Logic of Strategy Unfolding Before Our Eyes

Back in 2014 I wrote a post based on the book The Rise of China vs. the Logic of Strategy.

The main point of the book was the use of economic policy to avoid a military confrontation:
Finally, due to its size and the desire to avoid an outright conflict, the United States has a very powerful weapon if it can overcome the free trade ideology: economic policies designed to slow China's economic growth. Using economic policy, the U.S. could deliver an effective blow to Chinese growth that will keep its military from exceeding U.S. capabilities without requiring a massive buildup in military spending, a policy which would further slow GDP growth in China.

In today's SCMP: China’s navy is being forced to rethink its spending plans as cost of trade war rises
While President Xi Jinping’s goal for modernising the military remains a priority, the nation’s top brass are mindful of the high costs of building a new generation of military ships, like aircraft carriers and destroyers.
Beijing has said repeatedly that the impact of its trade war with the United States would be bearable, but observers say the PLA Navy is under pressure to adjust its spending plans because of the uncertainty over the country’s economic outlook, as well as slower-than-expected technological and personnel developments.

“The escalating tension between China and the United States has reminded Beijing’s leaders that they need to be careful how much they spend on new warships,” a military source, who asked not to be named, told the South China Morning Post.
A path to a new Schelling Point in geopolitics and international relations has opened. Initiating the trade war was the most important step. Unless there's an effort to reverse course, it's all downhill from here. As we move closer to the Schelling Point, reversing course and moving uphill becomes ever more difficult.

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