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Minyan Mailbag: Art of War

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This is a reasonable scenario.

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Prof. Succo-

It's been nice corresponding with you occasionally over the past year via Minyanville. I had another thought I thought you might appreciate -

If you have ever read Sun Tzu's The Art of War, you probably have a decent outline of how the Chinese approach foreign policy as this book is widely taught and revered. Some of the interesting messages of the book include:

"War is won before it is ever fought"
"The public is not aware of the greatest military/geopolitical strategists because they never have to fire a shot and the enemy does not know it has lost/is in peril until it is all over. All of this happens behind the scenes rather than via brute force. They use other resources (espionage, economic, breaking of alliances, forging of
alliances) to eliminate an enemy threat."

As I read pieces of the book again a couple of weeks ago, I arrived at a scenario that I believe has a reasonable probability of containing the truth. The Chinese are not buying up tons of our dollars to allow us to continue to spend and therefore they can keep the factories running. The strategies they follow are far more long term in nature. They are attempting to gain maximum leverage with us in an ongoing battle over natural resources, most specifically, oil. They allow us to fight the wars to gain control of oil supply, and then they use our ultimate weakness against us - the threat of economic instability in a political environment that rewards short-term thinking and economic management. If we do not capitulate and allow them access to significant amounts of oil, they cripple our economy by unloading dollars and government bonds. Of course, I don't see how our politicians avoid capitulation.

What do you think?

Minyan Brian

MB,

This is a reasonable scenario. I have alluded to it several times in admonishing our policy makers for backing us into a corner. If the Chinese accumulate vast amounts of gold, a massive correction in the dollar, thus destroying our economy, would be partially offset by the control of this metal (and others).

-Succo

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