The Evolving Asia-Pacific and America’s Place in it

This blog will be about a lot of things: war, politics, geography, military and civilian leaders, national cultures, global and regional institutions (my love for running might just make the cut some days). But, above all, the focus will be on U.S. strategy in the Asia-Pacific region. As a professional strategic practitioner and one who will soon teach “Military Strategy” academically, my gaze will be towards the Far East.

Additionally, the US PACOM area of responsibility is home to two great shifts. First, the gradual shift of economic power from West to East. Second, the regional shift of (again, economic) power to the People’s Republic of China. Most folks refer to this as the “Rise of China,” a statement that has become so dominant in political science discourse that it might as well have it’s own drinking game. But there is something to the concept, as seen, in the really slick scanned document I’ve provided at the left.
China has overtaken long-stagnant Japan as the world’s second largest economy, behind only the United States. Impressively, China’s economy was one-eighth that of the U.S. in 2001 ~ now the gap is down to less than three to one. This increase represents China’s industrialization; it’s growth to a first world nation. One can, in the chart above, see that at Purchasing Power Parity, China is sitting at roughly $7500 per captia, still a fraction of Japan, the U.S., and most of the fully developed world.

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9-16 APR Training Week; Event Notes & an Article

Howdy Team WWP,
Here we go ~ I’ll stick to my title, and go in order. First, the training week. Running every day now, at about a 7:30 – 8:30 pace per mile. Consistency is what I’m after, and it’s starting to come about. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, I’ve been running down to the gym and doing a series of leg/quad strengthening exercises to keep the area around the left knee and tendon intact. I’m up to 3 sets of 3:30 wall sits, so that’s encouraging. On the whole, I ran roughly 36 miles this past week (up from 33.5 and 31 the past two weeks, respectively). I also visited the acupuncturist on Friday. I’m starting to think that my knee challenge is one that will never quite heal, but one that I can manage to the point of tolerability. We’ll see. My biggest change though, has definitely been to modify my running form in order to take more load off the knees and shift it to the feet and calves. Speaking of which, my right foot continues to heal ~ slowly, but it’s getting there. It’s sort of generally sore from time to time, but nothing that would make me think that it’s still fundamentally broken.

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3rd Annual Fundraiser…and I’m really running again!

This serves as your official invitation to Team Minnesota/WWP’s Third Annual Gala! The last two years have been wildly successful, and Tom and I would love to have you with us on the 10th! The Saint Paul Vulcans have put a lot of hard work and effort into this, and have graced us with their support…we’re so proud to be affiliated with a great community organization like the Vulcans!

So please come out on Sunday afternoon! I promise this will be the best bit of money you spend all year!

Also, and I’ll be brief about this, but I ran 32 miles this past week…every day. The healing is progressing on schedule, and I’m so excited to get under way with this year’s schedule!

See you on Sunday…

All my best & Keep moving forward, Matt

Running with regularity & planning the upcoming season

I’m running daily now, about 3 miles a day, sometimes more, sometimes less. It’s hard to describe what it feels like. It’s been so long since I’ve felt that daily grind, that soreness in the calf muscle, that tightness in the leg muscles. It feels great!

But, I also have to acknowledge that it’s a baby step. And, counter intuitively, it’s much more work than I remember. When you’ve been away from that daily run for awhile (in my case, a full six months) ~ everything atrophies. I haven’t gained a ton of weight or anything, I haven’t “let myself go” by just sitting around and not exercising. Yet, over time, the ability to rapidly propel yourself forward, the specific set of muscles that work in concert to get you to go full speed ahead…they don’t do very well at coordinating their movements.

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Coming back is lonely and frustrating ~ but worth it

It’s almost time to start running again. After shutting everything down at the end of last September, 5 full months later, I’m starting to believe that I’m close to being 100% again. It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to say that. The acupuncture treatments with Dr. Yan have worked exceptionally well, and each time after I get off the table I feel better than the previous visit. I’ve now gone in to see him a total of 6 times, each visit is pretty much the same: he puts 1-2 needles in the point of greatest pain (top left corner of the left kneecap), one in the muscle that extends along my shin, and one in the longest muscle of the left quadriceps. Then I sit there, reading Time magazine, for 35 minutes or so. That’s it. Frankly, I’m astounded at how well it’s worked, and, reflected on the ease with which he is able to ease pain in such a non-invasive manner. I remember taking ibuprofin, 4 x 800mg/day in college! And, of course, it led me to think about severely wounded Veterans and their troubles with the various medications necessary to keep them on the road to recovery…below you’ll find a link to a NY Times piece on this very subject:

Great NY Times piece on Veteran rehabilitation.

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Left knee and Acupuncture: New hope from the East?

I had an acupuncture treatment for my left knee on Thursday afternoon. It went well and I can’t wait to get back in for my second tomorrow.

Maybe I should bring everyone up to speed on what’s wrong with the knee. First, I had about 1/3 of my patella tendon removed at the end of college. I wasn’t functioning properly, hadn’t healed over 2 years, and was sort of like a rubber band that had lost it’s elasticity. Frayed. That’s how the orthopedic doctor described it, and so we went ahead with the removal. Which isn’t that bad of a surgery, as we all have twice as much tendon there as we need.

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Three more weeks to the first finish line; three others coming this season

Three more weeks. That’s what I keep telling myself. The right foot is coming along, and the knee is nearly fully healed, so I’m treating this injury rehabilitation as my first “finish line” of the season. The first part of my year. And I’m giving myself until the beginning of March to get there. It’s a good marker to transition back to training. It’ll have been 10 weeks since breaking the foot, which is actually a cautious return schedule. Clearly, broken bones heal at different rates, some faster, some slower. Being that I’m young, healthy, etc., it’s fair to say that I’m on the faster end of that scale. And the “average” person is fully healed in 6-8 weeks. So 10 weeks is reasonable. Considering where I’m at now (walking, not quite full range of motion, feels like a bruise), March 1st should be good.

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