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Today a small article was published by the Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post. The article was titled "Millions of Hong Kong fliers delayed by mainland military restrictions". The facts are simple:

• Hong Kong has a massive international airport located in the island of Chek Lap Kok (HKG as per IATA's denomination)
• The PLA (People's Liberation Army) decrees that all civil flights to and from HKG enter mainland space at a minimum altitude of 4800 meters
• This added 20 to 30 minutes delays to about 100,000 flights and 15 million passengers between 2010 and 2012
• This is artificially maxing out the airport's capacity to 60 flights per hour instead of its design capacity of about 82 to 86 flights per hour
• Because of this limitation, a third runaway must be built

Limitations of this nature become extreme when the PLA is exercising, such as the recent one when two Shanghai airports were closed down, altogether reducing capacity to 25%

This is just a tiny token example as to how politicians keep screwing our lives. This case is neat because it provides numbers that can be tabulated. Let's do a few simple calculations:

• Person/time wasted = 15 million x 25 min = 713 years!
• Monthly salaries wasted = 713x12 = 8556 monthly salaries!
• Fuel wasted = 100,000 flights x 25 min x 60 seconds x 4 liters = 600,000,000 liters of fuel

In other words, in addition to PLA's expenditures (which are secret), the PLA managed to waste 713 person/years, 8556 monthly salaries and 600 million liters of plane fuel.

And what did the PLA obtained for that money? Not much, some training.

But, of course, "national security" trumps everything.

And now the question becomes security against whom?

Well, other nations such as US, which will in turn have their own exercises and waste much more money doing the same.

In other words, country A is wasting our time and money to be ready to defend us from country B and viceversa.

And now the question becomes why?

If you live in country A, do you personally know anybody from country B (excluding politicians and the military) who wishes you ill?