The dog that didn't bark

A while ago, I did a little roundup of some of my favorite technothrillers and where some of the better writers think might be the next international trouble spot. I didn’t recommend doing anything too hastily, but I definitely thought they could use a little scrutiny.

Stephen Green reads the New York Times and does his own version of “reading tea leaves” over here, and it looks like a couple of those predictions might be on target.

I’m not saying I agree with his conclusion, but that’s just my lazy nature and ignorance speaking; I don’t know enough to dismiss his concerns. But I do think that his reasoning sounds valid, and it’s certainly worth taking a hard look at.

And before anyone brings up China’s huge dependence on its trade surplus with the US as having a mitigating influence on their conduct, let me remind you of a few things:

1) China had no problems acting as the injured party and demanding reparations when one of our big, lumbering, slow, clumsy, four-propeller-engine-driven chased down, attacked, rammed, and downed one of their front-line jet fighters back in 2001.

2) In World War II, France was Germany’s biggest trading partners right up until Germany invaded.

3) Also in World War II, The Soviet Union and Germany’s trade was going gangbusters right up until Germany invaded the Soviet Union. In fact, legend has it that trains of German soldiers heading east passed trains of Russian grain headed west.

Trade and economics often has a mitigating effect on potential hostilities. But it’s a huge mistake to presumet that it will trump them every time.

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11 Comments

  1. Dodd July 14, 2005
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