Meaningful Distinction:

Patrick S. Lasswell Look outward for something to accomplish, not inward for something to despise.
pslblog at gmail dot com
Sunday, June 26, 2005
In San Diego for Equipment Repair

I’m in San Diego to fix some of my unit’s equipment. The weather was supposed to be foggy and dull, but it turned out to be quite lovely: sunny with pleasant breezes. I did reconnaissance on the locations I need to be tomorrow because they were locations I haven’t been to in my previous tours here. I also got my hair cut at Marine Corps Recruit Depot because the barbers there cut the hair of Drill Sergeants, and take their work quite seriously. I want to be seriously squared away for tomorrow; reservists often get treated like dirt because they show up looking like a pile of burlap sacks. I am serious about my military bearing and responsibilities, and I want it to show.

I had the distinct pleasure of meeting the Indepundit himself today. One of the places I was checking out for tomorrow’s checking in was directly above where he was drilling this weekend. He was very pleasant to talk with, and although I am professionally obligated to disagree with his position on China, I understand his reasoning. I think I’ll try and steal a march on his position post and outline why I think he’s wrong.

Everybody in the armed services in the US swears first to uphold the Constitution of the United States; that is our primary obligation. If the sitting President should decide to engage in a land war in Asia without the approval of Congress, the troops aren’t going to fight. If units did deploy and the Congress and the Supreme Court opposed the action, the units would keep themselves alive and withdraw. That is how things would play out, and every President knows this.

China does not have that understanding implicit in the formation and control of the People’s Liberation Army. One of the central problems with the rubber-stamp fiat nature of the Communist Party is that once an action is taken, the Party can either embrace it or disavow it, they cannot debate the action. Additionally, the last war that China won was fighting against other Chinese. (If you want to consider the invasion of Tibet a war, go wild…but name one battle, first.) China’s generals do not know the limits of their competence, mostly because the last serious military action they took was twenty-seven years ago. In that action the Vietnamese Army handed them their heads, inflicting as many casualties in six weeks of campaigning on the Chinese than they did from 1962-1975 on the US.

The Indepundit will have you believe that the Chinese want to focus on business and trade and ignore Taiwan until the problem just goes away. To a large extent that is a true statement. However, the rural peoples who are not sharing in the wealth, and the military whose grasp on power is being eroded by the rising prosperity are not actually covered by this statement. There is a very real possibility that some People’s Liberation Army Warlor…General will decide to get froggy to maintain power.

I don’t want to go to war with China, but I want them to win one even less because of the consequences of rewarding military imperialism. Specifically, with the exception of Egypt and South Africa, China can now take and hold any nation in Africa. Tens of thousands of Chinese soldiers will die through logistical incompetence, but they have always shown a willingness to throw bodies away for advantage. If we don’t stop China in Taiwan in this generation, we can’t stop them in the next from taking Africa. The People’s Liberation Army Warlor…Generals know this, too.

I’ll still be helping out with the Protest Warrior event this Saturday. If you’re in San Diego, or can get there, please come and support the troops.
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