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Giving All of You to Receive So Much More

Giving All of You to Receive So Much More


You Give an Inch, He Goes a Mile

This morning, after a time of confession and prayer, the Lord led me to an entry in My Utmost for His Highest on March 8th.  That’s right, an entry from 117 days ago.  And it was exactly what I needed to cement what God showed me in my time of prayer.  It deals with what we will relinquish or surrender to the Lord of ourselves in order for Him to make us, or recreate us, into what He needs us to be to be used by Him.

And that’s the whole point of the Christian life, right?  To be used by Him?  To offer ourselves as “a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which (based on the mercies of God) is our reasonable service” (Rom. 12:1).  Well, it’s the whole point of the Christian life for me.

As an encouragement to you, and to me, let me share the entry from Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost for His Highest for March 8th.  And I pray you will be as blessed, empowered, and inspired to live for Him as I was in reading it again.


The Surrendered Life

“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” – Galatians 2:20.

To become one with Jesus Christ, a person must be willing not only to give up sin, but also to surrender his whole way of looking at things.  Being born again by the Spirit of God means that we must first be willing to let go before we can grasp something else.  The first thing we must surrender is all of our pretense or deceit.  What our Lord wants us to present to Him is not our goodness, honesty, or our efforts to do better, but real solid sin.  Actually, that is all He can take from us.  And what He gives us in exchange for our sin is real solid righteousness.  But we must surrender all pretense that we are anything, and give up all our claims of even being worthy of God’s consideration.

Once we have done that, the Spirit of God will show us what we need to surrender next.  Along each step of this process, we will have to give up our claims to our rights to ourselves.  Are we willing to surrender our grasp on all that we possess, our desires, and everything else in our lives?  Are we ready to be identified with the death of Jesus Christ?

We will suffer a sharp painful disillusionment before we fully surrender.  When people really see themselves as the Lord sees them, it is not the terribly offensive sins of the flesh that shock them, but the awful nature of the pride of their own hearts opposing Jesus Christ.  When they see themselves in the light of the Lord, the shame, horror, and desperate conviction hit home for them.

If you are faced with the question of whether or not to surrender, make a determination to go on through the crisis, surrendering all that you have and all that you are to Him.  And God will then equip you to do all that He requires of you.


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Day One:  Learning to Hear His Voice… Daily

Day One: Learning to Hear His Voice… Daily


Our Forty Day Adventure

Today is the first day of a 40-day adventure.  No, this adventure is not about a mission trip to Haiti or a hike down the Appalachian Trail.  This 40-day adventure is a time set aside to discover more about the Lord and to learn, specifically, how to listen when He speaks and how to hear His voice.

That’s right, it’s my desire during this adventure to draw closer to the Lord than I’ve ever been before and to learn to hear His voice. I’m not talking about hearing Him speak to me through His Word, which is wonderful.  But I long for something more personal, more intimate.  I long to hear Him speak to me like He has others in Scripture, and as He has also done for me several times in the past.  In fact, those times of hearing His voice are some of the high points in my spiritual life.


Learning How to Hear His Voice

I know what many of you may be thinking.

“Oh, here we go again.  It looks like somebody else wants to move beyond the sufficiency of Scripture.  I guess Scripture’s not enough for Steve and now He wants more than God has already provided for him.  Maybe he wants an encounter like the one described in The Shack?  Or maybe he wants to hear God speak like Sarah Young claims in Jesus Calling or something like that?  Doesn’t he know that God only speaks today through His Word?”

No, I don’t know that.  In fact, I see many places in Scripture where God speaks to His children in other ways than through the Scriptures.  Let me give you a few examples.


The Damascus Road

In Acts 9, we find Jesus verbally speaking to Paul on the Damascus Road.  It wasn’t just a command or some proclamation declared from heaven.  It was a conversation where both He and Paul spoke to each other.  And in this conversation, Jesus did not limit Himself to speaking only through the written Word, which for Paul would have been the Old Testament.  Instead, He verbally communicated His personal message and will to Paul.  And that personal message could not be found from reading, for example, the Psalms or Isaiah.

Acts 9:4-6 – Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.  It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

“Got it,” you say. “But that’s the apostle Paul.  He was an apostle and could, therefore, hear God speak to him verbally in ways He doesn’t do today, to anybody, ever.  You and I are not apostles.  We don’t even have apostles anymore.  So how God spoke to Paul back then was just for Paul— and not for us today.”

Really?  So how do we explain God speaking, just a few verses later, to a non-apostle named Ananias?  He was not an apostle like Paul.  He was just a faithful disciple of Jesus who lived in Damascus that God had chosen for a specific task.  And how was Ananias to know what specific task God had in store for him unless, somehow and in some way, God spoke to him personally?


Ananias

The Scriptures say God spoke to Ananias in a vision (Acts 9:10).  Yet it was more than a dream or vision, it was actually a conversation.  God spoke, and Ananias responded.  God gave a command, and Ananias had some questions about God’s command.  Then God answered those questions and sent Ananias on his way.  Watch the give and take of this conversation.

Acts 9:10-16 – Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias, and to him the Lord said in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” So the Lord said to him, “Arise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus, for behold, he is praying.  And in a vision, he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hand on him, so that he might receive his sight.”

Then Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem.  And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name.” But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel.  For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.”


More Than a Daily Devotion

This conversation did not happen from Ananias reading the Old Testament during his time of daily devotions.  This was a verbal communication from God that gave direction, instruction, and explanation to a human being and occurred outside of His written Word.  It was personal, meant only for Ananias, and communicated God’s direct will to one of His children.  Not to each of us, but only to Ananias.

That’s what I’m striving for over the next 40 days.  I want my relationship to be so close to the Lord that when He speaks, I will hear and listen.  And I want to know His voice so well, like a child does his mother’s, that I won’t make the mistake of confusing His voice with my own.


Words of Encouragement

But there’s more.  In the very next chapter, we find God speaking to Peter regarding a vision he had about whether he should eat ceremonially unclean animals.  Again, this is a conversation between Peter and the Lord. It’s not Peter coming to this conclusion by reading Leviticus or Deuteronomy or some other Old Testament text and gleaning principles from them to help him make up his mind. It’s a direct conversation between God and a human being.  God gives a command and Peter responds with an objection.  Then God gives another command and addresses Peter’s objection.  Plus, the text says God had to do this three times.  Read it for yourself.

Acts 10:12-16 – In it were all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air.  And a voice came to him, “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.” But Peter said, “Not so, Lord!  For I have never eaten anything common or unclean.” And a voice spoke to him again the second time, “What God has cleansed you must not call common.” This was done three times.  And the object was taken up into heaven again.


Still Not Convinced?

But some may still be unconvinced that God can, and desires, to speak to us personally and directly and not necessarily always through His written Word.  After all, He is God and can do whatever He wants (Psalm 115:3).  And if it is possible to learn how to hear His voice, it seems that it should be right at the top of our to-do list.  But often it’s not.  So what do we do?

Often, when we read accounts like the one above with Peter, sometimes we conclude these encounters with God were in a dream state or vision or an early morning stupor and not a direct conversation, from lips to ears, between God and a human being. It’s true that often, in Scripture, God speaks in a dream or through a vision.  But that’s not always the case.  Consider how Jesus encouraged Paul in Acts 23.  This was a personal, intimate, one-on-one message of encouragement that was not revealed through a dream and was meant for Paul alone.  In fact, the text says the “Lord stood by him” when He spoke.

Acts 23:11 – But the following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Be of good cheer, Paul; for as you have testified for Me in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness at Rome.”

This was not a message Paul received from reading Proverbs or the creation account in Genesis.  It was a direct, personal word from the lips of the Lord to Paul.  And it shows that sometimes God speaks to us about specific needs that we have outside of, or in addition to, His Word.  It doesn’t mean God ever violates His Word or contradicts His Word, but sometimes He speaks to each of us outside of and in cooperation with His Word.

It appears the Lord has more tools in His tool belt than we allow Him to use.


Seems Logical

Think about it, you have a decision to make about taking a job offer.  Should you stay and accept the offer at Bank of America in Charlotte, North Carolina, or should you move and accept a competing offer with Capital One in McLean, Virginia?  You don’t know what to do so, as a Christian who desires to be in the center of God’s will, you ask God to tell you what offer He wants you to take.  Not to give you wisdom so you can make the decision based on salary incentives and benefits, or the relative cost of living in each area, or maybe the availability of affordable housing, and the professional growth potential each position offers— but to tell you specifically what offer He wants you to accept.

How does God do that through the Old or New Testament?  How does He communicate His desire directly to you?  Is there any verse, or passage, or story that specifically reveals to you the answer God has for you regarding the move?

Probably not.  Now there are principles in the Scriptures that may guide you in making the decision.  And there may be passages that talk about the wisdom God gives you to help you decide your future.  But for those of us who want a deeper intimacy with the Lord, we hunger for more.  I want to know exactly, precisely, specifically what God’s will is for my life and I believe I can know that best from His lips alone.  How?  Through the Scriptures?  Absolutely.  But also by His direct communication— in whatever manner He chooses to reveal Himself to me.

Because I can’t think of a particular passage in Ezekiel or Amos or 1 Corinthians that will tell me to either stay in Charlotte or move to Virginia.  Can you?


To Hear His Voice

My desire during this 40-day adventure is to learn to hear God’s voice on an ongoing basis.  Not every once in a while, but daily, hour by hour, much like a loving son longs to hear soothing words from his father. I’ve heard Him speak to me in the past, and these times have become cherished memories.  But I’m tired of living on the memories of good times, long past.  I hunger for more.  And I believe the default position for the Christian is for our Father to speak clearly to us as He has to others in His Word, and for each of us to be able to hear and understand what He is saying.

I believe we should be able to ask Him questions and receive from Him answers, much like the disciples did of Jesus.  It was natural for the disciples to ask Jesus a question and expect an answer.  Why should we expect otherwise?  After all, Jesus gave us “another (állos) Helper, that He may abide with you forever” (John 14:16).  And this “another (állos) Helper” is the Holy Spirit, who is just like Jesus.

But that’s something we’ll look at tomorrow.

If you’re so inclined, join with me and let’s discover together what God wants to do during this 40-day adventure with Him.  Hop on board.  It should be quite a ride.


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The Global Threat of Putin’s Deterioration

The Global Threat of Putin’s Deterioration


Another Sign of His Soon Return

Jesus said that war and rumors of war would mark the time before His return. Skeptics point out that there have always been both. Jesus clearly meant that end-time wars and messages about them would somehow be more extreme. With the use of atomic weapons, war changed at the end of World War II. Those weapons have not been used in battle since then, but thousands have been made and, through the years, made even deadlier. With the fall of the Soviet Union, most people were lulled into thinking the world was safe from nuclear destruction. But it isn’t true.

This year things have grown much worse. It’s not just that the war in Ukraine involves a nation loaded to the teeth with hydrogen bombs. During the nuclear era, both the United States and Russia fought various wars. The difference this time is the deterioration of the man with his finger on the nuclear button.

A few days ago, Vladimir Putin gave a warning to those nations helping Ukraine. “If someone intends to interfere in what is going on from the outside, they must know that constitutes an unacceptable strategic threat to Russia. They must know that our response to counterstrikes will be lightning fast. Fast. We have all the weapons we need for this. No one else can brag about these weapons, and we won’t brag about them. But we will use them.”

Over the last few years, Putin has made several direct and indirect threats to use nuclear weapons. But now the threats come almost every week. At the same time, intelligence sources are warning about significant changes in the man who runs Russia. Putin has become more erratic. His decisions are increasingly paranoid and self-destructive.

The former Russian spy Boris Karpichkov claims Putin is “obsessed by paranoid ideas…. He sees literally everyone, including those inside the Russian security services and even inside his close inner circle, to be ‘traitors.’” More concerning still, Karpichkov claims that Mr. Putin suffers from the early stages of dementia.

The Russian president’s recent appearances on camera illustrate the fact that something is terribly wrong. He appears bloated and uncomfortable. He has been seen gripping the desk before him with white knuckles for extended periods. After watching a video of Putin, a body language expert from Texas Tech University, Professor Erik Bucy, said, “It’s an astonishingly weakened Putin.”

Yevgeny Selivanov, a surgeon at Moscow’s Central Clinical Hospital, is reported to have met Putin at the leader’s Black Sea resort some thirty-five times. Selivanov wrote his thesis on the “treatment of elderly and senile patients with thyroid cancer.”

Putin has always been extremely self-centered, with a touch of paranoia. But Russia’s disastrous invasion of Ukraine seems to have amplified his paranoia to new levels. He may also suffer from cancer and Parkinson’s disease, along with early dementia. In his deteriorating mental and physical state, he may be feeling that he has little to lose.

And he controls the largest arsenal of nuclear weapons on the planet. He’s fighting a major war in Europe. And he regularly threatens the whole world with his nuclear weapons. There has never been a threat like him in the history of the world. Surely his present war and the war he threatens qualify as new and more extreme kinds of war and rumors of war. According to the Bible, it will get worse before it gets better.


“Your Redemption Draws Near

But this is a “lift up your heads” kind of moment. We should see the Putin-threat as another sign of the times. Combined with all the other signs, it seems obvious that we are getting close to the time of Christ’s return. And that, friends, is good news!
 

This article is by Hal Lindsey. You can find more about him at www.hallindsey.com.


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We are Children.  Heirs.  What are the Implications?

We are Children. Heirs. What are the Implications?


What it Means to Live in His Kingdom

On Sunday, we discussed the preaching of Jesus regarding the kingdom of God and how our understanding of our position in His kingdom, as both a child of God and an heir (Rom. 8:17), can bring much comfort, confidence, and boldness to our lives in these dark times. In fact, we began the message by showing this mindset of the kingdom, and Jesus as Sovereign King, is what gave the church the confidence to move forward with their mission regardless of the attacks and persecutions hurled their way.

Just watching the early church grow stronger and more committed no matter what the enemy tried to do has been a great encouragement to me and a huge motivator to learn more about how they spiritually thrived while under constant attack and then incorporate those traits in my own life. For I firmly believe the church in the West needs to become intimately familiar with these same spiritual traits we see manifested in the book of Acts by the early church. I know I certainly do.


What, Me Worry?

So what do we know at this point?

One, we know from the Revelation (Rev. 19:16), among other places, that we belong to the King of kings and the Lord of lords, and He chose us for no other reason than “the good pleasure of His will” (Eph. 1:5). And we know we are citizens of His kingdom, where He rules in righteousness and justice (Ps. 89.14).

But this is where it gets exciting.

Two, God, through His love and grace, moved us closer to Himself, as more than simply citizens who serve their King. In Romans 8 and elsewhere, He now declares us His children, who have received the spirit of adoption. We are now members of His family, His children, adopted according to the “good pleasure of His will” (Eph. 1:5), or simply because He wanted to.

For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God – Romans 8:15-16.

Makes you stand taller when you recognize who your Father is, doesn’t it? I mean, what can this world do to us when we belong to Him? Nuthin’. Absolutely nothing.

And finally, the trip to intimacy with our Father grows even deeper. If you continue reading in Romans 8, we go from adopted children to heirs, ones who share in everything that belongs to our Father. There is really no greater blessing an earthly father can give to their adopted son, much less a Heavenly Father.

And if children, then heirs— heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together – Romans 8:17.

You might want to take a deep breath and read that again slowly. Since we are children of God, He declares we are also “heirs of God” and, unbelievably so, co or “joint heir with Christ.” How is that even possible? And how could we ever be so blessed?

We are children of the ultimate King, God the Father, the great “I AM,” the Ever-Present One. And if that wasn’t enough, we are heirs, receiving an inheritance along with His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. This means, regardless of our failures, the Father has fully received us as His children, and not as some second-class member of His family.

So when you take a few minutes to let the implications of that sink in, ask yourself what you should be afraid of in this world? What can the enemy do to you that would cause you to fear? What is there to worry about? Answer: Nothing. Why? Because you are a child of the King, and a member of not only His Kingdom, but also His family. Not as a distant cousin, once removed. But as His beloved child.

There is more we will discuss in the coming days, but I hope this encourages and emboldens you to live large and loud for Him as His precious child.


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Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order

Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order


Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order

The following video by Ray Dalio will give you a historical understanding of where we are heading as a nation and culture.  This will allow you to prepare accordingly, based on facts and not fear.  But I cannot emphasise enough, the looming crisis (over the next few months) is both real and inevitable.  So get informed and get prepared.




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Future Conflict in the Pacific… It’s Coming!

Future Conflict in the Pacific… It’s Coming!

InFocus: Future Conflict in the Pacific


Background

Over the past six months, China has increasingly sent large numbers of its People’s Liberation Army (PLA) tactical military aircraft into the air defense identification zone of Taiwan. Many of these incursions appear to be training events for large strike packages, which include nuclear-capable heavy bombers, sophisticated 4th and 5th generation strike-fighters, air superiority fighters and electronic warfare aircraft. Recently, China has included aerial refueling of these strike packages with its newest indigenously-produced Y-20 aerial refueling aircraft. To many China watchers, these training events appear to be rehearsals for an attack on Taiwan. In response, Taiwan has increased arms purchases from the U.S. and has begun training with U.S. Marine and special operations forces for defense against an amphibious assault by China.

Future Conflict in the Pacific

While the U.S. does not have a formal security alliance with Taiwan, it is a strong supporter and maintains commercial and military ties through the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979. China views U.S. relations with Taiwan as disruptive to the stability of the region and an affront to the sovereignty of China under its current “one China” policy.

China’s goal is to eventually control access to the Pacific, establish a global forward presence and exploit its access to other nations’ natural resources in order to supply its growing economy and population.

The U.S. understands the consequences of a potentially hostile hegemon controlling access to the Pacific – and with it, the supply chains on which the U.S. economy relies. The problem is that over the past three decades, the U.S. has outsourced a considerable amount of its industrial capacity to China. Only about 12% of consumer goods are now manufactured in the U.S., while roughly 45% of maritime imports are produced in China. This puts the U.S. on the horns of a dilemma. On one hand, the U.S. cannot allow China to control the Pacific. On the other, armed conflict with China in order to maintain a free and open Pacific would likely result in severe supply chain disruptions across the U.S. and Europe. In addition to the economic impact, if the U.S. demurs and allows China to seize Taiwan and threaten Japan and Australia, its security promises will be deemed worthless. If it attempts to stop China from seizing Taiwan or threatening its Pacific allies and it fails, then it proves unable to fulfill those same security promises. Either way, a significant and empire-ending event for the U.S. is a distinct possibility. And the first step in this unpalatable scenario begins on the beaches of Taiwan.


Potential Courses of Action


Most Dangerous Course of Action:

The most dangerous course of action is that China will coordinate a corps-level amphibious and airborne assault on Taiwan to occur simultaneously with a separate geopolitical crisis. Currently, Russia is massing forces on the border with Ukraine. U.S. intelligence agencies now estimate that Russia will launch an attack on Ukraine sometime in early 2022 with a 175,000-man combined arms army. With the U.S. and European Union distracted, or potentially bogged down in a conflict in Ukraine, China could exploit the chaos of that crisis to make a sudden surprise attack on Taiwan, followed by a quick occupation of the Senkaku islands. An additional joint operation with Russia to seize or threaten Japanese territory in the vicinity of Hokkaido and the Kuril Islands would put Japan between two much more powerful adversaries. This would give China near total control of the Pacific’s first island chain and facilitate its naval forces in future moves south or east in the Pacific. Should the U.S. respond militarily, China would likely attempt to use its long-range precision fires to destroy U.S. and allied naval forces which threatened its move on Taiwan. In addition to kinetic operations in the Pacific, China could leverage its influence with U.S. domestic protest movements such as Antifa, BLM, and other social justice groups to foment civil unrest in the U.S. in order to cause maximum chaos and potential disruption of the leadership decision cycle. China’s goal would be an overwhelming first strike on the Taiwanese military and government along with a crushing blow to U.S. and allied military forces responding in defense of Taiwan. Once consolidated on the island post-landing, expect China to deliver terms of surrender to the Taiwanese government. The idea being to avoid having to fight in the dense urban areas if at all possible. Once the seizure of Taiwan is complete, China and Russia could negotiate a new status quo in the region, even returning some captured Japanese territory as a concession.

PLA Marine Type-05 Amphibious Assault Vehicle


Most Likely Course of Action:

A second possible course of action would be for China to conduct what would essentially be a military demonstration by seizing Taiwan’s Pratas Island and Japan’s Senkaku islands with regimental-sized amphibious forces. While at the same time forward deploying additional military forces to the austere airfields and naval facilities recently constructed on China’s man-made islands in the Paracels and Spratlys. With Taiwan essentially surrounded, China could put in place a sea and air embargo and give Taiwan’s government terms for reunification. This could also be timed with any Russian actions against Ukraine, but this would not be necessary for success. In this scenario, China would be betting that the U.S. would not come to the aid of Taiwan and would seek a negotiated settlement … perhaps the return of the Senkaku islands to Japan in exchange for a free-hand in bringing Taiwan under China’s control. In this coercion-by-embargo scenario, China’s goal would be to publicly force the U.S. hand on Taiwan. Washington’s expected lack of military response would undermine and demoralize any Taiwanese ideas about resistance and lead Taiwan to accept a Chinese reunification proposal sprinkled with insincere guarantees of limited autonomy. This is the most likely course of action because it avoids all-out armed conflict in the Pacific and keeps commerce flowing between China and the West. Executing this COA within the next 12 months capitalizes on the diminished leadership in Washington and exploits the psychological impotence resulting from the U.S. military’s humiliating withdrawal from Afghanistan.


Least Likely Course of Action:

A third possible course of action would be for China to hold off on a kinetic option to capture Taiwan. Instead, China would continue building out its military forces with advanced technology and power projection capabilities (such as hypersonic weapons, aerial refueling platforms, and intermediate range ballistic missiles), while simultaneously using covert influence operations against the U.S. political leadership in Washington and the Taiwanese leadership in Taipei in order to facilitate a fait accompli against Taiwan. In this case, China would seek to convince the Taiwanese that no one would be coming to their aid and a negotiated settlement for reunification would be in their best interest – and eventually, through covert influence, getting U.S. leaders to publicly admit the same thing. It is the least dangerous for the U.S., but is also least likely. This is a “bird in the hand versus two in the bush” scenario, since it forfeits the present opportunity to repatriate Taiwan during a time of diminished U.S. leadership for a chance to achieve the same victory through soft power mechanisms at a later date. By delaying until a future date in order to develop and employ soft power influence operations, there is a chance that U.S. leadership might regain its footing with more competent leadership and a better led, organized, and equipped military. This would be an enormous gamble for China.


U.S. Response

The U.S. response to any Chinese move on Taiwan is likely to be what Secretary of Defense Austin called in a recent interview integrated deterrence. Integrated deterrence leads with diplomatic dialogue and pressure, backed up with the threat of military action. The concept of integrated deterrence looks good on paper and is certainly appropriate for a slow-moving potential conflict with a rational like-minded nation-state. Integrated deterrence is not as effective against a blitzkrieg-type kinetic threat by a nation-state that uses different calculations to determine its national interests. It works best when finely calibrated to an adversary’s interests and pain points and deployed well ahead of any potential armed conflict.

In the case of Taiwan, integrated deterrence would likely result in performative condemnation of China’s actions along with a new set of red lines in the Pacific focused on protecting Australia and Japan.

Should the U.S. decide to respond militarily, expect the forward deployment of additional carrier and amphibious task forces into the Pacific. Additional USAF and US Army units would likely be forward-deployed to Japan, Guam and Australia. From a military perspective, the timeline for deployment of additional forces is much longer than China’s timeline for an assault on Taiwan. Indications and warnings (I&W) of an impending amphibious and airborne operation against Taiwan would be sparse since many of China’s combat units and naval vessels are permanently stationed in close proximity to the Taiwan Straits. It is reasonable to conclude that the U.S may receive seven to ten days of I&W prior to the launch of an operation against Taiwan, whereas it would take double or even triple that to reposition significant additional forces in the Pacific.

Currently deployed forces would not be sufficient to counter a PLA corps-level amphibious and airborne assault on Taiwan. The likelihood of an attempt to dislodge PLA forces already dug in on Taiwan is minuscule owing to the probability of escalation and the improbability of success.

Simply put, the U.S. will not be able to counter China’s attack on Taiwan by reacting or waiting until the first PLA ships and planes cross the Taiwan straits. Instead, the U.S. would need to preposition forces in the Pacific in advance of I&W – something already ruled out in the recent DoD Global Posture Review. Additionally, with intelligence agencies forecasting a Russian attack on Ukraine in early 2022, the U.S. may choose to forego attempts to counter China in a near-term assault on Taiwan, and instead look to mitigate any further damage in the Pacific under a new status quo.

If the U.S. fails to halt China’s move on Taiwan, the result will be a reordering of the status quo and geopolitical alliances in the Pacific and potentially world-wide. After all, if the U.S. can brush away its security promises to Taiwan, who is to say they would not do the same to any other nation with which they have made similar promises?

In any scenario, the U.S. will likely begin to decouple its economy from China and near-shore its manufacturing, as is already happening in response to COVID-19 impacts. The U.S. will lead with various sanctions against China, most of which will focus on key national and business leaders, as well as inward-facing Chinese corporations, in an effort to reduce effects on the U.S. economy. The U.S. will also likely remove recently enacted regulatory restrictions on transportation and domestic oil and gas production in order to streamline supply chains and counter rising prices from renewed competition in the global market. Additionally, expect a significant change in leadership in the U.S. and a loss of international prestige as a result of the failure to protect national interests in the Pacific.


Recommendations

U.S. businesses can front-run this conflict by seeking new suppliers outside of Asia. Those with manufacturing concerns in China should seek alternate manufacturing means and locations in geographical areas not subject to Chinese control or manipulation. U.S. consumers should anticipate major disruptions in supply chains and build up at least 90 days’ worth of essential food and supplies.

Many automotive, HVAC, and technology components are manufactured in China, therefore it is advisable to have required maintenance or replacements completed prior to the commencement of hostilities in the Pacific. Taiwan produces 40% of the world’s high-end microchips. This means that a large portion of that market may be unavailable for an extended period of time. As we witnessed during the most recent microchip shortage, there was a significantly decreased availability of new automobiles, agricultural equipment and industrial machinery that relied on these chips – plan accordingly.

In the event of cyberattacks on U.S. critical infrastructure, have an alternate electrical power source and available cash for emergencies. If China executes the most dangerous course of action, expect increasing civil unrest across the country, but particularly in cities and areas along political seams (red/blue lines). Citizens and businesses should have a realistic security plan and be prepared to provide for their own self-defense.


This post was taken from the December 10th edition of the Forward Observer Early Warning Report and was written by Max Morton. I would strongly suggest you consider a subscription to the Early Warning Report because it will deliver invaluable information to your inbox five days a week. You can find them at www.forwardobserver.com.