Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Chinese Puppet Roars

By T. Lee Humphrey

At the end of Oct 2006 I published a piece on North Korea entitled “The North Korean Standoff” (http://howdidwegetherenow.blogspot.com/2006_10_01_archive.html) after they’d attempted to test a 3-stage rocket in July 2006 and failed and then attempted their first nuclear weapons test and again failed but signalled their move towards entering the nuclear weapons club and certainly confirmed that they’d manufactured enough weapons grade plutonium to move forward with a test program and eventually a production program.

The focus of the piece really was some background on North Korea and the attempts by both President’s Clinton and Bush to thwart the efforts of the North to move down this path. Both President’s tried carrots and sticks with Clinton offering up more carrots than sticks which resulted in the North promising not to develop weapons and doing so the minute ex-President Jimmy Carter left and Clinton was looking the other way. President Bush, once he realized that the US had been duped only really used sticks until it was obvious that the North had sufficient plutonium and were just a few years away from an operational delivery system. It was at this point that Bush agreed to the 6-party talks, which did nothing to deter the North from continuing to develop their weapons and delivery systems while also building a uranium producing plant too. The attempts to use UN sanctions to stop this effort and the 6-party talks have amounted to absolutely nothing.

In my earlier piece I suggested that in 2008-2009 the West would be at a tipping point and have to choose whether or not to pre-emptively attack North Korea or accept that they will have achieved the capability to deploy nuclear tipped missiles capable of striking our allies in the hemisphere. Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and Australia will immediately become more vulnerable while Hawaii may also be in range.

Thankfully President Bush spent the money necessary to develop our anti-missile defense system and deployed it and even with President Obama’s tinkering to appease Russia would most probably be able to shoot down any missiles launched by the North as they most likely at this stage only have 6-8 warheads capable of fitting onto a 3-stage missile but each year that they are able to continue to develop missiles and warheads moves us to a stage whereby one or two may make it through any defensive screen to their targets. The North will continue to refine plutonium and now uranium and will continue to further develop its nuclear weapons and delivery system program regardless of the efforts by the west or the UN so this begs the question where are they getting the material support and money from? They have nothing of value to sell, they have no natural resources to speak of yet they’ve managed to build a high tech plant to refine uranium with some 2,000 centrifuges all the while maintaining a hardened plutonium refining plant and a missile production facility while maintaining a huge standing conventional army, airforce and navy.

I’m going to take a wild guess here and suggest that all that money China has been collecting in interest on US debt may be finding its way into the hands of their North Korean friends and allies not to mention large amount of equipment and resources. If you look at the North Korean conventional military forces they are using a combination of Russian and Chinese weapons...how exactly did they pay for this equipment? No oil or minerals to speak of, a starving population and UN sanctions up the hoop yet North Korea is expanding its nuclear weapons capability and now lobbing hundreds of artillery shells at our friend, after getting away with sinking one of its naval vessels last spring and the best we can do is sternly warn the North that if they do it again we’ll act? Really, this is the best we’ve got...do it again and we’ll do something about it, after all they’ve done in the past four years to thumb their collective noses at the West and the US with a wink and a nod from the Chinese not to mention the pain they’ve inflicted on several dozen South Korean military families and civilians. And let’s not get too excited about the dispatching of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington to participate in naval exercises because that’s exactly what was done after the sinking of the South Korean naval vessel in the spring...really dissuaded the North from acting again didn’t it.

While the Chinese massively rearm and develop an aircraft carrier fleet as well as an amphibious capability I’m thinking they are testing Americas resolve to really respond to a friend in need in advance of their goal of taking Taiwan back, by force if necessary. I last wrote about their efforts to do just that in Aug 2007 in a piece entitled “The Next Conflict” (http://howdidwegetherenow.blogspot.com/2007_08_01_archive.html)

I can only hope I’m out to lunch with all this forecasted conspiracy talk but while my timelines might be off somewhat I’m starting to think my premise is correct, although I never put the two actions together until today. The Chinese will be the next great superpower but to do so they must ensure the US will not stand in their way and there’s no easier way to test the resolve in ones enemy without exposing yourself than to set up a similar situation and study Americas actions or inactions and then apply the lessons learned. The Chinese just happen to have a dying lunatic on speed dial to help them with their goals.

Is America and President Obama prepared to act? Is the President of South Korea prepared to suffer thousands of casualties to allow the regime in the North to be overthrown by force or is he content to be bled until America fully deserts him? Time will tell but I’m guessing no and hell no so the people of Taiwan should recognize that if the US isn’t willing to support South Korea they are most definitely on their own when the Chinese coming knocking.

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