Indo Pacific strategy

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Certainly agree that trying to crystal ball the future is enough of a challenge next month yet alone many decades ahead.
.... .
Regards S
Yep and looking at the sheep entrails doesn't help much either. There are to many variables to consider. If the current POTUS gains a second term I would agree about the US retreating to further isolationism, however that also depends upon how long he keeps the two neocons Bolton and Pompeo on for. Both of them have returned the US to what it was in the first Bush Jnr term of imperial hubris and bullying, except this time it will backfire, because Trump has and is pushing away longstanding allies and friends, driving wedges between them and the US, to the point that some time in the future they'll turn their backs, politically, economically and militarily on the US, by circumventing the current US built and designed political, economic, security and governance systems. America Isn't as Powerful as It Thinks It Is. It not only empowers its rivals like China and the Russia, but also drives them closer together, and it drives other nations "demonised" by the US into their arms, building a willing anti American coalition that grows stronger politically, economically and militarily.

Given the current political leadership and leadership outlook in the US, when the Chinese - Russian anti US Alliance strikes and probably succeeds, the nations in Asia will have to adjust to a new normal and it will not be a nice one, with interstate warfare and Chinese rules being enforced upon their whim whether non Chinese nations like it or not, as China and Russia asserts their hegemony over the Indo Pacific, Euro Asia regions and beyond.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
What you describe is likely even without the US demonization of their allies. With a debt of over 20 trillion and climbing, US military capability is unsustainable and attempts to keep the status quo will lead to more political dysfunction. Western Europe isn’t much better. Not being accountable to an electorate allows Russia and China to do things the West can’t (and in some cases won’t).
 

Stampede

Well-Known Member
What you describe is likely even without the US demonization of their allies. With a debt of over 20 trillion and climbing, US military capability is unsustainable and attempts to keep the status quo will lead to more political dysfunction. Western Europe isn’t much better. Not being accountable to an electorate allows Russia and China to do things the West can’t (and in some cases won’t).
Yep - these are big challenges
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
I guess the other uncertainty factor (amongst many) is the extent of climate change on all the players involved. This may very well drive the future geopolitical situation more than anything else. I assume China's new islands will be very vulnerable to significant sea level rises.
 

Stampede

Well-Known Member
Yep and looking at the sheep entrails doesn't help much either. There are to many variables to consider. If the current POTUS gains a second term I would agree about the US retreating to further isolationism, however that also depends upon how long he keeps the two neocons Bolton and Pompeo on for. Both of them have returned the US to what it was in the first Bush Jnr term of imperial hubris and bullying, except this time it will backfire, because Trump has and is pushing away longstanding allies and friends, driving wedges between them and the US, to the point that some time in the future they'll turn their backs, politically, economically and militarily on the US, by circumventing the current US built and designed political, economic, security and governance systems. America Isn't as Powerful as It Thinks It Is. It not only empowers its rivals like China and the Russia, but also drives them closer together, and it drives other nations "demonised" by the US into their arms, building a willing anti American coalition that grows stronger politically, economically and militarily.

Given the current political leadership and leadership outlook in the US, when the Chinese - Russian anti US Alliance strikes and probably succeeds, the nations in Asia will have to adjust to a new normal and it will not be a nice one, with interstate warfare and Chinese rules being enforced upon their whim whether non Chinese nations like it or not, as China and Russia asserts their hegemony over the Indo Pacific, Euro Asia regions and beyond.
Thanks for the article.
Certainly does not promote confidence in the current administration.
Fun fact - about 36% of Americans have passports which suggests something of how they see the world...... i.e. most of then haven't
Contrast this with Australians and New Zealanders which are around 70 %.
A good thing the US has FOX News to inform those who have not travelled of the worlds affairs!!!!

Regards S
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
I guess the other uncertainty factor (amongst many) is the extent of climate change on all the players involved. This may very well drive the future geopolitical situation more than anything else. I assume China's new islands will be very vulnerable to significant sea level rises.
That's another very valid point as well, not just from a sea level rise pov, but from the pov of availability of fresh water as arid areas increase along with population increases. The projected planetary population is 10 billion by 2050 and that is a lot of mouths to water and feed. By then I feel wars will be over the basic resources of water and food security and supply, with demand beginning to exceed supply in many areas with high population densities corresponding with low elevations and / or very low - low annual rates of precipitation. Countries on the Pacific Ring of Fire who are subject to more natural disasters than most, are some of the most populated nations on the planet, aren't the wealthiest etc., will be hit pretty hard along with nations like Bangla Desh and India who have some very low lying coastal areas with large, poor, densely packed populations.
 

Traveller

Member
I guess the other uncertainty factor (amongst many) is the extent of climate change on all the players involved. This may very well drive the future geopolitical situation more than anything else. I assume China's new islands will be very vulnerable to significant sea level rises.
Have a look at the graphics showing the pace of construction in these islands. The Chinese will just demolish structures and build up the surface level, then reconstruct.

Having said that, didn't the climate change/rising sea level folk say Vanuatu was going to be underwater by now? ;)
 

Rob c

Well-Known Member
That's another very valid point as well, not just from a sea level rise pov, but from the pov of availability of fresh water as arid areas increase along with population increases. The projected planetary population is 10 billion by 2050 and that is a lot of mouths to water and feed. By then I feel wars will be over the basic resources of water and food security and supply, with demand beginning to exceed supply in many areas with high population densities corresponding with low elevations and / or very low - low annual rates of precipitation. Countries on the Pacific Ring of Fire who are subject to more natural disasters than most, are some of the most populated nations on the planet, aren't the wealthiest etc., will be hit pretty hard along with nations like Bangla Desh and India who have some very low lying coastal areas with large, poor, densely packed populations.
This unrestrained population growth is the elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about or deal with. It is both a defence problem, a humanity problem and an ecological disaster that is rapidly getting out of control It has been calculated that by 2060 we will require 75% more food, the production of which will have serious impacts on any attempt to reduce carbon emissions. It will put more pressure on land resources and will probably make NZ a strategic target due to our water and land resources. Unfortunately the pollies don't want to know, not even the greens. This was predicted including the high likelihood of conflict over food and water resources by the London universities defence studies group over 20 years ago.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Having said that, didn't the climate change/rising sea level folk say Vanuatu was going to be underwater by now? ;)
Don't know where you got that from because there's no science to back that up.

The sea level rise rate depends upon two things, the rate and quantity of ice melt AND the rate of increase in the mean sea temperature. As water increases in temperature it expands in volume and that has an impact upon sea level rise.
 

Stampede

Well-Known Member
Yep and looking at the sheep entrails doesn't help much either. There are to many variables to consider. If the current POTUS gains a second term I would agree about the US retreating to further isolationism, however that also depends upon how long he keeps the two neocons Bolton and Pompeo on for. Both of them have returned the US to what it was in the first Bush Jnr term of imperial hubris and bullying, except this time it will backfire, because Trump has and is pushing away longstanding allies and friends, driving wedges between them and the US, to the point that some time in the future they'll turn their backs, politically, economically and militarily on the US, by circumventing the current US built and designed political, economic, security and governance systems. America Isn't as Powerful as It Thinks It Is. It not only empowers its rivals like China and the Russia, but also drives them closer together, and it drives other nations "demonised" by the US into their arms, building a willing anti American coalition that grows stronger politically, economically and militarily.

Given the current political leadership and leadership outlook in the US, when the Chinese - Russian anti US Alliance strikes and probably succeeds, the nations in Asia will have to adjust to a new normal and it will not be a nice one, with interstate warfare and Chinese rules being enforced upon their whim whether non Chinese nations like it or not, as China and Russia asserts their hegemony over the Indo Pacific, Euro Asia regions and beyond.
An article of interest in ASPI relating to the 2016 DWP and the authors particular view of the world today, and into the future.
Certainly some themes to think about.
The persistent illusions of the 2016 defence white paper | The Strategist

As a former chief of staff and ministerial adviser to the minister for defence, I'd suspect the Author, Mike Scrafton knows a thing or two.
Wether you agree with his sentiment or not, I did find his Geo / political conviction at odds with the current government line on range of issues.
Makes one wonder if there are some divisions within the departments of defence and Foreign Affairs.
Maybe a challenge for the next government.

Regards S
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
An article of interest in ASPI relating to the 2016 DWP and the authors particular view of the world today and into the future.
Certainly some themes to think about.
The persistent illusions of the 2016 defence white paper | The Strategist

As a former chief of staff and ministerial adviser to the minister for defence, I'd suspect the Author Mike Scrafton knows a thing or two.
Wether you agree with the sentiment or not I did find his Geo / political conviction at odds with the government line on range of issues.
Makes one wonder if there are some divisions within the departments of defence and Foreign Affairs.
Maybe a challenge for the next government.

Regards S
I think he makes some very valid points and Trump has announced that he is pulling the US out of another international treaty: Trump pulling U.S. out of U.N. arms treaty, heeding NRA - Reuters. So he's continuing down the path of American isolationism and illustrating to the world that, under his watch, any US agreement has the possibility of being not worth the paper that it is written on. Something that is not conducive to the furthering of US goodwill in the wider world, especially amongst its allies and friends.
 

Stampede

Well-Known Member
I think he makes some very valid points and Trump has announced that he is pulling the US out of another international treaty: Trump pulling U.S. out of U.N. arms treaty, heeding NRA - Reuters. So he's continuing down the path of American isolationism and illustrating to the world that, under his watch, any US agreement has the possibility of being not worth the paper that it is written on. Something that is not conducive to the furthering of US goodwill in the wider world, especially amongst its allies and friends.
Yes I read that one too.
I wonder if the "great negotiator" really knows the message he sends out to both his domestic, and international audience.
Scary business " Making America Great Again "

Regards S
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
I would like to think there are still a few players in the know still around around "him" but the "few" is a decreasing number and the confirmation process for new people will be difficult as those with the necessary skill sets probably don't want to risk their reputations.
 

Traveller

Member
Don't know where you got that from because there's no science to back that up.

The sea level rise rate depends upon two things, the rate and quantity of ice melt AND the rate of increase in the mean sea temperature. As water increases in temperature it expands in volume and that has an impact upon sea level rise.
There is plenty on open source internet. Let's not confuse hard science with climate change politics ;)
 

Traveller

Member
Reading the commentary on this and other threads I wonder if the US returns to isolationism if that would be such a bad decision. We are headed for a multi-polar global dominance of which the US would remain a part. One effect would be to force Australian and New Zealand Governments to re-assess defence posture and budgeting. There is a lot of positive scope for Australia and New Zealand in this area.

It is probably worth mentioning that a contemporary US isolationism would not look like that of the 1930's.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Reading the commentary on this and other threads I wonder if the US returns to isolationism if that would be such a bad decision. We are headed for a multi-polar global dominance of which the US would remain a part.
Yep, it wouldn't be the same because of global communications interconnectedness etc., the nuclear weapons capabilities of the main protagonists, and the reasons for the isolationism.
One effect would be to force Australian and New Zealand Governments to re-assess defence posture and budgeting. There is a lot of positive scope for Australia and New Zealand in this area.
Australia would be more willing and open about it, however NZ pollies would stick their heads in the mud and wish it were not so. They remind me so much of the Moa - thick as two short planks.

Archaeological evidence suggests that when early Maori first arrived, they quickly learnt that the best way to catch moa, was to dig a pit about 1 m deep and cover it with fern etc. They would spook the moa chasing it across the pit into which it would fall, then they could kill it at their leisure because the moa couldn't figure out how to escape the pit. There is evidence of moa stuck in these pits and just staying there. Same in similar natural pits in caves. Other similar birds such as emus & ostriches would've been out of those pits real quick and gone. As an aside, the moa's only natural predator was the now extinct Haast Eagle, then the worlds largest eagle and quite capable of taking a full grown human.
It is probably worth mentioning that a contemporary US isolationism would not look like that of the 1930's.
In the 1920s and 1930s it was because of the US casualties of WW1 with the US pollies and public saying never again would they be drawn into a European war. Their losses were in fact 1 man / 1,000 when the British losses ran at 16 men / 1,000, France 34 / 1,000 and Germany 30 / 1,000, so they got off very lightly in comparison. However when it emerges that 53, 402 men were KIA during 200 days of combat, the US pollies and public are deeply shocked and retreat into isolationism. The reasons today are totally different, more like a dummy spit and a toy toss because of perceived unfairness in trade where they have been undercut due to far cheaper manufacturing offshore, highly protectionist trade practises* and unfair trade practises* by some of their competitors.

*Of course the US doesn't acknowledge or admit to practising that, which they avidly do along with the EU, PRC and others.
 

Traveller

Member
Maybe Defence Talk should register as a 'Think Tank' and produce defence papers for the Australian and New Zealand Governments ;)
There is a real case for more alignment of our common military aviation and naval requirements. Some concerns could be relatively easy to formally address. RNZAF may not have fighters but it would be wise to retain the fighter pilot and ground crew skill sets. A part RAAF squadron operated by the RNZAF at an Australian base could assist. I am aware individual Kiwis have joined the RAAF but I am addressing Kiwis operating as Kiwis. This is a training and doctrine exercise, operational deployment with the RAAF is another matter. The same could be said for crewing our submarines. This would also alleviate pressure on maintaining RAN crew numbers. This would be more complicated as the sea time would be operational. For my thinking these areas would be a positive start, leading to co-consideration of equipment acquisition.

We don't know how the world order will look in the coming decades but we do know Australia and New Zealand won't be relocating.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
Training and crewing issues might be assisted by some kind of joint program by the commonwealth 4eyes. I believe there are a number of former RN and RCN members serving in the RAN. Given the sad state of the RCAF, some members are likely looking at the RAAF. Another area of cooperation could be ice breakers between Canada and Australia/NZ. Same applies to RAN and RNZN wrt Hunter class frigates.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Submarine arms race seen heating up in Indo-Pacific
@Slevin Welcome to the forum. Please read the rules. We have an expectation that when people post a link etc., that they also include a commentary with some of their own input and views. In future when you post material, please remember this. We look forward to your future participation here and hope that you enjoy your time here. Nice material by the way.

Some housekeeping, you posted 18 times today :), with some being double posts that I've removed. You only need to post a topic once so choose the most appropriate thread for it. If it covers more than one thread you can always refer, or link, back to it in a future discussion on another thread.
 

MrConservative

Super Moderator
Staff member
This weekend again demonstrated the Soft Power counter-balance that is NZ Pro Rugby in the Pacific with a packed out crowd and huge local TV audience when the Crusaders played the Chiefs at Fiji Stadium in Suva. Good luck to the PRC getting a crowd like that for a Ping Pong tournament. :) Having Super Rugby games played up their may cost the franchises but the results in a external relations sense are huge.
 
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