Washington Wants War with China Served Hot, Not Cold

by | May 11, 2023

Washington Wants War with China Served Hot, Not Cold

by | May 11, 2023

biden at podium

The ruling class in Washington is planning on using America’s sons and daughters as cannon fodder to wage their long-awaited war against China. President Joe Biden along with the other de facto employees of the military industrial complex, including in Congress, have not made their plans a secret. Contrarily, they are quite happy to brag about basically any escalation they can get.

Hawks in the Pentagon, along with those in the administration and legislative branch—including the key leadership—have been speaking explicitly about the coming war with China for a while now, usually boasting about all they are doing to prepare for, as well as provoke, such a conflict.

This all began in earnest during the Barack Obama administration. War with China, despite the Republican Party’s obsession with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), is the Progressive Democrats’ project led by—among others—the likes of Obama, Biden, Hillary Clinton, Kurt Campbell, Antony Blinken, Lloyd Austin, and Michelle Flournoy.

In 2011, Obama launched the “pivot to Asia.” The policy has been expanded by each successive administration. Obama’s project for the new American century entails the largest military buildup since the Second World War, shifting hundreds of bases as well as two-thirds of all U.S. Air and Naval forces to the Asia-Pacific region. Washington is encircling China for a future war with Beijing. In the words of Lew Rockwell, “The U.S. seeks to encircle China and make it bow down before the hegemon.”

The new Cold War on China has been heating up for years, but things have taken a turn for the worse under the Biden regime which is significantly more hawkish than both the Obama and Donald Trump administrations.

In January, the top U.S. Marine Corps general in Japan explained to the Financial Times that Washington and Tokyo are “setting the theater,” for war with China. Lt. Gen. James Bierman, commander of the Third Marine Expeditionary Force (III MEF) and of Marine Forces Japan, said Washington is working with its allies in the region to prepare for the coming war with China, much like the U.S. did with its NATO allies following the 2014 U.S. backed coup in Kiev.

“Why have we achieved the level of success we’ve achieved in Ukraine? A big part of that has been because after Russian aggression in 2014 and 2015, we earnestly got after preparing for future conflict: training for the Ukrainians, prepositioning of supplies, identification of sites from which we could operate support, sustain operations,” the general said. He went on to explain this is called “setting the theater. And we are setting the theater in Japan, in the Philippines, in other locations.”

Later the same month, NBC News reported on a memo written by four-star U.S. Air Force General Mike Minihan, the head of Air Mobility Command (AMC), discussing the coming war with China. AMC includes 50,000 airmen and oversees roughly 430 aircraft. “I hope I am wrong. My gut tells me [we] will fight in 2025,” Minihan said, ordering his forces to begin preparing for war with Beijing.

In recent weeks and months, the U.S. has worked on deals to gain exclusive military access to the Federated States of Micronesia, secured an agreement with Manilla to gain access to four more military bases in the Philippines, awarded contracts to begin work on a new radar installation in Palau, announced increased cooperation between American and Japanese armed forces for a future confrontation with China, and made plans to deploy additional Marine units armed with anti-ship missiles along the Okinawa islands.

In April, Washington and Manila carried out their largest ever joint military exercises. 17,600 military personnel took part, including 12,000 American troops. The Balikatan exercises saw more than 100 Australian soldiers participate. The increasing pressure on both Russia and China has seen Moscow and Beijing step up their own cooperation in the region.

Later this year, the U.S. and Australia will carry out the “largest-ever” iteration of their Talisman Sabre war drills. This bilateral military exercise takes place every two years. As Antiwar.com News Editor Dave DeCamp has explained,

The plans for the massive exercises come after the US, Australia, and Britain unveiled their plans under the AUKUS military pact with the ultimate goal of Canberra being able to produce nuclear-powered submarines by the 2040s.

The U.S. Navy envisions AUKUS will turn Australia into a full-service submarine hub for the United States and its allies in the region in operations targeted at China. As part of the deepening U.S.-Australian military ties, the United States also plans to deploy more troops and aircraft to Australia, including nuclear-capable B-52 bombers.

The rhetoric of U.S. military leaders may seem unhinged, but it is now all too common. In February, U.S. Army Secretary Christine Wormuth declared that “we” need to be prepared to fight a direct, hot war against China over Taiwan, and win it. “I personally am not of the view that an amphibious invasion of Taiwan is imminent,” she told an audience at the American Enterprise Institute, adding but “we obviously have to prepare, to be prepared to fight and win that war.”

Her plan consists of sending more U.S. troops and advanced weapons to the region, including hypersonic missiles. She also discussed setting up “theater distribution centers” in the region where weapons and other supplies can be pre-positioned for the coming war, suggesting Japan and Australia would make good candidates.

She said “our goal is to have Army forces in the Indo-Pacific seven to eight months out of the year,” when the war starts their job will be establishing “staging bases for the Navy, for the Marines, for the Air Force,” adding they will be providing “intra-theater sustainment.”

Wormuth also discussed what appeared to be a plan for the Army to impose martial law in the United States during the coming war with China. “If we got into a major war with China, the United States homeland would be at risk as well, with both kinetic attacks and non-kinetic attacks. Whether it’s cyberattacks on the power grids, or on pipelines, the United States Army, I have no doubt, will be called to provide defense support to civil authorities.”

In March, General Kenneth Wilsbach, the head of U.S. Pacific Air Forces, told a symposium in Colorado that his focus is on blowing up Chinese ships in the event that Beijing orders a blockade on the island of Taiwan. “You saw when Speaker Pelosi went to Taiwan, what [China] did with their ships,” Wilsbach said, adding, “They put them on the east side of Taiwan…as a sort of blockade.”

The General’s conclusion is “[w]e’ve got to sink the ships.” He continued, “sinking ships is a main objective of not only PACAF [Pacific Air Forces] but really anyone that’s going to be involved in a conflict like this.” In other words, even if the cross-strait conflict which Washington’s build up and closer ties with Taiwan is actively provoking does not immediately go kinetic, General Wilsbach will ensure that it escalates quickly as a result of his attempts to shoot through the Chinese naval blockade.

That same month, Trump’s former national security adviser Robert O’Brien said in the event of a cross-strait conflict, the U.S. would bomb and destroy Taiwan’s advanced semiconductor manufacturing facilities. The “United States and its allies are never going to let those factories fall into Chinese hands,” O’Brien threatened during an interview with Semafor.

A similar plan was laid out, as a potential joint operation with Washington and Taipei, in a 2021 paper published by the U.S. Army War College. The paper characterizes obliterating the island’s chip factories as a “scorched earth strategy” designed to leave Taiwan in ruins “not just unattractive if ever seized by force, but positively costly to maintain.”

The paper continues, explaining this “could be done most effectively by threatening to destroy facilities belonging to the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, the most important chipmaker in the world and China’s most important supplier.”

This month, Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) told a think tank conference “the U.S. should make it very clear to the Chinese that if you invade Taiwan, we’re going to blow up [the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company],” which produces most of the world’s advanced semiconductors.

Apparently, the Taiwanese military brass did not get the memo. Taiwan’s Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng fired back against the Congressma, saying “[i]t is the military’s obligation to defend Taiwan and we will not tolerate any others blowing up our facilities.”

In April, for the first time, the U.S. Army’s Special Operations Command defended Taiwan from a mock Chinese invasion as part of CAPEX, the command’s annual capabilities exercise.

Lt. Gen. Jonathan P. Braga declared it was about time, these war drills are “in accordance with our national defense strategy, [China] is our true pacing challenge out there.”

According to Military.com, “[m]embers of the U.S. Army’s Special Operations Command fired Carl Gustaf recoilless rifles, breached tunnels and operated Switchblade drones that flew with an unsettling whiz over a training area…The exercise combined some of the hallmark tactics and weapons that were used during the Global War on Terror with other tools reflecting a seismic shift for the command as it prepares for potential conflict against major military rivals…and the mission they were gaming out was an insertion into Taiwan to defend against a Chinese invasion.”

Last fall, Navy Admiral Charles Richard, the head of Strategic Command, which oversees American nuclear forces, ominously warned the “Ukraine crisis that we’re in right now, this is just the warmup…The big one is coming. And it isn’t going to be very long before we’re going to get tested in ways that we haven’t been tested [in] a long time.” Unmistakably, the “big one” is the coming war with China.

For almost 50 years, the One-China policy has governed the now extremely fragile relationship between Washington and Beijing. Thirty years after Mao’s forces won the civil war, Washington accepted reality and made an agreement which has kept the peace and prevented war. Under the policy, the U.S. severed diplomatic ties with Taipei and recognized that there is but one China, with Beijing as the sole Chinese government.

One-China means the U.S. does not have an official relationship with Taipei, with Washington recognizing China and Taiwan as the same country. The U.S. also maintains “strategic ambiguity” towards Taiwan or at least it did until the Joe Biden administration unilaterally overturned that part of the delicate policy.

Per the former approach, the U.S. would never commit to defending or not defending the island against a potential attack against the breakaway province. Critically, “strategic ambiguity” has aimed to deter Beijing from attempting to retake the island by force and, at the same time, to discourage Taiwan’s radical factions seeking to declare Taiwan’s independence.

But for the bipartisan China hawks, that successful arrangement is no longer good enough. Worst of all, some are proposing, and in some cases outright issuing, defense commitments in contradiction of the longstanding U.S. policy.

Since Biden came into office, he has continued to make “gaffes” announcing the U.S. is doing away with “strategic ambiguity” and even potentially the One-China policy. Biden has seemingly committed Americans to Taiwan’s defense multiple times. But now it appears that these notorious mistakes which were often walked back by the White House, were not “gaffes” at all.

In March, speaking before a House Intelligence Committee hearing, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines announced that “strategic ambiguity” was dead and gone. When asked by Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT) if the policy needed to be changed, Haines responded by announcing “I think it is clear to the Chinese what our position is, based on the president’s comments.”

Indeed, Washington constantly ramps up U.S. military cooperation with Taipei, committing billions of dollars in military aid to Taiwan, expanding U.S. National Guard training programs with the Taiwanese military, sending ever more Congressional delegations to the island, deploying ever higher numbers of U.S. troops to the island, concurrently training hundreds of Taiwanese soldiers for war on U.S. soil,  converting Taiwan into a “giant weapons depot,” and sailing American warships through the sensitive Taiwan strait almost every month.

The U.S. government absurdly promises these provocations are done to “deter” war, but China has made clear that Taiwan is a “red line” and Washington’s actions makes war more likely. Beijing has repeatedly said that they are seeking a “peaceful reunification” with Taiwan but they have not ruled out using force.

Even Haines appeared to admit this when, at the same hearing, she admitted “it’s not our assessment that China wants to go to war.” Bellicose members of Congress are foaming at the mouth for a confrontation with China nonetheless.

In April, during an interview on Fox News Sunday, Republican senator and neoconservative spokesman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) called for an outright reversal of “strategic ambiguity,” as well as a complete overhaul of Washington’s China policy. As the Libertarian Institute’s Kyle Anzalone reported,

Graham claimed the United States had only a short window of time to prepare for the coming conflict, calling to “increase training and get the F-16s they need in Taiwan,” He also complained about a “backlog“ of arms sales to the island, arguing the transfers should move ahead while proposing new US military deployments in Asia and elsewhere.

“I would move war forces to South Korea and Japan. I would put nuclear-tipped cruise missiles on all of our submarines all over the world,” Graham continued.

He additionally explained he was willing to send US troops to fight for Taipei, a dramatic departure from longstanding policy, saying “Yes, I’d be very much open to using US forces to defend Taiwan.”

The ultra-hawkish Republican Chair of the House Foreign Relations Committee, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), further declared that sending U.S. troops to fight China over the island of Taiwan is “on the table.” McCaul clarified his position that if “communist China invaded Taiwan, it would certainly be on the table and [that’s] something that would be discussed by Congress and with the American people.”

How gracious of our ostensible representatives! After more than 70 years of illegal, undeclared wars and millions killed, some are willing to concede perhaps before going to war with another nuclear superpower, it may warrant at least a discussion with the American people.

To date, we—the people—have not been consulted regarding any of these horrendous and reckless policies. The hyper-drive propaganda against China is already designedly overwhelming our neighbors’ psyches. Given the current anti-Russia hysteria among the populace, with minimal domestic resistance, the White House has been able to ratchet tensions with Moscow—via its proxy war in Ukraine—to levels not seen since the Cuban Missile Crisis. In fact, it’s even worse, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists says the risk of nuclear war has never been higher.

There is no telling what Americans may be frightened into consenting to if a cross-strait conflict kicks off, or if there is an accident or confrontation between U.S. and Chinese forces in the South China Sea. Not too long ago, some were almost calling for war with China over a weather balloon.

As is the case with Russia, the U.S. launching a direct war with Beijing is essentially guaranteed to lead to a nuclear exchange. In such a scenario, China has the ability to destroy continental American cities, not just the aircraft carrier strike groups and the hundreds of U.S. military bases encircling China.

This should go without saying, if the hawks were honest about the risks of the war with China they are proposing, and indeed cultivating, the American people would refuse to allow a continuation of the buildup at all.

It is not inconceivable that, under the circumstances, an informed American populace may collectively decide they no longer wish to be ruled by notoriously venal people in Washington irrevocably caught up in the insane, outmoded, long discredited, and arms industry funded neoconservative ideology of unipolar, global hegemony.

And yes, that is what this coming war with China is about: world domination by Washington. The same Democrats and Republicans whose hands are still covered in blood from Ukraine, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Palestine, Yemen, Somalia, and Afghanistan now want to go to war with China.

But just like the other wars you’ve likely lived through, it’s not our war—it’s their war—even if the American people are fighting it.

We must stop this madness.

Connor Freeman

Connor Freeman

Connor Freeman is the assistant editor and a writer at the Libertarian Institute, primarily covering foreign policy. He is a co-host on Conflicts of Interest. His writing has been featured in media outlets such as Antiwar.com and Counterpunch, as well as the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity. He has also appeared on Liberty Weekly, Around the Empire, and Parallax Views. You can follow him on Twitter @FreemansMind96

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