There are reports China is stockpiling more than 50 percent of the world’s corn, rice, and wheat. They also store large amounts of frozen pork and chicken. My question is, why?
Is it to keep their people fed and reduce the chance of civil unrest if they have a poor harvest, or is it so they can survive without imports if they go to war? Maybe some of each.
They are also buying large amounts of oil and coal from Russia, which not only helps Russia’s economy, but helps China fill their storage tanks. Are they helping an ally or preparing for war? Maybe some of each.
While China’s largest exports are machinery, electronics and office equipment, clothing, and other manufactured goods, their largest imports include fossil fuels like oil and coal, raw materials like iron ore and copper, and food. In fact, China imports close to 10 percent of their food.
So if trade gets cut off because of a war, China will have to rely on its warehouses and storage bins to help feed and its fuel tanks to power the country.
And then there’s the spy balloon, which we just found out is actually the latest in a long string of spy balloons that have drifted over the U.S. and other parts of the world. As far as we know, this is the first time they sent a balloon over our missile silos,
Now spying isn’t something countries do before a war. It’s something they try to do all the time, and China is darn good at it. The timing, however, may be telling. It shows China is confident in its strength and considers Biden weak.
Is it a coincidence that the intelligence agencies just reported that China now has more ICBMs in missile silos than the U.S. does? I had an old tactical trainer who would occasionally repeat what I later learned was a quote from the Ian Fleming novel Goldfinger: “Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action.”
The question then becomes, how many coincidences do we need to become convinced?
I’m convinced China means to go to war with us in the not-so-distant future, either by attacking Taiwan or by attacking us outright. Air Force General Mike Minihan is also convinced, and told his commend he believes we’ll be at war with China by 2025. The U.S. high command has war gamed an attack on Taiwan, so it is clearly top of mind.
The administration appears to be unconvinced, still seeing Russia as our primary opponent. This is an example of fighting the last war instead of preparing to fight the next war. It is a common failing of politicians with no experience in war. And let’s face it, Biden probably can’t remember much of the experience he had while in the Senate.
They should use the war in Ukraine to test new weapon systems, train special forces, and as an excuse to ramp up our production of military goods. We should not let today’s war with Russia distract us from the bigger threat of war with China tomorrow.
What China Should do
If I were in China’s shoes, I’d recognize that while Taiwan is the prize, it is not the target. Instead of invading Taiwan and bringing down the wrath of the U.S., I would launch a surprise attack similar to Pearl Harbor, striking U.S. aircraft carriers with submarines and anti-ship missiles. Cruisers and destroyers with the Aegis Combat System would by my secondary naval targets. I might also attack U.S. bases in the area, seeking to destroy aircraft and damage runways.
After the U.S.’s offensive power is diminished, leaving it unable to defend Taiwan, I would offer Taiwan a chance to become part of Mainland China or face an invasion. They might fold. If they do, I expect the U.S. would destroy Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company’s facilities to prevent them from falling into China’s hands. It would be not unlike the attack on Nord Stream 1 and 2.
What the U.S. Should do
The U.S. is making some positive steps by strengthening its military cooperation with Japan, Australia and the Philippines. My fear is we are not doing enough, and the actions it is taking are not being taken quickly enough.
The U.S. has a history of starting slow and winning only after we build up our production and fill our armed forces with new soldiers. We’ve seen what happened in Ukraine when Russia tried that approach. Let’s avoid getting our nose bloodied by staffing up and building up our military stockpiles now, before it is too late.
If a small war in Ukraine can drain our armories, a big war in China is going to strip them bare in weeks. We need to estimate what we will need to fight China and produce two or three times as much while at the same time selling more arms to our allies in the Pacific. If we can use the Defense Production Act to rush vaccines into production, why can’t we use it to produce more Patriot missile systems, more submarines and surface ships, more HIMARS and rockets, more cruise missiles and other guided munitions?
We should also shake the wokeness out of the army and make a concerted effort to recruit new soldiers. Why not return to the days when judges gave you the choice of going to jail joining the Marines? If kids today are too fat and out of shape, double the time allotted for boot camp and make the first nine weeks a fat farm where they get in shape.
Finally, we should incentivize private industry, which is where much of the innovation comes from, to develop new weapons systems. We have at least three companies trying to go to Mars. Why not have some of that brainpower developing weapons?
What You and I Should do
If you are too old to enlist, you can still prepare and keep your head down. Stockpile food and ammunition while you can still get it. Buy any goods you will need from China and other countries on the Pacific Rim while you still can. And hope that we have a few years. The longer the war is deferred, the more ready we, as a country and as individuals, will be.
In the meantime, buy stock in the aerospace and defense industries and consider looking for employment with them. I expect they are hiring.