War With North Korea: Korean Tensions Really Just Part Of Larger Arms Race

The scenario is the Korean Peninsula. The protagonists are the two Koreas, the U.S., Russia, and the People's Republic of China. Back in the day, it was Russia and China against the U.S. Today it would appear to be U.S. and Russia against China. The first Korean crisis enabled Stalin to avoid a U.S.-China geopolitical alliance. This second one enables Vladimir Putin to do the same while simultaneously allowing the U.S. to justify the movement of personnel and equipment needed to accomplish the strategic encirclement of China.

The U.S. currently has a defense budget four times that of China, which is the world’s second largest investor in terms of weaponry. The pace of growth of China's military spending is impressive, and for now, has achieved an increase in the order of 11% per annum. This has led India to pursue a major rearmament strategy courtesy of Russia that has unnerved the U.S. Therefore we have now begun a phase of operational research aimed at understanding when China's military spending at today's pace, will equal the U.S.in sheer military might.

According to the 2013 edition of The Military Balance published by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) the U.S.-China convergence will occur in 2023. This calculation, based on the extrapolation of Chinese growth data since 2001 and taking into consideration the U.S. defense budget's curtailments via sequestration (thanks entirely to the budget clash between elephants and donkeys). However, if China were to devote more funds to domestic consumption and improving the standard of living of its citizens (Resolution of the Congress of the Chinese Communist Party in 2012), the military spending rate, reduced by 50%, causes the convergence date to slide by two decades to 2042.

When considering this China-U.S. contest in the Asian "Great Game" scenario we should take into consideration the existing security guarantees the U.S. has pledged to Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and the Philippines. In this case, having to maintain international credibility, the U.S. will increase its military investment in Asia.

Japan initiated diplomatic hostilities over the Senkaku Islands, uninhabited and Chinese all along, but privately owned by a Japanese family. In addition to that controversy we have the soap opera starring North Korea's little dictator Kim Jong-un, son of daddy dictator Kim Jong-il, and nephew of grandpa dictator Kim Il-sung, who had extremely strong ties with the USSR. Interestingly enough, and apparently unbeknownst to the mainstream media, China's influence over North Korea is more theoretical than real. The North Koreans hate foreign influence, including that of the Chinese. However, since China would never admit to that, it will stand by its ally and China's Congress will open the purse strings and launch into a military spending spree.

Russia will be happy to continue arming India, currently the largest buyer in the world. The U.S. will sell to Korea, Japan, Thailand, the Philippines, and Taiwan; however, the U.S. will moderate sales to Taiwan as not to rattle China. Simultaneously, China, afraid of a Russia-U.S. alliance will buy more U.S. bonds, maybe even medium term in addition to the short term it is buying now.

And yet, life goes on…

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Federico Schiavio

I have an IT background as a Software Engineer, moved into IT management as CIO for a Vegas casino. Afterwards established an online poker site, World's Standard of Online Poker. Went on to explore business opportunities in Ethiopia while simultaneously performing volunteer work in Philly, bringing computer skills to inner city residents. Currently looking forward to writing for policymic!

MORE FROM

Dow Jones won’t talk about its reported pay gap problem

A study released by the union representing Dow Jones employees found evidence of a "significant pay gap between men and women" who had the same job title and level of experience.

Mom slams ACA repeal, shows what's at stake in a tweetstorm about son's health

This mom says that without the ACA, her son wouldn't get the medical care he desperately needs.

Theresa May announces pact with Northern Ireland's conservative DUP

10 of the DUP's MPs will vote alongside May's party in exchange for more than $1 billion of funds.

Supreme Court will hear case of baker who refused service to gay couples on religious grounds

The Supreme Court will take on the case of a bakery owner who refused to bake a cake for a gay couple.

'Hot Mic' podcast: Health care opposition, Trump on Russian meddling & Pakistan tanker explosion

The important stories to get you caught up for Monday morning.

Dozens missing after tourist boat carrying more than 160 passengers sinks in Colombia

At least six people are confirmed dead and dozens more unaccounted for.

Dow Jones won’t talk about its reported pay gap problem

A study released by the union representing Dow Jones employees found evidence of a "significant pay gap between men and women" who had the same job title and level of experience.

Mom slams ACA repeal, shows what's at stake in a tweetstorm about son's health

This mom says that without the ACA, her son wouldn't get the medical care he desperately needs.

Theresa May announces pact with Northern Ireland's conservative DUP

10 of the DUP's MPs will vote alongside May's party in exchange for more than $1 billion of funds.

Supreme Court will hear case of baker who refused service to gay couples on religious grounds

The Supreme Court will take on the case of a bakery owner who refused to bake a cake for a gay couple.

'Hot Mic' podcast: Health care opposition, Trump on Russian meddling & Pakistan tanker explosion

The important stories to get you caught up for Monday morning.

Dozens missing after tourist boat carrying more than 160 passengers sinks in Colombia

At least six people are confirmed dead and dozens more unaccounted for.