Reprinted from Strategic Culture
Not a day goes by without US Think Tankland doing what it does best; pushing all sorts of scenarios for cold -- and hot -- war with Russia, plus myriad confrontations with China and Iran.
That fits into the Pentagon's Top Five existential threats to the US, where Russia and China sit at the very top and Iran is in fourth place -- all ahead of terrorism of the phony Daesh Caliphate variety.
Here I have come up with some concise realpolitik facts to counterpunch the hysteria -- stressing how the Russian hypersonic missile advantage renders useless the whole construct of NATO's paranoid rhetoric and bluster.
The US Aegis defense system has been transferred from ships to land. The Patriot missile defense system is worthless. Aegis is about 30% better than the THAAD system; it may be more effective but their range is also limited.
Aegis is not a threat at all to Russia -- for now. Yet as the system is upgraded -- and that may take years -- it could cause Russia some serious concern, as Exceptionalistan is increasingly pushing them eastward, so near to Russia's borders.
Anyway, Russia is still light-years ahead in hypersonic missiles. The Pentagon knows that against the S-500 system, the F-22, the awesomely expensive F-35 and the B-2 stealth airplanes -- stars of a trillion-dollar fighter program -- are totally obsolete.
So it's back to the same old meme: Russian aggression, without which the Pentagon cannot possibly fight for its divine right to be showered with unlimited funds.
Washington had 20,000 planners at work before WWII was ended, focused on the reconstruction of Germany. Washington had only six after the destruction of Iraq in 2003's Shock and Awe.
That was no incompetence; it was Plan A from the get-go. The former USSR was deemed a mighty threat at the end of WWII -- so Germany had to be rebuilt. Iraq was a war of choice to grab oil fields -- mixed with the implementation of hardcore disaster capitalism. No one in Washington ever cared or even wanted to rebuild it.
Russian aggression does not apply to Iraq; it's all about Eastern Europe. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov anyway has made it clear that the deployment of the Aegis will be counterpunched in style -- as even US corporate media starts to admit that the Russian economy is healing from the effects of the oil price war.
Take a look at my liquid asssets
Here my purpose was to show that China is not a House of Cards. Whatever the real Chinese debt to GDP ratio -- figures vary from as low as 23% to 220% -- that is nothing for an economy the size of the Chinese, especially because it is entirely internally controlled.
China keeps over $3 trillion in US dollars and other Western currencies in reserves while it gradually delinks its economy from the real House of Cards: the US dollar economy.
So under these circumstances what does foreign debt mean? Not much. China could -- although they don't do it yet -- produce more yuan and buy back their debt, as much as the US with quantitative easing (QE) and the European Central Bank (ECB) as it asks certain "favorite countries" (strong NATO supporters) to produce more than their share of euros.
And yet Beijing doesn't really need to do this. China, Russia, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and what's left of the BRICS (Brazil is on hold until at least 2018) are slowly but surely forging their own internal currency and currency transfer system (in China and Russia it works already internally) to sideline SWIFT and the Bank of International Settlements (BIS).