The Self-Licking Boot Of US Militarism
by Caitlin Johnstone, Caitlin Johnstone:
A new Bloomberg article titled “‘Sloppy’ US Talk on China’s Threat Worries Some Skeptical Experts” discusses the dangerous cycle in which pressures in the US political establishment to continually escalate hostilities with Beijing provokes responses that are then falsely interpreted as Chinese aggression.
Bloomberg’s Iain Marlow writes:
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The hawkish narrative “limits room for maneuver in a crisis,” said M. Taylor Fravel, director of the Security Studies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Any effort to defuse tension could be characterized as “conciliatory or not tough enough,” he said.
China has been consistent on Taiwan and there’s little public evidence to suggest it’s sped up the timeline to take Taiwan, said a former senior US official who worked on China policy but asked not to be identified.
The former official said the hawkish tone in DC has contributed to a cycle where the US makes the first move, interprets Chinese reactions as a provocation, and then escalates further.
Bloomberg quotes Bonnie Glaser, director of the Asia program at the German Marshall Fund, who says this cycle of self-reinforcing escalation could “end up provoking the war that we seek to deter.”
Good article on how the US’s approach to China makes war more likely.
“[It’s a] cycle where the US makes the first move, interprets Chinese reactions as a provocation, and then escalates further. [We’ll] end up provoking the war that we seek to deter”https://t.co/Vf1jQmjavB
— Arnaud Bertrand (@RnaudBertrand) November 4, 2022
We just saw this same self-perpetuating cycle of military escalation exemplified against North Korea, where tensions have again been flaring after a long pause. The US and South Korea initiated a provocative military drill designed to menace the DPRK, Pyongyang responded by launching missiles in its own show of strength, and the Pentagon announced an extension of the drills in response to that response.
Antiwar’s Dave DeCamp explains:
The US and South Korea are extending massive aerial war games after North Korea put on a massive show of force in response to the drills.
Washington and Seoul started their Vigilant Storm exercises on Monday, which were initially scheduled to run 24 hours a day for five days. This year’s Vigilant Storm is the largest-ever iteration of the drills, involving nearly 100 American warplanes and 140 South Korean aircraft, and about 1,600 planned sorties.
Pyongyang made it clear it would respond to the Vigilant Storm drills, and it launched 23 missiles on Wednesday, which is said to be the most North Korea has fired in a single day. North Korea also fired over 100 artillery rounds on the same day and launched six more missiles on Thursday.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced the extension of Vigilant Storm after a meeting with his South Korean counterpart, Lee Jong-sup. “I’ve consulted with Minister Lee and we’ve decided to extend Vigilant Storm, which is our long-scheduled combined training exercise, to further bolster our readiness and interoperability,” Austin said.
“So they launch these war games, provoke a bunch of North Korean missile launches and then say they have to extend the war games because of the missile launches,” tweeted DeCamp.
DeCamp quotes another DPRK official who warns that the extension of the US-ROK war games may provoke further escalations, saying “The irresponsible decision of the US and South Korea is shoving the present situation, caused by provocative military acts of the allied forces, to an uncontrollable phase.”
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