3.1 Post Brexit Britain Is The Only Western Nation In An Expansive Phase
Notably, based on the Five Phase Empire Cycle, Britain is the only nation of the old Western Christian Empire that is expanding post-regionalisation. As such, the stance the UK takes towards its foreign and defence policy will influence its allies significantly and impact the future of the world as we know it. Britain following Brexit will require a new outward looking national focus in its return to a global maritime paradigm which will end an anomalous experiment with continentalism. In a world where China and Russia are on a path to conflict and coercion, the advantages of a strong UK defence capability able to project global power with respect to developing and growing new trade relationships are very clear. Most importantly, defence spending should not be viewed as throwing money away, but instead as something that will encourage significant economic returns and expansion.
There are five key elements that will redefine Britain's new role in the world:
- The evolution of a modernised national identity defined by being:
- An independent sovereign state
- An island nation
- A meritocracy
- An economy founded on free trade. Brexit is, in essence, a return to the long established model of a global maritime trading nation dependent on freedom of the seas to enact its trading policies.
- Secure resource chains with access to commodities. This includes making sure the following key choke points are secured and protected:
- Suez Canal
- Cape of Good Hope
- Cape Horn
- Malacca straights
- Access to the China seas
- Future access to the Arctic trades routes (to Japan)
- Our natural allies are other democracies of the Anglosphere and Europe. Thus, the weaving and strengthening of alliances that contain China and constrict its ambitions should be of the utmost importance to Britain's foreign policy. These new alliances will also proffer the opportunity to build new trade relationships, especially in the Asian region, which has been the prime area of global growth.
- Enact a commodity resources strategy that secures resources needed by the UK from trusted allies and at the same time constricts the flow of resources to China to inhibit its economic growth and future military challenge to the West. This strategy must be commenced now at the trough of the commodity cycle. Once prices begin to rise, consumer nations like the UK will have a tougher time negotiating trade agreements.
3.2 The State Of The World Today And In The Next Decade
The world order with America as the single hegemonic power has now given way to a multi-polar world with three key proponents:
- The decline of the West
- The rise of China
- An opportunistic Russia that seeks to exploit both maritime and continental weaknesses in Western control and influence zones
3.3 The Decline Of The West
Human affairs are all about balance, both on a personal level and geopolitically between nations. Changes to the equilibrium always have consequences for a relationship. Some are benign, but some are far-reaching with, at times, dramatic and destructive results. In this ever-changing dynamic process the key to maintaining harmony is to recognise and evaluate the nature of such shifts and to strive constantly to find ways to redress and maintain that crucial balance. To fail to recognise such threats risks the extinction of whole cultures.
The premise described in 'Breaking the Code of History' (BTCH) that the West (led by America) has been and still is in terminal decline has over the past decade become an alarming reality. In such a circumstance, it is vital that sound strategic reasoning is applied to evaluate and understand the current and future geopolitical threats faced by Britain and the Western world. Additionally, it is critical that we ensure our limited resources are deployed wisely and proportionally to the various threats in relation to the priority of the threats that we face.
3.4 The Rise Of China Demands A Policy Of Isolation And Containment. The Time For Engagement And Rapprochement Has Passed
America is the last of the Western Christian Empires, but Britain is in a phase of ascension again. However, it is not of a magnitude that will shift this balance of power between East and West. The Asian Super Empire led by China is clearly in the ascendancy. Management of this great power shift is the responsibility of current politicians and those of the next decade. If America continues its current economic path, its collapse will be precipitous and will consequently create a power vacuum that China’s current youthful incarnation will quickly and aggressively step into with potentially destructive consequences for all humanity.
My conclusions since 2005 have been proven to be correct; China’s power has grown at an astounding rate. To compound the threat to the West, China is now well and truly in the ascension to empire phase of its development after having completed its copy and assimilation phase. Consequently, it is now innovating and creating new ways of owning war-winning technology. Foremost among these have been in cyberspace. Western assessment of China's economic prognosis will most probably be a projection of its own decline and not see the underlying resilience of its economy, nor China's five year plan to fully militarise its economy.
Such is the potential of China that this process represents a fundamental challenge not only to the Western way of life, but to the whole free world. In essence, this is a clash of civilizations between democratic and authoritarian states. America’s pivot eastwards demonstrates the world’s declining superpower is finally taking China seriously and is actively constructing alliances designed to contain China's expansion.
The only solution to the Chinese challenge over the next decade is to employ a similar strategy as used in the Cold War to reduce the risk of conflict by matching China’s expansion with the creation of a global political and military alliance led by America. If the strength and integrity of such an alliance were to match and even exceed China’s growing power, the risks of war can be expected to decrease after the 2025 peak in the commodity cycle. Western defence spending is now required to invest in primary combat power (i.e. naval and air units). There will also be a need for sharing weapons technology with less developed allies such as India. Henceforth, the West must be accurately tuned to the signs of transformation in military affairs in China that could significantly and relatively quickly change the balance of power away from the West.
We should be very clear in our understanding of the magnitude of the Chinese challenge we face. Indeed, China is like no other threat that the West has ever seen since its rise five hundred years ago. First, China aspires to be the world’s third great sea power after Britain and the US. Unlike Britain and then America which became demographically constrained as effective land powers (Britain in Europe and the US in Asia during Korea and Vietnam), China’s demographics make it potentially the greatest land power in history. This combination of potential land and sea power is unique in human history. The lessons from our past of German and Japanese aggressive expansions suggest that it could take an alliance of the whole world including Africa, the Middle East and Latin America to contain Chinese military build-up. Additionally, China’s expansion and determination to use such new found power will over the next few years become obvious to everyone.
Viewed in this context, China is by far the greatest of all the threats currently faced by Britain and the West with the potential to change the Western way of life drastically. Consequently, China demands the full attention of not only America but all its allies, including a rather comatose Europe and Britain.
The first vital step is for the UK Government and its leadership to wake up quickly to the Chinese threat and accept that the time for negotiation has passed. The time for a policy of containment is here. This includes a national commodity acquisition and containment of China policy for resources.
3.5 Russia: A Policy of Containment And Potential Rapprochement
By employing the analyses from BTCH and the Five Stages of Empire, America and Europe should be considered old systems. China is at the very opposite end of the spectrum. China is a young expansive system that has great energy and, most importantly, the quality of innovation that generates Revolutions in Military Affairs (RMAs) which in turn alters military balances.
Russia, in contrast, is also old within the empire cycle and thus as a potential enemy should be perceived as iterative rather than innovative. Most importantly, it is Putin that provides the national energy rather than the collective energy from its older declining population. Russia does not represent a determined and sustained threat as it once did in 1950. Additionally, its human and industrial resource bases without the agglomerated nations of the USSR are certainly not equivalent to the old empire of the USSR.
This suggests a strategy of carrot and stick. The stick is the containment of Putin's aggressive proclivities through a strong military pushback and containment strategy that demonstrates Britain and the West are far from weak and that there are no cracks for opportunistic exploitation. The carrot would be the opening of the door to rapprochement and enticement away from Russia's alliance with China through economic co-operation. The goal should be to emulate the Anglo-French 1906 Entente Cordiale that restructured the alliance as per 1914 to contain the rise of the 2nd Reich. The concept of bringing Russia back into the pre-1914 Western fold and thus surrounding China is a very powerful one in deterring a future WW3 scenario. Such an action would deprive China of Russia's resources, weakening her industrial economic base. It would also secure Europe from the Russian threat of conflict and allow Britain to focus on the expeditionary containment of China with maritime forces.
3.6 America: A Rebalanced Special Relationship
The relationship between Britain and America since American independence has seen two distinct phases. The first was based on the hegemonic power of Britain and the rise of America's power that finally reached a degree of parity in 1917 when America loaned Britain the money it needed to continue fighting the war. The second was from 1943 onwards when America became the dominant power in the partnership that became known as the 'special relationship'. We are now in the third phase, defined by the terminal decline of America and the rise of Britain. Whilst America is both militarily and economically more powerful than Britain, one of the defining qualities of this new phase of the relationship is that Britain's expansionist energy is very different to America's contracting energy.
The manifestation of this new phase should be an ever-closer relationship between the two nations. Critical to Britain's future value in the American relationship will be a significantly increased military capability. Additionally, as the moral framework of the American version of democracy fractures in decline it will be up to Britain to create a new modernised version of a free multicultural meritocracy.
3.7 The EU: A Return To Britain’s Old European Foreign Policy
Britain’s focus should be to ensure the economic stability of the EU and, most importantly, its security through NATO against Russian threats. However, it should be recognised that for an initial period post-Brexit the EU will not support or encourage Britain’s economic success for fear that other nations will follow in Britain's footsteps. Whilst the Russian threat persists, a strengthened UK defence capability and its ability to support NATO's defence of Europe will provide strong leverage for the resolution of any economic friction between the EU and Britain.
3.8 The Nations Of The Pacific Basin: The Potential For New Alliances And New Trade Partnerships
The Asian Pacific region is the centre for the world's economic expansion and is the base for the rise of China. This allows the potential for Britain to play a major role in the Pacific alliance that seeks to contain China and in doing so strengthen economic ties with India, Japan, and Australia in the form of new trade deals. Once again, a powerful military will provide powerful leverage in this process and also provide the opportunity to sell UK weapons that will strengthen the UK’s Industrial Military Complex.
3.9 The Middle East: An Opportunity For New, Strengthened Economic Relationships
With the new Arab-Israeli alliance, the centre of the region has entered a new phase of stability that provides an opportunity for Britain to strengthen ties in the region. This is especially true in regard to Israel with whom diplomatic relationships have been strained as Britain has to date favoured its Arab relationships. This has the added advantage that this group is set against Iran, the one regional foe that Britain faces. Once more, military alignment will have economic advantages.
3.10 Africa: A Return To The Forgotten Continent
Africa has once more become the forgotten continent in Western foreign policy. However, to China it is a vital resource basin upon which it has planned its hegemonic expansion. With the withdrawal of Western interests in Africa the vacuum created allowed China to expand its political and military tentacles across the continent. That dynamic strategy should now be inverted by Britain whose commonwealth links and commonality to the democracies of the commonwealth provide the opportunity for strengthened economic ties and the benefit of providing alternative financing options to those offered by China. The trade route around southern Africa will continue to be critical and as such relationships with South Africa and the support of the sustenance of its democratic origins should be of the highest importance.
3.11 Latin America: A Return To An Old Friendship
Britain once had a prime relationship with many of the Latin nations. This ended in 1917 when loans from America were granted on the terms of Britain handing its prime hegemonic relationship to America. With that transition went the main economic dynamics. Today, as American influence contracts, there will be new opportunities for Britain to grow its trading relations with the continent.
3.12 Timing Of The Next Major War
The concepts in BTCH explained that the majority of wars are always driven by the need for resources (see the 54 year Kondratiev cycle). The current cycle commenced in 2000, rallied until 2010 and has been in a deep correction which should end in the next 12 months, before an extremely powerful inflationary rally into a spiked peak around 2025/2027.
There are two main risks associated with the commodity cycle.
Firstly, it is the current dip in commodity prices that allows for the opportunity of potential rapprochement with Putin as Russia’s finances deteriorate. The alternative is that Putin seeks a regional conflict to distract attention away from his domestic political failures.
Secondly, the impending 2025-27 peak is the point where commodity friction with China is most likely to catalyse a global conflict.
3.13 Summary Of Key Threats To The UK Over The Next Decade
- China - an expanding nation that represents the biggest threat to the free world
- Russia - a regional foe that could be politically mitigated and brought back into the Western fold
- Iran - to a minor degree as it seeks to close the straights of Hormuz. However, the expansion required to deter Russia and China will minimise the Iranian threat
With the timing of the next commodity cycle and the evidence that China's five year plan is very similar to that of Hitler's four year plan, Britain has to have radically restructured and redeployed its defence forces by 2025. If Britain fails to do this, it will be too late to deter the inevitable aggression that could lead to WW3.