By Matthew Ehret
The Pentagon’s new military report on China released on September 1st has demonstrated that the outdated and deadly Cold War mentality which has wrought such destruction upon the world since the end of WWII has not only become more deeply embedded into the psyche of dominant foreign policy officials in the Pentagon, it demonstrated that the current American establishment is totally unfit to survive in today’s nuclear age. In our nuclear age, Hobbesian laws of the jungle will only result in mass extermination. If we are to survive beyond the coming decade, it is high time that a higher moral paradigm befitting of human dignity becomes hegemonic.
If one wishes to play the role of Alice and join the tea party which these Pentagon Mad Hatters are hosting, one would be expected to believe that the belligerent aggressor in the Pacific theater is not the America which has spread its military tentacles around China’s backyard since Obama’s Asia Pivot that was announced in 2012, but rather China itself. The authors of the Pentagon report assert that it is China who is interested in expansionism, overthrowing the “rule of law”, conquering the weak of the Pacific and overtaking the US as a globally hegemonic power, both militarily and with their Belt and Road Initiative, which the Washington Consensus has labelled a debt trap.
More recently, Pompeo has sent Undersecretary of State Keith Krach to Taiwan to belligerently organize bilateral free trade deals and several military deals worth $7 billion which the current basket-case leadership of Taiwan is all too happy to oblige.
One of the best psychological assessments of this report came from former Marine Corps intelligence officer Scott Ritter who made the point that the Pentagon authors suffer deeply from a disorder which Freud called “projection” (attributing your own neurotic obsessions onto others). In his RT op ed Ritter states:
“By projecting its own failed global ambitions onto China, the Department of Defense is failing to address the real reasons behind China’s military expansion.”
In this regard, the practices of debt trap diplomacy that the Euranglosphere has engaged in for decades since WWII—at the helm of the IMF and World Bank—have been projected onto China. What is ignored in this assessment is the simple fact that debt slavery has provably increased among all recipients of western conditionality-laced loans for decades, with NO actual industrial development or genuine infrastructure that could empower those nations to repay those loans, China has done the opposite. Every nation which has accepted China’s help along the New Silk Road with its African and South American extensions has benefited immeasurably with local manufacturing, finance, and cultural upshifts that have never been permitted by those western technocrats running the levers of credit for decades.
The September 1st Pentagon report tries to prove its claims by referring to China’s ambitions to double their nuclear deterrent arsenal from its current 215 to 430 by 2030 but completely ignores the fact that America itself owns over 3800 nuclear warheads (with an additional 2000 in storage) and has stated repeatedly its willingness to use them.
Why does China think it needs to upgrade this arsenal?
According to the Pentagon, it is because the Chinese have global military ambitions to replace the USA.
The reality is that China is merely responsive to the obvious containment/full spectrum dominance agenda which the USA has unleashed in recent years. These operations feature war games throughout the Pacific and THAAD missile systems in South Korea which can easily be transformed into a first strike infrastructure which many game theorists believe can take out China’s ability to respond to a future attack. The none-existence of foreign Chinese military bases outside of China (except for one sole base in Djibouti) is totally ignored as is the existence of over 800 U.S. military bases spread across the globe, with an abundance clustered around the perimeters of Russia and China.
Celebrating the 75th anniversary of Japan’s surrender, Philip Davidson (head of the US Indo Pacific Command) echoed the Pentagon report saying: “An emboldened Communist Party of China seeks to change the world to one in which Chinese national power is more important than international law”.
Davidson echoed the words of Mark Esper who had earlier announced the report on August 26 saying “China’s global ambitions include establishing a security presence at strategic access points, such as its base in Africa, to enhance its ability to project power globally and across all domains. Clearly, China seeks to undermine the free and open order itself, which impacts every nation supporting and benefiting from this system.”
In response to this supposed undermining of “the free and open order”, Esper brags that America is “modernizing our forces so we can deter, compete and, if necessary, fight and win across all domains: air, land, sea, space, and cyberspace.”
While China is certainly trying to improve its military capabilities in the face of western aggression, Esper brags that the USA is supporting the “rule of law” by providing F35 aircraft to Japan, Seahawk helicopters to India and F-16 jets and Abrams tanks to Taiwan under a $160 billion military investment program in the Indo Pacific!
$400 million are being spent to create an anti-China military infrastructure throughout the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, the Maldives, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Singapore has signed a treaty to extend US military presence for another 15 years and Australia… well don’t get me started on Australia.
To make matters worse, Admiral Davidson launched into a renewed anti-Chinese attack on September 17 saying the U.S. must boost “billions of dollars of defense capability” to Guam complaining that the current THAAD systems in the colony are only directed at North Korea with 120 degrees of protection, but require a full 360 degree protection to include China. The admiral also called for offensive capabilities saying “China has a profound advantage in ballistic missiles against the Unites States, and a profound advantage in ground-launched cruise missiles. We have to get into that offensive force as well.”
Commenting on the anti-Chinese war buildup, Russian Ambassador Antonov told Nikkei Asian Review stated “Russia, for its part, will never participate in coalitions against third countries, including China” (referring to the US-Japan-Australia-India Quad). He continued by saying: “Unfortunately, Washington promotes anti Chinese sentiments and its relations with regional countries are based on their support for such an approach.”
While the list of aggressive militaristic policies goes on (and I am not even including the anti-Russian military programs that have come to a head with this past week’s B-52 flyover NATO countries and September 17 unveiling of NATO’s Atlantic Command under anti-Russia warhawk Admiral Andrew Lewis) the fact is that these neocons are dragging the world ever closer to nuclear war with the Bulletin for Atomic Scientists Doomsday Clock now registering at 100 seconds to midnight.
But there is another way to go.
An infinitely saner policy orientation has been announced loudly by the joint leadership of Russia and China who have made their anti-war commitments crystal clear for anyone wishing to use their minds in the west.
First off, let’s take a look at the powerful message celebrating the end of WWII sent by Xi Jinping to Putin on September 3rd saying that “all [the] international community should join China and Russia to advance the building of a community with a shared future for mankind, so as to allow future generations to enjoy a world featuring lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity”. Xi continued “the Chinese and Russian peoples fought side by side and forged an unbreakable great friendship with blood, laying a solid foundation for the high level development of bilateral relations”
Putin in turn responded to Xi saying “World War II, which was the largest tragedy in human history, claimed tens of millions of lives. The Soviet Union and China bore the brunt of the struggle against Nazism and militarism and sustained the biggest losses in the fight to defeat the Nazi aggressors”. Putin stated that the “ties of friendship and mutual assistance which grew stronger between the two nations during the war, are now promoting the dynamic development of Russian-Chinese relations of comprehensive partnership and strategic interaction”.
Extending this highly Confucian/Christian principle of coexistence and cooperation to the USA, Chinese Ambassador to Washington Cui Tiankai stated on September 3rd that the USA and China needs “to recapture the spirit of cooperation from WWII… At that time, China and the USA fought shoulder to shoulder during WWII leaving an indelible mark in the shared history of our two countries”.
By invoking this forgotten historical dynamic that once animated world policy, Ambassador Cui demonstrated a profound understanding of both history and future problemsolving needed to avoid a global tragedy. Most people get confused thinking history is merely about the past, but the true statesman recognizes that history is actually about the future… not merely because we might best “avoid repeating past mistakes” as some Santayana-followers assume, but rather because understanding the past (and the outcomes that SHOULD HAVE BEEN if not for the artificial abortions of potential) allows us to re-discover characteristics about ourselves, our nations and our cultures which we in our corrupted states of being have forgotten. The awareness of these dormant noble characteristics that once fueled great moments in the past, allows a citizenry and its elected leaders to rally around moral principles that their nation once embodied under saner times.
None other than the great Machiavelli expressed this principle clearly in his third book on Livy when he noted that a corrupt republic or religious institution has only one chance to avoid collapse after it has travelled on the road of corruption for too long… renovation via a rediscovery of its original principles:
“It is a truth clearer than light that, without such renovation, these bodies cannot continue to exist; and the means of renewing them is to bring them back to their original principles. For, as all religious republics and monarchies must have within themselves some goodness, by means of which they obtain their first growth and reputation, and as in the process of time this goodness becomes corrupted, it will of necessity destroy the body unless something intervenes to bring it back to its normal condition. Thus, the doctors of medicine say, in speaking of the human body, that “every day some ill humors gather which must be cured.”
Ambassador Cui expresses this insight beautifully when he says: “looking back at history for a right perspective of the future. Just as President Abraham Lincoln said ‘the best way to predict the future is to create it’. At this moment, China and the U.S. need to recapture the spirit of cooperation from WWII and join hands to confront our common enemies in the new era… lets work together to realize the vision enshrined in the UN Charter: ‘To save succeeding generations from the scourge of war and to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom.”
One can cynically balk at the words of Ambassador Cui, or even Xi and Putin, all three of whom have made their offers of cooperation known to the west on many occasions and all three of whom have expressed their awareness of the better angels of America’s forgotten nature, which was expressed by the exemplary leadership of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy.
While the USA itself is threatened with civil war, anarchy, martial law and total economic collapse internally, it is vital that President Trump tap into the better angels of America’s nature by firing Pompeo, and warmly embracing Putin’s offers for a P5 emergency summit before the clock strikes midnight.
The author of this paper had the privilege of hosting a recent seminar on the history of US-Russian friendship from the 1780 League of Armed Neutrality that helped America win its war for independence, to Lincoln’s alliance with Czar Alexander II which saved the Union from dissolution and FDR’s strategic alliance with Russia and China which saved the world from the City of London’s Frankenstein monster. The content of this seminaris accessible here.