Saturday 31st of July 2021

the yellow peril, again...




















The US defence secretary, Lloyd Austin, has directed the Pentagon to sharpen its focus on China, which the United States has tagged as its top strategic rival.

“Now, it is up to the department to get to work,” Austin said on Wednesday after issuing an internal directive to the Pentagon bureaucracy.


The directive, details of which are classified, comes after an assessment by a taskforce established by the Biden administration in February to study the defense department’s strategy towards China.

“The initiatives I am putting forward today are nested inside the larger US government approach to China and will help inform the development of the national defence strategy we are working on,” Austin said.


A senior Pentagon official said the taskforce had identified a “‘say-do gap between the stated prioritisation of China and what we saw in a number of areas related to attention and resources and processes”.

“The directive today is really about ensuring that the department lives up to that prioritisation,” the official said.

Austin said the directive would “improve the department’s ability to revitalize our network of allies and partners, bolster deterrence, and accelerate the development of new operational concepts, emerging capabilities, future force posture, and a modernised civilian and military workforce”.

Pentagon operations over the past two decades have been focused largely on dealing with jihadist militants in the Middle East and not a modern army such as that of China.

The Pentagon’s 2018 defence strategy identified China as a major strategic competitor but the taskforce found that not much had been done to meet the challenges posed by Beijing.

The US military is seeking to expand its presence in the Pacific at a time when China has been increasingly belligerent towards Taiwan, which it considers part of its territory.

The US maintains a significant presence in the Middle East, even as it has begun the withdrawal of its remaining 2,500 troops in Afghanistan.

To ensure that his directive is followed, Austin will be personally responsible for the implementation of the classified recommendations of the taskforce.


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a happy life...

President stresses not a single ethnic group should be left behind

The Communist Party of China has won people's hearts because it always serves the people wholeheartedly and strives for the well-being of all ethnic groups, Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, has said.

Xi, who is also the Chinese president and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remark on Tuesday when visiting the family of a herdsman in a village in Shaliuhe, a township in Gangca county, during an inspection tour of Qinghai province.

The three-day trip, which concluded on Wednesday, took him to Xining, the provincial capital, and the Haibei Tibetan autonomous prefecture, where he visited an enterprise, an urban community, a rural village and a nature reserve.

Xi was presented with a hada, a piece of white silk used as a greeting gift among Tibetan people, when he entered Sonam Tsering's home on Tuesday afternoon. He chatted with the family members and learned about their livelihood.

Sonam Tsering told Xi that the herdsmen live a happy life thanks to the good policies of the Party, and he extended his gratitude to Xi and the CPC.

Noting that this year marks the centenary of the founding of the CPC, Xi said the achievements the Party has made over the century have enabled it to win people's hearts. As the nation is embarking on a new journey of building a modern socialist country, it will become even better, he added.

Leaving Sonam Tsering's home, Xi was greeted by residents of the village. Xi said to them, "We are a family, and we are all brothers and sisters," and called on them to have confidence in a brighter future.


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Of course the Uyghurs need to be brought out of their backwards ways into the modern freedom world of Chinese betterness... We in the West are aware of this through our media.


and by the way:




operational war concepts...


... heated debate is taking place at the Pentagon between two visions of the role to be assigned to US forces vis-à-vis China. Should they be remotely positioned and be exposed only to missiles, or sit nearby and risk being attacked by enemy soldiers?

The two options involve very different troop deployments and, in the case of bases on the Chinese border, very high costs.

Both the Office of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (CAPE) and the Office of Net Assessment (ONA) insist that the bases should be as far removed from China as possible. Their opponents instead insist on the need to be in a position to deploy troops immediately should China attack Taiwan. The former, however, counter-argue that Beijing’s annexation of Taiwan would be of little value for the United States.

On his part, General Ken Wilsbach, Commander of the US Pacific Air Forces, advocates for a dispersion of forces in multiple small bases that would be difficult to attack all at the same time.


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... Within the framework of the DoD China Task Force, the United States made overtures to the other members of the “Quad” (Australia, India, Japan, USA).

The reported purpose of the initiative was to reactivate this structure in order to convert it into a military alliance for the defense of democracy.

Other contacts have also been made with South Korea, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam with a view to creating a Quad +.

This strategy aims to avoid doing anything that directly threatens China, but to isolate it politically.

Of course, this portrayal will have to be propped up by a propaganda apparatus: India under Narendra Modi and the United States under Joe Biden no longer being democracies.


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same difference, not quite...


The Americans see Saturday's session at the G7 as being about challenging the rise of Chinese influence around the world. Beijing's Belt-and-Road initiative, which has seen billions of dollars poured into developing countries, must be countered by the Western democracies.

Senior administration officials want to prove that Western values can prevail. They argue that Chinese investment has come with too high a price tag; that the forced labour of the Uyghur minority in Xinjiang is morally egregious, and economically unacceptable as it prevents fair competition.


Global supply chains, Joe Biden will insist, must be free of this kind of labour. US officials say this is not just about confronting China, but about presenting a positive alternative for the world.

But the Biden administration has been vague about how much the West would contribute to this global infrastructure plan and over what timescale. What is clear is a renewed determination among Western powers that they need to act now to counter a resurgent and increasingly powerful China.


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Please note that the West, using the IMF and the World Bank, has done the same thing as the Chinese, for yonks — except...


Except, most of the "loans" from the IMF and World bank DID NOT HELP infrastructure and other needs but more often than not, kept vassal despots in power who consolidated their armies and corruption... The loans of the World Bank and the IMF were ALWAYS given for obedience to the Empire...



See also:

the gaddafi chronicles...


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retooling the marines...


The US Marine Corps has after nearly a century of integrating tanks into its fighting forces, abandoned armored warfare in favor of missiles and drones to “confront China” in the Indo-Pacific region.

The Marine Times in a 2020 article titled, “The Corps is axing all of its tank battalions and cutting grunt units,” would explain:

…the Corps is making hefty cuts as the Marines plan to make a lighter and faster force to fight across the Pacific to confront a rising China.

As part of Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. David Berger’s plan to redesign the force to confront China and other peer adversaries by 2030, the Marines are axing all three of its tank battalions, and chucking out all law enforcement battalions and bridging companies…”

Since the announcement, the Marine Corps’ tank battalions have been fully deactivated.

Defense News in another 2020 article, this one titled, “Here’s the US Marine Corps’ plan for sinking Chinese ships with drone missile launchers,” would note:

The US Marine Corps is getting into the ship-killing business, and a new project in development is aimed at making their dreams of harrying the People’s Liberation Army Navy a reality.

The article cited Marine Corps requirements and development chief Lieutenant General Eric Smith, who would explain:

“They are mobile and small, they are not looking to grab a piece of ground and sit on it,” Smith said of his Marine units. “I’m not looking to block a strait permanently. I’m looking to maneuver. The German concept is ‘Schwerpunkt,’ which is applying the appropriate amount of pressure and force at the time and place of your choosing to get maximum effect.”

Smith describes a concept where the US fleet can herd Chinese ships into a contested area where the Marines can do damage from the shore.

The invocation of “Schwerpunkt” – a concept utilized as part of Nazi Germany’s war of aggression against both Western Europe and the Soviet Union during World War 2 – is incredibly instructive in understanding the pathology at play within US foreign policy and defense strategy.

Washington’s Obsession with Primacy

Washington’s overall strategy toward China is one of encirclement and containment along with the preservation of what US policymakers call America’s “primacy” over the Indo-Pacific region – a region the US itself is not located in.

US military strategists have a long, passionate, but otherwise inexplicable and disturbing admiration of Nazi Germany’s fabled military prowess. It is inexplicable because ultimately Nazi Germany not only lost World War 2 but ceased to exist entirely after losing the war. It is distrubing considering what little Nazi Germany did manage to accomplish was confined to death and destruction.

Concepts like “Schwerpunkt” and “Blitzkrieg” served as tools of an aggressor nation fighting and winning battles (at least initially) amid an ultimately lost war.

These concepts were imagined by Nazi strategists as able to overwhelm numerically, economically, and militarily superior adversaries if done fast enough – with Berlin hoping to overwhelm Soviet forces in a single season.

In reality the logistics of a sustained war of aggression, deep within another nation’s territory, across such vast distances made “overwhelming” a superior opponent impossible. Soviet forces were able to adapt and overcome German invaders while simultaneously enjoying advantages in manpower, industrial capacity, and much shorter logistical lines. Soviet forces also possessed the moral imperative of defending their own territory while German soldiers were left wondering why they were fighting and dying hundreds of miles from their own borders.

The US now finds itself emulating the failed strategy of Nazi Germany – both overall as an aggressor nation on an international level but also upon hypothetical battlefields thousands of miles away from its own shores.

US strategists imagine that these same concepts served them well in the 1990’s during the Persian Gulf War – failing to note the numerical and economic (and thus technological) advantages the US had over Iraqi forces which played a much more important role.

Imagining that these same tactics will work against a numerically and economically superior opponent with at least peer-level military technology is deeply flawed.

Much of US foreign policy today is fundamentally flawed, however, predicated on many false assumptions. The most central false assumption is that the US can or should maintain primacy over the Indo-Pacific region and that China should be subordinated within a US-dominated “international order.”

China today has a population many times larger than the US. Annually, China generates millions more graduates in fields relative to enhancing its technological and industrial capacity than the US does. China’s economy will most certainly surpass the US and its influence and relations throughout the Indo-Pacific region are both more sustainable and more desirable for the people living in the region than America’s policy of “either us or them.”

There is no logical reason why China should not surpass America as the most powerful nation on Earth both economically and militarily. To suggest it shouldn’t implies that despite possessing every possible advantage over the United States – the people of China are still somehow “inferior,” thus enabling America’s continued primacy over Asia. It is this fundamentally flawed assumption – along with many others – driving American foreign policy and defense strategy toward ever-increasing and unsustainable extremes.

China’s Military Advantages

Militarily, China already possesses a larger navy than the US does – a gap that will only widen in coming years. While some have claimed that the US possesses more capable ships and can augment its fleet size with the ships of its allies – this ignores the fact that the US uses its navy to dominate others around the entire planet – not just in seas along China’s peripheries.

China currently and will likely well into the future continue to concentrate its naval forces in the defense of its own actual territory and “near abroad.”

The US Navy and Marine Corps’ dreams of “herding” Chinese warships into carefully prepared kill-zones consisting of straits the US imagines itself controlling fails to account for the fact that China could maintain a significant naval force on both sides of any given strait in question without ever needing to enter it.

Advances in missile and drone technology is a two-way street and one China is not idle in regards to. Numbers of missiles and drones operating on a hypothetical battlefield anywhere in the Indo-Pacific region will consist of Chinese and American forces at the very least matched numerically, but with China ultimately enjoying shorter logistical lines and much more substantial reserve forces on hand and able to mobilize across much shorter distances.

What This Really Means for the US Marines and America’s Actual Defense

What a US Marine Corps without its tanks truly represents is a storied branch of America’s armed forces neutered by an increasingly irrational foreign policy driving an equally irrational national defense strategy.

The Marine Corps until now existed as a highly versatile and mobile force with aviation, armor, and infantry capable of responding to virtually any battlefield challenge imaginable with a full range of combined arms options – from close-up urban combat to warfare on open battlefields at great distances. These were capabilities unique to the US Marine Corps that no other US service could offer.

Now the US Marine Corps has been specifically tailored to fight a war of aggression thousands of miles from American shores, in a specific theater, against a very specific opponent. It is a war the US has already lost before ever fighting, and in the process has cost its Marine Corps its ability to respond to other potential threats to America’s actual defense at home.

The only beneficiaries of the US Marine Corps’ disfigurement are arms manufacturers like Raytheon and Lockheed Martin building the missile systems US Marines imagine themselves using against China, and defense contractors like Oshkosh building the vehicles carrying them into these hypothetical, far-flung battles. Also benefiting – of course – are the generals and politicians on the take of America’s oversized and out-of-control arms industry while Americans themselves are left to pay the bills.



Brian Berletic is a Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook.




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