Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom
Imagine that “China’s defense minister announces plans to
- increase Chinese military spending so that annual expenditures by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) will henceforth exceed the combined defense budgets of Japan, South Korea, India, Germany, France and Great Britain.
- create a constellation of forward-deployed PLA garrisons in strategically sensitive areas of the world…
- partition Planet Earth into sprawling territorial commands, with one four-star Chinese general assigned responsibility for the Middle East and so on–to include a Chinese North American Command, charged with monitoring conditions on that continent…
- form a PLA Long-Range Strike Force, capable on very short notice of conducting intercontinental attacks, employing conventional or nuclear weapons or operating in cyberspace.
No doubt the defense minister would caution other nations not to view this program as posing any threat, the People’s Republic being sincerely committed to living in harmony with others. The minister might even argue that China, both a venerable civilization and a vigorous, rising nation-state, has an inherent responsibility to contribute to global stability. Few observers in the United States…would take comfort in such assurances…no responsible official would accept the assertion that such a huge investment in military power reflected China’s desire to advance the cause of peace….
The imaginary Chinese program detailed above pales in comparison to the existing military posture of the United States.”
From Andrew J. Bacevich, Washington Rules: America’s Path to Permanent War, pp. 23-26.