By Manuel E. Yepe
A CubaNews translation
Edited by Walter Lippmann
On September 7, several newspapers published a signed article by US Vice-President Joseph Biden on his recent visit to China. Under the title “China’s Rise Isn’t Our Demise”, the Vice-President disregarded his fellow American’s concerns about the extraordinary development of China and presented the reasons why he thinks differently and supports normal relations.
However, Stephen Glain, a well-known US journalist and writer who’s had 25 years of experience as correspondent for a number of US media in Asia and the Middle East, considers that with, “the reduction of the commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan – the established objectives in Asia — Washington is not looking so much for a troop withdrawal from the Persian Gulf, but for how to prepare for a possible war against China.”
In his article “The Pentagon’s New China War Plan”, published in mid August, Glain quotes sources specialized in defense issues that affirm the Pentagon is trying to adapt the Air-Sea Battle concept to a confrontation with China.
The publication Inside the Pentagon had previously reported that a small group of officers of the US Navy known as the “China Integration Team” was adapting the tactics of Air–Sea Battle to a potential conflict with China.
The Air-Sea Battle concept, developed in the 90s and codified in a classified memorandum in 2009, is a formula to adjust US military might to the demands of a potential response to the “threats in the Western Pacific and the Persian Gulf” (a coded way of referring to China and Iran). It supplements the 1992 Guide for Defense Planning, a sort of White Book by the Government, to prevent the rise of any “equal level competitor” that might defy US global domination.
This Guide is a command by the Pentagon to control what defense planners call “global commons”, a euphemism that identifies the arteries of international trade: sea lanes, land bridges and air corridors.
Washington believes that if a foreign power challenges the control over these “global commons” it is tantamount to a declaration of war. According to the Pentagon that is exactly what China is doing in its Southern Sea.
In that same spirit, General Jim Amos, Commanding Officer of the Marine Corp since October 2010, said in May that the Persian Gulf wars were obstructing Washington’s access to the resources it needs to confront a growingly aggressive China. This assertion made General Amos the first US military leader to publicly mention his service’s plans after the completion of withdrawal from Afghanistan.
US mobilization in Asia responds to a study conducted by the Pentagon in the spring of 2001 entitled “Asia 2015” which identifies China as a persistent competitor of the United States bent on foreign military adventurism.
Three years after this study, the US government revealed a plan to create a chain of bases in Central Asia and the Middle East, an obvious containment maneuver addressed at Beijing, as was the nuclear energy cooperation agreement with India signed in 2008.
It is known that the Pentagon has been planning for years to turn Guam into its main center in the Pacific, an initiative so vast that John Pike, one of the leading Western experts on defense, space and intelligence policies and Director of the Global Security organization that he himself founded, has speculated that Washington “intends to run the planet from Guam and Diego García as of 2015”.
In contrast with the US allies in Asia and Europe – says Glain — China is not prone to share national security obligations with a foreign power, much less in China’s south sea where Beijing does not identify Washington as a strategic partner but rather as a direct threat.
Glain describes tense situations in the bilateral relations in which the United States adopts extreme positions instead of contributing to the solution of issues with discreet diplomacy.
The time is yet to come when Washington acquires the sense to understand that its biggest creditor, China, is not a Third World country like so many that the US and NATO have bombed and occupied almost with impunity since the Cold War ended.