Shanahan and China
To quote Shakespeare's Henry V, "The courses of his youth promised it not." The then-deputy secretary of defense Patrick Shanahan gave a speech at an Air Force Association conference on September 19 last year that seemed overly deferential to the then-secretary of defense, the globalist known as General James Mattis. The speech was light on factual content, reflecting a speaker who was a political animal, a speech composed of platitudes and pleasantries that showed contempt for its audience because it deliberately conveyed nothing of substance.
Now that he is acting secretary of defense, the civilian Shanahan has only one layer of command to defer to and can be his own man, it seems. For the first words from his mouth on taking command were "China, China, China" – no agonizing over terrorists whose faith will not be named, no hand-wringing over global warming, no apologia for allies who shirk paying for their defense, and no histrionics on the subject of the impoverished kleptocracy that is Russia. The Mattis era is over.
China is the only country on the planet with the intent, the means, the will, and a plan to kill Americans in large numbers. In a week in which President Xi Jinping called for China to invade Taiwan, Chinese Navy rear admiral Lou Yuan called for the sinking of two U.S. aircraft carriers to cause 10,000 combat deaths of U.S. military personnel. The admiral wants to find out how frightened America will get. That is what passes for a casus belli in these times.
We continue to trade with China, and that reflects poorly on us. Take the rhetorical question of whether or not we should have traded with Germany and Japan in the years leading to WWII if we had known what they had planned. Of course not. But we know that China is getting ready to attack us, so why are we still trading with the Chinese? Their intentions couldn't be clearer. No wonder we are treated with contempt.
The Chinese Communist Party has been biding its time for 30 years, as President Deng Xiaoping counseled, and now Xi views China as drawing too far ahead to hesitate in revealing itself in full. The world is past the point of no return. It's now a sprint to the finish line before the West has the chance to reorganize its society, economy, and military to effectively counter China. The game is too far along now.
Beijing is in front at the moment, as the West is still in upheaval because a new generation of armchair socialists have emerged to cause chaos within. Beijing's cultural war to turn the West socialist while presenting itself as a friendly third-world country not worth worrying about has succeeded in blunting the might of the United States.
The fact that President Emmanuel Macron of France even now still utters nonsense about globalization and establishing a Euro army to defend itself against Russia, China, and the United States without being laughed at shows how much China's disinformation has succeeded.
One thing that Shanahan said on September 19 was "the old adage: don't tell me your strategy; show me your budget, and I'll tell you what your strategy is." It is equally true that you can't fight your enemy until you have named it. Thank you, acting secretary Shanahan for naming the enemy of civilization as China, China, China.
David Archibald's latest book is American Gripen: The Solution to the F-35 Nightmare.