What do a rusting Russian aircraft carrier, two top-ranking military officers, mounting trade deficits and half a trillion dollars in potential oil and gas in the South China Sea have to do with world peace?
Initially the authors of this article were preparing a short piece on the pending sea trial of China's first aircraft carrier on July 1st. By late June, the long-term implications of that ship on the balance of power in Southeast Asia and the escalating military aggression by China in the South China Sea had both become massive stories. Then an Act III surprise put an interesting spin on each of those stories, while demonstrating why our greatest deterrent to war today is how interwoven the world's economies are, especially between China and the US.
Where you could once say that the fraternal twins of the Soviet empire and the People's Republic of China threatened the world with their domino theory, the new domino effect posits mass societal change with the world turning towards iPads, Facebook, Lady Gaga, and those two crazy things called capitalism and freedom. The result? The Arab spring has sprung. Technology has reshaped the world around the flow of free information, free ideas, and free people.
But again, how is all this intertwined with a rusty, old aircraft carrier?