Tuesday, April 18, 2006

We Are The Evil Empire

Michael Klare on Greeting Hu with a 21-Gun "Salute"

President Bush and his top aides entered the White House in early 2001 with a clear strategic objective: to resurrect the permanent-dominance doctrine spelled out in the Defense Planning Guidance (DPG) for fiscal years 1994-99, the first formal statement of U.S. strategic goals in the post-Soviet era. According to the initial official draft of this document, as leaked to the press in early 1992, the primary aim of U.S. strategy would be to bar the rise of any future competitor that might challenge America's overwhelming military superiority.

"Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival... that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union," the document stated. Accordingly, "we [must] endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power."

Condoleezza Rice stated in Foreign Affairs (2000), "China is not a ‘status quo' power but one that would like to alter Asia's balance of power in its own favor. That alone makes it a strategic competitor, not the ‘strategic partner' the Clinton administration once called it." It was essential, she argued, to adopt a strategy that would prevent China's rise as regional power. In particular, "The United States must deepen its cooperation with Japan and South Korea and maintain its commitment to a robust military presence in the region." Washington should also "pay closer attention to India's role in the regional balance," and bring that country into an anti-Chinese alliance system.

According to the Pentagon, the task of countering future Chinese military capabilities largely entails the development, and then procurement, of major weapons systems that would ensure U.S. success in any full-scale military confrontation. "The United States will develop capabilities that would present any adversary with complex and multidimensional challenges and complicate its offensive planning efforts," the QDR explains. These include the steady enhancement of such "enduring U.S. advantages" as "long-range strike, stealth, operational maneuver and sustainment of air, sea, and ground forces at strategic distances, air dominance, and undersea warfare."

Preparing for war with China, in other words, is to be the future cash cow for the giant U.S. weapons-making corporations in the military-industrial complex. It will, for instance, be the primary justification for the acquisition of costly new weapons systems such as the F-22A Raptor air-superiority fighter, the multi-service Joint Strike Fighter, the DDX destroyer, the Virginia-class nuclear attack submarine, and a new, intercontinental penetrating bomber -- weapons that would just have utility in an all-out encounter with another great-power adversary of a sort that only China might someday become.