Monday, January 9, 2012

Shifting Gear and Arms Race

Shifting Gear and Arms Race
By Erick San Juan

In the preamble to the new plan, “Sustaining U.S. Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense”, Obama writes:

As we end today's wars and reshape our armed forces, we will ensure that our military is agile, flexible, and ready for the full range of contingencies. In particular, we will continue to invest in the capabilities critical to future success, including intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; counterterrorism; countering weapons of mass destruction; operating in anti-access environments; and prevailing in all domains, including cyber. (Published at 1/5/12)

What we are about to witness with this “new plan” is actually a Bush Doctrine – extended play, and to think that Obama is far better than George W. Bush Jr., think again. The same ingredients for possible regional conflict (or another world war) are present – counterterrorism, preemptive strike, regime change, WMD (weapons of mass destruction), etc., to make sure that their kind of democracy is in place and working to their advantage.

In his January 5 Pentagon news conference, President Barack Obama also mentioned from this new strategy that the United States would strengthen its presence in the Asia-Pacific region while cutting billions of dollars from overall defense spending. Translation – a world war is still queued and a much needed regional conflict is not far behind.

As the op-ed by China's state-run news agency, Xinhua warned the Obama administration of adventurism in the Asia-Pacific.

"The United States should learn from its past painful experiences and play a constructive role in the Asia-Pacific instead of recklessly practicing militarism," the article read. "After all, might does not always make right."

The article notes that Washington can play a constructive role in stability in the region provided it's "free from a cold war style, zero-sum mentality."

For Beijing, such posturing of Washington in this part of the globe will not help in achieving regional stability, worse, US is allegedly provoking more tension to the already tensed atmosphere, especially in the South China Sea. But it seems that China is also engaged in a major military build up while keeping the secret that it's economy is also reaching it's limits, according to economist Nicholas Lardy of Peterson Institute. Even Robert Samuelson of Washington Post commented that Europe and US slump weakened China's trade and will achieve growth by becoming even more predatory toward other countries.

Unfortunately, we are in that region and our present leaders has been witting tools in this game of saber rattling. Our leaders never learned from history and even showing an inkling of repeating history when we were dragged and shortchanged in a war we never dreamt of joining.

By openly showing support for Uncle Sam and requesting for additional military equipments like the squadron of F-16, we are really looking for trouble by programming our punches.

Let us be reminded of Halford Mackinder's "Heartland" theory. Mackinder said "Who rules East Europe commands the Heartland; who rules the Heartland commands the World Island (Eurasia)."

Mackinder's followers have applied this strategy to Asia, and believed that controlling South China Sea will make the U.S. air force and navy command East Asia, and consequently command the "World Island".

Can we now clearly say that the reason behind US 'Return-to-Asia' strategy is to intensify "security rebalancing" efforts on China, taking comprehensive measures to suppress China, and instigating its allies to pay, contribute and appear to restrain China? (What is behind US 'Return-to-Asia' strategy? by Lin Zhiyuan, People's Daily Online published @ Global Research 12/29/11)

We took the bait of joining the arms race in the midst of calamity-stricken provinces where we can’t afford to address the perennial problems that has brought about natural and man-made disasters. It is about time to rethink the country’s priorities. Wake up and there is no fun when most Filipinos are suffering and struggling to survive in their day to day living while the war president (in the making) is kowtowing to a perceived master.

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