5 thoughts on “Blog Link: The Giant’s Rival Part Two: The US responds.

  1. The cost of the upgrades and redeployments runs into the trillions of US dollars and demonstrates that the US sees the Western Pacific as the next potential major conflict zone.

    Isn’t it a shame, that if they spent half that on a giant hearts and minds exercise, they’d succeed grandly in kicking China out of the region for awhile and still have half to spend on upgrades.

    With one country on the ascendance and the other seemingly in decline, the stage is set for a great power confrontation in the next few decades. The question is not if the confrontation will occur, but how it will occur: will it be armed or not?

    A great article Pablo, very insightful. Thank you.

  2. Fascinating article Pablo. My big bro is working in construction on Guam. I forwarded it to him with the hope he sleeps easy, given its fairly obvious target potential.

    I struggle to accept that the US has consciously delegated Pacific responsibilities to New Zealand. In recent decades we have been very much a fair weather friend. That is perhaps a sop to your readers.

    You have access to some excellent stats. A tribute to knowledge gained from previous careers and academia I guess. If there are public sources half as good I would be interested. OECD stats portal just does not cut it. Alternatively you were intended to be Bill Hodge’s replacement. ;)

  3. reid: I agree that it is a pity that the US is not emphasizing the carrot side of the ledger. But the hard fact is that the SoPac is a very low priority for the US given all of the other items on its table at this point in time. The Chinese have the luxury of being able to commit resources to influence peddling in remote areas, in part due to their exponential growth and in part to their lack of foreign entanglements such as those the US is saddled with (although Africa could turn out to be their bette noir).

    Phil: since the article was not a scholarly article (i.e. full of footnotes etc.), I chose to use publicly available sources for the data. I would recommend the US Congressional Research Service and Federal Research Service for their comprehensive treatment of a variety of policy areas, the US in the Pacific included. There is plenty of journalistic sources and a few NGO reports as well. Otherwise you would have to go to the specialised journal literature for deeper coverage. As for Bill Hodge (who I know. He is a decent bloke who likes to play both sides of the fence when it comes to the Auckland Uni management and employment disputes such as mine)–I am not sure how I was intended to be his replacement. Other than being Yanks, our disciplines and demeanors are quite different.

  4. Pablo – My comment was a very obtuse attempt to establish what is likely urban myth, but something I heard many years ago. Bill Hodge apparently was/is widely known as CIA station chief. delete this if you dont want it repeated.

    Thanks for the research suggestions.

  5. Phil: I doubt that is the case. He has been in NZ too long (married a Kiwi) and CIA personnel rotate assignments every 3 years or so. He could be a NOC agent but there really is very little in NZ to require such a use of resources–the embassy can use its OCs for all liaison and intel collection duties.

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