Pentagon Assessment On China Raises Fears

The headlines seem to say it all, based on their similarity.  “Pentagon says China military “likely training for strikes” on U.S. targets” – Reuters.  “China is “rapidly” expanding bomber training, probably for U.S. strikes” – The Guardian.  “China “likely” training pilots to target U.S., Pentagon report says” – CNN.

If it were only that simple, and that benign.

The actual assessment runs to 145 pages and is open to the public at the Department of Defense website.

It includes the well-publicized concern about the expansion of the Chinese military and their focus on bombers in particular.  The special section on “Overwater Bomber Operations” discusses how China has been expanding their bomber fleet and that they seem to be training specifically for eventual actions against the U.S. and its allies.

Military action is not the only concern, however.  The Executive Summary alone contains an equally problematic issue.

China’s leaders increasingly seek to leverage China’s growing economic, diplomatic, and military clout to establish regional preeminence and expand the country’s international influence. “One Belt, One Road,” now
renamed the “Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI), is intended to develop strong economic ties with other countries, shape their interests to align with China’s, and deter confrontation or criticism of China’s approach to sensitive issues. Countries participating in BRI could develop economic dependence on Chinese capital, which China could leverage to achieve its interests. For example, in July 2017, Sri Lanka and a Chinese state-owned enterprise (SOE) signed a 99-year lease for Hambantota Port, following similar deals in Piraeus, Greece, and Darwin, Australia.

Military and Security Assessment

Not all threats are military.  The Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, has been on a world tour in recent weeks, visiting countries which have, historically, had few ties to the Communist nation.  The July 20 visit to the UAE, for example, which saw 13 strategic agreements on partnerships and economics. (Gulf News)  Or the follow-up visits to Senegal, Rwanda and South Africa.  (Quartz

Even as we assess China, China watches us.  That is likely why Russia announced, on the eve of the scheduled release of the report, that Xi would be visiting Moscow in September even as Putin had visited Bejing earlier this year. (Reuters)

During the time that the US is being abusive toward its traditional allies, China is reaching out and forging ties throughout the world.

Other key points from within the assessment include an active modernization in communication and operational independence.  Even as they work to integrate secure lines of data transmission throughout their military, to thus provide battlefield targeting and operational oversight, they are working to ensure that individual battle units are capable of executing complex orders without requiring constant direction from command centers.

Another point is that they are actively pursing a stronger presence in space, as well as in cyberspace.  Space and computer threats are seen as a key portion of the expansion of Chinese power.

It is these threats, and similar ones from Russia, that give the greatest rationale for President Trump’s proposed “Space Force”.  It is undeniable that efforts must be made to keep our satellite transmission capabilities inviolate.  That said, the question must be raised as to the wisdom of spending hundreds of millions to reorganize a number of existing groups under a single banner, rather than simply allocating some of that money, if necessary, to upgrading their capabilities at their current positions.

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About AlienMotives 1991 Articles
Ex-Navy Reactor Operator turned bookseller. Father of an amazing girl and husband to an amazing wife. Tired of willful political blindness, but never tired of politics. Hopeful for the future.