Friday, November 12, 2010

intriguing: kaplan uses 'rimland' and 'heartland' ideas to analyze the sea-borne strategic challenge in asia

nov 12th, 2010

this is the one article on the obama trip that i find has a truly strategic perspective, looking way out into the mid-century. i am often wary of kaplan's broad-brush strokes, but here he does come up with something truly different.

i have only a vague understanding of spykman's theories of geography, but the idea of the increasing importance of the rimland is related to what my friend bapa rao and i started conceptualizing as 'pax indica' about 15 years ago, and what my friend kalyan has been talking about in regards to a strong indian ocean community. 

it is really sad that the indian navy is being starved of resources: just five years ago, india's naval forces were qualitatively superior to china's, but with their huge investments in submarines and other warships, they have caught up and pulled ahead. also, with their 'string of pearls'. in the long run, force projection using gunboats is something india has to do. 

4 comments:

Non Carborundum said...

I do not like this one bit. Everyone in America is now talking like this.

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/253121/why-obama-right-about-india-charles-krauthammer

I just hope that the Indian armed forces do not end up as de facto subsidiaries of Blackwater and Halliburton.

san said...

I happen to like Dr Krauthammer's writings in general, as well as those of George Will. Despite being wrong on Iraq, both are very good at pulverizing propaganda from the Left. Both are rightly suspicious of China's rise.

One thing I'm sure of is that we can beat the Muslim powers in naval conflict, because their countries aren't good at technology. Historian Bernard Lewis has rightly pointed out that the sun began to set on the Muslim world when maritime commerce began to flourish in earnest. And that's because Muslim countries couldn't compete on that field. In any modern conflict, their puny guerrilla warfare wouldn't work at sea, anymore than those of Somali pirates.

China's fast growing naval power makes it a formidable adversary, but not an unbeatable one, since their navy would be forced to operate far from home to confront ours.

India and America could work to mutual advantage on the high seas, especially as the Chinese and US navies increasingly brush against each other in the Pacific. But we'd better get this Iran issue over and done with, otherwise it will keep hanging overhead like a sword of Damocles, ready to create divisions.

Inferno said...

Barack Grows Some Balls

Scrapping a longtime practice of speaking with diplomatic caution about China’s currency policy, Mr. Obama accused Beijing of intervening aggressively to keep its currency, the renminbi, below its market value to promote exports. He said it was a mistake for nations to think that “their path to prosperity is paved simply with exports to the United States.”

“And the issue of the renminbi is one that is an irritant not just to the United States, but is an irritant to a lot of China’s trading partners and those who are competing with China to sell goods around the world.”

Mr. Obama appeared to remove the remaining wiggle room he had on the subject of the renminbi, declaring: “It is undervalued. And China spends enormous amounts of money intervening in the market to keep it undervalued.”

Inferno said...

: Top Nepal Maoists say Prachanda is corrupt

: Nepal training Maoists