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Asia-Pacific: American Exceptionalism to the Rescue

Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
June 4, 2012

 

Asia-Pacific: American Exceptionalism to the Rescue
By Bruce Gagnon

 

U.S. Secretary of War Leon Panetta is making a tour of the Asia-Pacific where he is pumping up the next military conflict.  Yesterday I heard he was in Vietnam trying to close a deal to allow the U.S. Navy to once again have access to the base at Cam Ranh Bay.

Before leaving on this trip Panetta made the speaking rounds back home to consolidate U.S. media and build public support for Obama’s “pivot” into the Asia-Pacific.  “One of the key projects that your generation will have to face is sustaining and enhancing American strength across the great maritime region of the Pacific,” he told graduates of U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland last week.

“China’s military is growing and modernizing.  We must be vigilant.  We must be strong.  We must be prepared to confront any challenge,” Panetta said.

While in Singapore Panetta stated, “By 2020, the Navy will re-posture its forces from today’s roughly 50/50 percent split between the Pacific and the Atlantic to about a 60/40 split between those oceans.  That will include six aircraft carriers in this region, a majority of our cruisers, destroyers, littoral combat ships, and submarines….to project power and operate in the Asia-Pacific.”

He told an audience of Asian military officials that the U.S. planned new investments in capabilities needed “to project power and operate in the Asia-Pacific,” including radar-evading fighter jets, a new long-distance bomber, electronic warfare and missile defenses.  The message to them is essentially – play along with us and we will share a piece of the action with you.

The Pentagon has a name for this new strategy – its called the AirSea Battle fighting “concept”.

This strategy is our course the primary reason that the South Korean Navy, at the behest of the Pentagon,  is building the Navy base on Jeju Island.  The U.S. Navy needs more ports to dock their warships.

Not everyone though is getting on-board this dangerous, provocative, and expensive Obama plan. “AirSea Battle is demonizing China,” retired Gen. James Cartwright, former vice-chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, said last week. “That’s not in anybody’s interest.”

While Panetta was speaking at the U.S. Naval Academy, Obama was at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado (also home of the Air Force Space Command).  He was explaining the “pivot” to the future leaders of the Air Force.

V-P Joseph Biden got the West Point gig and he told the Army cadets that the U.S. would now “rebalance” its foreign policy with greater emphasis on the Asia-Pacific.

The Obama team is making the rounds to sell this new policy.  They know the American people are “war weary” so they must begin to create the fear of a growing new threat in the Asia-Pacific – namely China.

Panetta put the name to it when he spoke to the Naval cadets in Annapolis.  He called this new mission a “great challenge” and a “security burden to advance peace”.

It’s the old white man’s burden stuff once again.  American exceptionalism to the rescue.

Bruce K. Gagnon
Coordinator
Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
PO Box 652
Brunswick, ME 04011
(207) 443-9502
globalnet@mindspring.com
www.space4peace.org
http://space4peace.blogspot.com/  (blog)
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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. rosemerry
    June 5, 2012 at 8:34 pm | #1

    How can Vietnam, after the way the USA destroyed it and the results continue even now, bear to cooperate with the USA. Why is this fuss about China; which is NOT a threat and is aiding so many countries to develop?
    Jeju Island will be another environmental disaster, like Okinawa. South Korea, like Japan, has never been freed from the US yoke.

  2. joe
    June 7, 2012 at 12:22 pm | #2

    Did China aided Tibet to development when she invaded it? China is stirring fear with its neighbors with its 9 dash line theory. It is grabbing territories just like it did with Tibet. How do you explain its military build up? Are they aiding the development of countries or stirring them to arm also for fear of China’s bullying and adventurism.

    • richardrozoff
      June 7, 2012 at 2:36 pm | #3

      What territories has China “grabbed” in the past half-century?
      Which country has it attacked since Vietnam in 1979?
      Perhaps you’re confusing China with the United States.

      • richardrozoff
        June 7, 2012 at 8:56 pm | #4

        China did seize the Paracel Islands from South Vietnam in 1974.
        Though it’s interesting to recall without much opposition from Washington at the time.

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