Washington (4/3 -33.33). U.S. military officials have outlined new spending requirements to boost deterrence against China, including new weapons, new construction and closer military-to-military collaboration with America’s allies in the region. But, it lacks of innovation, initiative and ideas not wanting to make to join the fight.
The Global Times, a Chinese sites were quick to reply considered the old rhetoric of the U.S. is overplaying its hand, calling it ‘tricks for cash’, a tactic China has used for decades in Africa and in the Asian region claiming the U.S. can not stop the Chinese rise. They might have a point if we taken the sheer economic power, the Chinese strategic vision and the speed China is modernizes its army, air force and navy.
The Military Times article reflects the equally less imaginative response to Chinese and Russian ambitions. Telling is, despite the fancy title, reports, budgets and action the United States military and political leadership lacks innovations, and falls in the usual trap of reusing same of Clintonian tactics of peer pressure, political destabilization as seen in Hong Kong, Myanmar and elsewhere. The new world order according the liberal democratic, U.S. revolutionary strategy are proxy wars. A riot here, a boycott there and sprinkled with a dose of misinformation, and a bit of chaos.
Quickly denying the lies and never accountable to anyone or anything. It gets however old.
One of the core tenants of the flawed strategies is the a script-like approach to policies that just gets everyone rolling their eyes. Human rights, bla bla bla, nine-years to distasterous climate change, bla, bla, bla, Russia is evil, bla, bla, bla, China is evil bla, bla, bla and the list is going on and on.
Unfortunately grand standing on the pile of morality runs thin if the same rioters surfacing in the U.S. And the abuses by political motivated prosecution of a three-star general is more like a Caesarian murder involving pressure tactics, smear campaigns and the use of the court system.
As a long time, anglo-americaphobic observer of U.S. politics in Asia it is a sad statement; no the United States is no longer “number one”. And this is not an easy thing to say.
The U.S. has somewhat lost its moral bearing. That is a complaint we “foreigner” have about the United States. Increasingly the United States is not the shining hill that it once was but a splintered, disrupted bunch of extremists, not even funny revolutionaries, deeply divided, paranoid, splintered over what are the American values.
The unhinged flex between the technology lefties, mocha-slurping lattes, de-platforming a sitting president because they don’t like his politics is a draconian as book burning was during the Nazis, the purges of Stalin and Mao’s gang of five excesses. The drifting into a leftist radical remake of U.S. society is as disturbing as Trump was for even the more liberal Republicans.
It is however not just a generational gap but the ideological change in U.S. politics not seen since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The United States is on the cusp of a domestic revolution, a struggle between the alt-Left, and the alt-right. Military strategy is reflecting society and it sure reflects the policies de jure.
Graham Allison pointed out a great video about a bridge building in the United States and China. The Chinese, like them or not, fixed a bridge in 46 hours (!), in the U.S. it took close to a decade. Despite the technological advantages the U.S. can not even organize fixing a bridge.
So is the Indo-Pacific Command budget. It’s unimaginative, slow, and so-self centered, and even most die hard supporter of the United States must question U.S. efforts. Bear in mind, neither Iraq, nor Afghanistan are shining examples of U.S. “efficiency” more like “inefficiency” and flat out failures.
But why should be surprised. The U.S. Department of Defense is led by a guy who spend a few hundred million on getting six (6) or so fighters inserted to Syria. It was a utter failure. Austin’s selection, like many of Biden’s top picks, appears to have been based heavily on his deep personal connection with the president-elect son who was deployed to the staff of then General Austin, Politico wrote.
By now we should be used about U.S. failures. Poor strategic execution, endless wars, and no victory. If everything fails, bomb everyone into the stone age or start a revolution. Great.
How long the American empires are able to keep up is yet to be seen. Experts are divided over that point. China is not. It has clear 2049 objective and it executes its strategy, ruthlessly.
The U.S. in return can only offer some illusion of democracy, inclusion of every variation of human desires, sexual or otherwise, a nation of drug and opium addictions and far-left and red-neck politics. Dragging us into another mess. A new war, a new revolution and a new crisis.
According to the thinker in the Pentagon, in their post life all enjoying high paying salaries we know we are shaped by the war we just fought. In this case the wars post-9/11 which Pentagon planners call a “no-line’ battlefield. Even this is not new. Before we called it guerrilla warfare, asymmetrical warfare, and now well, a no line battlefield game.
Gen. John Hyten, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said during an Aug. 12 event last year hosted by the Hudson Institute. The current structure, Hyten said, is all about dividing areas of operations.
“Wherever we go, if we have to fight, we established the forward edge of the battle area, we’ve established the fire support coordination line, the forward line of troops, and we say: ‘OK, Army can operate here. Air Force can operate here,’ ” Hyten explained.
“Everything is about lines” now, he added. But to function in modern contested environments, “those lines are eliminated.” Not necessary a revolutionary or new concept Clausewitz came up with this one.
In political terms Donald J. Trump is the product of a domestic no line warfare. Jacksonian but equally Clausewitzian he operated in the ‘fog of war’. Trump the outlier, was the result of messy domestic politics of the Democrats. Trump was the failure by the Democrats to recognize their own hubris. I am now old enough to have watched the steady decline of U.S. power. It is close to becoming a third-world country.
But the outlier Trump was effective in North Korea, Trump kept everyone off balance as a matter of strategy much to the horror to the American leftist audiences. The question to pose is U.S. foreign policy now better? Unlikely say experts. The use of far left groups to unseat the Republicans is a dangerous path to travel. So hence both domestic and foreign policies are continue to be dividing, exclusive and well, nothing new.
The Military Times article does reveal very little new ideas are present. The institutional behavior has returned representing Clintonian and Obamanian world views. Not much faith here in the non-linear Gene Sharp and similar nonsense. The strategic confusion has created well, confusion. It this may work in the mind of the feeble but it brought us on to a collective dangerous path.
The “intelligence” is not so intelligent, the army is not so army and gender politics, climate change and technology that can be defeated because the “bad guys” do learn are narrowing the gap. Remember drones, well everyone has them. If not, they will. Remember cyber, well everyone does it.
One thing that caught my eye is the passage of “information operation”, well its so secret that anyone who is interested can read on the recruitment pages of a variety of U.S. contractors. Now, of course if you are a chosen child, that means a U.S. national ONLY that the doors open and voila, a new Snowden is born. Interesting in the world of “information operation” its the foreigners who understand the culture of the adversaries. But this seems to elude the mighty hubris in the Pentagon and at foggy bottom.
Today, the action in Hong Kong, Myanmar are text book copies of actions in the Ukraine, Serbia, and elsewhere. They are proxy actions. Unfortunately this lot will turn on its master and eat their elder since the far left agenda is, yes you guessed it, revolutionary ambitions, taking power. Let the revolution sort out the rest.
The United States as a collective society has forgotten that its success is build on foreign talent, not some pimpled faced kid out of high school who sells out to the highest bidder. It has forgotten who are its friends…and yes, we know who are the foes.
A report from U.S. Indo-Pacific Command delivered to Congress on Monday calls for roughly $27 billion in additional spending between 2022 and 2027; with $4.6 billion for fiscal year 2022 alone. With a few key changes from last year’s proposal, the report drafted by INDOPACOM chief Adm. Philip Davidson calls for new missiles and air defenses, radar systems, staging areas, intelligence-sharing centers, supply depots and testing ranges throughout the region, as well as exercises with allies and partners.
INDOPACOM renewed its call for the U.S. to build a $1.6 billion, 360-degree persistent and integrated air defense capability in Guam, served by a $200 million high-frequency radar system in Pulau and a $2.3 billion constellation of space-based radars. It also proposes $3.3 billion in ground-based, long-range fires with ranges of more than 500 kilometers, to make up “highly survivable, precision-strike networks along the First Island Chain.”
Davidson has said his top priority is establishing an Aegis Ashore system on Guam by 2026, which would help protect U.S. citizens and forces there. The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense battery on Guam is meant to protect against a North Korean missile launch, though its single AN/TPY-2 radar is said to be vulnerable and cannot provide 360-degree coverage.
Davidson is expected to unveil the report at an American Enterprise Institute event on Thursday.
“The requirements outlined in this report are specifically designed to persuade potential adversaries that any preemptive military action will be too costly and likely to fail by projecting credible, combat power at the time of crisis,” reads an unclassified executive summary obtained by Defense News. “This includes providing several flexible deterrent options including full [operational plan] execution if deterrence should fail.”
The new proposal, which lands weeks before the Biden administration submits its FY22 budget request, is the Pentagon’s first since Congress established the Pacific Deterrence Initiative in the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act. Last year’s version of the report proposed $18.5 billion in spending through 2026 and formed the basis for the PDI.
“This report is the product of bipartisan agreement in Congress that the department’s current plan to arrest the growing military imbalance in the Pacific is insufficient,” said Eric Sayers, a visiting fellow with AEI. “PDI funding is a good opportunity for the Biden DoD to form an early alliance with the Hill on addressing this operational gap.”
This year’s $574 million package of “logistics and security enablers” includes a “information operations” proposal that increased fivefold to $226 million; it would employ “counter-propaganda tools designed to target malign influence.” Also included is a new $44 million requirement for “electromagnetic warfare… and intelligence support to exploit, attack, protect, and manage military activities.”
DoD has assessed that if China were to use military force against Taiwan, it’s likely to complement its air and maritime blockade operations with jamming and network attacks, as well as information operations to isolate Taiwan’s authorities and populace while it controls the international narrative of the conflict.
Reality is Taiwan could represent the feared Thucydides trap. Both sides know that the outcome is bad, nobody wants it but all sides are doing it.
Days after the leak of a Pentagon memo emphasizing long-range fires as an acquisitions priority for the coming 2022 budget, INDOPACOM’s report calls again for a network of ground-based, long-range missiles with ranges of more than 500 kilometers, to protect aircraft and ships. China is seen as having an overwhelming advantage in land-based cruise and ballistic missiles.
Combinations of the weapons in the proposal would “create temporary windows of localized air and maritime superiority, enabling maneuver” by U.S. forces ― to include amphibious forces capable of conducting forced entry operations, the report states. All of the above would be enabled by “expeditionary airfields for dispersal and ports for distributed fleet operations” to be developed with allies. The price tag: $8.9 billion.
The Biden administration has signaled that it would take a tough approach to China. At his Senate confirmation hearing last month, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin acknowledged China as the Pentagon’s pacing threat and called Pacific Deterrence Initiative a “useful tool” that he would work with Congress to implement.
“There’s no question that we need a more resilient and distributed force posture in the Indo-Pacific in response to China’s counter-intervention capabilities and approaches, supported by new operational concepts,” Austin said ahead of his confirmation. “If confirmed, I’ll review our posture in the Indo-Pacific including our presence, capabilities, logistics, exercises, infrastructure, and capacity building and cooperation with allies and partners.”
Amid expectations of tighter defense budgets under the Biden administration, the report contains new language this year emphasizing the PDI as “a pragmatic and economically viable approach for implementing a deterrence strategy for defending U.S. interests in the Indo-Pacific while mitigating risk and avoiding escalation.”
The $4.6 billion for FY22 “is less than seven-tenths of 1% of the Department of Defense’s Total Obligating Authority in FY21, and two-thirds the amount spent on the European Defense Initiative in FY20 ($5.9B),” the report reads.
The multi-year European Deterrence Initiative, which inspired the Pacific Deterrence Initiative, was used to increase the U.S. presence in Europe after Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.
The Pentagon is requesting $4.5 billion in funds for the European Deterrence Initiative, the second straight year that the department has cut its request for the program.
The EDI is a special part of the department’s Overseas Contingency Operations funding, focused on reassuring allies in Europe and deterring Russian aggression on the continent.
The Pentagon requested $4.8 billion for EDI in FY18, a request which grew to $6.5 billion in FY19. The FY20 request, however, dropped it down to $5.9 billion. Congress added up the funding to $6.5 billion, meaning the department’s request for this year would be a $1.5 billion cut.
Overall, the OCO funding request is $69 billion, slightly down from the $71.3 billion enacted by Congress for FY20. Other major OCO funds include $16.2 billion for operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria; $7.6 billion for the replenishment of major munitions that have been expended around the globe; and $4 billion to train and support Afghanistan security forces.
OCO also funds $600 million in security cooperation funding, which has now been rebranded as the National Defense Strategy-Implementation fund, or NDS-I.
To defeat Thucydides, the Russki’s, the Chinese and a lot of sub-plotters and sub-sub plotters the United States need to get its intellectual, moral and strategic mojo back. And it needs to build friends, networks, allies and supporters. And most of them are not residing in Knoxville, Kentucky, or Silicon Valley.