by Michael Novick, Anti-Racist Action-LA
Since Clinton bombed the Chinese consulate in Yugoslavia during the US/NATO war over Kosovo, I’ve been saying the US is on course towards war with China as the major threat to US imperialist hegemony. Clinton had conceded to the neo-con position of preparation for war as an economic and logistical necessity to eliminate China’s dual threat, to US domination, and of a global over-production crisis. Strategists talked of reduction of capacity to solve capitalism’s inability to find profitable markets for output, as the BRICS economies, particularly China, industrialized.
The US is intent on encircling China, severing it from allies, markets and resources in Asia and Africa. So the US develops military robots (drones, etc.); wages war in Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Syria and Iraq; and now Obama has pivoted towards Asia, imposing sanctions on Russia. The Pentagon strategizes on cyber-warfare and China’s military capacity.
The elite Council on Foreign Relations just exposed another aspect of US war preparations ñ the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which excludes China. The CFR documents the contradiction that US efforts to incorporate China into global commercial arrangements have increased China’s weight as a competitor and adversary. The TPP aims to rectify this by reclaiming the Pacific Rim as a US-dominated preserve. Here’s the CFRís presentation. It explains why Obama’s pushing “fast track” at all costs.
Revising U.S. Grand Strategy Toward China, Council Special Report 72; Robert Blackwill, Henry Kissinger and Ashley Tellis; 54 pp.; ISBN 978-0-87609-621-5
China remain[s] the most significant competitor to the US. [A] coherent US response to Chinese power is overdue, write Blackwill and Tellis in a new …Report, “Revising US Grand Strategy Toward China.”
[T]he effort to ëintegrateí China into the international order has generated new threats to US primacy in Asiaóand could result in a challenge to American power globally [so] Washington needs a strategy that centers on balancing the rise of Chinese power.
The authors argue a strategy [must] limit the dangers China’s economic and military power pose to US interests in Asia and globally, even as the US maintain[s] diplomatic and economic interactions with China.
• Revitalize the U.S. economy
Nothing would better promote strategic grand strategy toward China than robust [U.S.] economic growth. This must be the first priority.
• Strengthen the U.S. military
Congress should remove sequestration and increase defense [spending]Ö intensify US naval and air presence in the South and East China Seas,î and ìaccelerate US …missile defenseî in the Pacific.
• Expand Asian trade networks
US strategy toward China will be weakened without delivering on the TPP [Trans-Pacific Partnership]. A major push by the White House should begin immediately, including trade promotion authority.
• Create a technology-control regime
[DC] should limit… China’s access to military technologies. The US should encourage a coordinated approach to constrict Chinaís access.
• Implement effective cyber policies
US should impose costs on China from its violations in cyberspace increase offensive cyber capabilities improve US cyber defenses,and pass legislation such as Cyber Information Security Protection Act.
• Reinforce Indo-Pacific partnerships
The US can’t defend its interests in Asia without support from its allies, and should build the capabilities of its allies on China’s periphery.
• Energize high-level diplomacy with Beijing
The US should mitigate tensions with China, and reassure US friends in Asia that DC is doing everything it can to avoid a confrontation US-China discourse should be candid, high-level, and private.
What does this expression of hostility toward China mean? How can we learn from the perspective it gives on recent US/NATO military activity and threats? Anti-war, fair trade, labor and solidarity activists, and opponents of TPP, need to understand the stakes. We’re in a pre-war situation, pre-World War III.
Understanding that helps us get a clearer handle on US moves, like normalization with Cuba, tentative agreement with Iran, and willingness to distance itself from Israel, as maneuvers to improve its ability to intervene in Latin America, Asia, and Africa, and increase pressure on Russia ñ with an eye on its main target, China. It gives us a chance to get ahead of the curve, stop reacting to US aggression and stop fighting (against) the last war.
We need to educate against World War III, and organize international solidarity against war and exploitation. This isn’t to support Russia, China or the other BRICS, but to build unity of oppressed people against imperialist war, exploitation and oppression. Remember: World War I led to destruction of the Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian and Czarist empires and upsurge in revolutionary struggle. WWII destroyed the Nazi regime and Italian fascism, and led to revolutionary upsurge in China, SE Asia and Africa. Imperialist prep for WW III, in the context of climate-driven resource wars, must be transformed into an opportunity for similar revolutionary upsurges.
Our work against the TPP must be based on working-class internationalism, not narrow economic nationalism. Our struggle for environmental sustainability must understand the impact of Pentagon preparations and actions. Opposition to police militarization must address the connection between empire inside US borders and internationally, such as the use of drones in global war-making, on the US border, and in urban paramilitary operations.
Michael Novick invites comment at email@example.com; https://ara-la.tumblr.com/post/122260761680/trans-pacific-partnership-preparation-for-war-with