Archive For The “China” Category
President Barack Obama greets soldiers after signing an executive order requiring more disclosure by colleges at Fort Stewart army base on April 27, 2012 in Hinesville, Ga. Richard Ellis/Getty Images
President Barack Obama once ridiculed a political opponent for suggesting the military should look to its past to determine how it should fight today.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney based his 2012 White House bid in part on strengthening some basic elements of the military, including building more ships. During the last debate of the campaign that October, the Republican repeated his criticism that the Navy was smaller than it was in 1916, setting up for his opponent what would become a notorious shut-down line.
“Well, governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military has changed,” the incumbent retorted, explaining how the military’s shrinking size was offset by increased lethality through modern inventions like aircraft carriers and submarines. “The question is not a game of battleship, where we’re counting ships. It’s ‘What are our capabilities?’”
Obama’s argument that night was based on a warfighting doctrine he has embraced more than any modern president – emphasizing small, nimble and highly lethal forces and equipment in favor of the rumbling tank-borne armies that freed Europe from the Nazis, deterred the Soviets for half a century and marched on Iraq twice. But some of the country’s premier military minds are now forcing the president to think again about those tactics amid re-emerging threats that require a more conventional response.
“China is in the final phase of testing the world’s longest range missile, the DF-41, with an operational range of 14,500 km. It can travel over the Pacific Ocean and strike any city in the western US, or travel over the North Pole and strike any city in the eastern US, in each case within about half an hour.
It is believed that each DF-41 is capable of carrying ten independently targetable nuclear weapons. A typical Chinese Second Artillery Corps (SAC) might have 12 missile launchers capable of launching two DF-41s each, so a single SAC has the capability to target the United States with 120-240 nuclear warheads.”
The DF-41 is expected to be deployed by the end of this year.”
By contrast, America and its Pacific allies enjoy no such economic counterpart to what the U.S. military alliance structure represents on the security side. There is no comparable framework or vision for jointly exercising economic muscle. Though Secretary Lew’s call to revive the Bretton Woods institutions may be ambitious and worthwhile, this isolated effort will not provide an answer to what the U.S. really needs: an economic strategy to deal with China’s rise. No practicable IMF, World Bank or World Trade Organization reform will, for instance, give Washington or its allies in Asia a means of raising the costs to Beijing of rising bellicosity, of reducing asymmetrical economic dependence on China or of building adequate defenses against Chinese economic bullying.
“The Ploughshares Fund, a global security foundation, estimates there are more than 15,000 nuclear weapons around the world; the U.S. and Russia possess 93 percent of them. The former Cold War foes keep nearly 2,000 nuclear weapons at the ready for immediate launch against each other, according to the Nuclear Threat Initiative.”
“A 2014 probe by the Senate Armed Services Committee revealed that the Chinese government had hacked more than 20 transportation companies that serve U.S.Transportation Command (TRANSCOM). Even more disturbing, the Defense Department was aware of only two of these attacks.
China is also looking to acquire U.S. companies that possess valuable logistical data and access to sensitive government facilities and ports. In the first two months of this year, Chinese companies have pledged more than $102 billion for acquisitions in the U.S. While many of these create stronger and mutually beneficial economic linkages, other proposed or pending takeovers of U.S.companies by Chinese state-owned companies are far less benign.”