Home > Uncategorized > Aggressive U.S. Policy From East To South Asia, Gulf To Russia

Aggressive U.S. Policy From East To South Asia, Gulf To Russia

The News
July 28, 2012

Aggressive US foreign policy
Brian Cloughley

Air travel isn’t much fun these days, what with searches, pat-downs, holdups, crowds and queues, so it’s good when sometimes you can have a laugh while travelling, which I did when reading a newspaper report. It made me hoot with mirth in the airport lounge, thus attracting a few raised eyebrows, but I couldn’t stop for a few moments, such was the wackiness of a statement by Hillary Clinton.

It wasn’t intended as humour, of course. It was one of the usual self-righteous scolding sermons to which Washington figures are so addicted. When lecturing the world from Phnom Penh she declared that “the nations of the [South China Sea] region should work collaboratively and diplomatically to resolve disputes without coercion, without intimidation, without threats, and without use of force.” Which prompts the question: in that case why does the United States of America, which has no justification for any presence in the South China Sea, have a vast fleet, including carrier strike groups and Marine Expeditionary Units, menacing the area? And it doesn’t explain why the US refuses to ratify a UN Treaty relevant to the China Sea which, inter alia, expresses the “desire to settle, in a spirit of mutual understanding and cooperation, all issues relating to the law of the sea.”

As the Asia Times noted about American military expansion in Asia, “The US also intends to station four new US Navy Littoral Combat ships and increase ship visits and base surveillance aircraft in Singapore. In addition, upgraded military relations with Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei will support already existing US plans with Australia, Singapore and the Philippines.”

And US Defence Secretary Panetta, never one to ignore an opportunity to increase international tension, declared to Fox News during a visit to Vietnam that “The more I am out here, the more critical I view this region in terms of our national defence and the defence of the world. This is an area that is critical to the future security and prosperity of our country and the world. For that reason we need to be rightly focused on playing a bigger role here in the Asia Pacific.”

US confrontation with China looms ever closer, and it’s hardly the fault of the Chinese, whose position, in the words of Beijing, is that “the tree craves calm but the wind keeps blowing.” But there’s one thing certain: the Chinese tree will whip back if the Washington wind increases its intensity. As the Chinese well understand, the world in general craves calm, but the out-of-control US military machine, in an expansionist wave of unprecedented energy, is hell-bent on domination.

The Chinese can look after themselves, of course, even if their defence spending is only an eighth of that of America, and if the US is foolish enough to provoke a military engagement there will be interesting developments, not the least of which could be massive cyber attacks on the US systems. Washington’s intimidating posture and threats are taken seriously in Beijing, and China is concentrating on advanced weapons systems specifically intended to engage enemy warships.

The Chinese navy is nowhere near as powerful as the USN (United States Navy) – but it is capable of resisting attempted US domination in its own backyard. The Iranian navy, on the other hand, is far from being in a similar position.

It would be absurd to try to claim that there is no coercion intended or threat presented by the huge US fleet, 10,000 troops and vast aerial strike capability in the Persian Gulf region, where some 400 combat aircraft and 50 ships are ready to join Israel in attacking Iran. It was reported that on July 15 “the Pentagon confirmed it had brought forward the deployment of a third strike group, led by the carrier USS John Stennis, by four months, in order to further bolster its presence [in the Gulf].”

It seems that the US foreign policy concerning avoidance of coercion and threats does not extend to its dealings with Tehran. In May Israel’s Haaretz reported Vice President Biden’s threats to Iran, made at the annual convention of the Rabbinical Assembly, to the effect that “the US takes ‘no options off [the] table,’ and that the ‘window has not closed to Israelis if they chose to act militarily’.” The message to Iran was unmistakable, and the US wind keeps blowing hard against the Iranian tree.

And so it goes on, round the world – from Cuba to the South China Sea, by way of the determined military encirclement of Russia – the constant US menace to nations which seek to pursue policies deemed inconvenient to Washington.

In Pakistan’s case the campaign of coercion includes Clinton’s threat to destroy the economy by sanctions if Pakistan and Iran build the gas pipeline which is so vital for Pakistan to reduce power cuts. It doesn’t sound much in international terms, but it’s a vitally important matter for Pakistan. Let’s hope this tree can resist the wind.

The writer is a South Asian affairs analyst. Website is http://www.beecluff.com

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. rosemerry
    July 30, 2012 at 5:41 am

    I always enjoy Brian Cloughley’s thoughtful pieces in Counterpunch. he has plenty of experience nd good judgment, and here reminds us of the continuing danger from the world’s real rogue state and its sidekick, israel.

  2. Hoarsewhisperer
    July 30, 2012 at 8:33 am

    If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

  3. Charles
    July 30, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    This war monger attitude is destroying any hope of world peace and sets the stage for wars
    centuries from now,which is what our people over at central banking want because that is how they make their money ,instigating and financing wars.We as a people have sold our souls for money………strange as it is the money is monopoly money.

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