Tuesday, 29 October 2019
Tobias MP and Yellow Peril 2.0 for China and 77th Brigade?
The Tobias Ellwood MP article in last week’s Mail on Sunday (and a full page no less) was chilling for several reasons.
The blaring headline of:
"From cyber space to the dark side of the moon, China is waging war on the West - and it’s winning"
is concerning not just for Pink Floyd fans worried that China’s counterfeit music industry extended from their back catalogue to the Moon itself.
But also that a former Defence Minister was peddling such Yellow Peril 2.0 nonsense in the 21st century.
And all the more concerning with Tobias not just as a Colonel Blimp eccentric MP hyping up the military and its tax budgets, but somehow extending a minor captaincy in the Army into a Lieutenant-Colonel role in the 77th Brigade, the military psyops function.
No doubt Bill Cash MP or the fightin’ bank manager reservist Mark Francois MP, or Nigel Farage already struggling into khaki to wind up pensioners that won the war and lost the peace, will chip in with some impassioned nonsense about an EU Army - presumably that merely NATO functions without USA and Canada? Or the existing Battlegroups?
It’s not China but the EU threatening the White Cliffs of Dover?
### 77th Brigade waging war on UK? ###
The article though reading not so much as China waging war on the West but the British Army waging war on the home front rather than abroad with such propaganda?
A London FBI office necessary - without similar 77th Brigade COINTELPRO or Snowden GCHQ/NSA mass surveillance - as the UK FBI NCA and CPS and Fraud police bumble along in the wake of white collar criminals yielding terror support in Londongrad and Londonistan.
Bill Bratton long overdue on being airlifted into UK from The Big Apple for his Broken Window and Facial Recognition musings on Learmonths Learjet. Cressida Dick's Met Police setting up facial recognition vans without Parliament or council approval does seem more apt for the streets of Shanghai rather than Sidcup.
While spycops shagging green protestors on the rates for years seems extraordinary.
While the Sacoolas car crash diplomacy perhaps unthinkable in a Chinese variant but certainly showing the need for diplomatic immunity reform even a specialist Extradition Court whether for Assange or City traders facing USA prisons and death penalty.
While as friends and allies, the UK military could easily invest in Keep Left signs for the half-dozen USA drone and radar bases.
Britain may be the USA's, rather than China's, Airstrip One and unsinkable aircraft carrier to rival Eurasia's Japan, but it’s certainly not the 51st State - that’s Puerto Rico and Kent Spitfire AOC no doubt calling for Resilience reforms there and the Bronx - nor the Lower 48.
USA diplomats and troops and even Mike Pompey aren’t in Kansas anymore, certainly on basics such as Road Safety.
While if Northants Police aren’t as incompetent as oh-no-its-Surrey-Police in Deepcut barracks or Perelichnyy and Salisbury GRU assassinations then Parliament must be questioning how the Foreign Office and Police allowed Sacoolas to slip away in a reverse-rendition to hide in the White House broom cupboard.
Perhaps a wider issue in reducing 43 police forces tripping over each other or out of their depth.
### China military or computing superpower - and UK DARPA ###
Reading the Tobias article in detail there is one very fair point on the China lead in Quantum Computing with a £7.7BN investment in just one site. While the USA investment of £155M per year overall suggests it’s wisely spent with Google announcing Quantum Supremacy this week with Project Sycamore processing 10,000 years(!) worth of data in minutes.
Senor Ellwood remains silent though as to what if any UK investment, or EU, there is in Quantum Computing. A shocking failure not in Chinese battalions poised to make the Isle of Wight or Isle of Thanet the Hong Kong and Macau of UK. But in the UK-invented-here-and-monetised-in-USA syndrome that’s frittered away the Turing bombes lead in computing or Berners-Lee formulation of the World Wide Web.
Even Dominic Cummings pausing from laying waste to UK governance and the Boris Coup has urged as Michael Gove’s assistant calls from myself and others for a UK DARPA.
That military innovation paying back in USA not just with B2 bombers or F35 jets - both likely left to rust with drone replacements - but that Turing lead in cracking German Uboat military codes or POTUS Clinton opening up not just the nuclear launch function of packets of the internet but the GPS missile positioning system used for 5G EV cars.
And Kent’s broken streets familiar more than most regions with the rocket technology of the V1 and V2 that yielded the Apollo Moon landings.
The Chinese not launching missiles this week but a 5G Smart Town already. Film downloads in one second and EV cars and river and canal cleanup by robots are leaving UK standing in the dust of China’s typhoon of innovation.
Monsieur Ellwood confusing a Chinese military parade of just 15,000 troops out of 1M troops as somehow more militarist than UK’s Changing of the Guard.
### China weaponising cat videos on Ellwood's watch? ###
While citing the Chinese versions of Facebook or Amazon in Tencent and Alibaba or Baidu GPS as threats to the West is simply rather hysterical. Presumably 1.5BN Chinese want to watch cat videos or buy Duchy Original biscuits or Irn-Bru (made in Scotland from girders) in their own language and for rapid home delivery as much as in the West.
As with the new Battery Innovation Centre (7 day charging for any device in an hour?) in the Midlands Engine shouldn’t Senor Ellwood roll up his sleeves on a UK Supercomputer. Even basics as an Atlanta or Stockholm UK Disease Center - whether Pandemics of Flu or TB or Ebola or the big battalions of tax funds deployed against Cancer and Dementia and Diabetes and faster cures.
A UK DARPA could yield a DNA Bathroom Mirror in moments with Philips- and certainly strategic stock and factories of vaccines as East Kent’s rusting Discovery Park, previously the largest inward investment site by Pfizer USA. Pfizer China at the site would hardly be a fiendish Fu Manchu plot for cancers cures.
Herr Ellwood could make a wider and stronger case for Realpolitik with China: few Brits or Mail on Sunday readers would be keen on Uighur gulag camps or organ harvesting or thousands of death penalty executions or Falun Gong religious persecution.
But that’s bog-standard one party authoritarianism rather than anything peculiarly Chinese. And no doubt more liberal factions in the Communist party and China will be urging changes.
Presumably Davey Cameron should be parlaying rather than kowtowing with China and his venture fund from the successful Xi roundtable in his Cotwolds pub.
Indeed President Xi seems rather wise in learning from the Tiananmen Square debacle and deaths in a light-touch response to the Hong Kong protests. Those protestors soon swapping the Union Jack as an emblem of democracy for the Stars and Stripes on realising UK would do nothing to help and indeed how UK ran Hong Kong as an undemocratic fiefdom before the Chinese Takeway of 1997.
China resolute too in the provocation of USA spy planes overshooting and landing in its territory.
The 70th anniversary of the liberation of China from foreign rule alluded to by Senor Ellwood and the horror of the Opium Wars forcing heroin addiction en masse to the Chinese yields a China focus as always on internal rule rather than foreign adventurism - no matter how much Tobias and other MOD chaps try and stoke up a threat for army budgets.
China's border safeguards of Tibet and North Korea in the early 1950’s only leading to minor border disputes with India and Russia and the 1979 Vietnam incursion. All hardly suggest any vast Chinese military plan or Communist Brotherhood.
### Trump bromance and OBOR growth for North Korea and Northern Powerhouse? ###
While President Xi could perhaps do more in supporting the bromance and thaw of POTUS Trump with North Korea. Nobody - least of all the Chinese - want famine or sarin stocks and nukes out of control in Pyonyang - or leaking into Damascus and Karachi. Or Chinese investments in Canary Wharf or Wall Street.
Osama was found in Karachi not Chengdu and perhaps Obama or Davey Cameron and now POTUS Trump and Mike Pompey should have been found more often in Beijing drumming up trade and a Great FireWall of China with NSA and GCHQ for web and institutionalised hacking protocols.
Indeed Monsieur Ellwood could be urging UK and EU and NATO support for the 1953 Korea peace treaty to be signed and bridging the trade gap for a United Korea. President Xi so far missing the golden opportunity to urge reduced USA troop levels and demilitarised limits beyond the DMZ to the Yalu.
While Signor Ellwood is plain wrong in citing the Chinese Space plan to the Moon has no agreed rules. Rather the 1957 Outer Space Treaty applies to all nations in preventing the militarisation of space.
A treaty weakened not by Chinese space exploration but the POTUS Trump formulation of a Space Command as a military function.
While the routine American citing of China as an enemy is only likely to deliver that spectre beyond the Inner Islands strategy. Perhaps China will become more like Taiwan or Hong Kong rather faster than needing to deploy and destroy those islands - or seize Guam and Hawaii and Vancouver or Alcatraz island.
UK as weak in San Diego and USA Pacific strategy as in Caribbean Resilience. And the Commonwealth.
Senior Ellwood in his Yellow Peril 2.0 fantasy forgetting the supposed Chinese octopus tentacles of OBOR reaching now to Kent and Sevilla and this week Serbia. Or rather should be seen as a welcome Chinese lead on trade integration as India and China become the world’s largest economies alongside USA and EU.
China’s growth perhaps of more concern to Putin’s Russia with its Far East provinces just 8M people and severe border disputes, even without the Bering Bridge, facing 1.5BN Chinese.
Perhaps an Asian EU of China, Mongolia, Koreas, Taiwan and Japan as relevant as the EU to Russia.
Certainly Russian membership of EU would remove any Western invasion threat. And end Russia as The Great Provocateur with Venezuela troops or South African or Far East bomber jets. And free up the economy from the shackles of military and nuclear overspend.
Russian tech failure even greater than UK and Europe’s. Why has UK not created Facebook or Germany Amazon or Russia Google while American immigrants have? And Chinese citizens quickly copied them?
Questions that would yield less tax on guns and tanks and more on human capital and digital futures.
POTUS Trump wise not just - as any POTUS - to call for EU and NATO nations to pay more for the 30,000 US Army Europe troops nearing the end of their 1942 mission no doubt as the post-Putin Russian regimes link into Europe, and the shores of North Africa and Levant.
An Elbe Brigade so outrageous?
Certainly less monstrous than the UK delays on Murmansk Convoy medals or Ghurka pensions or Pacific Nukes Guinea Pig National Servicemen.
Or the ending of USA Forever Wars misfiring in Syria recently but right in terms of Senate scrutiny of the War Powers Act and Africa Command troops and Arabian bombings of wedding parties and Afghanistan the longest war for USA.
And all so badly run for years against motorbikes and transit vans and mobile phone bombs and mudhuts.
Perhaps Monsieur Ellwood should be concerned that such military failure could encourage Chinese expansion. Certainly the floating junk of the UK’s two aircraft carriers (and 40 admirals - what are they all doing? Seconded to 77th Brigade to write Ellwood’s articles for him?) is expensive waste compared to the cybersecurity threat for both the military and civilians.
Perhaps the Ellwood article won’t be the last 77th Brigade psyops work hyping up a China or Andorra conflict or the old standby of the Russian bear - or pushing for more military tax spend. The HMS Bloomingdales and HMS Macys aircraft carriers the world’s most expensive coral reefs? Certainly if not material for the Great Barrier Reef then too expensive and threatened to sail beyond the bars and nightclubs of Manhattan it seems.
Certainly the upcoming NATO Summit will be calling for the random 2% spend target again and some of the Ellwood armchair warriors no doubt calling for the UK to reach a vanity spend of 3%.
With NATO struggling to manage one set of bullets or armoured car spares for its nations in 70 years suggests a deeper weakness beyond the Afghanistan failure.
Wiser heads such as Kent sister state Virginia’s Citizen Kaine arguing for a tighter review of the War Powers Act - as is UK Redshirt and Zinoviev Czech spy Jeremy Corbyn.
POTUS Trump again wise in drawing down Border Wall funds from the bloated Pentagon budget and no doubt listening to the likes of Senators Kaine and Warner on the impact on Virginia shipbuilding. And Thailand’s Senator Tammy Duckworth highlighting the potential for not just in Illinois earmarks but in Five Eyes and Five ASEAN Eyes work for Med refugees and Asian ISIS and heroin.
Field Marshal Ellwood might well recruit quietly capable khaki voices such as Johnny Mercer and Kent’s Tommy Tugendhat - no doubt aware of the New Weald Order in Kent corruption and corporate manslaughter with Infratil etc - with Ben Wallace in moving beyond khaki China groupthink to reform by mergers of the RAF and Royal Navy under the Army again in the Era of Drones.
An Army reduced to 50,000 troops more viable alongside 5,000 each in an unmanned Navy and Airforce, and EU average spend on NATO of 1.5%. And swarms of arms limitation talks.
Even coordinating UK and USA and Australian shipbuilding for value and ASEAN Resilience.
Or formulating Kent’s Royal Engineers as a core function of UK UN Peacekeeping - and UN Policing - and Desert Rats 2.0 across the Sahel. President Xi wisely already securing the Suez trade route at Djibouti and Mali hispeed rail on the Atlantic seaboard while UK burns tax-cash and allies goodwill in the Falklands and Gibraltar and Akritiri development delays rather than Oman and Neom.
For Monsieur Ellwood forgetting in his article to mention either the Climate Change or Terrorism - no stranger he to the latter with the sad death of his brother in Bali terrorism, or PC Kenneth Palmer at the gates of Parliament. If he can’t see take off the rose-tinted HUD of the Army and see the threat of ASEAN terrorism or Resilience then who can?
From Davao to the Chinese border with Myanmar the UK and UK military having little to no input to the waves of Shan crystal meth landing in UK and USA and Australian shires (all with the largest ever hauls in recent months). Nor the surge in heroin from the retreat from Helmand after the investment of years of British blood and treasure from the Khyber Pass to Kwai river.
Pandemics yielding no mention in the Ellwood article - that the main UK strategic threat not the Chinese navy but Flu and TB as well as biochem weapons. Chief Pughsley of Kent Police vigorous in gasmask testing at Bluewater and Canary Wharf for sarin and ricin. Those North Korea chemweapons stocks are surely low hanging fruit for Xi and Trump and Kim efforts?
Syria requiring more boots on the ground not less in combating dictatorships and poverty that are UK threats. Not pandering to Al-Yamamah and GPT arms corruption in Saudi or propping up Gadaffi and Saddam. And no doubt the next Zimbabwe or Equatorial Guinea dictators.
The latter Thatcherite Wonga Coup failing but more susceptible to the withdrawal of USA oil companies and Riggs Bank sanctions.
Perhaps the greatest NATO and EU failure in over 15,000 refugees drowning off the shores of Tripoli. That the more horrific in the Royal Navy provoking the Russian bear in its Black Sea backyard - Crimea 2.0 - rather than working with the US Coastguard in the Med and indeed the Channel and Frontline Kent.
The 39 Chinese and Vietnamese lorry deaths from trafficking perhaps laying the ground for rapprochment with China and Vietnam beyond the pricey tax jibber-jabber of Strategic Dialogue or cookiecutter industry sectors or empty guff of the inevitability of Thucydides traps for China and UK or USA.
Perhaps the only inevitabilty is Monsieur Ellwood and comrades in arms talking up such twaddle on the rates.
And a Parliamentary review of how far 77th Brigade psyops is deployed on UK audiences in peacetime.
Time for Change