Maybe. I also look at the history of Europe and see even "independent" countries at war continuously for centuries. People are generally just dicks. Some blame it on colonialism or religion or a number of other things, but I think tribalism is inherent and something that we need to actively fight.
Or the Philippines. Cuba. Indians, "Manifest Destiny", Monroe Doctrine, etc. We could go on.
But we collectively like to think that the world has left the 19th century ideas of western colonialism behind.
An inch is defined as exactly 25.4mm, based on the yard being defined as exactly 0.9144 meters.
There's your problem... this occurred in Texas.
I don't worry one wink about the US and China going to war directly - as you say, a nuclear deterrent is a hell of a thing.
But I do see possible scenarios where China asserts itself over large sections of the Asian Pacific region with only token opposition from the US - simply because the US would no longer have the same relative capacity to respond effectively. Why actively defend Taiwan if it means losing much of your Pacific fleet and air force, leaving Japan vulnerable. Why inject yourself into local drama surrounding the South China sea for the same reasons?
Then again, you do mention BRICS, and the Russia and India part of that are not necessarily going to sit idle as their neighbor rises militarily. Russia is already at more or less their peak militarily, but India could yet grow legs.
Unless you are arguing that China will not do this, I don't understand your point.
They certainly won't be unopposed. But is the US going to go all-in against an equal to defend Taiwan? How about the South China sea? China will take what it wants from that region if the current regime remains in power.
That's a big "if". If China's economy grows to rival or exceed the US, that implies a richer, more educated populace that might not be happy with their lack of freedoms. An economic decline of any size could send the government into crisis.
Today, that is true. At around 8-10% per year increases, it won't take long to catch up or eclipse the US - which has flat spending. We're talking 20 years at the outside.
Of course, past results are no guarantee of future blah blah blah.
Eventually China will surpass the US in both economic activity, and probably, military spending. You will one day look back upon US hegemony with nostalgia. As counterproductive and clumsy as US foreign policy is, it rarely includes expansion or annexation.
Are you arguing that there is no commercial market for space? Because that is insane - there are roughly 30 launches per year.
And like most things, as cost comes down demand is likely to go up.
Disk crisis, please clean up!