Yeah, I totally see what you're getting at. I feel like I've seen his face around. He must be some sort of online talking head, which means he's acting a little off because he's a form of actor and it drives up engagement. I've been too busy for quite a while, but I used to get my foreign policy fix from the good old boys at Council on Future Conflict in between their domestic news segments. Live streams are harder to consume, but on the other hand they take much more work to not be genuine. It doesn't look like they've covered china recently, but maybe check them out if they get on it soon: https://www.youtube.com/@FUTURECONFLICTCHANNEL/streamsI get pretty strong soy-boy vibes from the guy though, so I'm feeling an amount of distrust.
Oh I never pretended we don't have our own bullshit in our own military to deal with because we definitely do. Regardless though, these reports are believable because China really does have a major problem with corruption and major economic disparity. Their forces are not paid enough to care, so them just skimming military supplies off the top so they can actually feed themselves sounds perfectly believable. Now what China CAN do (and has done) is employ a huge fucking mercenary force, but that would be incredibly expensive and there's still the issue of their equipment and supplies and where they're going to come from. It's one thing to dick around with a Hong Kong rebellion, but it's quite another to deal with a superpower shoving warships up your ass on a regular basis.Oh good, now the chicom are on equal footing with us. Except actually they aren't, because this only demonstrates they've still at least got the organizational acumen to take external account of their capabilities during the peace warplanning process. We had to find ourselves weeks into a proxy war we'd been beating our chest on and off about for a decade with our most explicit state enemy to realize our industrial base wasn't even in the ballpark of prepared for. As on example, an artillery guy I know couldn't get his jaw back off the floor after seeing that we were simultaneously shipping the ukrainian army M777s (which are starting to get long in the tooth anyway) without their fire control systems, significantly limiting their effective range, while proclaiming they'd give the capability to counter russian systems they can't comfortably oppose with the computers. And then the news came down that we'd failed to spool back up our shell factories as planned and had had to scrape the barrel of our stockpile to make sure those guns weren't just towed paperweights with cut theoretical range. And again that's just one example. From over a year ago. It's an absolutely horrifying situation that would have sent heads rolling among both the top brass and contracting industry in earlier eras, but we no longer have the political will or capital to get it done in a helpful timeframe today, even with the fully open spigot of resources of the war's first set of months. This is why the planners have been occasionally sounding the alarm about the potential of conflict with china over the past few years. They knew more than a little of our own strength was in paper predictions of what we might be capable of if we mobilized the peacetime army rather than regular activity, and wanted to see it verified while we still had a stockpiled buffer before we got entangled somewhere else and had to commit it there. But we didn't, and now here we are.
Even more on topic, I have several quibbles with the framing of the information in this video. There's a rather worrying level of credulity in a report that just rewords public releases from US intelligence and the stenographers they conferenced to or their fellow travelers like Radio Free X. These orgs are like campaign pollsters. It's not their job to keep you neutrally informed, so when you see a poll from them you have to remember it's the best of four they've conducted, they're releasing just it to keep you energized, and you need to adjust it down by three to eight points to get the real value. Especially an org like Voice of America, or say maybe Radio Free Asia, are as much propaganda arms as public service announcement groups, and you can agree with their public mission statement while still taking their broadcasts with a huge pinch of salt. Specifically, it's a real mistake to conflate Rocket Force with the primary might of the PLA in a potential taiwanese conflict. Of course it's part of the strategy, but the biggest point its buildup is a medium range strike threat to deter our possible allies in the area like japan, the philippines, or SEA/australia, not to fight off us or taiwan. Those are unproven technology that aren't worth risking your entire operation over, and it always comes down to the infantryman and his rifle anyway (or the marine and his landing craft in this case). Any successful invasion will come from a backbone of a well-organized and supplied traditional navy with marine infantry, mostly focused on regional operations in the south-central pacific, and supported by a typical air force with shorter-ranged ballistic missiles of the sort no one doubts china could produce easily. Rocket Command may or may not become a powerful force-multiplier on top of that, but even in their wildest dreams of a carrier-dissuading superweapon it's all for naught if all your own craft are picked off by support forces as they float across the channel as well. We're lucky that it doesn't quite seem that the backbone is comfortably up to this task yet, but this news doesn't hugely change that they're steadily working on it. Maybe we'll get lucky and china will really fall into that economic slump that seems to be brewing, because that's what it will take to slow the marathon Xi's been running his country through for a decade.
Beyond that, let's not overstate the shock here. Like the video just barely nods at, this whole "modernization" has been a very long and winding road of pulling out a sort of graft that had been basically universal in the ccp's military and manufacturing base for a significant time. These stories have been regularly slipping out the whole way, which means they're *not* something we should be taking comfort in. We *don't* want the communist party recognizing and correcting their internal rot before we secure a stance, as that only makes them *more* difficult to defeat if/when we have to fight them. We only started proclaiming their occurrence to our press corps recently because we *don't* see our selves as secure these days, for various reasons. With that in mind, we probably shouldn't be leaning too hard on goofy reports of enough of the military simultaneously developing a love for cooking with industrial fuels to win us the day. We probably shouldn't be leaning too hard on the russian war we still haven't won and still can't find a winning strategy for, months to years after their "unpreparedness" was supposed to collapse them from the inside. We should probably stop pretending we've suddenly been handed an extra grace period to sort ourselves out in the short term instead of that they've just cut our time to out-prepare them in the long term down again and again; our policy on how when and why to fight our biggest war in decades in the taiwan strait and greater philippine sea area, *not* merely the pacific in general, has been literally schizophrenic, split-brained, these past several years, on an operation that will only succeed without massive losses only if it's well-oiled and fully integrated into the whole military. And we should probably stop just hoping other national news conditions happen to compound specifically the communist party's difficulties when the selfsame poor general strength and preparedness could trip us up more while we scoff from our liberal democratic high horse, which isn't known for its great game acumen anyway. The unforced errors are where steady progress is either cemented or thrown away, so we need to focus on them. If you're running on your own in a race and another racer suddenly appears beside you, the strategy to win isn't to change your behavior for some reason, it's to keep running and suppress the temptation to look over your shoulder.
Yeah, I totally see what you're getting at. I feel like I've seen his face around. He must be some sort of online talking head, which means he's acting a little off because he's a form of actor and it drives up engagement. I've been too busy for quite a while, but I used to get my foreign policy fix from the good old boys at Council on Future Conflict in between their domestic news segments. Live streams are harder to consume, but on the other hand they take much more work to not be genuine. It doesn't look like they've covered china recently, but maybe check them out if they get on it soon: https://www.youtube.com/@FUTURECONFLICTCHANNEL/streams