April 23, 2007

Held Hostage on Earth and in Space

Think about this future scenario:

China has become the world's leading economic power, producing the majority of goods for the world and by far the richest country on earth. Meanwhile, the U.S. and Europe are bogged down in a world wide war on Islamic terror with declining birth rates at home and a green, no-growth service economy largely committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions while China pays little attention to global warming.

Because China needs Mid-east and Africa oil to fuel its growth and the higher expectations of its increasingly wealthy populace, it agrees to pay more for oil than the West can afford because we have not yet weaned ourselves from our oil addiction. Some of this oil revenue is used to fund the radical Islamists. China decides to raise prices for its manufactured goods and the West slowly finds itself in tightening financial straits ever more reliant on China to fund its national debts.

Then a spark ignites a war someplace on earth over natural resources and China and the West find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict. The conflict escalates and China now decides to blackmail the West by threatening to shoot down the Global Positioning System satellites upon which the world has come to rely for both military and civilian applications. China has developed its own GPS system at this point.

The U.S. has not developed a similar capability to destroy satellites in orbit, according to this story in the NY Times today. What is our response to China's intimidation?
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