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The folly of USA provoking war with China

Dragon’s threat real or imagined, but nuclear war will be a folly!  The Pioneer, Monday, 29 March 2021 | Gwynne Dyer   After a prolonged absence, the tradition of raising a bogey is back, though now it’s a Chinese threat in the Pacific, not a Russian threat in the Caribbean.

In the early decades of the Cold War, this was the season when the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) defence chiefs would announce their spending plans for the next year and they would almost always “discover” some new threat from the erstwhile Soviet Union to justify the money. In the US, for instance, the Intelligence services traditionally found a Soviet armoured brigade hiding in Cuba every February or March.

After a prolonged absence, the tradition is back, though now it’s a Chinese threat in the Pacific rather than a Russian threat in the Caribbean. Last week, Admiral Philip Davidson of the US Navy told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the Chinese were getting ready to invade Taiwan within the next six years. “I worry that they’re accelerating their ambitions to supplant the US and our leadership role in the rules-based international order…by 2050,” said the Admiral. “Taiwan is one of their ambitions before that, and I think the threat is manifest during this decade — in fact, in the next six years.”

Then, should we expect a war with China by the 2027? Since the US Navy could not stop a Chinese amphibious invasion of Taiwan by conventional weapons alone — it’s too far from the US, too close to China and Beijing has lots of ship-killing missiles — it would necessarily be a nuclear war, or else America would just have to abandon its not-quite-ally…………………..

By the final stage of the Cold War the political and military establishments on both sides had sobered up and were very careful in their choice of words. They didn’t make idle threats, they stopped fabricating “spring surprises”, and they did not assume that the other side would know when they were just chest-thumping for domestic political purposes.That generation, which eventually managed to turn the monstrous doomsday machine off, is gone now.

In their place is a generation of senior politicians and military officers who don’t truly fear major war. It hasn’t happened within living memory, and they do not really believe it still could. Their counterparts in China and Russia are less vocal, but almost certainly the same.Compared to those who held their jobs on both sides at the end of the Cold War, they are little boys at play, but it’s the same old game. War between nuclear-armed powers would be insane, but it is not impossible. And they are doing this in the midst of a global pandemic.

Moreover, they are talking like this in the opening phase of a huge climate and environmental crisis that will require a high level of global cooperation to survive. There is a cycle of learning and forgetting again in both military and political affairs and we are hitting the “forgetting” phase at just the wrong time.Gwynne Dyer’s new book is ‘Growing Pains: The Future of Democracy and Work’. The  views expressed are personal.  https://www.dailypioneer.com/2021/columnists/dragon—s-threat-real-or-imagined–but-nuclear-war-will-be-a-folly-.html

March 29, 2021 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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