And I’m not talking about them being the favorite banker for Rushpubliscums to avoid having to ask the rich for any sacrifices, either.
As you can see in this BBC story, there is a lot of business being done in China that isn’t the norm for the world in general. And thus it has always been; the Chinese have been experts at deconstructing, and copying, imported things almost since Mao Zedong founded the country. When the USSR and China had a falling-out back in the late 1950s, China was basically forced to use this tack, since the Soviets pulled out all their technicians, and refused to supply any spare parts for all that stuff they sold to (and set up in) China. The Chinese showed us some of the finest examples of human ingenuity ever seen; they kept the factories running, and they kept their planes flying. Hell, they even started MAKING planes like the ones they bought from the Soviets.
Speaking of planes…. that’s what I wanted to talk to you about.
Vast numbers of counterfeit Chinese electronic parts are being used in US military equipment, a key Senate committee has reported.
A year-long probe found 1,800 cases of fake parts in US military aircraft, the Senate Armed Services Committee found.
More than 70% of an estimated one million suspect parts were traced back to China, the report said.
It blamed weaknesses in the US supply chain, and China’s failure to curb the counterfeit market.
The failure of a key part could pose safety and national security risks and lead to higher costs for the Pentagon, the committee said.
US servicemen rely on a variety of “small, incredibly sophisticated electronic components” found in night vision systems, radios and GPS devices and the failure of a single part could put a soldier at risk, the report said.
It highlighted suspect counterfeit parts in SH-60B helicopters used by the Navy, in C-130J and C-27J cargo planes and in the Navy’s P-8A Poseidon plane.
After China, the UK and Canada were found to be the next-largest source countries for fake parts.
The committee criticised China for failing to shut down counterfeit manufacturers and said that committee staff wanting to travel to China for the investigation had not been granted visas.
“Counterfeit electronic parts are sold openly in public markets in China,” the report said.
“Rather than acknowledging the problem and moving aggressively to shut down counterfeiters, the Chinese government has tried to avoid scrutiny,” it added.
But the report said that use of Department of Defense programmes such as the Government-Industry Data Exchange Program (GIDEP), designed to log suspected fake parts, were “woefully lacking”.
Between 2009 and 2010 the GIDEP only received 217 reports relating to suspected fake counterfeit components, the majority of which were filed by just six companies, it said. Only 13 reports came from government agencies.
The report also said that in some cases the US defence department had reimbursed contractors for the costs they incurred as a result of their failure to spot fake components in their own supply chain – giving companies no incentive to weed out counterfeits themselves.
That last paragraph. Profits over national security, as always. That, unfortunately, is an American example of greed in action. Greed is about the only thing we ever show the world anymore.
Given that we know that greedy subcontractors have bought counterfeit parts because there is absolutely no incentive for them not to do so, let’s examine a possibility that this BBC report doesn’t even touch on.
The Chinese are known for more than their ingenuity. They’re also known for their patience. After all, you’re talking about a civilization that views 1,000 years ago as contemporary history. The Chinese have defeated countless foes by the use of time, patience, numbers, and subterfuge. And now, we’re expanding our presence in South Asia, an arena where China is also on the move.
Our subcontractors have bought Dog knows how many counterfeit parts to save a few bucks, and those parts have been installed in American aircraft. And probably a lot of other American military equipment as well. The Chinese have maneuvered our former factories onto their territory, and the truth is that it isn’t just Chinese money we use to keep our military going; we can’t get by without their products anymore, either. even the sensitive electronic parts.
So China, a culture that has taken the long view for centuries, is making sensitive electronic parts for a country that could turn into their foe any day now. We have been their foe before, after all: Korea was only 60 years ago, and there were those times we stationed gunboats off the cost of Taiwan, not to mention all that military equipment we sell to the Taiwanese.
While it might be a good thing to worry that some of those counterfeit parts are substandard, isn’t there a much, much bigger worry here? They are producing sensitive electronic equipment, and counterfeiting some of THAT, too. Given Chinese history, and the traditional Chinese way of dealing with enemies, I have to wonder: how much stuff have they sold us that they built kill-switches into? And when will we find out, if this has been done?
I’m not knocking the Chinese; they have existed as long as they have because they’ve been able to adapt to the methodologies of whatever enemy they’ve had to face. I wouldn’t expect anything less. But I have to wonder what happens if we should find ourselves having to directly confront them on something.
I wonder if anyone in our military-industrial complex is doing any thinking about this?