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Is some form of world war still possible in this day and age?

This is a discussion on Is some form of world war still possible in this day and age? within the Military Strategy and Tactics forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; water is getting harder and harder in many places of the world to get. There are many countries that I ...


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Old July 21st, 2011   #31
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water is getting harder and harder in many places of the world to get. There are many countries that I have read about that have come close to war over water.
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Old August 3rd, 2011   #32
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today they are many issues that could drive countries or even world into a full scale war

see for

food,water,drought------in african nations suffering from these issues there are possibilities of civil wars which in turn could turn into war or may be a full scale war when u.s,china , russia sides with countries where their interest lies.

oil and natural gas/fuel-------in the middle east countries , already engaged in a cold war and whose economies are based on fuel could easily be dragged into all out war , when u.s sides with israel (obvoiusly) and where the sensitive "muslim and ethnic groups" issue comes

power projection-------------south east asian countries in and around south china sea could go on a full scale conflict on china with u.s backing them,

economic and shipping---------- china could /be faced with / go in to a cold war with other economic gaints which it sees as a competitor ,
gulf of aden-mallca strait which is a important trade sea root for the eastren nations could spark litltle tensions starting with clashes between two vessels to an full scaled war likley involving (china,india,australia,japan)

boundary issues----------- one of the main problems/causes that could lead to war now-a-days
*s.korea-n.korea
*india-pakistan
*chian-india
*countries in /around south china sea
*israel-and surrounding countries
etc ....
*russia-other former ussr countries supported by nato

nuclear opting-----countries developing nuclear weps like iran n-korea could be attacked by their neighbours as a pre-emptive strike

all together the asia could be seen as a center for war scenarios with involvement of u.s/russia/nato to protect their interests.
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Old September 29th, 2011   #33
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I don't think the threat of nuclear weapons is all limiting, sadly. I don't think we should so easily dismiss large scale war or even the use of nukes. China knows that if it nukes the US mainland that China will cease to exist, and the US knows that if it nukes China it would be very damaged, radioactive, and many millions of people short, so what could make any of those countries nuke each other? There's no point, they might as well nuke themselves – they won't launch unless someone is launching at them.

If a regional conflict in Southeast Asia drew in US hardware and personnel to duke it out against China or India, I don't think it would escalate into nuclear exchange unless one side thought it were about to be attacked by the others' nuclear force. And even so, a tactical exchange shouldn't necessarily lead to a strategic exchange. So as long as one side isn't backed into a military corner under a terminal threat what prevents large scale exchanges between modern forces, necessarily? I think there could be war over a limited area. Weapons systems would poor in from different forces and fight in modern ways, but that shouldn't lead to beach landings in Seattle or Tianjin.

I think a defense of Taiwan would be enacted by the US if it came to it, and once the world got there I think both sides would be saying, let's not let this get out of hand. To the Americans is a free Taiwan worth the loss of its homeland and millions upon millions of its people? No. Neither is its gain worth that risk to the Chinese. ICBMs wouldn't be used. But MAD theory aside there are many reasons why large countries wouldn't want to total war with each other, and I'm not saying there is a good chance of it happening in the next decades militarily anyway.

What I do see happening, if anything, which might be this century's method of conquest, is a rich country putting on a small country so much economic pressure that the country appeases the large every time it comes knocking. For a country like Vietnam, imagine its sternly holding its own against the Chinese in its dispute over oil. Vietnam is guarding its exploration with navy ships. China doesn't want a shooting war but it will have its oil, so it begins to buy up everything public. China directs its companies to buy everything for sale on Vietnam's stock market, its development land, its contracts. Everything Vietnam exports, China directs its companies to export the same thing at an artificially low price, even if the products take losses. China agrees to sell most of everything back, because it doesn't want the products in the first place, in exchange for the permanent oil rights to the area. If China were malicious and calculating enough, it could enact policies and make transactions to ruin a small economy, even if it also hurts China. This would be an act of aggression, and though no shots might be fired would still produce the same consequences. It could also be used as a threat.
Most humbly,
-Armored A. Prispiam

Last edited by Armoredpriapism; September 29th, 2011 at 07:07 PM. Reason: typos
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Old September 29th, 2011   #34
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China already does that to a extent.

By keeping its currency way undervalued it keeps its prices cheaper than those of the US. They are already trying to corner the market with items such as Solar power with Huge subudized industry.

I think we will just see far more forms of warfare increase in the rest of the century atleast.

In a very real sense the US has been in a cold war from 1948 to far in the future.

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Originally Posted by Armoredpriapism View Post
I don't think the threat of nuclear weapons is all limiting, sadly. I don't think we should so easily dismiss large scale war or even the use of nukes. China knows that if it nukes the US mainland that China will cease to exist, and the US knows that if it nukes China it would be very damaged, radioactive, and many millions of people short, so what could make any of those countries nuke each other? There's no point, they might as well nuke themselves they won't launch unless someone is launching at them.

If a regional conflict in Southeast Asia drew in US hardware and personnel to duke it out against China or India, I don't think it would escalate into nuclear exchange unless one side thought it were about to be attacked by the others' nuclear force. And even so, a tactical exchange shouldn't necessarily lead to a strategic exchange. So as long as one side isn't backed into a military corner under a terminal threat what prevents large scale exchanges between modern forces, necessarily? I think there could be war over a limited area. Weapons systems would poor in from different forces and fight in modern ways, but that shouldn't lead to beach landings in Seattle or Tianjin.

I think a defense of Taiwan would be enacted by the US if it came to it, and once the world got there I think both sides would be saying, let's not let this get out of hand. To the Americans is a free Taiwan worth the loss of its homeland and millions upon millions of its people? No. Neither is its gain worth that risk to the Chinese. ICBMs wouldn't be used. But MAD theory aside there are many reasons why large countries wouldn't want to total war with each other, and I'm not saying there is a good chance of it happening in the next decades militarily anyway.

What I do see happening, if anything, which might be this century's method of conquest, is a rich country putting on a small country so much economic pressure that the country appeases the large every time it comes knocking. For a country like Vietnam, imagine its sternly holding its own against the Chinese in its dispute over oil. Vietnam is guarding its exploration with navy ships. China doesn't want a shooting war but it will have its oil, so it begins to buy up everything public. China directs its companies to buy everything for sale on Vietnam's stock market, its development land, its contracts. Everything Vietnam exports, China directs its companies to export the same thing at an artificially low price, even if the products take losses. China agrees to sell most of everything back, because it doesn't want the products in the first place, in exchange for the permanent oil rights to the area. If China were malicious and calculating enough, it could enact policies and make transactions to ruin a small economy, even if it also hurts China. This would be an act of aggression, and though no shots might be fired would still produce the same consequences. It could also be used as a threat.
Most humbly,
-Armored A. Prispiam
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Old September 30th, 2011   #35
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China already does that to a extent.

By keeping its currency way undervalued it keeps its prices cheaper than those of the US. They are already trying to corner the market with items such as Solar power with Huge subudized industry.

I think we will just see far more forms of warfare increase in the rest of the century atleast.

In a very real sense the US has been in a cold war from 1948 to far in the future.
Are you seriously suggesting that the only differential between production in China and the US is the exchange rate?

I think the reason you can't compete with Chinese products is because they have lower land prices, much cheaper labour costs and can build infrastructure at a fraction of the cost and with far less red tape than in the US.

Remember between 2004 and 2008 the yuan strengthened by 20% against the dollar but the US deficit continued to grow unhindered.

The root of Americas problems are and remain firmly on home soil.
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Old September 30th, 2011   #36
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No. I was giving a specific instance of what could be called economic warfare.

China has much associated with its rise to a idustrial powerhouse. China's low land cost is true but it is now begining to go up as the middle class rises and aquires more wealth and with it land and power. The cheaper labour cost is also true but this has become less and less because new rising powers like Indonesia and India have even cheaper labour cost. As wages for the middle class go up so does the cost of living.

As for the cost of building infestructure and the red tape completely true which is something many people have been trying to address. Considering alot of projects demand up to and sometimes OVER a 2 year enviromental impact study because of government redtape.....add to that the still low cost of chinese labour and the higher cost of american...

Add to all of this China continues to heavily subsidise its industry and they can do so because of the massive amount of money we pay them along with the other reasons mentioned.

That said China does seem to have a bumpy future ahead of it. We will see.


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Are you seriously suggesting that the only differential between production in China and the US is the exchange rate?

I think the reason you can't compete with Chinese products is because they have lower land prices, much cheaper labour costs and can build infrastructure at a fraction of the cost and with far less red tape than in the US.

Remember between 2004 and 2008 the yuan strengthened by 20% against the dollar but the US deficit continued to grow unhindered.

The root of Americas problems are and remain firmly on home soil.
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Old September 30th, 2011   #37
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By happy coincidence, you may enjoy an article published on ATOL today and which deals specifically with many of the issues you raise and relates to the Solyndra failure.

Asia Times Online :: The right kind of mistake

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First, the Chinese government's massive emphasis on this technology area has created some of the world's best-educated scientists and engineers in the field of clean technology who hail from China's universities.

Second, the streamlined regulatory environment in China means new clean technology ventures can get to scale faster than they otherwise could in more heavily regulated Western markets. As was seen during protests by Chinese residents of Haining this year over potential pollution related to production of solar panels by Jinko Solar Holding, these streamlined regulations are not always well received and may, in some cases, prove to be politically untenable even in China. Regardless, the overall emphasis on green technology industries in China means the government looks to stay out of the way, acting as a regulatory body only where absolutely needed.

Third, American companies looking into China are being greeted with much more, and much less expensive, capital than what they have been able to find in North America. A more educated and less expensive work force, minimal government interference, and access to more (and less expensive) money are a combination few entrepreneurs are going to be willing to pass up.
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Old September 30th, 2011   #38
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Yea im not saying we shouldn't invest in solar industries and others just that its VERY complicated here.

Not only do you have the base political argument-completely free enterprise vs government suplimented free enterprise-which at its most basic form has nothing to do with reality but is about principles (as if that matters when the Huns come over the plains ) which is...complicated.

Then their is the politicans saying, "OK build it here and such so i can say 'look at the jobs i created vote for me!' and i will pull strings to get the money".

Where i live in Tennessee we gave GM tens of millions to build a plant in one city. They built it then after a year shut it down.- bad decission.

Another one here in Tennessee is a Massive Solar factory like the second biggest construction site east of the missisiphi. It is going to be used to build Alot of new solar panels. But labor is cheap here so its pretty good plus Tennessee using money we saved up not barrowed has bought and helped build the land.

Basicly we need to be wiser in our choices and let the politics control less of our decissions.

China has a focused plan................we have a bad case of ADHD.

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By happy coincidence, you may enjoy an article published on ATOL today and which deals specifically with many of the issues you raise and relates to the Solyndra failure.

Asia Times Online :: The right kind of mistake
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Old September 30th, 2011   #39
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That ADHD metaphor is a very good one. I've got myself a heaping pile of ADD and America now reminds me of how I'd run the country if I controlled it all ^^
But that aside, even if America spent a trillion dollars over the next decade on solor to really make it effective, that's a trillion dollars it doesn't have to spend the decade after that on oil. China is thinking where it'll be 20 years from now; America is thinking where it'll be 4 years from now, every year.
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Old October 1st, 2011   #40
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I think that what is being discussed is still competition rather than warfare.
I do not even think that there is an ideological clash either between the models, except that the US should stop being so ideological about itself and rediscover pragmatism.

Maybe the unfettered free market delivered the goods fifty years ago, but it is looking questionable today.

You could also argue that the subsidies (ie soft loans and credit guarantees) that the Chinese government extends to some strategic industries are dwarfed by the size of the subsidy (bail out and QE) that the US extends to its banks and other financial institutions.
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Old October 4th, 2011   #41
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I think that what is being discussed is still competition rather than warfare.
I do not even think that there is an ideological clash either between the models, except that the US should stop being so ideological about itself and rediscover pragmatism.

Maybe the unfettered free market delivered the goods fifty years ago, but it is looking questionable today.

You could also argue that the subsidies (ie soft loans and credit guarantees) that the Chinese government extends to some strategic industries are dwarfed by the size of the subsidy (bail out and QE) that the US extends to its banks and other financial institutions.
From what I've been hearing on CSPAN and American media the government and its electorate is beginning to see China as nothing but a national enemy. China used to be a "friend" who Americans felt they were propping up because, eventually if the US made China rich enough America would have a big ole market willing to buy expensive American goods. More importantly, China was the magical place that made expensive things cheaper. Now there's serious talk of tarrifs of Chinese goods as well as the use of military responses to cyber attacks. China is getting richer but it won't need to buy American if it simply steals the blueprints for American goods, and this is throwing off the only reason America has supported the Chinese rise. So if this continues I could see military action to destory infrastructure or economic capability in the future, as, aside for America's trillion dollar debt, America has no use for China anymore.
On a side note, what happens legally if a state of war is enacted between two countries who legally owe each other something? If China were to ever attack US troops, over Taiwan, or what-have-you, and in response the US declared war (even if it didn't mean it to be on a large scale) might a condition for peace be absolution of the debt? If that's reasonable it might give the US an incentive.
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Old October 5th, 2011   #42
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I think that what is being discussed is still competition rather than warfare. I do not even think that there is an ideological clash either between the models, except that the US should stop being so ideological about itself and rediscover pragmatism.
Yes and unlike the Soviet Union during the Cold War, China is not interested at all in exporting its ideology. The same can be said of the Taliban.

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From what I've been hearing on CSPAN and American media the government and its electorate is beginning to see China as nothing but a national enemy..
That doesn't say much. Remember all the talk in the mainstream/establishment media about Saddams WMDs, his links to AQ [despite being the head of a secular regime, the kind that was hated by AQ] and his involvement in 9/11? People just haven't gotten use to the fact that China, which only 2 decades ago was a non-player in global affairs, is set to become the world's largest economy and will have a military, which though can't openly challenge American military dominance, can cause a whole lof of mischief and trouble for America in the Asia Pacific if the balloon goes up. American diplomatic influence, already weakened by the Arab Spring in the Middle East, already faces stiff competition from China in places like Africa and South America.

At lot of the analysis seen in the U.S. press is also very American centric and see things almost entrirely from an American perspective or lens, irrespective of the fact China also has strategic interests and concerns to watch out for. Even now, we are constantly reminded that Iran, led by its President [who is a nutter] and mad mullahs, is a 'threat' and is just waiting and praying for the day when it can launch nuclear missiles at the free world. Yet no one has asked why Iran would want to do this if not attacked first, either by Israel or by the U.S. with the full support of subserviant Sunni Gulf states led by Saudi.

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China used to be a "friend" who Americans felt they were propping up because, eventually if the US made China rich enough America would have a big ole market willing to buy expensive American goods.
It goes beyond that. Bear in mind that from the 1930's up to the 1950's, there was a very strong China lobby in the U.S., with Chang Kai Sheik and ''Madam'' enjoying a lot of support and influence. Following Chinese aggression in the late 1930's, China was the beneficiery of large amounts of U.S. aid, attracted a lot of sympathy from the U.S. political elite and public and following the outbreak of war with Japan, its position became more important to U.S interests. And then there was the Cold War and China's break with the Soviet Union.

If you're interested about the relationship between the 2 countries prior to WW2, try a get a copy of ''Stilwell and the China Experience'' by Barbara Tuchman.
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Old October 5th, 2011   #43
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From what I've been hearing on CSPAN and American media the government and its electorate is beginning to see China as nothing but a national enemy. China used to be a "friend" who Americans felt they were propping up because, eventually if the US made China rich enough America would have a big ole market willing to buy expensive American goods. More importantly, China was the magical place that made expensive things cheaper. Now there's serious talk of tarrifs of Chinese goods as well as the use of military responses to cyber attacks. China is getting richer but it won't need to buy American if it simply steals the blueprints for American goods, and this is throwing off the only reason America has supported the Chinese rise. So if this continues I could see military action to destory infrastructure or economic capability in the future, as, aside for America's trillion dollar debt, America has no use for China anymore.
On a side note, what happens legally if a state of war is enacted between two countries who legally owe each other something? If China were to ever attack US troops, over Taiwan, or what-have-you, and in response the US declared war (even if it didn't mean it to be on a large scale) might a condition for peace be absolution of the debt? If that's reasonable it might give the US an incentive.
So what are you saying? Thats China aint good enough anymore to the US economy?
Perhaps you can see it the way around, perhaps the US aint the solid partner for the world anymore as more and more nations are turning to China as a trade partner and economic centre of activity.
Keep in mind that all the sabre rattle is just rumors and such.
China has to go a very long way and they will have to change stuff around but eventually China would be able to surpass the US both economic and perhaps even military.
That does not have to mean that this is bad, fact remains China has by far the biggest population and thus a economic giant you cannot rule that out its that simple.
The future of the US, EU and China are linked to eachother in such degree that no matter how the US feels about China (Or vice versa) they both have to deal with it.
Yes the US and the west invested massive in China, however China on her end has invested massive in the west and you are talking about billions and billions of dollars on both sides.
On a military side, Yes rumors and newpapers say that China is conducting cyber attacks and that they did steal blueprints, however do you think that the US is clean in that regard?
Simple said China is becoming a gaint, just like Russia ones did, just like the EU did and just like the US did you can see this both negative as positive, but for america to say you just wrote is just ridicilous.
And for the US going on a path of war for whatever reason and destroy infrastructure and such....naah i do not see that happen ..as for both the US and China the aftermath of such a war would be very very costly not to mention the damage to the world economy.
This would be unacceptable for China, the US but more importantly the world itself.
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Old October 5th, 2011   #44
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Not every war between nuclear powers need be nuclear. If the US and China go to war in SE asia and the pacific i dont think either would have reason to use nukes unless one side or the other used them first or their home territory was breached.

Nukes would hurt both countries but i think realisticly china would be hurt more.

Economicly the US Might be in alot better condition. As the consumer in the relationship we can just buy elsewhere or produce it domesticly.

There are increasing calls for the PLA to enforce chinese ownership of the spratleys and others by force even if it means war.

So its not so unlikely.

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So what are you saying? Thats China aint good enough anymore to the US economy?
Perhaps you can see it the way around, perhaps the US aint the solid partner for the world anymore as more and more nations are turning to China as a trade partner and economic centre of activity.
Keep in mind that all the sabre rattle is just rumors and such.
China has to go a very long way and they will have to change stuff around but eventually China would be able to surpass the US both economic and perhaps even military.
That does not have to mean that this is bad, fact remains China has by far the biggest population and thus a economic giant you cannot rule that out its that simple.
The future of the US, EU and China are linked to eachother in such degree that no matter how the US feels about China (Or vice versa) they both have to deal with it.
Yes the US and the west invested massive in China, however China on her end has invested massive in the west and you are talking about billions and billions of dollars on both sides.
On a military side, Yes rumors and newpapers say that China is conducting cyber attacks and that they did steal blueprints, however do you think that the US is clean in that regard?
Simple said China is becoming a gaint, just like Russia ones did, just like the EU did and just like the US did you can see this both negative as positive, but for america to say you just wrote is just ridicilous.
And for the US going on a path of war for whatever reason and destroy infrastructure and such....naah i do not see that happen ..as for both the US and China the aftermath of such a war would be very very costly not to mention the damage to the world economy.
This would be unacceptable for China, the US but more importantly the world itself.
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Old October 6th, 2011   #45
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I agree with Belesari's opening statement.
On another note: this thread is about whether a war is possible in the future, not the logic of the American electorate (as if there's logic behind our public opinion ^^). The reason I brought up the American-street view of China is because that sways votes, sways public spending, and political leaders who want to seem strong on defense know they need to seem strong against the public's perceived enemy. So my worry is that if the public sentiment continues to deepen that China has "betrayed" America then every congressman, senator, or presidential hopeful who successfully runs on being strong on defense (which in America is a very important political talking point) will have to have run on a platform that says China is the bad guy.
I'm not saying it's going to happen but the thread is about if and how a world war could start, and the two countries that the whole world has stakes in will be America and China. So yikes!
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That doesn't say much. Remember all the talk in the mainstream/establishment media about Saddams WMDs, his links to AQ [despite being the head of a secular regime, the kind that was hated by AQ] and his involvement in 9/11? People just haven't gotten use to the fact that China, which only 2 decades ago was a non-player in global affairs, is set to become the world's largest economy and will have a military, which though can't openly challenge American military dominance, can cause a whole lof of mischief and trouble for America in the Asia Pacific if the balloon goes up. American diplomatic influence, already weakened by the Arab Spring in the Middle East, already faces stiff competition from China in places like Africa and South America.
Also, the fact that the American public, which despite international prejudaces is very anti war (we don't like dying or killing, either, much less spending billions "over there", though we do love seeing expensive things blow up) was so easily convinced into invading Iraq should be seen as a warning. The greatest defense against an American army is the American people, so public perception is very important. If Americans could be convinced into a war against a weak nation like Saddam's, which wasn't a threat and had no bearing on American life, I'll bet a country like China, which Americans no longer seem to trust, and which is much more threatening than Iraq, could be fought without much protest. Sad to say.

Last edited by Armoredpriapism; October 6th, 2011 at 12:27 AM. Reason: Add-on
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