We’re growing. We had 16 people last night, even without some of our regulars. New members included Will, Marvin, Marvin, and several people whose names I failed to catch. Both Marvins looked young and vigorous. We hope you all come back.
Thanks to Fred for his half of the presentation and congratulations, Fred, on your retirement!
Does anyone have any follow-up thoughts or links/recommendations?
I have none, except to reproduce this chart on global military expenditures. Via here, the chart comes from SIPRI, a highly respected defense thinktank.
As you can see, we account for almost one-half of all global military expenditures and outspend China by about 6:1. And, this does not even take into consideration our huge qualitative advantages in all manner of military capabilities, nor the fact that we have allies and China basically doesn’t. Still, as Fred pointed out, that huge military difference may not matter much were war to break out in China’s backyard over something (like Taiwan) that China considers a vital national interest and we don’t. China’s whole strategy is to arm themselves so that, if they feel the need to, they could launch a kind of blitzkrieg, conquering Taiwan before we could intervene. Then they would dare us to go to war to drive them out.