Thursday, July 16, 2020

The New Warfare

I shouldn't make light of it since lives have been lost, but the most significant development in international affairs this millennium is China's decision to send a squad of martial artists to deal with its border dispute with India. All wars henceforth should be hand to hand combat.

I know the military industrial complex is finding this covidious interlude frustrating, what with a mere virus taking over their Grim Reaper duties. Needless to say, this pandemic kind of thing is bad for business. What more the spectre of hand to hand combat to settle international disputes? Diplomacy is being thoroughly disrupted.

Bruce Lee already wrote the script in Enter the Dragon, so we could line up all the actors in this political theatre. Hollywood and Madison Avenue are currently idled, and are itching to spring back into action. This could be the most effective way to revive The Grand Reopening of Texas in this silly season. Mister Trump has even appeared in wrestling bouts in his earlier youthful indiscretions, surely, this is something he could get behind, especially as the attempt to inaugurate a Space Force was too little too late. No, hand to hand combat is just the Grand Guignol spectacle to relieve our lockdown ennui. Bill it as the Game of Death, the Game of Thrones was so last year's must see TV.

Sure, it would be a transfer of wealth from Raytheon and company to Comcast and the Disney contingent, but let's face it, it's the same oligarchs ultimately behind the scenes, and it would be more entertaining than what warfare has been for the human race throughout history. The surplus to society of bread and circuses instead of the constant saber rattling and brandishing of missile systems, nuclear weapons and the like would be immense. The betting industry would love nothing better than taking wagers on India versus China in the global ring. Why have expensive nuclear weapon programs when what is really required is some Shaolin monks bent on revenge? Moreover, the shadow economy is in dire need of a stimulus package. Let the dollar circulate, Secretary Mnuchin, pitch it to your boss. The possibilities are endless.

Mind you, there is no guarantee that China would come out top in the contest. Bollywood already has counters to Chinese expertise. The catapult scene from Bahubali 2 stands up in extravagance to almost any action movie I've seen. Albeit Pakistan might welcome the depletion of Indian resources and send some commandos to Kashmir. In any case, I would venture that Hong Kong's elite martial artists might boycott the fight and perhaps Beijing might reconsider imposing their national security law.

Ghana will happily take on Cote d'Ivoire with a squad of Bukom bombers. Ike "Bazooka" Quartey and The Professor himself Azumah Nelson, even in retirement, will deal promptly with anything our western brothers can come up with. The offshore oil is ours my friends.

talking drums 1985-10-14 Azumah's World Crown at stake

Senegal and Nigeria can send competing squads of wrestlers to finally settle the issue of Ecowas's common currency, although I suppose Anthony Joshua can be a substitute boxer on the Nigerian side (divided loyalties Your Majesty), but I think Senegal will have the upper hand. Aminatta Sow Fall did write L’Appel des arènes after all, and who can compete with the strength of her African letters. Also: better jollof.

L'Appel des arenes

South and North Korea will duke it out in Taekwondo across the line of control, it goes without saying. The North's cashflow problems would be resolved based on gambling receipts alone. No need for starvation wages for the populace, North Korean consulates the world over would breath easier. No more counterfeiting for one.

Russia's judo squad can jawbone with Turkish oil wrestlers instead of the malign standoff we currently have between Emperors Putin and Erdogan disrupting countries all the way from Syria to Libya in The Great Game.

Egypt and Ethiopia will settle this business about the new dam on the Nile river instead of engaging in nation-state sponsored cyber attacks. The female Arbegnoch fighters of yore can certainly joust with the best Egyptian UFC fighters, not to mention they are very pleasing on the eye. I might give the Ethiopians the edge, their president just won the Nobel prize while no one will be motivated to fight for General Sisi, who must be the most garden variety of garden variety dictators - he doesn't even try, no personality cult, come on Sisi.

With a hotspot like Nagorno-Karabakh heating up and starred generals perishing after 3 days of fighting on the borders, Azerbaijan and Armenia would do well to look towards their neigbour, Mongolia's Nadaam festival - such 'manly games' would fit the bill, in what is "traditionally seen as a celebration of its three 'men's games' of wrestling, horse-racing and archery". The archers wore masks and the usual crowds were missing this year, but now that everyone in the world has a mobile phone they were still a success even with social distancing.

Mongolia's Naadam festival 2020 featured social distancing and no crowds

Companies like my employer, instead of designing newfangled infantry squad vehicles for quarter billion dollar contracts, might get to apply their supply chain expertise to more essential pursuits. The public relation rewards and goodwill that accrue are priceless.

My vision of the new warfare is no less improbable than the infectious sounds and scenario of Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney fighting over a girl in The Girl is Mine. Now who could resist that piece of pop magic? Everyone goes for the obvious hits when it comes decoding the success of Thriller, but it is the one-two punch of Baby Be Mine and The Girl is Mine that is the unappreciated genius stroke of the album.

"Michael, we're not going to fight"
"Paul, I think I told you, I'm a lover not a fighter."

Even if you think or thought that it was syrupy or that he'd lost his mind, you couldn't resist imagining the spectacle let alone the music (remember there was no video for the track). The song disarmed you with its ingenousness and burrowed its way through your ears into global consciousness.

And finally, Osama bin Laden could have saved all of us so much heartache by simply pitting his team of assassins against the 2001 US contingent: Bernard Hopkins, Roy Jones Jr, Floyd Mayweather Jr, Arturo Gatti, Oscar de la Hoya, Shane Mosely, and Evander Holyfield. True, de la Hoya was the weak link of that lineup (conflicted loyalties again). Instead we are stuck with asymetrical warfare and the attendant security theater of Recent Non-Specific General Threats.

Here's awaiting your suggestions for potential matchups in the new warfare, Dear Reader. There's plenty of room for innovation here. What? You've really got something better to do than engage in mindless speculation in these covidious times? Come on... I've left you an opening, the floor is yours...

A closing quote
Diplomacy means the art of nearly deceiving all your friends, but not quite deceiving all your enemies.

Kofi Abrefa Busia

The New Warfare, a playlist

As usual, a soundtrack for this note (also on Spotify, albeit less complete, who owns the rights to The Electric Spanking of War Babies these days?).

File under: , , , , , , , , , , strategy, , ,

No comments: