We already have two endless wars….one is approaching 20 years and the other is nearing the 17 year anniversary.
That should be enough, right?
Well apparently the Hawks are gearing the government up for a new future endless war……this time it will be with China.
Why would I say this?
There are those that are beating the drums of war for the US and for Japan……
China toughened its language against Taiwan, warning that “independence means war.” A few days prior, the Taiwanese Defense Ministry reported 15 aircraft from the Chinese air force inside its air defense identification zone. This uptick in saber-rattling suggests the military challenge posed by China will likely continue, making it one of the Biden administration’s top priorities. Unlike the Trump administration, with its transactional approach to alliances, the Biden administration may find U.S. interests can be best served through strategic engagement with its allies, on this issue as elsewhere. In particular, part of the military challenge posed by China might be answered by turning to its longtime ally Japan and firming up one of the most intrinsic aspects of the United States-Japan alliance: warfighting.
The U.S.-Japanese relationship has deep roots. Perhaps due to the cultural strength of pacifism in Japan or the legal limits on what Japan’s Self-Defense Forces can do, however, the military aspect of the alliance has often been underemphasized in favor of broader strategic discussions about the stabilizing aspect of the alliance or economic and diplomatic cooperation. Beyond calls for greater interoperability, the specifics of the alliance’s military dimension are rarely highlighted despite the fact that the institutional relationship between their militaries and defense establishments are extremely complex, with several areas of possible improvement.
Of course that is just one publication’s opinion…..but I do not believe that it is that far from the fact.
What makes me think that the hammer is about to drop?
DC’s top War Hawk….Sen. Cotton…..
Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) on Thursday called for a new US policy on what would happen in the event of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan. Currently, the US arms Taiwan through weapons sales and maintains a policy known as “strategic ambiguity,” which means the US is not guaranteed to intervene if Beijing moves to take the island.
Cotton said he wants to make it “crystal clear” that a Chinese incursion on Taiwan means war with the US. “The United States needs to be clear that we will not allow China to invade Taiwan and subjugate it. Case closed. No further debate,” he said at a Reagan Institute event.
“Replace strategic ambiguity with strategic clarity that the United States will come to the aid of Taiwan if China was to forcefully invade Taiwan or otherwise change the status quo across the [Taiwan] Strait,” Cotton added.
The hawkish senator said the US should establish “red lines” for China that would “require a response” from Washington. Examples of Cotton’s red lines include China seizing Taiwanese-claimed islands, a Chinese invasion of a regional ally like India, or if Beijing permits an attack on US troops or allies by North Korea.
Cotton made the comments while he presented his plan to take on Beijing economically. In the plan, Cotton called for an economic decoupling from China. “Our economy has become far too entangled with China’s, providing the Chinese Communist Party with leverage over the US government and industry. It’s past time we decoupled from China,” he said.
Cotton’s report came after the US Chamber of Commerce released a study that said the US Gross Domestic Product (GDP) would see a one-time loss of as much as $500 billion if US companies halved foreign direct investment in China. Besides the hit to the US’s GDP, decoupling with China would give Washington and Beijing less reason not to go to war if a naval incident happens in the South China Sea, where the US has stepped up its military presence and frequently sails warships.
The US sends in the Navy to probe the enemy….
A US warship sailed near the Chinese-claimed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea on Wednesday. The US Navy’s Seventh Fleet said the guided-missile destroyer USS Russell made the provocative passage, conducting what the US calls a Freedom of Navigation Operation (FONOP).
The US started conducting FONOPs to challenge Beijing’s claims to islands in the region in 2015. These maneuvers were stepped up during the Trump administration. In 2020, the US carried out nine FONOPs in the South China Sea, a record high.
Wednesday’s FONOP marked the second of the Biden administration. Earlier this month, the USS John McCain sailed near the Paracel Islands, another archipelago in the South China Sea, after the warship steamed through the sensitive Taiwan Strait.
The Biden administration has also been sending aircraft carriers to conduct exercises in the South China Sea. Last week, two US aircraft carrier strike groups entered the waters. The USS Theodore Roosevelt and the USS Nimitz held rare dual-carrier drills, a signal that the new administration has no plans to curb US military activity in the region.
Even NATO is thumping its macho chest as well…
In an effort to stay relevant, NATO is looking towards Asia to join the US in countering China in the region. During Friday’s Munich Security Conference, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg made it clear that Beijing is a top priority of the alliance.
“The rise of China is a defining issue for the transatlantic community.
With potential consequences for our security, our prosperity and our way of life,” Stoltenberg said. “This is why NATO should deepen our relationships with close partners, like Australia and Japan, and forge new ones around the world.”
At the end of 2020, NATO released a report that called for the alliance to increase its focus on China. The report said NATO should build stronger relationships with countries in Asia, like Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea, what it calls “like-minded” countries.
The report says NATO should consider forming a partnership with India, a country the US has been stepping up military cooperation with. The US, India, Japan, and Australia form the informal alliance, or dialogue, known as the Quad, a group NATO is keen to work with. The Quad is seen as a possible foundation for a NATO-style military alliance in Asia.
This may seem like some sort of “War Game”….but it looks like they are searching for some sort of response to justify an action that has been building up.
This all smells like a new “Gulf of Tonkin Incident” in the making.
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