Category Archives: U.S.

The Ultimate Nightmare: Are the U.S. and China Destined for War? | The National Interest

There is no geo-strategic relationship of more importance than that of the U.S. and China. Yet, tensions between Washington and Beijing over the last few years have been building. Over the last few weeks I have been exploring on these pages some of the pathways the unthinkable could happen: a U.S.-China war. We have also been exploring the various paths to victory both sides could utilize. While all of this is important, it is also important to take a step back and look at the U.S.-China relationship from another viewpoint of equal and possibly even greater value—a dilemma in the relationship that is creating its own set of tensions: the budding high-tech security dilemma pitting Washington and Beijing against one another.

The Ultimate Nightmare: Are the U.S. and China Destined for War? | The National Interest

The terrifying vulnerability of the U.S. military

Today, the U.S. military has fallen under the Bureaucracy Rule. The U.S. has no great power rivals, and thank God for that. Iraq and Afghanistan have not caused an identity crisis for the U.S. military because many senior commanders view these as “freakshow” wars — counterinsurgency wars, not the kind of “real” wars that militaries fight.

What are the signs that an organization has become a bureaucracy?

These are all the classic signs of an organization that looks great on the outside but is rotting from the inside because of bureaucratization. Something needs to be done. Military history books are full of organizations that looked just as good on paper, but were just as complacent, and then toppled over when given a good shove. And that’s something none of us should wish for.

The terrifying vulnerability of the U.S. military

U.S. Military No Longer Able to Fight Two Wars at Same Time | Washington Free Beacon

The United States military does not currently have the ability to fight two major wars simultaneously, according to a new report, a significant reduction from the capacity enjoyed by defense officials for decades.

The Heritage Foundation’s “2015 Index of U.S. Military Strength” concludes that the armed forces “would be ill-equipped to handle two, near-simultaneous major regional contingencies (MRC).” The two-MRC goal was largely attained during the Cold War, when U.S. forces engaged in a conflict every 15 to 20 years while maintaining ground forces in other regions to ensure stability and deter aggressors.

U.S. Military No Longer Able to Fight Two Wars at Same Time | Washington Free Beacon

Obama Won’t Arm Ukraine Because He Led the Disarming of Ukraine [H/T @hellmuthcstuven]

‘A press release from then-Senator Lugar’s office included then-Senator Obama’s puerile proclamation that eliminating Ukraine’s stocks of conventional weapons would ensure “the safety of the Ukrainian people and people around the world, by keeping them out of conflicts around the world.”’

As a U.S. senator, Barack Obama won $48 million in federal funding to help Ukraine destroy thousands of tons of guns and ammunition – weapons which are now unavailable to the Ukrainian army as it faces down Russian President Vladimir Putin during his invasion of Crimea. In August 2005, just seven months after his swearing-in, Obama traveled to Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine with then-Indiana Republican Senator Dick Lugar, touring a conventional weapons site. The two met in Kiev with President Victor Yushchenko, making the case that an existing Cooperative Threat Reduction Program covering the destruction of nuclear weapons should be expanded to include artillery, small arms, anti-aircraft weapons, and conventional ammunition of all kinds. After a stopover in London, the senators returned to Washington and declared that the U.S. should devote funds to speed up the destruction of more than 400,000 small arms, 1,000 anti-aircraft missiles, and more than 15,000 tons of ammunition.

A press release from then-Senator Lugar’s office included then-Senator Obama’s puerile proclamation that eliminating Ukraine’s stocks of conventional weapons would ensure “the safety of the Ukrainian people and people around the world, by keeping them out of conflicts around the world.” Rearming Ukraine now would underscore how wrong he was. That political embarrassment is a big reason why he refuses to do what needs to be done.

[Published on July 23, 2014]

Obama Won’t Arm Ukraine Because He Led the Disarming of Ukraine

5 Ways the U.S. and China Could Stumble Into War | The National Interest

World War III may not be as unlikely as you think.

Over the last few years, I have undertaken what most would consider a depressing assignment: debating and thinking through the possibility of a great-power war in today’s chaotic international environment. And for good reason. As Washington attempts to transition away from counterinsurgency operations and the nightmare that has become the Middle East, new challenges—many from revisionist great powers—seem to be popping up around the globe. The crisis in Ukraine—with many now openly calling the state of U.S.-Russian relations “Cold War 2.0”—serves as perhaps the best example of such a chilling possibility.

Yet, despite whatever the crisis of the day is, when it comes to challenges Washington must face in the years to come, none is as important as the challenge presented by the People’s Republic of China. Beijing—now empowered by an economy and military that is only second to America—seems bent on remaking the international order in the Asia-Pacific and possibly the wider Indo-Pacific at least partly in its own image. From the East China Sea to the wide expanses of the Indian Ocean, China has clearly made its intentions known that the current international order is open to at least some revision on its terms. Over the last several years, various clashes over the very meaning of the maritime commons, natural resources below the sea bed, air-defense identification zones and various near collisions in the near seas and in the sky have set off alarm bells in capitals around Asia. While Washington has declared its own “pivot” or “rebalance” towards Asia, destabilizing and what some have called “coercive actions” by China have continued unabated.

So where does all of this end up? Is open war in Asia a possibility? Would the United States be sucked in?

5 Ways the U.S. and China Could Stumble Into War | The National Interest

Related Articles:

Navy Intel Officer Warns of Future China Conflict | Washington Free Beacon | 1913 Intel [Feb. 3, 2015]
China and the United States are preparing for war | China Daily Mail [Jan. 5, 2015]

Russian Fear of U.S. Hypersonic Missiles Threatens New Arms Race | Business | The Moscow Times

A new arms rivalry between Russia and the United States is heating up as the two major military powers rush to develop a new class of hypersonic, non-nuclear missiles that can strike any target on the globe within one hour of launch with devastating accuracy.

The United States is leading the chase for the new weapons, which Russia firmly believes poses a significant threat to its own nuclear missile forces.

“Russia considers this trend as a path to obtaining [non-nuclear] means of depriving Russia of its deterrent capability,” Dr. Eugene Miasnikov, director of the Moscow-based Center for Arms Control, Energy and Environmental Studies told The Moscow Times.

Russia’s sensitivity to threats to its nuclear deterrence could lead it to mistake a hypersonic missile launch as the opening moves of a larger attack, some analysts say, arguing that the weapons are so destabilizing that their mere development could spark a nuclear war between major powers.

Russian Fear of U.S. Hypersonic Missiles Threatens New Arms Race | Business | The Moscow Times

U.S. Is Trying to Dismember Russia, Says Putin Adviser – WSJ

“The Americans are trying to involve the Russian Federation in an interstate military conflict, cause regime change [in Russia] and ultimately dismember our country via events in Ukraine,” said Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev.

Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev told a Russian state newspaper that the U.S. was orchestrating events in Ukraine in a bid to overthrow Mr. Putin’s government. He also expressed certainty that the West’s financial aid for Kiev would only bring the Ukrainian economy to a “dead end.”

“The situation in Ukraine is being used as a pretext for the active ‘repression’ of our country,” Mr. Patrushev, who ran Russia’s Federal Security Service during Mr. Putin’s first eight years as president, said in an interview with the Rossiyskaya Gazeta, published Wednesday.

“The Americans are trying to involve the Russian Federation in an interstate military conflict, cause regime change [in Russia] and ultimately dismember our country via events in Ukraine,” he said.

U.S. Is Trying to Dismember Russia, Says Putin Adviser – WSJ

Do you think that you should believe him? In other words, do you think he (rightly or wrongly) actually believes that?

Let me point out that it is not what you believe that counts. It’s what they believe. And if they believe this dismemberment stuff then we are all in serious trouble. Generally, a free, democratic Ukraine that follows the rule of law and is aligned with the EU and Nato means the end of the Putin regime. That is what I believe. And that appears to be what Russian leaders believe. That is especially true given the current economic state of Russia, and where it is headed economically. I think this means we are all in trouble.

The Putin regime is currently on a path that leads to the end of the regime. Not today, but who knows five years out. And that is not an incentive for the regime to play nice. It’s an incentive for big-time escalation. Either the West needs to back down on everything concerning Russia, or there is going to be a war between Russia and Nato (US.) Since it appears that the Obama administration does not seem to get it, there is a very serious risk of nuclear war between the two great-powers.

It appears that Putin had some kind of stroke early in life. One side of his body does not move in the same way as the other side. Given his very aggressive personality, he would get into fights as a kid but would often lose. What does he then do? He starts taking martial arts classes in Judo. He trains so hard that he becomes a black-belt. In other words, if he can’t win then he escalates everything big-time. That is his nature. Also, Putin likes to relate the story about a rat that he had cornered as a kid. With no place to go, the rate lunges at young Putin. I’m thinking that is Putin is too. Corner him, and there is going to be trouble.

In my mind, Putin’s nature means that he will escalate with no end in sight until he wins. Is the West ready to deal with that?

 

 

Russia And China May Beat Our Military Technology | The Daily Caller

Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work stated on Tuesday that if Congress doesn’t negotiate with the Pentagon to come to a reasonable solution, budget cuts from sequestration stand to kill the United States’ military technological advantage.

“Sequestration will prevent us from executing a strategy that we think is in the best interests of the United States at this point in time,” Work said at the U.S. Naval Institute’s 2015 WEST Conference, according to a Department of Defense (DOD) press release.

“For all of the people who say this isn’t a strategy-driven budget, I’d say, ‘Just wait. Wait until you see what happens if we go to sequestration,’” Work added.

Russia And China May Beat Our Military Technology | The Daily Caller

bb review: how likely is a US war with China? | beyondbrics

Two new books reflect that pessimism. In “The Improbable War”, Christopher Coker, a professor of international relations at the London School of Economics, concludes that a war between the United States and China is not “as improbable as many expert suggest.”

On balance, though, Coker’s book serves as an insightful exposition of several cautionary points. The fact that the incidence of great-power wars has been declining, for example, has no bearing on the possibility of one between the United States and China. In addition, the irrationality of war does not make war impossible.

Pillsbury’s book is likely to ruffle many feathers in Washington and Beijing. He argues that China has a clear grand strategy for displacing the United States as the world’s pre-eminent power, drawing on nine lessons from the internecine struggles of the Warring States period: among them, conceal your intentions until you are capable of taking your more powerful opponent by surprise; marshal the patience to play a long game, rather than agitating for a premature victory while you are still the weaker of the two; accelerate your internal development by stealing your opponent’s blueprints and technologies; and exercise hyper vigilance to avoid encirclement by your opponents and their proxies.

bb review: how likely is a US war with China? | beyondbrics

The Improbable War: China, The United States and Logic of Great Power Conflict

The Improbable War explains why conflict between the USA and China cannot be ruled out. In 1914 war between the Great Powers was considered unlikely, yet it happened. We learn only from history, and popular though the First World War analogy is, the lessons we draw from its outbreak are usually mistaken. Among these errors is the tendency to over-estimate human rationality.

All major conflicts of the past 300 years have been about the norms and rules of the international system. In China and the US the world confronts two ‘exceptional’ powers whose values differ markedly, with China bidding to challenge the current order. The ‘Thucydidean Trap’ – when a conservative status quo power confronts a rising new one – may also play its part in precipitating hostilities. To avoid stumbling into an avoidable war both Beijing and Washington need a coherent strategy, which neither of them has.

History also reveals that war evolves continually. The next global conflict is likely to be played out in cyberspace and outer space and like all previous wars it will have devastating consequences. Such a war between the United States and China may seem improbable, but it is all too possible, which is why we need to discuss it now.

The Improbable War: China, The United States and Logic of Great Power Conflict: Christopher Coker: 9780199396276: Amazon.com: Books

Hawaiian Independence Movement Attracts Chinese Interest | Washington Free Beacon

China has suggested arming Hawaii’s independence activists in retaliation for U.S. arms sales to Taiwan and recently threatened to challenge American sovereignty by making legal claims to the Pacific islands as its territory.

Chinese threats to back several groups of Hawaiian independence activists who want to restore the islands’ constitutional monarchy, ousted in a U.S.-backed coup over a century ago, has raised concerns that military facilities on the strategic central Pacific archipelago are threatened at a time when the Obama administration is engaged in a major shift toward Asia as part of its military and diplomatic rebalance.

Michael Pillsbury, a Pentagon consultant and author of the recent book 100 Year Marathon, said Chinese military hawks, known as “ying pai,” told him they are ready to provide arms to Hawaiian independence activists in retaliation for U.S. arms sales to Taiwan.

Hawaiian Independence Movement Attracts Chinese Interest | Washington Free Beacon