China is rapidly building up its military capabilities, but thanks to changes quietly slipped into law with last year's Defense Authorization law and a National Security Council staff intent of finding sweetness & light in the hearts of the Butchers of Beijing, the latest official report on China's military buildup is stressing cooperation.
Bill Gertz of the Washington Times reports in his "Inside the Ring" column:
The Pentagon is nearly two months late in releasing its 2010 report on China's military buildup, and defense officials say the White House is holding up the release.
According to the officials, National Security Council aides are opposed to publishing new details on China's decade-long buildup of new strategic and conventional missiles, aircraft, warships and other high-tech weapons that the White House deems "provocative."
Instead, NSC aides are insisting on inserting language into the annual "Military Power of the People's Republic of China" report to highlight U.S.-China military "cooperation."
Making U.S.-China military cooperation look good in the report is a tough sell, the officials said. China severed military ties with the United States twice in the past two years, first in October 2008 and again earlier this year, to protest U.S. arms sales to Taiwan.
The officials told Inside the Ring that the report is being revised based on a little-noticed change in last year's Defense Authorization Act that modified what the Pentagon must include in the report.
China's government for years issued diplomatic protests on the annual reports to Congress, complaining they unfairly portray the Chinese military buildup as a threat to U.S. and allied interests.
In response, the Obama administration is working to remove significant details from the report, such as declassified intelligence on China's testing of the DF-21 aircraft carrier-killing, anti-ship ballistic missile.
If Winston Churchill were able to write a book today, he might title it, "While America Slept."
Hat tip: Dennis Sevakis