Death Of US Merchant Marine Means No Victories From Naval Wars

ΩΩThe US took the China Sea tea pot that was steaming very hot and set it to full, roiling broil this week.  The US domination of Asia is based entirely on two key things: our immense trade deficit with all the countries in this sector and the reliance of South Korea and Japan on US military power especially our nuclear power.  So they feed off of our economic system which is totally dysfunctional and at the same time, they have hijacked our military to their own ends which certainly do not match our own strategic ends.  That is, we have zero reason to support Japan’s demands for military control of various disputed islands and our main function in South Korea should be to force their markets to open to American imports, not the reverse.

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ΩΩThat is, since the dawn of ship sailing commerce, the sole reason for any sea power empire is to open foreign markets using both military and production/merchant marine shipping.  Otherwise, there is zero reason to send ships to various ports.  That is, the entire purpose of having a navy is to protect ONE’S OWN shipping, not everyone else’s shipping.

 

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ΩΩUnited States Merchant Marine – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  1. The merchant marine was active in subsequent wars, from the Confederate commerce raiders of the American Civil War, to the First and Second Battle of the Atlantic in World War I and World War II. 3.1 million tons of merchant ships were lost in World War II, mariners dying at a rate of 1 in 24, which was the highest rate of casualties of any service[15]. All told, 733 American cargo ships were lost[16] and 8,651 of the 215,000 who served perished on troubled waters and off enemy shores.

 

 

  1. Merchant shipping also played its role in the wars in Vietnamand Korea. From just six ships under charter when the Korean war began, this total peaked at 255. In September 1950, when the U.S. Marine Corps went ashore at Inchon, 13 USNS cargo ships, 26 chartered American, and 34 Japanese-manned merchant ships, under the operational control of Military Sea Transportation Service participated in the invasion.

 

 

  1. As of 2006, the United States merchant fleet had 465 privately-owned ships of 1,000 gross register tons or over. Two hundred ninety-one (291) of these were dry cargo ships, 97 were tankers, and 77 passenger ships. Of those American-flagged ships, 51 were foreign owned. Seven hundred American-owned ships are flagged in other nations.[20][21]

 

 

  • 2005 statistics from the United States Maritime Administration focus on the larger segment of the fleet: ships of 10,000 metric tons deadweight (DWT) and over. 245 privately owned American-flagged ships are of this size…U.S. sealift capability viewed over time shows a steep drop in the number of ships in the merchant marine fleet. Observers point to the World War II era as the peak for the U.S. fleet.

 

  1. Japan ………. 3757
  2. Germany……. 3380
  3. China ………..3247
  4. Greece ………3162
  5. Russia ……….1448
  6. Norway ………1412
  7. Turkey ……….1199
  8. South Korea ..1144
  9. Hong Kong .1,114
  10. United States 1080
  11. Indonesia ……1042

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ΩΩThe China/Hong Kong civilian fleet is 3,281 ships bigger than the US fleet.  Note also, the once ancient sea power, the UK, isn’t even in the top ten.   This once vast sea power is now #16 with a mere 645 ships.  This is nearly the same size as the Vietnamese fleet!  This year, as we saw in the news, the toothless lion is now reducing its military navy, too.  Eventually, England will be a third rate rather than a second rate power.  Note also the  most astonishing part of this list of ships: Japan and Germany have dominated the top two spots for years and years!  And why?

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ΩΩWell, simple: they ship lots of exports out of the country especially to the US and now, increasingly, to China.  China is now #3 after being nearly landlocked for many years by Mao’s insanity.  I figure China will be #1 by next year and if you count the Hong Kong ships which are basically now part of China, China is already #1 with 4,361 ships.

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ΩΩThe real irony here is, Germany and Japan basically won WWII.  We defeated their insane leaders who were rapidly destroying their own countries internally and we took over the costs of protecting shipping and commerce and then let both nations surge back into top status in all matters industrial and shipping.  After all, why do we fight wars?

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ΩΩThere are two kinds of offensive wars: religious conquests and commerce conquests.  The US thought we won WWII and thus, would commercially dominate Germany and Japan.  But this never happened for a very simple reason: we had to make both Germany and Japan much stronger again in order to stop Russia and China!  So we turned these two defeated nations into vast production/trade power houses.  Note the Wikipedia article as to how we supplied our troops in Korea in that war which happened the same year I was born: only one third of the ships servicing our troops were American, the majority were Japanese!

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ΩΩThis was pure insanity but it doesn’t surprise me.  The thinking back then was, the Koreans who hated the Japanese, the Chinese who absolutely loathed the Japanese, the victims of Japanese imperial aggression wouldn’t notice that we were rebuilding Japanese sea power right in their own front yards.  This miscalculation still plagues us.  The US never forced Japan to pay reparations to its victims and even after Japan became the world’s #2 economic power thanks to the US surrender to Japan, they refused to pay a single yen to their victims.  It took tremendous arm twisting just to get mealy-mouthed apologies in the last two years.

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ΩΩRight now, the US is being extremely  aggressive by conducting repeated war games at sea right off of the shores of the world’s #2 economic power.  One that has the world’s biggest merchant marine.  As usual, China isn’t sabre rattling, instead, is calling for negotiations which is what you dio if you don’t get the Nobel Peace Prize.  On the other hand, Obama, the peacenik from hell, has the prize so he is being as belligerent as possible.  From Xinhua:   China proposes emergency consultations on Korean Peninsula tensions

  • China has repeatedly called for calm and restraint, urging the resumption of the stalled Six-Party Talks among China, the DPRK, the United States, the ROK, Russia and Japan. Wu told a press conference the consultations would aim to properly address the situation on the Korean Peninsula and were in accordance with the Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks issued on Sept. 19, 2005.

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ΩΩThe US glories in its navy even though its function of protecting our shores and our international shipping has been totally hijacked by the former Axis powers:   USPACOM – United States Pacific Command

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  • The USS George Washington carrier strike group will join Republic of Korea naval forces in the waters west of the Korean peninsula from Nov. 28 to Dec. 1 to conduct the next exercise in the series announced at the 2+2 meetings in July. This exercise is defensive in nature. While planned well before yesterday’s unprovoked artillery attack, it demonstrates the strength of the ROK-U.S. Alliance and our commitment to regional stability through deterrence. It is also designed to improve our military interoperability.

 

  • U.S. Navy ships scheduled to participate include the USS George Washington (CVN 73) with an embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, USS Cowpens (CG 62), USS Lassen (DDG 82), USS Stethem (DDG 63), USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62). U.S. and allied operations are built on an already strong foundation of cooperation and this exercise is intended to further enhance interoperability. The U.S. and ROK forces will conduct air defense and surface warfare readiness training.

 

  • The U.S. Navy routinely operates in the waters off the Korean peninsula and has conducted numerous operations and exercises in this area. In October 2009 the George Washington strike group conducted similar operations in the international waters west of the Korean peninsula. U.S. aircraft carriers frequently visit the Korean peninsula and conduct port visits in Busan; such as USS George Washington in 2010, USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) in March 2009, USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), USS Nimitz (CVN 68), and USS George Washington in 2008.

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ΩΩOut of idle curiosity, I googled information about the USS Washington and indeed, they had their own website.  Even more interesting is, they also have their own Japanese manga comix!  I read manga so I looked at it.  Typical of Japanese work, it is very Japan-centered in that the character in the story is a Japanese guy, not an American.  And what does he do?  Why, he goes to Japan to reconnect with his fellow ethnics.

http://gw.ffc.navy.mil/Manga/CVN73-jp.pdf

ΩΩThis manga was made in Japan, not the US.  It is for Japanese consumption.  It is designed to convince the Japanese youth, the US must continue controlling Okinawa but it is OK: our forces have Japanese embedded inside and they are one with the Japanese!  Note the faces of other ‘American-type’ sailors.  They look like brutes.

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ΩΩThe cute blondie, on the other hand, is attracted to the cute Japanese boy who strikes noble poses in an admirable way.  If you leaf through the manga, the group pictures always show some rather snarly Americans who are not Japanese standing alongside the quite different looking blonde girl and handsome Japanese youth.

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ΩΩAs someone who has seen some goodly amounts of Japanese propaganda animation from WWII as well as the frequent depictions of Americans in modern Japanese TV, we ought to be rather concerned about how we are drawn by the Japanese we are protecting.

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ΩΩAnime is quite popular with a segment of American youth but they overlook at their own peril, the insular nature of Japanese society as well as the open contempt directed at Americans.  I will note here that in the US we have a great deal of self-contempt as well as even more hatred of each other which is quite astonishing when one thinks about it.

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ΩΩThe main point as I see it is, we can’t afford to protect allies who are ravaging our own markets who also show open contempt for us as human beings!  This is a very serious problem.  Obama, when he visited the son of the war crimes Emperor, bowed to him!  I was floored.  The Japanese applauded this, of course.  But then, our Presidents defer to the Pope and the royals of England, too, in a very servile way.  Not to mention, the toadying up to whoever runs fractious Israel.

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ΩΩThese bows to foreign powers are a very significant loss of face, loss of diplomatic power, loss of control of one’s own dignity as a representative of what is supposed to be a world power.

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ΩΩAs we sail our ships hither and yon, no one respects us.  Everyone knows that the true power of a nation lies in its merchant marine, the other navy is BACK UP SUPPORT for incursions, actions and protection from pirates.  There is no other reason to have ships if all they do is enable offshore business to invade the home base!  How many US merchant ships dock in Tokyo?

 

Shipyard – Desperate War of Japan in the Pacific –

  • Japan had 149 berths to build more than 1,000 GT in the end of the Pacific War[1]. US built more than 10 times of Japanese merchant ships, though Japan had a lot of berths. Japan allocated 38 % of rolled steel to build merchant ships in 1944. Originally Japan productioned quite few (more) than US. While US productioned merchant ships at first to help UK and beat Germany….US built merchant ships of 11.57 MGT at peak in 1943. While Japanese peak was 1944 and only 1.73 MGT.

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ΩΩThe information here is most dire.  That is, prior to WWI, the US had steel production nearly equal to both Germany and Britain’s production!  By  1920, ours had expanded to nearly 60% of world production while both Germany and the UK dropped considerably.  England’s production continued to fall right into WWII while Germany’s production never caught up to its former share mainly due to the US continuing its mass output and the entry of Japan which took a bigger and bigger share.  Now the US share in steel production is not as horrible as our share in shipping slippage but still, quite sad:

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  1. People’s Republic of China 567.8
  2. European Union 139.1
  3. Japan 87.5
  4. Russia 59.9
  5. United States 58.1
  6. India 56.6
  7. South Korea 48.6
  8. Germany 32.7 (which is one quarter the EU stats)
  9. Ukraine 29.8
  10. Brazil 26.5

 

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ΩΩIf we look at the data from 2007, we see that the EU, Japanese, etc, all the nations BUT China have seen production drop by around a quarter.  Only China’s production is growing and nearly all of this is used to expand Chinese facilities including most importantly, their navy, not just the all-important merchant fleet but the protectors of Chinese commerce, their military navy.

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ΩΩThe US isn’t troubled about moving from the world’s #1 steel producer nor the loss of being the #1 ship builder or owner of merchant fleets but our allies who are directly responsible for our decline are very worried about the growing Chinese aquatic power and they want us to hem in China so they can continue to dominate the US in all world markets:  China’s navy sails past India’s dock – Asia Times Online

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  • India learned to live with Chinese merchant ships in the Indian Ocean region long ago, and even the Chinese vessel seized by pirates this week was bound for India from South Africa. And yet, India is taking stock of the presence of Chinese naval vessels in the Indian Ocean region. This development will constitute a major headache for India as it unfolds – something altogether new and unsettling….Gwadar in Pakistan, Hambantota in Sri Lanka and Marao in the Maldives along with another seaport site – or two – in Myanmar now serve as the nucleus for China’s so-called “string of pearls” strategy. Gwadar in particular offers China a base of naval operations close to major energy transportation routes from the Persian Gulf, according to Rajagopalan.

 

  • “While many of the Chinese moves [in the Indian Ocean region] may not be overtly confrontational, they do create potential for tension between India and China, Japan and China and so on. Beijing has consolidated its relations with almost all of the IOR countries in the last few years,” said Rajagopalan. “For example, President Hu Jintao’s recent visits to Mauritius and Seychelles were about establishing a firm strategic foothold in these IOR states. Mauritius is particularly important, given its proximity to Diego Garcia and the US military presence there.”

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ΩΩThe US is is being sucked into these inevitable squabbles over prime trade real estate even though our benefits are worse than zero, they are NEGATIVE.  Our projection of power is on behalf of dire rivals!  This is the definition of insanity.  The Indians know that if they seek to confront the Chinese over spheres of influence they will fail due to being significantly weaker than China in significant ways.  For example, Indian steel production is minute compared to China’s production.  Indeed, I am very alarmed at the Chinese stats in steel production: it mirrors perfectly the US position from 1900-1950.  Our half century of total dominance where we first fought and won a major imperial war struggle for global power in 1919 to our ability to totally dominate both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans during WWII fought against the two strongest imperial industrial powers on earth.

ΩΩHere is a quick map I made showing the overlapping spheres of military influence.  They are connected very closely to North Korea.  The US is a dying imperial power.  We are not expanding at all, we are DRAINING our power into the futile stones and dry valleys of Afghanistan, into the sands of Iraq and oil drenched Gulf of Mexico and the only reason we still can project power is due to no one sinking the expensive navy which we would seriously struggle to replace if sunk.  This is a serious problem for our air force, too.  Our jets are ridiculously expensive to build.  We had problems with them being shot down in Vietnam.  No one has seriously tried doing this since that war that exposed our underbelly and which drove us off the gold standard (shades of WWI doing this to Germany!).

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ΩΩThe fact remains, we don’t have the industrial base anymore which can be called into action to cease making consumer goods and producing war goods.  Our existing equipment will vanish awfully fast in the opening hours of WWIII.  This always happens early in wars which is why the ability to continue production is key to winning any extended war between imperial powers.  Of course, the US hopes our massive nuclear missile system will destroy all the civilian workforce and facilities of whoever we fight but alas, this is truer in spades for us.  Our anemic system has no longer the breadth, depth nor spread across a major continent.  We have very little left and it is ridiculously easy to turn these into craters.

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ΩΩMany individuals in the US might survive WWIII and maybe be lucky to have the ability to have children but our industrial base has already been nuked by our own business leaders and bankers.  To make themselves much richer, they killed it dead as a doornail.  We can’t even make door nails.  We import them.  Years ago, I told the Chinese, ‘If you control the ball bearings or fastener business you control a  nation,’ as I explained why the most deaths of US pilots in WWII were due to bombing raids on German ball bearing/fastener factories.  And no amount of US bombing even disturbed the secret caves where the Nazis were running massive rocket factories.

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ΩΩRecently, to my surprise, the NYT ran an article about Operation Paperclip and I noticed grimly that there was no mention of my father which meant, the information from that operation still isn’t declassified nor allowed into the public.  Anyway, our huge surge into missile power was due to the efforts of OSS/ONS officers like my dad grabbing Nazi war criminals and bringing them  to the US to run NASA and our military missile program such as the one in Death Valley (a place I knew quite well).  That is, production of missiles was a Nazi monopoly and if given enough time, would have changed many things except they didn’t have nukes, we had nukes first and we used these as fast as possible and we used them on civilians.

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ΩΩNow, the South Koreans think China will never nuke them which may be true since the Chinese want things intact, not blown to smithereens.  But North Korea is another story and like all ugly stories, just like Serbia in WWI, North Korea can launch WWIII since it is uniquely positioned for this.  I can only think of one other place suited for this and it is, of course, the Persian Gulf and any confrontation with Iran.  But that is missing one major factor: China isn’t so deeply connected there….YET.  But is growing there and will eventually dominate the area just as their huge merchant marine, navy, and production systems is dominating the planet.  If they make over 30% of the world’s steel, they are King of the Mountain.  We were kicked down the slopes and are now waving our nuclear weapons while yelling, ‘We are still #1, even though we barely make the top ten in anything except for GDP where we are #1 but this is due to us consuming much of the world’s production, not producing it ourselves much less, selling it to others.

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ΩΩEven though our leaders keep yapping about how our export sales are growing, this is on a  very ridiculous base, much of it being either the stripping  down and sale of existing infrastructure we are sending to Asia or selling food and metals to be used in Asian production!  We sold Japan scrap steel during the Japanese invasion of Manchuria but withdrew this due to the Nanjing massacre.  A detail some people especially the Japanese refuse to remember.

 

sunset borger

 

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1 Comment

Filed under .diplomacy, Free Trade, war and peace

One response to “Death Of US Merchant Marine Means No Victories From Naval Wars

  1. Matheus

    It’s been 4 years i read your blog and now seems you take WIII for sure. I am scared to death. Since you are always right in geopolitics and economy.

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