Sunday, March 7, 2010

Book Club Discussion 3: #3

Go to the previous discussion question...

Since World War II, the naval power of the United States has been dominating the oceans of the world. According to the author, this gives the United States tremendous leverage in securing the position of the world's super power for the next 100 years, because control of the sea means control of the access of trade (sea is still the cheapest transport for goods). Do you think maintaining the world's largest and most powerful navy is necessary for the United States?

My Answer: In an event of another world war when there is no long-range missle, where there is no sonic speed fighter jet and bomber, I guess, yes, it is necessary for the U.S. to have the most powerful navy. I do agree that if only the U.S. decides to intimidate any country's freight vessels in the ocean, it will hurt that country's economy. I also agree that any insane country that thinks about engaging in extensive wars with the U.S. will have to worry about how to maintain supplies to their army if only the U.S. navy cuts off sea transportation.

But will the U.S. choose to give another country's ships a hard time to sail through if there is no full-blown war? Or is the U.S. free to just block any country's ship on the sea because she doesn't get what she wants from that country in trading terms or whatever cooperation? I don't think so... Yes, the U.S. navy are everywhere in the world's oceans, but so what if China disagrees with the U.S. in terms of trade deficits, or foreign policy? Can the U.S. tell China, "Sorry, China, now that you aren't cooperating with us, you aren't going to ship your products to the Americas through the Pacific... or even through the Alantic to Africa..." Of course not, the U.S. will not choose to do that, nor is the U.S. free to do that. So the super naval power really gives no advantage in terms of exerting political or economic influence at a peaceful time. But yes, a super naval power definitely discourages open attacks and sea invasions from other countries. But what stupid country is going to invade America from sea? The British tried it in 1812, but failed. Not even Germany or Japan did that...cause it was just not the most efficient way to invade America from the sea.

For how long can the U.S. afford to keep such a large naval fleet? For how much longer can the U.S. afford to patrol the seven seas? A lot of the ports in North and South America are owned by Chinese, Arabs and other foreign nationals anyway....By taking ownerships of ports and handling trillions of tons of goods imported and exported by America, other countries're just having as much influence to America's economic life line and access of internatioal trade.

In the 19th & 20th centuries, the British Empire used to have the world's largest navy but it all justified the economic ambitions of the British empire at that time because they were setting up colonies all over the world for trade access and economic gain. The British were using their powerful navy to intimidate and conquer other countries. I just don't see how the expense of keeping a large naval fleet and all these naval bases all over the world justifies the economic benefits for the U.S. (unless they use the navy like the British used theirs) It's nothing but a pure expense... It's not like the U.S. is using the navy now to threaten other countries for trade concessions, or to divert valuable resources out of an occupied colony . Since the U.S. is always playing nice and ethical instead of conquering for economic gains, I don't see the purpose of keeping such a huge navy. Most of the time, the navy really do nothing (couldn't even protect us from 9/11) but deliever free food and medicines to the third world countries. Yet these countries don't pay for the U.S. navy, we, the taxpayers do....

The motivation for war is always economically driven. Countries that have the calibre to challenge the U.S. (and as of now, no country has the calibre) are not going to start a war with the U.S. because there is no economic benefit in doing that. As long as everybody is making a decent living, there will be peace, with or without the U.S. navy. No sane developed country will dare to delcare war against the U.S. For the terrorist groups who do, they don't come from the sea anyway....and if they come from the sea, they are going to be seanky, using foreign shipping companies that own and operate ports here in the U.S... or by some other means...

Besides, the technology of warfare is not like World War I or Word War II anymore, America's enemies don't necessarily have to go through the sea to attack America. 9/11 is an example. I believe that the United States should pay more attention to her southern border cause that is where invasion by millions if illegal immigrants comes from. America's constitution is also America's weakness that enemies can very well use to attack the country. The liberal interpretation of the Constitution will be used as weapons by the enemies. What is going to stop foreigners from obtaining ingredients to manufacture deadly weapon of mass destruction right here in America? What is going to stop enemies to get jobs in the defense department, or worse yet, become the President of the Unitied States? It only takes one enemy to push one button to destroy us all here... or just a few enemies to push the buttons in serveral cities to activate the WMDs they make here.... It's not if they will do that, it's about when they will do that.. 9/11 wasn't an overnight endeavor. It's taken years in planning. Only god knows what big scheme America's enemies are planning for now, right here, right in our neighborhoods.

A strong navy isn't going to protect us in the future. The danger for America is her own constitution and ideology that the constitution applies not only to the American citizens but everybody in the world. If I have relatives who are living overseas now, who never lived one day in America, but yet, are American citizens who can vote, and who can come here to work in the government freely, or do whatever here freely, only because they were born here in the United States long time ago on these birthing tours to America....... (which advertised on our newspapers to gurantee foreign babies the U.S. passports ...)... If we have that many Chinese in Hong Kong who got American passports this way, how many of them in other countries also got their U.S. passports this way..... If the U.S. is a democracy built by votes of her citizens, the country can also be demolished by the votes of her citzens. I wonder why such privilege is given anyhow to just anyone who was born here? I just think this is totally against the interest of America's national security. Somehow, I agree with China that the voting previlage shouldn't be granted to just every citizen... cause a lot of people are just too ignorant to vote (that's China's defense for their system..). Yes China's way is a bit extreme. But personally, I think the previlege to vote should be earned...If we can't drive our cars without a license, why should we be voting without proving that we are intelligent enough to vote for America's best interest??

If you are reading this book, please participate in this discussion by posting on your blog your answer and a link back to this post. Then put a comment below to let us know where your blog post is. If you don't have a blog, just put your answers in the comment box. Thank you for particpating in this book club discussion.

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