sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Playing the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Card

On 25 November, a Pakistan Navy official said that the Pakistan Navy has rebased two warships at Gwadar port, now that it has become an operational terminus of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). 
"China would also deploy its naval ships in coordination with the Pakistan Navy to safeguard the port and trade under the CPEC," the unnamed official claimed. The Pakistani source also said the People’s Liberation Army Navy will deploy a submarine at the Gwadar port and establish a military base there to provide maintenance support for the Chinese naval fleet operating in the Indian Ocean.
Chinese construction in Gwadar is not unlike their base, under construction in Djibouti. They plan to have a blue water fleet that can sustain itself in the Persian Gulf and in the Indian Ocean. CPEC was the vehicle to bring the Pakistanis to heel. 

China now possesses a strong proprietary interest in Gwadar’s successful commercial operations which require security. Chinese ships already are carrying cargos from Gwadar that arrive via the Economic Corridor from China. Chinese navy ships have called at the port. 

The Pakistan Navy has had a facility there since before the 1971 India-Pakistan War, when the Pakistan Navy relocated its assets to Gwadar from Karachi just before it came under attack by the Indian Navy. The Pakistan Navy facility has been upgraded and is available for use by Chinese naval ships traveling from China to Djibouti and back in support of the anti-piracy patrols off the horn of Africa.

The NATO countries announced last week that they were terminating their deployments to the anti-piracy patrol off Somalia because acts of piracy have declined. Despite the decline, construction of the Chinese facility has proceeded. With support facilities at Djibouti and Gwadar, China will be able to sustain a naval presence in the Indian Ocean almost indefinitely.

China’s limited facilities on Coco Island in Myanmar (Burma) give the navy support capabilities at each end of the Indian Ocean. They will be supplemented by the port China is building in southern Sri Lanka and the port under construction in northwestern Burma. 

There exists rough symmetry between Chinese facility construction in the South China Sea and its facility and port construction in the Indian Ocean. Both support the strategic objective of developing and sustaining an open ocean navy. 

China is preparing the infrastructure to challenge Indian naval supremacy in the Indian Ocean. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor will convert Pakistan into an extension of the Chinese economy, and its military in many ways.

CPEC also extends China’s defensive glacis to Pakistan in unprecedented ways. The Economic Corridor would be an obvious strategic target for disruption in a future war with India. However, it is protected by China. An attack on the corridor would risk escalating a South Asian war into a pan-Asian war. 

Indian calculations about war with Pakistan already were complicated by the decline in Pakistani conventional warfighting capabilities. Since December 2001, any risk of general war in South Asia is a risk of nuclear war because Pakistan cannot mobilize its army to the extent necessary to achieve any sort of parity. 

Today, Indian calculations must take into account China’s increased profile and presence in Pakistan. Any general war with Pakistan risks a war with China. The Chinese leaders are gambling that China’s emergence in South Asia promotes stability by raising the stakes in any crisis that threatens war.

While India might be more restrained, the Chinese strategy is not acting as a restraint on Pakistan. China would not let Pakistan be destroyed in a war with India, but it also would not help Pakistan if it was the aggressor against India.

Muslim Migrants - Go Home

Remind me how many Syrian refugees were allowed into Saudi Arabia.
That's right, I remember now. The number is 0 and it begs the question, what do they know that we don't? After all, the Syrians are their fellow Arabs.

A British view

America has been concerned with the Muslim migrant crisis both at home and because we see it chewing up our allies. The British took the BREXIT step to change the situation. Other Europeans see rise of populist leaders amid anger over economy and the  migrant crisis

Italians will vote this coming Sunday on a series of sweeping reforms, the outcome of which could determine the future of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s rule - but also serve as a gauge for the rising populist movement throughout Europe.

If Italians reject the reforms – which are basically an unofficial plebiscite on the prime minister – Renzi has vowed to step down, setting up a caretaker government and the chance for the populist comedian-turned-politician Beppe Grillo’s Five Star Movement to take power in the next election. Some ask whether a comedian would make a good leader. Others contend that anyone but a career politician is a step in the right direction.

The catalyst for change is Muslim savages from Africa and the Middle East, which the Italian government are allowing to remain with an open door policy. WHY (I hear you cry)? The answer is that I don't know. Europe/NATO can build safe spaces for them in their filthy sewers-style cities back home. They can give the savages Bibles and toothpaste and set up tent cities.

Italy’s situation is a microcosm of what is happening across Europe, where the political establishment is being challenged by a slew of conservative populist politicians, who are riding the same anti-establishment anger that earlier this year saw the United Kingdom vote to leave the European Union and the United States elect Donald Trump as president.

Mirroring both the campaigns of Trump and Sen. Bernie Sanders in the U.S., Grillo and his Five Star Movement have gained a large number of followers by harnessing Italian anger at political elites and frustration over slow economic growth. Unlike his fellow populists throughout Europe, however, the ideologically-elusive Grillo has not played into national identity politics the way that more conservative leaders in places such as France, the Netherlands and Austria have.

France, Austria Germany and the Netherlands are also poised for a shift from liberal policies to more conservative approaches to --- just about everything. The migrants lighted the fuse and now we simply need to watch it play out. The question of whether those nations are willing to save themselves from savages has yet to be determined.