Friday, March 14, 2008


Gates appears to hedge on U.S. 'hedge' strategy for China

Defense Secretary Robert Gates last week appeared to reverse his predecessor’s policy of building up forces in the Pacific to counter a future hostile China.

Asked about bolstering military ties to democracies in Asia, Australia and Indonesia and developing interoperable capabilities as a hedge against China, Gates said: “I don't see our improving military relationships in the region in the context of any other country, including China.”

Gates said U.S. activities in the Pacific range from countering piracy and terrorism to crime and humanitarian relief. “These expanding relationships don't necessarily have to be directed against anybody,” he said. “They are a set of bilateral relationships that are aimed at improving our coordination and the closeness of our relationships for a variety of reasons, including those that I've just indicated.”

U.S. officials have said in the past that the U.S. military buildup in the Pacific is designed to position U.S. forces in Asia to respond to a conflict over Taiwan or to help defend other U.S. allies in Asia from any threat posed by China.

It is possible, but unlikely, that Gates was mirroring Chinese-style strategic misdirection by not stating publicly that the U.S. force build up in Asia is meant to counter China.

Defense officials said Gates spent more time discussing China than Pakistan, India’s longtime rival, during meetings.

Gates said he would like to use the same strategy of “many years of arms negotiations” with the Soviet Union as a means to “gain a real appreciation and understanding of how each other looked at strategic modernization programs and deployments and plans and so on.”

“We would like to have the same kind of dialogue with China,” he said.


It appears that the U.S. government is filled with a bunch of blithering idiots, regardless of party affiliation, that think you can 'make nice' with enemies...

Pertinent Links:

1) Gates appears to hedge on U.S. 'hedge' strategy for China

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