Thursday, 3 May 2012

Conscription Army vs Volunteer Army

Conscription is the when people at a specified age are forced to do national service by doing basic army training. Some countries conscript everyone, other countries have "lottery" conscription (random name drawn from a hat) and others have selective conscription (officers visiting districts and pick the ones they think are best for the army).

Then there is the volunteer army which is of course people joining the army at thier own will without the need of force.

So which is better? Conscription or volunteer?

People say that by having conscription, it would discipline and improve the confidence of the future generation. It is also one reason to prepare the country for any potential threat/war. In Israel, people serve two years in conscription and if you don't wish to serve in the army, you'll be put in the reserves and continue your normal life. If Israel is to be attacked, the nation can mobilise 250,000 troops in 24 to 48 hours. Countries like Israel, South Korea and Taiwan have conscription to prepare for their uncertain future. Singapore has conscription to not only protect their tiny island (half the size of Los Angeles) but to also fight racism and unite their multi-cultural nation. The United States once had conscription during the Vietnam War and chances were, conscripts were often deployed to Vietnam. To avoid conscription, there were three ways - study full time at University, join the National Guard or escape to Canada.

Conscription does not always guarantee victory. Everyone is different/has different views so a conscript army will have a variety of personnel. This will easily effect the morale on the battlefield. For example, if over half of a platoon were conscripts who were forced to join against their will and are forced to fight in a raging battle, the chances of winning will not stack up. During the Falklands war, the Argentine army used conscripts to fight and many of them were so terrified from the vicious firefights that they ended up sleeping under the rocks until the British forces declared victory. During the Gulf War, many of Saddam's forces were conscripts and after facing the fierce firepower from US tanks, they quickly surrendered.

By having a volunteer army, you'll able to focus and provide more time and resources on the small number which they will easily turn into an elite fighting force with motivation. Barack Obama's decrease in military spending is hoping that the US military will become a smaller but more "flexible force". Big investments in higher quality equipment/weapons and an offer of higher wages can easily attract many young people to join the military like the US or UK.

So what is better? Having one million average trained conscripts or having a few thousand elite, motivated and powerful soldiers? You be the judge.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Low wages

The statistics had shown that the world today has over one billion people are living in poverty, in other words = hungry.

What is one solution from being poor? Get a job?

Getting a job is the most popular reason and solution from being poor but is it really? There are millions of people working and living on less than $1 USD a day. People in poor countries work in sweatshops for companies like Nike that produce all the world's sports gear and workers are paid less than a dollar a day while the company gains the big money. Why does this happen? Why is there an Occupy movement?

During hard times like the recession, it can be hard for a company to keep their factories in the West because of the expensive costs like safety regulations, high quality conditions and average to high wages for workers. So during hard economic times and especially when companies try to viciously compete against each other, if factories remain in the West, companies go bankrupt. Companies have been doing any means necessary to stay in competition even if it mean shifting factories to poor countries and leaving the Western workers redundant.

When companies compete against each other, it's not always one vs one. Some companies compete against more than one. For example

- Apple vs Microsoft (Computers)

- Apple vs Phone companies like Nokia, Motorola (Touch phones and tablets trying to take down the iPhone and iPad)

- Microsoft vs Sony (Console wars - Xbox 360 vs Playstation 3)

- Nike vs Puma vs Adidas, etc (Sports gear)

A Chinese film "China Blue" had shown a sweatshop in action producing jeans while workers got paid less.

One good example of a sweatshop in China is Foxconn. It is a large company having over 150,000 workers like it's a city but is well known in oppressing it's workers. It lied to it's recruits by telling them they will get paid over 1000 RMB a month. Turns out the workers get paid 31 cents (US) per hour while working for 35 hours straight unlike an American electronic worker that earns $23 an hour. There had been reports of workers as young as twelve working in the factory. Anyone trying to form a union in Foxconn is arrested.

Foxconn produces iPhones, iPads, iPods, Playstation 3s and Xbox 360s. A Foxconn worker would have produced a product (eg - microchip for a mobile phone or iPad casings) 2500 times in a 35 hour shift. Completely boring producing the same thing for 35 hours straight. Most workers that do their bit have never seen the final product that is produced. For example - a female worker cuts the Apple shape through the iPad casing and only saw the final product for the first time when an ABC reporter showed it to her.

To keep the workload going in Foxconn, the workers live in Foxconn facilities. Workers sleep in bumks with eight other strangers and eat in a huge canteen. The conditions are a little better than other Asian sweatshops where workers live and eat in horrible conditions. Workers are allowed to go on leave to see their familes once ever two or three months.

Foxconn is well known for it's suicide rates. Because of it's low wages, poor conditions and long hours, eighteen workers jumped off from a high building. There had also been threats of "mass suicides". Foxconn ended up having suicide nets, rooftop watchmen and contracts agreeing to not commit suicide. These suicide rates attracted the world media by storm with all fingers pointing at Apple as they already have more money than the US while Foxconn workers get paid only a few pennies. In other words, your iPhone, iPad or Xbox 360 is from a factory with horrible oppression towards it's workers. Also a similar situation when you buy Nike products too.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Joseph Kony

Joseph Kony is the leader of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). He has no cause and is not supported by anyone and only wanted to maintain his power. He had kidnapped over 33000 children and turned boys into child soldiers and girls into sex slaves. Millions of people had been displaced since the civil war. Kidnapped children were forced to kill their parents and Kony had faces mutilated to make everyone fearful of him. Kony constantly used peace talks as a distraction to rearm and strike again. When the International Criminal Court was formed in 2002, Kony was first on the list of arrest warrants by ICC. He is wanted for crimes against humanity and civil population including murder, sex slavery, rape and kidnappings.The LRA is a christian rebel group fighting for the 10 commandments to rule the Uganda.

There had been a campaign to stop Kony after an American film maker visited Uganda and saw the atrocities of war. The campaign spreaded nationwde around the US and eventually, Barack Obama decided to send troops to advise and train the Ugandan Army to fight the LRA. When Kony found out about the US aid, he changed his tactics to avoid capture. Kony 2012 is designed to make him famous and increase the worldwide support towards his arrest via the internet. With so many people using the internet, the Kony 2012 campaign had spread rapidly worldwide just like the 2009 Iran protests and the Arab spring. Famous celebrities and politicians (both Republicans and Democrats) have been targeted in the hope that they too will spread the message of the campaign to bring Kony to justice.

The US troops sent to advise the Ugandan Army are the Green Berets or the US Army Special Forces. Unlike the Navy SEALs who specialise in maritime operations (eg - diving and SWCC teams), the Green Berets specialised in force multiplying. They were well known for their efforts in Vietnam in training and advising the South Vietnamese Army during President JFK's time. After the selection course, Green Berets attend the JFK Special Warfare Centre and School where they learn a variety of courses but the most well known course is the foreign language course. By doing this course, Green Berets are able to learn and master a foreign language and culture (eg- knowing local sign language). This course will enable to the Green Berets to train foreign militaries/militias which is force multiplying.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

National Debt

As you saw the news in the middle of 2011 about the US Government being in debt, you wonder why this is the case when you thought that they are one of the richest governments in the world.

Well lets break it down.

The US Government has bills to pay like defence, education, welfare, health, infrastructure, etc. The US Government's yearly income is about $2 trillion while the bills are about $4 trillion a year. It is an expensive world out there as the war in Afghanistan now costs $300 million a day according to the Pentagon while the 2012 Iraq and Afghanistan wars together will cost $118 billion which the Pentagon had to get from the Government. The amount of student loans in the US that have not been repayed had reached $800 billion.

How does the US Government fill this $2 trillion gap? It borrows money from other countries. The US is in a $15 trillion debt and out of that debt, over $798.9 billion of it is from China. The US not only has to pay back the loan but also needs back interest.

Interest is the cost of using the lender's money or as compensation for using the money. Why have interest when the lender gets back the money anyways? Interest rates helps the borrower make profit from lending money. It is to help the lender through uncertain times as the economy is like a rollercoaster. For example - a lender lent $10000 now while the economy is in good shape and the currency value is high. But when the lender gets his money back a year later and the economy went down along with the currency, who is the loser? The lender, as the money it gets back is worth less than a year before. IE - The $10000 repayed buys alot less than the $10000 could buy before. So the borrower in this situation becomes the winner as he took advantage of it by borrowing the money at the right time. So in this situation, that is where interest rates come in to make it a win-win situation for both the borrower and lender.

So how does the US Government pay back it's debt? There are two options - cut spending or raise taxes. If the Government cuts spending, then the people that the money is spent on will complain that they don't have enough money to spend, eg - teachers, defence service members, etc. This is also called austerity which is a big topic in the European Union with debt among Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Cyprus.

If the Government tried to raise taxes, people will complain that they don't have enough money to spend on as prices go up and income goes down further due to increased income tax.

In the middle of 2011, Obama increased the debt ceiling so he could borrow more money. Greece is in a debt of 500 billion and had seeked bailouts while the UK had reached a debt of £1 trillion.

When countries are in debt and are in a growing crisis, they seek help for bailouts like European countries have been doing. They have been wanting the European Union to bail them out by paying the debts for them with the hope that they will repay the European Union in the future. As of mid 2012, Cyprus has asked for help joining Ireland, Portugal, Greece and Spain.

Valentines Day

Here is a fact about Valentines Day that few people know about.

On Valentines Day 1969 in South Vietnam, Chuck Mawhinney and his spotter were on patrol and spotted Viet Cong insurgents across a river. Knowing that there were multiple insurgents, he swapped his M40 sniper with his spotter's M14 rifle with an early infrared scope. The insurgents were seen trying to cross the river while holding their AK-47s over their heads. Knowing that they will get to US forces after crossing the river, Mawhinney had to take action.

By using his fast semi automatic M14, he fired 16 rounds and killed 16 Viet Cong insurgents (all headshots). He started to take heavy fire as he forgot the rule never firing his rifle twice or more in the same area. Mawhinney escaped and lived to tell the tale.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

F-14 Tomcat

The F-14 Tomcat developed by Grumman is a two seated interceptor designed to go Mach 2 with swept wings. It's two F110 engines give it the ultimate thrust. The front pilot flies the plane and does all the dogfighting while the second pilot is a RIO (Radar interceptor officer). The Tomcat has variable-sweep wings which sweeps forward during takeoff and landing. The wings sweep back during flight to be able to travel over Mach 2.

During the 1950s and 1960s, the US Navy saw threats of supersonic missiles and fighters from the USSR. The US Navy wanted a fighter jet that could intercept and eliminate the threats. For this, a high speed fighter was developed for both the Navy and Air Force which is the F-111. The US Air Force had the F-111A while the Navy had the F-111B. The Air Force liked the fighter as their land based version provided a fast heavy payload capability. The Navy however did not like it as it was too big and too heavy. The F-111B was 20,000 IB heavier than the requirement. The reason of the dislike is that if it's too big, it took up space and if it was too heavy, it runs the risk of not making it off the flight deck and fall into the sea rather than take off. This problem was unsolved as General Dynamics (F-111 developers) had no experience in creating carrier borne fighter jets.

At the very end of the Vietnam War, Grumman's F-14 replaced the F-111B. Over it's course of history, it scored five air to air kills while in service with the US Navy. The F-14 scored it's first kills in 1981 during the Gulf of Sidra incident where two F-14s from USS Nimitz engaged and shot down two Libyan Su-22s. Libya extended it's economic exclusion zone further which prompted the call for the US Navy to deploy and show the freedom of navigation. In 1989, two F-14s from the USS John F Kennedy shot down two Libyan MiG-23s. There were reports of Libya having chemical weapons that led to the USS John F Kennedy being deployed. It scored it's final kill in the Gulf War when an F-14 shot down an Iraqi Mi-8 Helicopter.

Iran is the only foreign operator of the F-14 Tomcat. The Shah of Iran wanted new fighter jets as Soviet planes constantly crossed into Iranian airspace without permission. The US offered Iran either the F-15 or the F-14. The Shah was invited to the US to see the fighter jets demonstrate. The F-15 only flew basic maneuvers while the F-14 did a whole set of maneuvers stunts and a touch and go landing. This impressed the Shah and this made him choose the F-14. Another reason why the F-14 was chosen was because the F-15 at the time had engine problems. The Iranians were granted access to classified technology of the F-14 which meant that Iranian F-14s were equal to US Navy F-14s. After the Islamic revolution in Iran, the Shah was overthrown and relations between Iran and the US broke. The US had cut off it's support for Iran's F-14 leaving them to struggle in terms of maintenance. Today, the Iranians still use the F-14 with the help of Russian engineers.

F-14 Tomcats had gone a long way since it's introduction. The F-14B was designed to bomb enemy targets which gained them the nickname - Bombcat. The F-14D is equiped with IRST (Infra Red Search and Track). The F-14 carries a variety of weapons like the Aim-9 Sidewinder, the M61 Vulcan cannon and the Aim-7 Sparrow. The Tomcat is well known for it's capability to carry Aim-54 Phoenix missiles. It can carry up to eight Phoenix missiles. The Aim-54 is a heavy long range missile that can travel at Mach 5. The Aim-54 proved itself worthy when the US Navy had an F-14 to shoot down eight mock air targets and had exceptional results with all targets hit but one (missile glitch).

In 2006, the F-14 was retired and replaced by the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. Out of the 800 F-14s in the US Navy, over 100 were donated to museums and over 100 of the newest Tomcats were being mothballed in a boneyard. The rest were being scrapped with the fuselages being melted and recycled into making new cars, etc. So don't be surprised if your new car has pieces of metal that went at speeds of Mach 2 defending the interests of the United States. All the avionics and computers had been checked, accounted for and stored away making sure that it does not end up in the wrong hands like Iran.

Friday, 27 January 2012

QBZ-95 rifle

The People's Liberation Army (PLA) has been using AK rifles for decades and made their own versions like the Type 56 rifle. The PLA had been looking for a replacement for the aging AK rifles and the QBZ-95/Type 95 rifle came to do that job.

The QBZ-95 meant Light Rifles family, 1995 in Chinese. It is a bullpup rifle (magazine behind trigger) that uses a 5.8x42mm. During development, the Chinese tested both the 5.8x45mm and the 5.56mm in a variety of terrains like snow, march, desert, etc. The Chinese claim that the 5.8x45mm turned out to be not only superior to the 5.56mm but also more survivable in a variety of conditions.

To compare with the AK-47, the QBZ-95 is lighter so the soldier does not have to worry as he already carries alot of heavy equipment. It is smaller so it is easier to maneuver around corners in urban combat and when a soldier is in an armored vehicle, he does not need to worry about his rifle getting in the way as the inside of an armored vehicle has small space. It is more accurate unlike the AK-47 that has good firepower but lack of accuracy due to it's high caliber 7.62mm round. The QBZ-95's smaller 5.8mm round is able to provide more accuracy which could make the difference between life and death. Unlike the AK-47, the QBZ-95 rifle has alot less recoil which contributes alot towards accuracy.

The QBZ-95 has other variants like the QBZ-97 which uses the 5.56mm NATO round and the STANAG magazines. The QBZ-95 rifle's safety switch is located by the buttstock which is considered awkward and longer to switch. The QBZ-95G rifle solved that problem by having the switch by the trigger. There are also other variants like Light Machine Gun or Carbine version. The rifle was a spinoff to the QBU-88 Sniper/Marksman Rifle.

The QBZ-95 rifle can also attach a scope on top of the handle and can also attach a grenade launcher. The cocking switch is located on the top middle of the rifle under the handle which is designed for both left and right handed soldiers. The rifle is also featured in video games and films like Soldier Sortie, Modern Warfare 3, Battlefield 2, Operation Flashpoint-Dragon Rising/Red River and Glorious Mission.

On the progress to replace all the AK rifles in the PLA, the rifle is set to have a bright future with the PLA and the Chinese Police Force like the Beijing SWAT.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Super Hornet

F/A-18E/F Super Hornet

"The Super Hornet is substantially a new aircraft, which shares only limited structural commonality with the F/A-18A-D family of fighters. While the F/A-18E/F forward fuselage is derived from the F/A-18C design, the wing, centre and aft fuselage, tail surfaces and powerplants are entirely new. The baseline avionic system is however largely derived from the F/A-18C, with planned growth through further evolved derivatives of the radar, EW and core avionic systems, and entirely new systems where appropriate.
It was the intended replacement for the F-14, the Navy Advanced Tactical Fighter, a 'swing wing' F-22 derivative, was too expensive for the downsized US Navy budget.
Sizing around a 36% greater internal fuel load than the F/A-18C, with the aim of retaining the established agility performance of the F/A-18C, resulted in a larger wing of 500 sqft area, against the 400 sqft area of the F/A-18C, a 25% increase. The consequent sizing changes result in a 30,885 lb empty weight (31,500 lb basic weight) aircraft, a 30% increase against the F/A-18C. Not surprisingly, the aircraft's empty weight is 8% greater than the F-15C, reflecting the structural realities of catapult launches and tailhook recoveries.

The larger F414 engine, a refanned and evolved F404 derivative, delivers 20,700 lb static SL thrust in afterburner, which is around 8% less than the F100-PW-220 in the F-15C. 
With three 480 USG drop tanks, full internal fuel, combat and reserve fuel allowances, 8 x AIM-120 AMRAAMs and 2 x AIM-9 Sidewinders, the aircraft has a point intercept radius cited in excess of 650 NMI, with some assumptions made about expended missiles. This is radius performance in the class of the clean F-15C. 

Like the F/A-18A-D, the F/A-18E/F was designed from the outset for a dual role fighter bomber mission environment. The enlarged wings have three hardpoints each, typically loaded with a pair of 480 USG tanks inboard and weapons on the pair of outboard stations. The wingtip Sidewinder rail is retained. 

Structurally the Super Hornet is built largely from aluminium alloys, with extensive use of carbon fibre composite skins in the wings, and titanium in several critical areas. The design load factor limit of 7.5G is identical to the F/A-18A-D, at an unspecified gross weight.

Until recently, Super Hornets were delivered with the Raytheon APG-73 radar, not unlike the F/A-18A/B HUG radar. Most recent deliveries see the new APG-79 Active Electronically Steered Array (AESA) radar fitted."

Air Power Australia

Recently, Boeing made upgrades to the Super Hornet adding conformal fuel tanks (CFT), IRST, a stealth pod carrying weapons and a 3D avionics display.

The CFTs carries 1360 KG of fuel on each tank giving the Super Hornet more range.

It also has a centerline mounted weapons pod able to carry a combination of weapons including AMRAAM, JDAM and SDB. The pod is in a stealth configuration which also reduces drag. The pod can also carry a 2000IB Mk82 bombs; another 2 Aim-120 or 4 to 6 SDB. This enables the Super Hornet to free up weapons stations and be in a dogfight in a low drag, highly survivable configuration.

Under the nose of the Super Hornet is the IRST. The Super Hornet is also equiped with a laser warning system on top of the plane in between the CFTs.

The cockpit is also equiped with a 3D single screen display which is a 11 by 19 inch liquid display touch. This allows aircrew to download real time imagery and information straight from the battlefield including the ability to control UAVs.

The rise of the People's Republic of China

As you see on the news that China is rising rapidly economically and militarily with the US and other countries concerned. China, under a communist government, had done alot lift the nation towards a superpower status. It can easily be seen like rising military budget, growing exports, full labor force in factories, growing foreign influence (eg helping Africa) and many technological developments and breakthroughs at the cost of being accused as copycats by the West. So was it true that China was once a powerful nation?

Yes, China was once a powerful empire that stretched through Mongolia, Tibet and Xinjiang. The Qing Dynasty saw the peak in Chinese Empire expansion. The Chinese empire was one of the richest places in the world with living conditions being one of the best at the time. European contact became a fatal impact for the Chinese. By early 1800s, Europeans were interested in Chinese goods like tea, silk, etc. The Chinese were not interested in European products but the only thing they could accept is silver. The Europeans did not want a trade deficit so they decided to import opium. The Chinese refused opium by any means even if it meant war. This led to the humiliating defeat of the Chinese military as their army was outdated unlike the British Army's muskets and cannons. The Chinese Navy still had wooden ships which were destroyed by the Royal Navy's ironclad ships armed with cannons. This resulted in a peace treaty that allowed the opium imported, Hong Kong given to the British and an unlimited amount of european goods into China. The unlimited amount of cheap european goods imported into China resulted in Chinese businesses unable to compete and go out of business. This resulted in more unemployment and poverty.

The Qing Dynasty produced weak emperors until it was overthrown in 1911 with a revolution led by Sun Yatsen. The Nationalist Party (Guamindang) was formed. Eventually, the Russian Revolution brought communism to China with Mao Zedong's quote:

"The gunfire of the Russian Revolution brought Marxism to China"

The Nationalists were led by Chiang Kaishek who was obsessed with getting rid of the Communists. The Japanese invasion in China exposed Chiang's weakness as the Communists had sit back and watched the Japanese destroyed the Nationalists. Eventually, the Communists and Nationalists formed a temporary alliance to fight the Japanese seeing that this is their main priority if they ever want to rule China. After the Japanese surrender, the civil war raged on. The Nationalists were corrupt as they used US aid money (billions) for themselves and were living in rich palaces while the Communists lived among the peasants. The Nationalists had a variety of weapons from the US like tanks, artillery, fighter planes, bombers, etc while the Communists almost had nothing and conducted guerrilla warfare. The Nationalists completely underestimated the Communists while they had excellent tacticians like Lin Biao. In October 1 1949, the Communists marched into Beijing while the Nationalists retreated to Taiwan which as of today still make their final stand. The Communists not only shared their hardships with the peasants but were also brave. They conducted amphibious assaults on Nationalist held territories with only wooden boats and paddles (unlike the Allied D-Day assault on metal ships) with Nationalist artillery pounding around them. Once they got onto the beaches, the disembarked and all charge at the Nationalists. The Communists were about to invade Taiwan but had to deal with Korea as they did not want the Americans at their front door so they helped North Korea and used it as a buffer zone. After the Korean war, the Chinese communist army had no weapons or strength to attack Taiwan. When Mao Zedong met with Japanese officials, they gave him an official apology about their invasion on China. Mao refused to accept their apology and instead thanked them for their invasion as it crippled the Nationalists that enabled the Communists to win the Chinese Civil War.

After the Communists siezed power, Mao Zedong became a hero and went on to rule as a ruthless dictator with people living in poverty. He was the Chinese version of Stalin as he was paranoid about someone wanting to overthrow him and conducted purges. During Mao's rule, millions lived and died in poverty as the Communists took all valuables from the people. This was because the Nationalists took all valuables before retreating to Taiwan after the Civil War. Mao's China broke up with the USSR as their new leader Nikita Khrushchev broke away from Stalin's policies which Mao opposed. This situation saw the United States steping in to start diplomatic relations with China with Richard Nixon visiting China.

After Mao's death, Deng Xiaoping opened China to world including trade which meant massive economic reforms. This meant that goods and services like jeans, McDonalds and Coca-Cola were visible around the country. Keeping up with the latest technologies saw the Chinese people's obsession with Apple products. Example - a boy decided to sell one of his kidneys online so he could buy an iPad 2. When he got it, his parents were puzzled as they never had the money for that kind of electronics. Eventually the boy confessed and the parents contacted the hospital which they denied as organ donation is illegal. His actions made it to world headlines.

Censorship came into place in 2003 when the Chinese Government wanted to cover up it's dark days by censoring websites containing human rights, free Tibet, etc like Youtube, Facebook, etc. 1989 saw communism took a major downfall with the USSR and east European nations switching to democracy. Chinese students and workers protested and camped in Tiananmen Square demanding freedom and democracy only to be massacred by the army.

The advance in Chinese society had seen some setbacks like censorship. In 2003, a censorship law was in place. It meant that topics like Tibet, Tiananmen Square protests, human rights, Dalai Lama, East Turkestan are censored. It also meant that the government deployed thousands of internet police officers to find and censor the sensitive websites. Google had been censored while Youtube, Itunes and Facebook had been banned as they contained content of human rights, free Tibet, etc. If any hollywood films or games insulted China, it would be banned and the film and game would not be able to make the profit it wants from the 1.3 billion people. Censorship occured as the Communist Government never wanted to expose it's deadly past and wanted to keep strong support from the people. Another setback is pollution. Factories are needed to help create jobs for the 1.3 billion people at the cost of pollution at which there is smog covering the skies blocking sunlight. This was a problem during the Beijing 2008 Olympics as not only did the smog made Beijing look bad but was dangerous for marathon runners who breathe heavily while running.

So how does China's advancements concern the West? China has nuclear weapons and a rapidly developing military power which is a concern to it's neighbors. Japan is concerned as it has disputed islands with China and the hatred received from invading China and the atrocities (eg-Nanking massacre). South Korea is concerned as China is North Korea's key ally. Taiwan is also concerned as the Nationalists are still in their final stand and if the Chinese military invades them, the US will back them and this is something the Chinese don't want to be involved in as they do not yet have the military power to take on the US.

Other countries in the South China Sea are also concerned about China's advancements like Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia. The reason is because China had made a claim that the South China Sea belong to them and to back that up, China also claimed that it historically owned and ruled the South China Sea. You may think it's lame to rule an empty sea but the South China Sea contains alot of minerals and oil that China needs to fuel it's hungry economy. China wanted to mine the minerals and fuel with it's Navy protecting the resources. This caused concern as China's claim also include other countries exclusive economic zones. China's rise in military power meant that those countries are no match against it and that is when the US is involved. So here you see the US willing to help it's old foe, Vietnam.

Countries had been concerned about China's upcoming aircraft carrier as it will enable them to launch it's planes further and also the long range stealth J-20.

The West had been economically concerned about China as it violated copyright rules. China had been copying Russian weapons, vehicles, etc. In other words, China just cloned a foreign product (added improvements) and just changed the branding of the products. There are other economic controversies like dangerous chemicals on toothpaste, lead paint on toys, baby milk powder poisoned, reused cooking oil from sewers and suicides from Foxconn factory that produces Apple products like IPhone, IPod and IPad.

The rise of China is not always a bad thing. It employed a full work force in factories (eg toys, clothes, electronics, cars, etc) so it can be exported to overseas (at the cost of low wages). China had hosted major events that stunned the world like the Beijing Olympics, the Shanghai Expo, etc. Maybe in the future, the FIFA World Cup will be hosted by China. China also made advancements in space technology as not only they sent satellites to the moon but also became the third nation in the world to conduct a space walk on board the Shenzhou 7. Not only does China have a seat in the United Nations Security Council but also helped poor countries like Africa. China had been deploying peace keepers as part of the UN to poor countries in Africa to help build roads, bridges, schools, hospitals, etc in exchange for oil and minerals unlike European nations that buy them with cash and rely on organisations like the Red Cross or World Vision to provide the aid that Chinese engineers and peacekeepers are bringing to Africa.

China had been accused of helping Sudan in a series of genocides by suppying weapons to the regime. Satellite images showed new Q-5 fighter jets being given to the Sudanese Air Force which they used to bomb civilians while Western journalists found Chinese military trucks used in conducting massacres. In 2012, China built a new headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for the African Union at the cost of nothing. In other words, the Chinese paid everything and built the new headquarters for the African Union for free.

Human rights organisations had complained about China having more executions than the rest of the world combined. This is because the Communist government is tough on crime and terrorism. Smuggling drugs into China or Singapore can easily get you a death penalty regardless if you are a Chinese/Singapore citizen or not. Human rights organisations also complain about the lack of freedoms and the control of Tibet which they see as illegitimate.

Imagine if the US Government told their people that shows like American Idol, Jersey Shore, Two and a half men, etc had been cancelled. That is what Hu Jintao had been doing in 2012. Over 2/3 of China's TV shows were taken off as Hu described it as capiltalizing and dividing the Chinese people. Any TV shows with inappropriate or vulgar content was taken down.

Of course, the Chinese Government did alot of hard work to unite China as one nation. If the US invade and take out China, it will break apart with Tibet and Xinjiang being free while Inner Mongolia returns to Mongolia. At that point China would have been at it's lowest since the downfall of the Opium war.

China is not 100% communist. It has a one country, two system type. This meant that the mainland is communist while Hong Kong and Macau are capitalists. Why? Hong Kong and Macau under foreign rule had enjoyed over a century of freedom and private ownership. After returning to Chinese rule, both Hong Kong and Macau stayed as capiltalists as turning communist overnight would be a complete nightmare.

Overall, China is currently in the progress of rising to become a superpower at all costs as it does not want to go through rough times like before.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Modern Warfare 3 plot

2016 - Captain Price and Nikolai take Captain Soap to Northern India for medical treatment after being stabbed by General Shepherd. In New York, the Russian Naval Fleet dominated the harbour while the Russian Army had a jamming tower over at the New York Stock Exchange. Sandman, Frost and the Delta Force storm into the Stock Exchange and destroyed the jamming tower. This allowed US forces to communicate and conduct accurate air strikes. Delta Force move to the New York harbour where they raided a Russian command submarine. They launch the submarine's missiles which destroyed most of the Russian fleet.

In Northern India, Makarov's men ambush Price and Nikolai's men. They managed to extract Soap and escape. Russian President Boris Vorshevsky was on a flight to Hamburg to meet with the US Vice President to sign a peace treaty. The flight was hijacked and crashed into a forest. The bodyguards protected President Vorshevsky and his daughter until a rescue helicopter arrived. The person inside the helicopter turned out to be Vladimir Makarov who came out with his men and killed the remaining bodyguards. Makarov captured the President and demanded the launch codes that will enable the Russian Army to invade Europe as he wanted Russia to take over all of Europe even if it meant standing over a pile of ashes. Price, Soap and Yuri went to Sierra Leone to find Makarov and his unknown cargo. They failed.

In London, the SAS were called to stop the unknown cargo and a potential terrorist attack. They failed and the cargo turned out to be chemical weapons that detonated. It also detonated around Europe to weaken it's defences in preparation for the Russian invasion. The Russian Army launched an all out invasion on Europe and the US Vice President in Hamburg was taken hostage by the Russians. Sandman, Frost and the Delta Force move to Hamburg along with other US forces to rescue the Vice President with success.

Price contacted MacMillan and was informed about the chemical shipments involving Somalia and a militia leader Waraabe. Price, Soap, Yuri and Nikolai's men move to Somalia to attack Waraabe's compound while a sandstorm was brewing. They captured Waraabe and tortured him using gas wanting information. Waraabe told Price that he never met Makarov and that his contact was a man named Volk and oversaw the delivery to Paris. Price executed Waraabe and headed off to extraction with Nikolai's helicopter shot down. Yuri rescued Nikolai and the team headed off to their secondary extraction via jeeps. Price then contacted Sandman about Volk in Paris.

This led to Delta Force being deployed to Paris to rescue the GIGN who were pinned down. Paris was hit by the gas attacks with Russian forces invading the city. Delta Force managed to capture Volk via car chase. They had to get air support form a AC-130 and exfiltrate by the Eiffel Tower. The exfiltration point was heavily pinned down by Russian Forces which led to US air strikes that not only crippled Russian Forces but also destroyed the Eiffel Tower.

Price, Yuri and Soap moved to Prague, Czech Republic to assassinate Makarov who was planning on having a meeting. The three stealthly moved around the city as it was taken over by the Russian Army and linked up with the Resistance and Kamarov.  During the assassination attempt, Price was to infiltrate the building while Yuri and Soap provide sniper cover. The whole mission was compromised as Kamarov was taken prisoner and was killed by explosives strapped around him. Yuri and Soap's position was also bombed leaving them both falling from a high building to the ground. Soap was heavily wounded and later died of his wounds. Before dying, Soap told Price that Makarov knew Yuri. Price led Yuri down to a cellar where he punched him down the stairs and put him at gunpoint demanding an explanation how Makarov knew him. Yuri answered that he was with Makarov during the Zakhaev assassination attempt in Prypiat, the nuclear explosion in an Arab city and the Moscow airport massacre. He was shot by Makarov while trying to stop the massacre. After the explanation, Price spared his life.

They both infiltrated a castle in Prague where Makarov used to cache weapons and the possibility that Makarov could be there. During the stealth infiltration, both learnt that Makarov just found out the President's daughter location and also demanded the nuclear launch codes. They both escaped. Delta Force moved to Berlin to rescue the daughter. Sandman and Frost provided sniper cover while a squad move in to rescue her but failed. Frost and Sandman regroup with the Bundeswehr and US forces to push towards the location of the President's daughter. Suddenly, a tall building collapsed blocking the way towards the building. Sandman, Frost and Delta Force move under the debris and reached the building only to come too late as the daughter was captured and taken away by a helicopter. Price, Yuri, Sandman and other Delta members assaulted a mine in Siberia where the President and her daughter is held and it was a matter of time before the President gives up the nuclear launch codes. The President and her daughter were rescued but Delta force members deliberately stayed behind and were later crushed by falling rubble. Price and Yuri then move to an Arab Hotel in the Arabian Peninsula where Makarov is.

They both wore juggernalt armor and carried heavy machine guns. They went up the lift after a hard battle and got their armor shreaded by helicopter gunners. They got to the top where they suffered another helicopter attack with Yuri wounded. Price alone was ran and jumped onto Makarov's helicopter, killed the pilots and crash landed it back onto the rooftop. Makarov won the race against Price to grab a pistol and was about to execute Price when he got shot by Yuri only to shoot him back killing him. Price took this chance to fight Makarov and tied cable wires around his neck. He smashed Makarov through the glass floor and left him hanging dead. Price then lighted a cigar and watched Makarov's body hung by the neck.

Battlefield 3 plot

In chronological order

2014 - Sgt Blackburn and his patrol are stationed in Iraqi Kurdistan as Misfit 1-3 with Steve Campo, David Montes and Christian Matkovic. They were tasked to find a missing marine squad. During the search, they were ambushed with Chaffin wounded by a sniper. After escaping the ambush, Misfit 1-3 moved to a building rooftop where Blackburn used an AT4 to take out the sniper hiding in a Hotel. Misfit 1-3 were not able to move back down as it was filled with PLR fighters so they moved over a plank onto another rooftop and eventually found their way down. They found the missing squad with both wounded and killed. Blackburn was tasked with following a wire trail to stop an IED and after, the patrol encountered a huge battle with the PLR.

An earthquake occured and the city was in ruins with PLR overrunning the city. Blackburn linked up with other long marines and escapes with Montes via the V-22 helicopter. Almost the same day as the earthquake, Faruk Al-Bashir and the PLR (People's Liberation and Resistance) seized power in Iran and the US believed that they are a threat. A few weeks later, the US sent 50,000 Marines to invade Iran and take him out. Lt Coleby Hawkins is a Weapons Sysem Officer on board the USS George H W Bush (CVN-77) flying the F/A-18F Super Hornet. She was involved with conducting an airstrike over an Iranian airfield to kill Al-Bashir with Sgt Blackburn's squad conducting battle damage assessment.

The airstrike failed and Misfit 1-3 was tasked to storm an apartment housing strategic intelligence and a major bank afterwards. In the bank, they search a safe which contained alot of money, intel and a crate. The crate contained a portable nuke but has spaces for two more meaning that there is two missing. Misfit 1-3 unit saw Al-Bashir and Soloman on the CCTV monitor walking in the bank lobby and decided to abandon all the intel and only securing the nuke. In the risk of being overrunned, Misfit 1-3 called for armor support. Sgt Johnathan "Jono" Miller (Anvil 3 Charlie Company 1st Tanks)  and his tanks were tasked to destroy enemy armor and reach Misfit 1-3. Miller's tank suffered alot of damage while successfully protecting Misfit 1-3's exfill via helicopter but was later overrunned.

Miller was captured with Al-Bashir giving a message before Soloman slid Miller's throat while on camera. The marines conducted a raid on Al-Bashir's compound to capture him with Blackburn and Campo providing sniper cover. Cole wanted Al-Bashir alive and did not want a "Bin Laden style resolution". Al-Bashir escaped with Blackburn shooting his vehicle stopping him. After exfiltration, Al-Bashir told Blackburn that Soloman betrayed him which led his capture. He also confessed that on the fourteenth of the month when the sun is set, Soloman will strike via trains. Al-Bashir died of his wounds afterwards. After having Al-Bashir's cellphone, the Marines were redeployed from the intel found on the phone. They moved to Northern Iran to find Amir Kaffarov, an arms dealer. After facing an ambush, the Marines encounter a Russian airborne brigade paracuting down also trying to capture Kaffarov.

Captain Cole ordered his marines to fight the Russian paratroopers and get to Kaffarov first as he believed that that the Russians were trying to rescue Kaffarov and also worked with the PLR.  While the battle between US marines and Russian paratroopers occured, Dmitri "Dima" Mayakovsky and his two comrades (Krill and Vladimir Kamarivsky) from the GRU paracuted and assaulted Kaffarov's compound. After a long battle,  Dima climbed on board Kaffarov's helisopter just in time as it took off. Dima threw Kaffarov off and onto a swimming pool. Kaffarov was then forced to tell Dima everything about Soloman's plans. After the battle between Russian paratroopers and US marines, only Cole, Blackburn and Montes survive while Campo and Matkovic were killed by a Russian Su-25 before it got shot down by Blackburn. The remaining three split up to seaech the compound and Blackburn encountered Kaffarov's dead body.

Dima then put him at gunpoint explaining everything about Soloman and his plans. He told Blackburn that Kaffarov stole three nukes from Russia and sold it to Soloman. Soloman planned on bombing New York and Paris vis public transport.  Dima told Blackburn to do whatever he can to stop Soloman in New York and was about to leave when Cole stormed in attempting to arrest him. Dima told Blackburn to shoot him otherwise he won't be able to leave and millions will die. Blackburn then shot Cole. Blackburn and Montes spread Dima's message to the US which they ended up in detention and questioning. Dima and his two comrades went to Paris to stop the PLR from detonating the device. They stormed into a French bank and the gunbattle later shifted to the street.  The police intervened and Dima used this advantage as the PLR was slowed down and getting the nuke got easier.

Unfortunately, Vladimir was killed with Dima and Kiril left to continue the chase. They eventually found the nuke which turned out to be fake and real bomb exploded over the Euronext exchange. 80,000 French people dead. Blackburn was questioned in New York by the CIA agents Gordan and Whistler. Gordan was calm and never argued with Blackburn and just asked questions while Whistler was the opposite in an angry manner. The CIA refused to believe Blackburn's story and claim that it was Dima who played Blackburn and escape to Paris where he trigger the nuke. The CIA also never believed in Blackburn's story as there was no evidence. Gordan also told disappointed Blackburn that Soloman is an overseas asset trying to seek information from Al-Bashir. With no option, Blackburn and Montes escape after knocking out Whistler and a guard.

Blackburn jumped from a bridge onto a train where Soloman and his men boarded. Blackburn fought his way through to Soloman which led to an explosion in the tunnel. Soloman escaped through the sewers while Blackburn chased him. Blackburn was too late when he got out of the sewers when Montes arrived in a stolen police car. The two chased Soloman's vehicle through to Times Square and crashed. Soloman came out and killed Montes with his last bullet before a fist fight with Blackburn. Blackburn knocked him out with a brick and secured the nuke. Dima survived the Paris nuclear explosion with radiation poisoning. He wrote a letter reflecting the past. The door knocked and Dima cocked his pistol.