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Chinese Media Has Told Rex Tillerson to ‘Prepare for a Military Clash’ | TIME

The U.S. Secretary of State nominee has provoked fury with his hawkish remarks on the South China Sea

China’s state media has responded forcefully to suggestions by U.S. Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson that China should be barred from the artificial islands it has built in the South China Sea, warning that any such attempt would force a “devastating confrontation” and both sides should “prepare for a military clash.”

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Chinese Media Has Told Rex Tillerson to ‘Prepare for a Military Clash’ | TIME

The End of the Asian Century: War, Stagnation, and the Risks to the World’s Most Dynamic Region | The National Interest

To put it starkly, what we are seeing today may be the beginning of the end of the “Asian Century.” For decades, prominent and knowledgeable observers, from bankers and industrialists to scholars and politicians, have predicted the rise of the Asia-Paci?c and an era of unparalleled Asian power, prosperity, and peace. At the same time, many writers assure us that the East is replacing the West, in a great shift of global power that will permanently reshape our world. All those predictions now are themselves at risk.

Such a view remains controversial. Only in recent months have the popular press and casual observers begun to worry about growing risk, from China’s stock market collapse to the danger of armed con?ict in the South China Sea. But in a world where headlines continue to focus on the bloody spread of the Islamic State or on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and intervention in the Syrian civil war, only cursory attention is being paid to Asia’s dangers.

The End of the Asian Century: War, Stagnation, and the Risks to the World’s Most Dynamic Region | The National Interest

Putin’s Real Long Game

“The world order we know is already over, and Russia is moving fast to grab the advantage. Can Trump figure out the new war in time to win it?”

What both administrations fail to realize is that the West is already at war, whether it wants to be or not. It may not be a war we recognize, but it is a war. This war seeks, at home and abroad, to erode our values, our democracy, and our institutional strength; to dilute our ability to sort fact from fiction, or moral right from wrong; and to convince us to make decisions against our own best interests.

First, it is a war. A thing to be won, decisively — not a thing to be negotiated or bargained. It’s all one war: Ukraine, Turkey, Syria, the Baltics, Georgia. It’s what Vladislav Surkov, Putin’s ‘grey cardinal’ and lead propagandist, dubbed ”non-linear war” in his science fiction story “Without Sky,” in 2014.

Putin’s Real Long Game – POLITICO Magazine

The new world order, 2017 – The Washington Post

One insistent question that will shape 2017 is whether we’re witnessing the gradual decay of the post-World War II international order, dominated by the economic and military power of the United States.

The international order is now in a state of flux for many reasons. Starting with China and Russia, many countries resent the United States’ leadership role. Many Americans have also tired of it. New technologies (notably, e-commerce, cyberwarfare) are further redistributing power and influence.

The new world order, 2017 – The Washington Post

“The last time mass protectionism was tried as economic stimulus was the 1930s; the experiment did not end well.”

‘In his latest book, “World Order,” Henry Kissinger argues that the world is at its greatest peril when the international order is moving from one system to another. … . “Chaos follows until a new system of order is established.”’

“America First” and Global Conflict Next by Nouriel Roubini – Project Syndicate

“When the US pursued similar policies in the 1920s and 1930s, it helped sow the seeds of World War II.”

Donald Trump’s election as President of the United States does not just represent a mounting populist backlash against globalization. It may also portend the end of Pax Americana – the international order of free exchange and shared security that the US and its allies built after World War II.

Trump, however, may pursue populist, anti-globalization, and protectionist policies that hinder trade and restrict the movement of labor and capital. And he has cast doubt on existing US security guarantees by suggesting that he will force America’s allies to pay for more of their own defense. If Trump is serious about putting “America first,” his administration will shift US geopolitical strategy toward isolationism and unilateralism, pursuing only the national interests of the homeland.

When the US pursued similar policies in the 1920s and 1930s, it helped sow the seeds of World War II. Protectionism – starting with the Smoot-Hawley Tariff, which affected thousands of imported goods – triggered retaliatory trade and currency wars that worsened the Great Depression. More important, American isolationism – based on a false belief that the US was safely protected by two oceans – allowed Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan to wage aggressive war and threaten the entire world. With the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, the US was finally forced to take its head out of the sand.
Today, too, a US turn to isolationism and the pursuit of strictly US national interests may eventually lead to a global conflict. Even without the prospect of American disengagement from Europe, the European Union and the eurozone already appear to be disintegrating, particularly in the wake of the United Kingdom’s June Brexit vote and Italy’s failed referendum on constitutional reforms in December. Moreover, in 2017, extreme anti-Europe left- or right-wing populist parties could come to power in France and Italy, and possibly in other parts of Europe.

“America First” and Global Conflict Next by Nouriel Roubini – Project Syndicate

China Almost Began a War against the United States in July over South China Sea : Science : Chinatopix

Chinese state-run television has revealed China almost ignited a war against the United States in July when it aimed “dozens” of DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missiles (ASBMs) at the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) patrolling the South China Sea.

This startling admission was made on state-owned China Central Television (CCTV) this week. It also revealed this action that might have triggered a war with the United States occurred a few days before the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague on July 12 declared illegal China’s claim to own most of the South China Sea based on “historic rights.”

China saw the U.S. Navy’s two Carrier Strike Groups in the South China Sea as an indication the U.S. was about to attack. It feared the U.S. might use its military strength to enforce the arbitration ruling.

China Almost Began a War against the United States in July over South China Sea : Science : Chinatopix

The relationship between China and the US is already at a tipping point where it won’t take a lot to start a major war. This tipping point still exists. So in the future it’s not going to take a lot for things to go south real fast.

Iranian Revolutionary Guards Spokesman: Settlements Will Spark War That Will Lead to Israel’s Destruction | Algemeiner.com

An Iranian military official said that Israeli settlement construction could spark a war leading to the destruction of Israel.

Israel has just announced plans to move forward with the building of thousands of new homes (ultimately 5,600 homes) in East Jerusalem. East Jerusalem is predominately Palestinian.

A key point not to ignore is the remark about war leading to the destruction of Israel. This is not an idle boast. Iran is seriously positioning it’s allies to destroy Israel. This will likely happen through hundreds of precision guided missiles launched each day and the likelihood of chemical weapons use on Israeli cities.

Ongoing Israeli settlement construction will spark a war that will lead to the Jewish state’s “complete destruction,” an Iranian military official said on Thursday, the Tehran regime-aligned Tasnim news agency reported.

A day after US Secretary of State John Kerry assailed Israel’s settlement policies and less than week after the UN Security Council passed an anti-settlement resolution, General Ramezan Sharif — a spokesman for the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps — stated that further settlement building would “definitely provoke a reaction.”

Iranian Revolutionary Guards Spokesman: Settlements Will Spark War That Will Lead to Israel’s Destruction | Algemeiner.com

A Defiant Israel Vows to Expand Its Settlements – The New York Times

Undeterred by a resounding defeat at the United Nations, Israel’s government said Monday that it would move ahead with thousands of new homes in East Jerusalem and warned nations against further action, declaring that Israel does not “turn the other cheek.”

Just a few days after the United Nations Security Council voted to condemn Israeli settlements, Jerusalem’s municipal government signaled that it would not back down: The city intends to approve 600 housing units in the predominantly Palestinian eastern section of town on Wednesday in what a top official called a first installment on 5,600 new homes.

A Defiant Israel Vows to Expand Its Settlements – The New York Times

Tasnim News Agency – Settlement Activities to Bring About Israel’s End: IRGC Spokesman

The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) spokesman reminded the Tel Aviv regime of a certain defeat it will have to suffer in a war that may break out as a result of pressing ahead with illegal settlement construction in Palestine, saying it will result in Israel’s annihilation.

Tasnim News Agency – Settlement Activities to Bring About Israel’s End: IRGC Spokesman

Connecting the dots

Should chemical weapons be used on Israeli cities then a nuclear response is very likely. However, an Israeli nuclear response will significantly lower the threshold for or even act as a catalyst for a great power nuclear war (World War III) between America, Russia and China.

In the following video, George Friedman discusses how instabilities reign from Europe to Asia. This was last seen in 1945. While we don’t know what is going to happen, the signs are ominous. Great things are possible. The world is going to change because it has to.

George Friedman, Founder & Chairman @ Geopolitical Futures, Keynotes #BPOG 2016

George Friedman on the Global Crises

Will the great stress that exists in the world today change smoothly? Well, based on the number of articles discussing the possibility of world war III, I would not count on a smooth change. This suggests that something like a great-power war now moves from the unthinkable to the thinkable.

How World War III became possible – Vox

There is a growing chorus of political analysts, arms control experts, and government officials who are sounding the alarm, trying to call the world’s attention to its drift toward disaster. The prospect of a major war, even a nuclear war, in Europe has become thinkable, they warn, even plausible.

What they describe is a threat that combines many of the hair-trigger dangers and world-ending stakes of the Cold War with the volatility and false calm that preceded World War I — a comparison I heard with disturbing frequency.

They describe a number of ways that an unwanted but nonetheless major war, like that of 1914, could break out in the Eastern European borderlands. The stakes, they say, could not be higher: the post–World War II peace in Europe, the lives of thousands or millions of Eastern Europeans, or even, in a worst-case scenario that is remote but real, the nuclear devastation of the planet.

How World War III became possible – Vox

The article points out how a major war could break out in Europe. But the real point is that a major war is no longer unthinkable. We are sitting at a tipping point. We sit at a tipping point with both Russia and China. Given that Syria, Iran and Hezbollah are allies of Russia, should Israel use nuclear weapons to destroy one or more of them then serious trouble could ensure.

Here’s how World War Three could start tomorrow

It is no longer politic to avoid talking about these trends. It may seem like a fear of the distant past or the realm of fiction, but if there is a hope of averting such great power fights, a frank and open discussion about their real risks of and likely horrors is needed.

Not persuaded? At least weigh the statement of a Chinese military officer in an official regime publication last year.

“The world war is a form of war that the whole world should face up to”, he said. It is a statement to be both considered and chilled by.

Here’s how World War Three could start tomorrow

We sit watching a great mountain that is about to avalanche. Events in the Middle East just might be the catalyst that starts it.

Why 2016 was a major turning point for the world – Washington Times

Historians will look back on 2016 as an inflection year in world history, perhaps not as momentous (or violent) as the years that follow but marking a major global turning point, when the old order of world politics could be seen as crumbling. This disintegration actually has been going on for some time, but it was not so readily discernible during the intervening years as it became in 2016.

As we peer into 2017, consider some of the old structures, both global and domestic, now under threat.

That structure now is breaking down as China disrupts global commerce with intricate non-tariff trade barriers and seeks dominance over the western Pacific, particularly the vast South China Sea. It now claims maritime territory that has been viewed as international waters by the global community for decades, and it openly intimidates its neighbors in efforts to remake the area’s maritime borders. The ultimate aim, it seems clear, is to remove American power from the region and push the United States back to Hawaii so China can effectuate a regional dominance. This constitutes a highly unstable situation. Either China backs down; or the United States retreats from Asia; or hostilities eventually will ensue.

Why 2016 was a major turning point for the world – Washington Times

Commentary: Yes, 2016 was bad. Next year could be worse | Reuters

The killing of Russia’s ambassador to Turkey on Monday evening might have prompted knee-jerk comparisons to the 1914 assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand, but it almost certainly won’t spark a World War One-type conflict. The lethal truck attack that killed 12 in Berlin a few hours later, however, could ratchet up the prospect of yet another political shock in Europe.

2016 looks set to keep throwing out unexpected, often brutal surprises right to its end. If 1989 – the year the Berlin wall fell – was the point at which globalization, liberal democracy and the Western view of modernity was seen to triumph, the year now concluding might yet be seen as when the wheels came off.

… . The next year could see a step back towards moderation. But it could equally see things spiral further out of control.

Commentary: Yes, 2016 was bad. Next year could be worse | Reuters

Asia analyst: Chinese seizure of US drone is ‘act of war’

Asia analyst: Chinese seizure of US drone is ‘act of war’ – YouTube

In my opinion, this act signals that the US should be preparing for nuclear war with China. It may not come at this time but it is coming.

China Seizes U.S. Underwater Drone From International Waters, Pentagon Says : The Two-Way : NPR

The Pentagon said the USNS Bowditch, an oceanographic survey ship, had two unclassified “ocean gliders” — unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) — in the water, conducting “routine operations in accordance with international law.” The undersea drones measure things such as salinity and temperature.

The Bowditch was retrieving one vehicle when a Chinese warship pulled up, put a small boat in the water and retrieved the second UUV, officials told reporters.

China Seizes U.S. Underwater Drone From International Waters, Pentagon Says : The Two-Way : NPR