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U.S. Pentagon hypes up the ”China threat”, in its deceptive propaganda to get more $billions from Congress

we can expect to be bombarded with Pentagon and industry propaganda on China’s growing air and naval capabilities—requiring, it will be stated, hundreds of billions of dollars in added spending.

   Costs for the new intercontinental missile are currently estimated at $100 billion ($10 billion more than a few years ago) and are sure to rise in the years ahead if full-scale production is approved by Congress.

The Pentagon Inflates the Chinese Nuclear Threat in a Push for New Intercontinental Missiles. Every US military service is seeking more money than before, and each one is touting the importance of their weapons in overcoming the Chinese military threat. The Nation, By Michael T. Klare  , 19 May 21,  

This year, as in every year, the Department of Defense will seek to extract budget increases from Congress by highlighting the severe threats to US security posed by its foreign adversaries. Usually, this entails a litany of such perils, ranging from a host of nation-state adversaries to nonstate actors like ISIS and Al Qaeda. This year, however, the Pentagon is focusing almost entirely on just one threat in its funding appeals: The People’s Republic of China. Sensing that a majority in Congress—Democrats as well as Republicans—are keen to display their determination to blunt China’s rise, senior officials are largely framing the military budget around preparation for a possible conflict with that country. “The Department will prioritize China as our number one pacing challenge and develop the right operational concepts, capabilities, and plans to bolster deterrence and maintain our competitive advantage,” Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin declared on March 4.

From the Pentagon’s perspective, this means portraying every budgetary item—from Army tanks and Navy ships to Air Force jets and ballistic missiles—in terms of their utility in fighting the Chinese military, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Every US military service is seeking more money than before (as they always do), and each one is touting the importance of their weapons in overcoming the Chinese military threat. But this year, after a series of rising budgets during the Trump administration, defense appropriations are expected to remain flat (at a nonetheless colossal $715 billion), meaning that any increase in spending on any given weapons system—be it a major warship, aircraft, or missile—is likely to come at the expense of increases in others. The result, not surprisingly, is a contest among the services to magnify the vital importance of their pet projects in overpowering the PLA.

This means that we can expect to be bombarded with Pentagon and industry propaganda on China’s growing air and naval capabilities—requiring, it will be stated, hundreds of billions of dollars in added spending on new fighter jets, submarines, and surface ships. Although China’s military capabilities still lag far behind those of US forces in terms of their technical proficiency—China’s two aircraft carriers, for example, can launch only a dozen or so combat jets, compared to the 75-plus deployed on America’s 11 carriers—but the PLA has nonetheless acquired many new ships and planes, so promoters of US weaponry have some real data to cite when making their claims of growing Chinese military prowess.

“The PRC maintains the world’s largest naval force, which has tripled in size over the past two decades,” said Adm. Philip S. Richardson on March 21 (while not revealing that most of those ships are coastal frigates with little utility in a conflict with the US Navy). For the advocates of a buildup in US nuclear forces, however, it is hard to justify such claims, and so they have been forced to make wildly exaggerated claims about China’s nuclear capabilities.

This is an especially critical year for America’s nuclear weapons boosters, as plans for modernization of the US strategic “triad”—land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), sea-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) and their submarine platforms, and long-range bombers—are all scheduled to move from the research and development phase to full-scale production. Funds have already been appropriated for a new bomber, the B-21 Raider, and for a new SLBM-carrying submarine, the Columbia class, and now the Pentagon wants to begin work on a new ICBM, which it calls, in its typically obfuscating way, the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent, or GBSD.   Costs for the new intercontinental missile are currently estimated at $100 billion ($10 billion more than a few years ago) and are sure to rise in the years ahead if full-scale production is approved by Congress.

While nuclear modernization enjoys strong support in Congress, questions have been raised about the need for the GBSD, especially given the competition for funds from other favored programs,   such as the F-35 fighter and the Los Angeles–class attack submarine, and the fact that an alternative exists in terms of refurbishing the Pentagon’s existing fleet of 400 Minuteman-III ICBMs. Some in Congress have also suggested that land-based missiles would be highly vulnerable in the event of an enemy preemptive strike and that the nation enjoys more-than-adequate deterrence to such attack with its undetectable fleet of missile-carrying submarines. For example, Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts and Representative Ro Khanna of California have introduced the Investing in Cures Before Missiles (ICBM) Act, which would divert funds from GBSD procurement to development of a universal coronavirus vaccine, while also extending the life of Minuteman missiles. “With all of the global challenges we face,” Khanna declared, “the last thing we should be doing is giving billions to defense contractors to build missiles we don’t need to keep as a strong nuclear deterrence.”

In response to these challenges, the nuclear lobby has gone all-out in touting the threat posed by China’s nuclear capabilities, even though these hardly come close to those possessed by the United States or its principal nuclear adversary, the Russian Federation. According to the latest (and most authoritative) data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, China possesses 320 nuclear warheads in total—none of which is believed to be deployed at present on its ICBMs, SLBMs, or bombers. By comparison, Russia has 6,375 warheads in its stockpile, of which 1,575 are currently deployed on weapons systems, and the United States has 5,800 warheads, with 1,750 deployed. China is said to be increasing the size of its nuclear stockpile, in part because it is replacing some older, single-warhead ICBMs with newer, multiple-warhead versions, but its progress in this direction has been slow and no analyst, inside or outside of government, predicts an increase that will bring the Chinese arsenal anywhere close to those possessed by Russia and the United States………..

Congress members should avoid being swayed by unfounded claims about China’s expanding nuclear arsenal. Of course, any Chinese nuclear weapons—like any nuclear weapons anywhere—pose a threat to US and global security, but we need not embark on a new nuclear arms race simply to overcome an over-hyped increase in Chinese capabilitieshttps://www.thenation.com/article/politics/pentagon-china-nuclear/

May 20, 2021 - Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA, weapons and war

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