The John Batchelor Show

Wednesday 3 October 2018

Air Date: 
October 03, 2018

Photo: US troops in South Korea, whom Mooon Jae-in would ragther have leave. (Photo: US DoD).  Moon Jae-in: a Neville Chamberlain of our time?
Co-host: Gordon Chang, 
Hour One
Wednesday 3 October  2018/ Hour 1, Block A:  Sung-Yoon Lee of the Fletcher School of Tufts University, on Pompeo's upcoming trip to Pyongyang: mission should be to be clear that unless Kim takes steps toward denuclearization,  . . . North Korea has a game plan; Us seems ot be making concessions without gaining anything substantive.
It's the two Koreas and China and Russia vs the United States.  Pres Moon is more pro-DPRK than China is.  His foreign minister spoke to the Washington Post: The US has pushed South Korea too far demanding lists. This is complete revisionist history!
Moon Jae-in is perfectly in step with China.
People say Kim Jong-un is different from his father – he is: he’s made more provocations, killed more people, cracked down on order; but similar to dad in mtg with leaders of Russia and China, and invited Clinton to North Korea to re-sent his appearance on the world stage.
Mesmerizing power of the Korean nation united – ming-tzu in Chinese — and Moon wouldn't mind if half the US troops were withdrawn.
Wednesday 3 October  2018/ Hour 1, Block B: Peter Huessy, president of Geostrategic Analysis and director of Strategic Deterrent Studies at the Mitchell Institute, in r: The new Global Zero report from Princeton (https:  Devoted to de-nuking the entire world by 2040. Unilaterally reducing the US arsenal.
Russia explicitly threatens to use nukes against the US. Instead of 509 targets, we’d have five.
Reasonable to think there may be a total of about a thousand reasonable targets: banking, communications and _______. A Minuteman base can put three missiles per month per wing (three wings).  Unilateral surrender. With a keystroke I can turn a missile back on.   “Everyone sincerely vows” (from the 107-page book).  New subs have 15 missile; each with 8 warheads.  US would have 250 survivable warheads at sea, and naught else. Global Zero dealing with Russia: no plan at all.
Peter Huessey:  Bruce Blair calls for a nuclear deterrent force of just 5 submarines (not 12), zero land-based missiles (vs 450), and bombers only in reserve, not on alert, and without cruise missiles. The total warheads at sea at any one time would depend upon the tempo of operations, but historically we have assumed that one-third of the total force is on patrol. The warheads at sea then would be 250-360 depending upon whether 2 or 3 subs would be at sea, but a number of very serious issues come to the fore. Two to 3 subs cannot cover the targets that 7 subs can now cover; the warheads per missile would max out at 8 per missile, making the missile range less and target coverage less. More bad news is that there is to be no surge capacity or ability to increase our deployed warheads if the Russians break out of the new START treaty or China engages in a major modernization effort. Blair’s ideas are a hugely high-risk proposal, based on faulty logic, erroneous assumptions and a highly uninformed view of US deterrent requirements. Other than that, the idea makes sense! 
Wednesday 3 October  2018/ Hour 1, Block C: Arif Rafiq,  Middle East Institute & Vizier Consulting  in re: China’s Belt and Road plans, in Pakistan [China-Pakistan Economic Corridor {CPEC}] creating electric power and road infrastructure projects to connect with the Arabian Sea.  . . .  The mishandling by Pakistan.  . . . I don't see a future with much economic activity in order to pay the loans back, as well as the dreadful human rights situation. Belt and Road supposed to be a connection between Xinjiang in Western China to the European landmass. 
Orange Line railway project, and others: all built by 10,000 Chinese contractors, plus maybe 6,000 Pakistanis.
Wednesday 3 October  2018/ Hour 1, Block D: David Renne , The Economist, in re: African mkts filled with cheap Chinese foods, this is the other end: thousands of Africans, traders, et al., living in China: when an African trader places a large order, one of these expats will go check it out.  Next low-cost-place is Vietnam, and then Chinese businesses cutting out the middleman and opening mfrg in _____.  Lots of elections paraphernalia made in China; but housing materials are moving to African manufacturing.  Ali Mohammed, a Somali in China, jokes, “We’re Somalis; where it rains, we go.” He, quite exceptionally, has a Chinese passport; few do. In Guangzhou, there’s a beautiful, ancient mosque where foreigners are allowed to pray – “because it's an official mosque.”   Once in a while, a Chinese local marries an African, but that’s most rare. In the case of one couple, the Chinese wife ordered her husband not to talk with The Economist.  
Hour Two
Wednesday 3 October  2018/ Hour 2, Block A:  James Holmes, first holder of the Wylie Chair of Maritime Strategy at the Naval War College and blogger at The Naval Diplomat (, in re: The US Navy has done its best not to disclose most of the [fearful] incidents with Chinese militaries.  Last Sunday at 8:30 AM the Arleigh Burke-class Decatur was conducting a freedom of navigation sail in the South China Sea.  Chinese navy warns Decatur to leave, which it ignores; China sails to within 45 yards of the Decatur bow – Chinese ship crossed the bow; extremely dangerous.  Same as old Cold War playbook but China is a rising power. Taking a very controversial approach.  From the videos and photos: when the Chinese and US vessels were steaming the same direction, the Chinese ship in fact was maybe at 10 or 15 yards. Currently there’s no coordination between the two whatsoever.
The Chinese ship was trying to shoo us out of the waters that they regarded as their own; close alongside in an uncontrolled fashion. Two large objects with all that inertia and all the weird dynamics in the water . . . very dangerous environment. One of these times the Chinese will miscalculate and create a collision at sea. What will the US Navy do? . . .  I'd hate to see us go back to the Cold War footing; we had some cat-and-mouse incidents that we don’t even know about yet.
Wednesday 3 October  2018/ Hour 2, Block B:  Andrew Collier (@acollier), managing director of Orient Capital Research in Hong Kong and author of Shadow Banking and the Rise of Capitalism in China, in re: The Chinese economy, and Hong Kong and Chinese attitudes on current trade friction.   Larry Kudlow yesterday reported that after the signing of the USMCA, the EU, including the UK, Mexico, Canada, and Japan, are looking to speak with one voice to correct China’s [malfeasant] trading practices.
Kudlow was dreaming: Europeans are desperate for growth and don't want to offend China; expect very little agreement here, and China is banking on this.  The Chinese economy: exports up healthily, and imports up 20%; a bit of weakness in the export powerhouse of Guangdong Province, which accounts for 28% of exports.  Weakness is related to trade friction. China will borrow $3 billion—from Western investors, and why? Yes.  China hasn’t defaulted; it has $3 trillion of overseas forex; if they can get a good interest rate, will borrow.  Domestically, China has a huge amount of debt; this is a strategy for bringing in capital.  Trump is essentially asking China to change the entire basis of its economy; China washes its hands of the whole matter. I think it’ll go on for years.  Chinese have figured out that Trump won't change; only way to fix is for US small businesses to suffer and put political pressure on Washington.  . . .  Booming Chinese tech sector – Baidu and TenCent, e.g..  After tightening credit for a while, now opening spigots again to keep employment up – but a lot of the funds will go to SOE (state-owned enterprises), which does not much for the economy.   Xi is dealing with a lot of domestic problems. 
Wednesday 3 October  2018/ Hour 2, Block C:  David Maxwell, senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, in re:  His new report on North Korea's cyber economic warfare ( Mr Park clearly was operating from an IP address in China; had to go through the Great Firewall to get to Sony in California; Chain saw the hundreds of terrabytes emanating and approved it.   Looks like a massive failure by the Obama Administration to [follow up]. Every bad actor – Russia China. Iran North Korea . . . Cyber is a threat and should be part of negotiations. Cyberwar is designed to weaken and economy and disempower an adversary. North does this all the time against South Korea – banks businesses, power plants. It also gains hard currency, or cryptocurrency, for the North.
Sony, Wannacry, others:  and $81 mil from the New York Federal Reserve Bank holding funds for
the Bangladeshi central bank, an escapade clearly conducted by North Korea. A lucrative capability.  Cyber-enabled economic warfare undermines confidence in out financial system.  Newly released US national cyber strategy. Looks as though we really are beginning to implement this new strategy.   Do North Koreans work with Russians and Iranians in this?  Not clear, but it makes sense. It's said that the best North Korean hackers are trained by Chinese and Russians?  Could be, but they're pretty advanced on their own. 
Kim Jong-eun’s sword.
Wednesday 3 October  2018/ Hour 2, Block D: Monica Crowley, London Center for Policy Research, in re: Trump power
Hour Three
Wednesday 3 October  2018/ Hour 3, Block A: Bill McGurn, WSJ, in re: Kavanaugh
Wednesday 3 October  2018/ Hour 3, Block B: Lara M Brown, director of the Graduate School of Political Management (GSPM) at the George Washington University, and Salena Zito, CNN [et al.] in re:  Kavanaugh
Wednesday 3 October  2018/ Hour 3, Block C:  Richard A Epstein, Chicago Law, NYU Law, and Hoover Institution, in re: SCOTUS
Wednesday 3 October  2018/ Hour 3, Block D:  Richard A Epstein, Chicago Law, NYU Law, and Hoover Institution, in re:  SCOTUS
Hour Four
Wednesday 3 October  2018/ Hour 4, Block A: TR's Last War: Theodore Roosevelt, the Great War, and a Journey of Triumph and Tragedy,  by David Pietrusza
Wednesday 3 October  2018/ Hour 4, Block B: TR's Last War: Theodore Roosevelt, the Great War, and a Journey of Triumph and Tragedy,  by David Pietrusza
Wednesday 3 October  2018/ Hour 4, Block C:  The Great and Holy War: How World War I Became a Religious Crusade,  by Philip Jenkins
Wednesday 3 October  2018/ Hour 4, Block D:  The Great and Holy War: How World War I Became a Religious Crusade,  by Philip Jenkins