Thucydides Trap and gold
Comment of the Day

June 20 2019

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Thucydides Trap and gold

This article from may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

His main focus is to outline where the US and China are with respect to realpolitik, or practical considerations, and how to avoid war. The signs are not good.

Writing in The Atlantic, Allison states that “Based on the current trajectory, war between the United States and China in the decades ahead is not just possible, but much more likely than recognized at the moment.” That was written in 2015, before the trade war started, so the case for war is even stronger now.

According to Allison, events that could make two nations fall into the trap may be small, “business as usual” conflicts that, if they occurred in a different dynamic, would lead to nothing. For example, the assassination of archduke Ferdinand, a relatively obscure and minor figure, was the spark that lit a whole conflagration of events that plunged Germany, an ascendant maritime power, into war with Britain, whose Royal Navy ruled the seas for decades. Consider the current conflicts between the Chinese and US navies in the South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait. It would not take much - say a collision between two warships - to ignite the powder keg of war.

However, for the threat to be taken seriously, the rising power must have the capability to take on the incumbent power. Henry Kissinger, the US former secretary of state, wrote that “once Germany achieved naval supremacy … this in itself - regardless of German intentions - would be an objective threat to Britain, and incompatible with the existence of the British Empire.”

Eoin Treacy's view

Technological innovation is a doubled edged sword. It opens up new markets and provides greater efficiencies. It helps to boost economic growth but it also displaces military technology and upsets the status quo. That allows new entrants a chance to gain comparative advantage.

The clear conclusion from the above graphic is the advent of nuclear weapons and mutually assured destruction resulted in the relegation of great power competition to regional and third-party conflicts rather than world wars. It is reasonable to conclude that situation will persist until someone comes up with a way to nullify the nuclear threat.  

The two big candidates for that effort are overarching cyber control which would lock out a country’s ability to launch or missiles so fast they would land before a country has the chance to launch its own or be so manoeuvrable that they would shoot down ICBMs while there are still high above the earth.  

The development of scramjets and hypersonic missiles is representative of a clear trend towards the latter option with the USA, China and Russia all engaged in this research.

Here is a section from an article from NewAtlas which may be of interest:

A scramjet is similar to a ramjet in that it uses the forward velocity of the vehicle to compress incoming air instead of relying on turbine blades. However, where a ramjet slows down the incoming air to subsonic speeds before using it to burn fuel, the scramjet keeps the airflow in the supersonic range. This allows it to operate at much higher speeds and altitudes while cutting down on heat because the air is compressed less.

According to the partners, using a scramjet means that hypersonic vehicles will have higher and sustained speeds, shorter flight times, and subsequent increased weapon survivability, effectiveness, and flexibility.

"The Raytheon/Northrop Grumman team is quickly developing air-breathing hypersonic weapons to keep our nation ahead of the threat," says Thomas Bussing, Raytheon Advanced Missile Systems vice president. "This agreement combines Raytheon's decades of tactical missile expertise with Northrop Grumman's extensive scramjet engine development experience to produce the best possible weapons."

This article is one of a number I have seen over the years referring to UFOs observed by US pilots. I don’t think they are alien in origin and I don’t think they are odd weather patterns either. The only conclusion we might draw is the timing of these releases coincides with the escalation of geopolitical tensions, so they may be an elaborate bluff or the USA really does have gamechanging technology.

The one thing that has always been at the back of mind is the stealth fighter was originally built in the early 1980s and was only revealed to the world at large during Desert Storm in the early 1990s. If the stealth fighter is 40-year old technology, what is possible today?

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