China’s new hypersonic nukes are good for MAD, but US needs equally powerful hypersonic rockets to maintain MAD

CBS News:

China’s reported hypersonic missile test “an important surprise” for U.S.

“Retired U.S. Admiral James “Sandy” Winnefeld, a former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called the apparent Chinese test “an important surprise” for American, “because it demonstrates the capability to have a very long-reach hypersonic weapon that could cause a lot of damage without us being able to do anything about it.””

“On Monday, Beijing responded to the newspaper report, with Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian telling reporters it was “not a missile” but rather “a space vehicle” used in a “routine test” as China develops technology to lower the cost of future space travel.” (…)

“Only the top levels of China’s leadership may know if the country really carried out a successful test flight of a hypersonic missile — or “space vehicle.””

“The U.S. and Russia have also been testing their own hypersonics, but if the Financial Times report is accurate, that would imply that China has taken the lead in the hypersonic arms race.”

If America develops a missile defense system that can stop almost all ICBMs it will per definition contradict the idea of MAD (mutually assured destruction). Therefore it’s actually good and stabilizing from a crazy MAD perspective that China can bypass US defenses, but this presupposes of course that America develops equally good hypersonic nukes that China can’t stop.

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace:

A New U.S. Missile Defense Test May Have Increased the Risk of Nuclear War

“The U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) has confirmed that, for the first time, a Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) Block IIA interceptor successfully destroyed an intercontinental-range ballistic missile (ICBM) target in a test. With this milestone, the SM-3 Block IIA becomes only the second U.S. interceptor type to exhibit this capability. The consequences for strategic stability and future arms control are serious.” (…)

“Beyond North Korea, however, Russia and China have long expressed concerns that the United States seeks to counter their capacity to use ICBMs against it. These concerns have intensified since the United States in 2002 withdrew from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. The 2019 U.S. Missile Defense Review (MDR) notes that the United States “relies on deterrence” (as opposed to missile defense) to protect the homeland against “Russian and Chinese intercontinental ballistic missile threats.” But officials in both countries have expressed concerns that U.S. homeland missile defense efforts undermine their strategic nuclear deterrents.” (…)

“… The test, with the mission name FTM-44, was successful in destroying the incoming “ICBM-representative target.””

“… Because missile reentry vehicle speeds increase with range, this test would not have been appropriately representative of a North Korean ICBM. Moreover, the target missile likely did not incorporate sophisticated, or even rudimentary, countermeasures or other missile defense defeat measures, including multiple warheads.”

We saw peace and stability in the West during Cold War 1, so it’s very risky but not necessarily a bad thing, relatively speaking, if we get a new proper cold war that lasts 40 years. Many critics who are opposed to the concept of “Cold War 2” seem to forget that it’s much more dangerous if we are in a situation resembling Europe and East Asia in the 1930s.

The New York Times:

Washington Hears Echoes of the ’50s and Worries: Is This a Cold War With China?

“When Kevin Rudd, the former Australian prime minister and longtime China expert, told a German newsmagazine recently that a Cold War between Beijing and Washington was “probable and not just possible,” his remarks rocketed around the White House, where officials have gone to some lengths to squelch such comparisons.”

“It is true, they concede, that China is emerging as a far broader strategic adversary than the Soviet Union ever was — a technological threat, a military threat, an economic rival. And while President Biden insisted at the United Nations last month that “we are not seeking a new Cold War or a world divided into rigid blocs,” his repeated references this year to a generational struggle between “autocracy and democracy” conjured for some the ideological edge of the 1950s and ’60s.” (…)

“And the issue of whether this is a Cold War, or something quite different, lurks just beneath the escalating tensions over economic strategy, technological competition and military maneuvers — undersea, in space and in cyberspace.” (…)

“For all this, Mr. Biden’s top aides say that the old Cold War is the wrong way to frame what is happening — and that the use of the term can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Instead, they argue that it should be possible for the two superpowers to compartmentalize, cooperating on the climate and containing North Korea’s arsenal, even while competing on technology and trade, or jousting for advantage in the South China Sea and around Taiwan.” (…)

““This is nothing like the Cold War, which was primarily a military competition,” one of Mr. Biden’s senior administration advisers said …” (…)

My comment: incredibly silly to claim that there is not primarily a military competition between US and China today (but it’s extremly high-tech and therefore more “subtle” and clinical).

“The deep links between the two economies — the mutual dependencies on technology, trade and data that leaps the Pacific in milliseconds on American and Chinese-dominated networks — never existed in the more familiar Cold War. The Berlin Wall not only delineated a sharp line between spheres of influence, freedom and authoritarian control, it stopped most communications and trade. The year it fell, 1989, the United States exported $4.3 billion in goods to the Soviets and imported $709 million, an inconsequential blip for both economies. (In current dollars, those numbers would be a bit more than doubled.)”

” … yet, even through a pandemic and threats of “decoupling,” the United States exported $124 billion in goods to China last year and imported $434 billion. That made China the largest supplier of goods to the United States, and the third largest consumer of its exports, after Canada and Mexico.”

““The size and complexity of the trade relationship is underappreciated,” Mr. Campbell said in July, as part of his argument of why this moment in time differs dramatically from the Cold War of 40 years ago.”

“But, another of Mr. Biden’s advisers noted the other day, psychology counts for as much in superpower politics as statistics. And whether or not the two countries want to call this a Cold War, they are often behaving, the official noted, as if “we are already immersed in one.”” (…)

“There are reasons to worry that whatever this era is called, the chance for conflict is now higher than it has ever been. Joseph S. Nye, known best for his writings on the use of “soft power” in geopolitical competition, rejects the Cold War analogy, noting that while many in Washington “talk about a general ‘decoupling’” of the world’s two largest economies, “it is mistaken to think we can decouple our economy completely from China without enormous economic costs.”

“But Mr. Nye, who once ran the National Intelligence Council, a group that provides long-term assessments of threats to the United States, warns against the risk of what he calls “sleepwalker syndrome,” which is how the world spiraled into conflict in 1914.”

““The fact that the Cold War metaphor is counterproductive as a strategy does not rule out a new Cold War,” he said. “We may get there by accident.””

The trade argument against Cold War 2 is relatively unimportant. There was much trade prior to 1914, less trade between Germany and US in the 1930s, and little trade between America and Soviet Union from 1945 to 1989, but if trade had been higher it would not have had much impact on the dynamic of an arms race between great powers. Let’s imagine that Soviet Union had some luxury products which US consumers desired so much that they were willing to pay a lot for it, then trade would probably have been much higher during Cold War 1, but it would not have reduced the risk of a nuclear war.

The risk of WW3 is the only thing that matters when trying to judge whether the situation in the 2020s is a new Cold War. Almost nobody today will deny that a war over Taiwan can trigger WW3. The AI bot arms race can also lead to WW3. So we are without doubt in Cold War 2. End of that discussion. But will CW2 actually start a nuclear war in the future? We don’t know. CW1 was a peaceful time in America and Europe, with a happy ending.

The silver lining if we enter a nuclear winter is that humanity is then saved from the unprecedented totalitarian panopticon which Big Tech builds in the West and East. There is freedom in a nuclear winter, an opportunity to rebuild. Just save a Bible and the Constitution of the United States.

To get another perspective watch Timcast:

China Launched Nuke Ready Hypersonic Missile Sparking FEAR IN Biden Admin Stating We Have NO Defense

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