Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better…

“Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better” was a hit song from the Broadway musical: “Annie, Get Your Gun” that will serve today to describe Chinese military activities. Equally useful is the old phrase: “Chinese copy.” Whatever Chinese tech isn’t stolen from Russia seems copped from the U.S. But, coming late to the ball, the Chinese have only one quite new aircraft carrier and a rather nascent navy generally. The air force is Russian and the army is being upgraded; it’s all a work in varying degrees of progress. Formidable enough though, to scare hell out of the neighbors, especially coupled with a newly aggressive attitude toward the proper location of boundaries. Maybe “newly” isn’t quite right; it’s more traditional but there has been a long time since that tradition has been operational.

Why, you may ask, should we care? China is a half-a-globe away, of no local concern, surely? Well…Pakistan is distant too, right? Do you think Taliban hotshots feel safe there? American military are confined to Afghanistan, aren’t they? They are. But somehow, their drones don’t seem to be, and that has provided a lot of dead Taliban. And China is pushing drone manufacturing big time, coming up with copies of many proven U.S. types and apparently, production quantities. Those dead Taliban are often offed by controllers far, far away. A Global Hawk can fly to Pakistan from the U.S. while controlled from Nevada. Missile-armed Predators can fly for hours. And now there is an infantry drone that can be tossed into the air, locally directed to dive-bomb a selected target and blow up when it arrives. Handy! The question: How do you tell the originals from the Chinese copies? Hmnn…

Here in Bush/Obamaland, we’ve been immune to the trauma common elsewhere, excepting a single bad day one September in Manhattan and Washington, D. C. But our brilliant intellectuals in Congress have ordered our skies filled with drones ASAP, acting as though all the resulting traffic would somehow, be limited to what they intended and desired. Yeah, sure… Tell me again, how do you tell a Chinese copy from an original? And if you knock one down, how do you prove who was running it? Louder, please; can’t’ hear you! Maybe it will be interesting…

The story is old: Politicians need money for campaigning, drone manufacturers need money from drone sales. So the politicians see that the market develops, placing orders via government while the makers contribute some of that money back to the pols’ campaigns. Nobody much cares what’s being done with all the drones, though one suspects lots of folks will find all sorts of uses for them; some probably legal. And when the sky is filled with the things, some will probably be Chinese (they’ll be cheaper, after all) and some of those will have controllers in Beijing. You may, if you doubt me, ask Murphy.  Meantime, I’m going out to replace my tinfoil hat with a hard one…

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Categories: Al Qaeda, Congress

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