who knows? Because a-c, above.

          And then the American “dissident Right” gets in on the act, assuming some kind of “false flag” operation on America’s part, based on Chinese say-so and “evidence”… If anyone should understand the power of a-c, it’s American conservatives, but alas. (And that’s before getting into the stupidity of the American so-called “right” assuming competence on the part of the American government. The American government lacks the technical finesse to find its own ass with both hands and a flashlight. The CIA spent the early 1960s letting their agents drop LSD into each others’ coffee, just to test the effects of various “brainwashing” drugs. They’ve never gotten over it. And that was 50 years ago! The guys who thought slipping Fidel Castro a loaded cigar were Serta-fied Sooper Jeniuses compared to the morons now infesting the American “intelligence” community).

          So, yeah, can the Chi-Coms do something breathtakingly stupid? Sure. because a-c, with heavy emphasis on a, b, and c. Dear God, please don’t let him be dumb enough to take the bait. (Jesus, it’s terrifying to think just how much the human race’s future hinges on Donald Trump’s intelligence, isn’t it?)

          1. WOPR

            As long as Trump ignores his advisors, he’ll probably be fine. He seems to have good instincts about these things. Rumor has it that he was presented with a list of responses for handling Iran when they did the mini-storming of the US embassy in Iraq. Droning the Iranian general was at the bottom of this list. The Unz-ites were sure we were heading for WWIII and the establishment was aghast. Instead the Iranians made some futile gestures and that was it. If Trump goes with his instincts, we’ll likely end up with the best possible outcome. That doesn’t mean a good one. It just means the least worst.

            I think the Chinese are going decide, like the powers in 1914 Europe, that their best chance is now and roll the dice.

  2. texinole

    Add to this admixture an economic collapse that results in something like 1 billion people facing no-sh!t starvation and global war is basically inevitable.

    I count my blessings that regardless of the problems we will face at least we’re surrounded by ample natural and human resources.

    1. Severian Post author

      There’s only one way to stave off starvation and war — Soylent Green, made entirely from the Karens who keep pushing all these ridiculous economy-destroying rules on the rest of us (while ostentatiously not following those rules themselves). Wear a mask! (unless you’re Nancy Pelosi). Stay inside! (unless you’re Gretchen Whitmer). Close all the bars! (unless it’s the one Gavin Newsome owns). Keep it in your pants! (unless you’re Dr. Neil Ferguson, who was so seriously concerned about his predicted 5M+ deaths that he broke quarantine to bang his side piece, whose husband was in quarantine for testing positive). And so on.

      1. texinole

        Karen Green? It’d have the aroma of sour white wine and the consistency of greek yogurt, with blonde hair dye notes and an overwhelming essence of pumpkin spice. Hard pass. Think I’ll nibble on hipster jerky instead thanks.

  3. WOPR

    I think China is about to the point of giving it a try. The minor screw turning that Trump inflicted on them hurt them and caused the regime to lose face. Their 5G plan looks to be failing. Meanwhile, their aggressive loan strategy to the third world is beginning to reap usual the lack of repayment and hatred. Their demographics aren’t good either.

    If they can pull off the A Short, Victorious War gambit, it can hold together. If not, China joins the decline with everyone else.

    I give the US a 50/50 chance of getting a beat down in a fight with China. If I were a DR general/admiral, I would shove the homosexual/tranny/AA brigades towards Chinese first strike areas and husband my real resources.

    1. texinole

      I think Americans discount just how huge the generational gap is in China, with Boomer-equivalents having been born and raised in conditions unchanged since medieval times*. Their Millennial/Gen Z equivalents, however, are basically California vapid trash but with a heavy dose of nationalism, and who are ashamed of these old “hicks” that keep spitting everywhere and murdering their children.

      The young generation, not unlike ours, simply expects endless and spectacular growth, with the only relatively safe investment being real estate. Those infamous ghost towns were always ominous, but coupled with a year or two of contracting GDP the ChiComs, who before 2019 could reasonably claim credit for the boom times and therefore flex power without much worry, finally start running out of other people’s money. There will be blood.

      *but somehow with worse starvation and deprivation than ancient times thanks to Real Communism having been tried in their youth

      1. Frip

        Good stuff Texinole. Do you have some personal history/experience with China or Chinese Americans?

  4. MBlanc46

    Given what’s been happening in HK, it’s not beyond the range of possibilities that Uncle Xi will put the moves on Taiwan. If Creepy Joe should win the election in NOV, I’d think that the probability of that happening increases noticeably. I really can’t see the US—its leadership or its people—going to the mat for Taiwan. But if they should, things could turn very ugly. If I were the Japs, I’d be seriously thinking about nuking up. I’d be getting more than a little nervous about the US coming to my aid should the Chinese come for me.

    1. WOPR

      Rumor has it that Taiwan already has a few nukes or can quickly assemble them. It’s the same assumption about the Chinese.

      1. Frip

        Good point. I can’t beleive it’s never occurred to me that Japan has a few hidden nukes at the ready. Of course they do. They of all people do. Like they’re going to trust their very existence to the U.S. If Israel has nukes, Japan surely does. Even if it’s just 2 or 3 cute little nukey nooks. They’ve gott’em.

        1. contrariandutchman

          And if they don’t they can have them in maybe 6 months if they really want to, strategically a limited difference.

  5. Pickle Rick

    I’m not so sure the Chinese, who play a very long game, are getting ready to jump right now. They’re sitting back watching the Great National Chimpout with glee. There’s no reason to not wait until the Bad Orange Man inevitably leaves office and a reliably bought politician (of either establishment party) resumes business as usual. The only reason China would move now is to believe that they think another Trump is waiting in the wings, and that’s a sucker bet.

    1. texinole

      Like I said above, don’t discount the emergent, young middle class of China who has been promised an endless increase to their quality of life. They’ve been culturally conditioned to keep working and spending without complaint, and so far the deal has been pretty good for your average young city dweller (this sounds familiar somehow). But if HK can cause them a headache then they are terrified of millions of urbanites suddenly in the throes of economic contraction.

      So, I give it even odds between them standing pat and quietly purging millions of their own citizens and them starting a war partially to purge millions of their own citizens.

    2. MBlanc46

      That could very well be true, PR. It also seems possible to me that good old Uncle Xi, like Mustache Man, might feel that he has to make things happen while he’s still in his prime. He hasn’t shown great patience, so far.

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