Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

A Quiet Mediterranean?

An unusual calm for history’s constant cauldron.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

 

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About Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow in Residence in Classics and Military History at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, a professor of Classics Emeritus at California State University, Fresno, and a nationally syndicated columnist for Tribune Media Services. He is also the Wayne & Marcia Buske Distinguished Fellow in History, Hillsdale College, where he teaches each fall semester courses in military history and classical culture.

8 Thoughts on “A Quiet Mediterranean?

  1. Karl Horst (Germany) on August 12, 2014 at 9:17 am said:

    The growth of the Chinese military has been in direct proportion to its economic growth just as the Russians with their recent boom in oil and gas sales have recently expanded theirs. There is no mystery when a country outsources its jobs and industries, sacrifices its workers over corporate profits. Those same corporations who have profited from cheap labor costs are now seeing exactly what a country like China will do with it excess wealth. Why didn’t China have a military like this 20-years ago? They didn’t have a capitalist economy…but it didn’t take them long to catch up!

    Of course the US was a super power after WW-2, no one else on the planet had the money or industry to catch up. Our major industrial cities like Mainz, Dresden and Kassel were firebombed into obliteration and the UK and France, along with most of Europe, was economically broke.

    Just as the US grew during the economic boom years of the 50’s and 60’s, an exact copy of this sort of economic growth in China has been goign on since the late 90’s when outsourcing became the craze. A direct result of western (note I didn’t say American…although the conclusion could be made) industries, technology and jobs moved to China so the west could enjoy cheaper, Chinese made products.

    Note I didn’t say cheap, just cheaper to the consumer. Apple could just as easily build the iPhone in America, or Europe for that matter, but elects not to. Why? Higher profits to share holders, lower wages to Chinese workers, while Americans (and Europeans) sit idle and unemployed while texting on their jazzy new iPhone 6.

    And the Chinese? They’re seeing a boom like never before in consumerism that’s resulting in billions of tax dollars suddenly available for infrastructure, power utilities and of course, military spending. Not to mention the profits they get from just the interest on American (and European) loans.

    I know most Americans remember when President Regan encouraged Gorbachev to bring down the Berlin Wall and how the free world cheered when it happened. But that didn’t happen for free. For those of you who don’t know, reunification lead to a large rise in the average standard of living in former Eastern Germany and a stagnation in the West as $2 trillion in public spending was transferred East. That $2 trillion in west German taxes! So when you criticize Germany for not building our military, realize instead of spending it on weapons, we were rebuilding the country on the other side of that “random” line the Allies drew 70-yeras ago.

    • Hey Karl,
      You left out a whole chunk of history in your whiny post. The world has not forgotten about your evil country.

  2. Ernest Kelly on August 12, 2014 at 10:34 am said:

    President Regan?

  3. Keith Hayworth on August 12, 2014 at 12:35 pm said:

    The U.S. Navy has undoubtedly been the primary force for stabilizing trade world-wide. The world has benefited from this in terms of true economic progress. The reduction of American naval presence inevitably leads to regional saber-rattling, destabilizing conflicts, and increased pressure on world trade. World trade, ironically, aided by the U.S. military, has in some cases been detrimental to the United States.
    The Americans had a chance in the early 1990s to engage in a Cold War with China. It was in a superior position to ultimately wait out the Chinese until they reformed their own government. Instead, the U.S. took steps to engage the Chinese with the gift of unprecedented economic patronage. American business interests made huge fortunes in moving money into China, justifying their decisions in terms of bettering the standards of living for Americans and improving the relationship of the two diametrically opposed, social-political systems.
    We now have perspective on the free-trade approach to China. Americans have cheaper “things” and less productively employed people. China has a surplus of American dollars, new cities, and an ascending military prowess. America mostly gained consumables, free time and debt, and China gained structurally, militarily and financially. All things being equal, this approach has weakened the United States strategically relative to China. If China becomes a nation dedicated to natural rights protections and liberal (with a lowercase “L”) government, the receding U.S. power would resemble the passing of the torch of the British dominance of the seas to the Americans. However, the jury is still out on this issue. The world has an interest in seeing if it is going to be able to trust another power as it has the U.S..

  4. Jeff Stanley on August 12, 2014 at 4:15 pm said:

    Rumors of the United States of America’s demise have been greatly exaggerated.

  5. I think that question has already been answered.

    China has set off a regional arms race.

  6. dupere on August 13, 2014 at 5:28 pm said:

    Join the “end of NATO” post with Turkey’s failure to achieve full European Union membership. With a weakening European union, alliances may very well shift. Shanghai cooperation organisation with Turkey as a dialogue partner and current obsevers—india, pakistan afganistan and iran. All lined up to deal with the devil– the dictatorships of China and Russia. Turkey, the gateway to a fractured Iraq/Syria and straight down to the sitting duck Saudi Arabia. See “Zbigniew Brzezinski’s theory, control of the Eurasian landmass is key to global domination.” Our president is “being sized up as a lamb to be eaten”

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