No regular post today, because of other business. However, a post from me is not needed, because Mark Helprin has written a splendid piece in the Wall Street Journal on the great power implications of the rise of China and what it means to us; and how America should respond to maintain its own position.
"The Challenge From China" tracks El Jefe's thinking in virtually every particular. In particular, Mr. Helprin argues for a vast increase in our defense budget, and maintains that we can afford it:
We must revive our understanding of deterrence, the balance of power, and the military balance. In comparison with our recnt history, American military potential is restrained. Were we to allocate the average of 5.7% of GNP that we devoted annually to defense in peacetime from 1940-2000, we would have as a matter of course $800 billion each year with which to develop and sustain armies and fleets. . .(emphasis in the original).
For comparison, the US military budget for FY 2007 was about $450 billion (depending on how you crunch the numbers). Spending on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (funded through special legislation, not through the regular budget process) was about $170 billion in 2007.
Read the whole thing.