February 28, 2005


Cornering the dragon (Conn Hallinan, 3/02/05 Foreign Policy in Focus)

A central goal of the confrontationists has been to deploy an anti-ballistic missile shield (ABM) in Asia, which the administration is now in the process of doing. So far it has enlisted Japan and Australia in this effort, and it is wooing India as well. While the rationale for the ABM is alleged to be North Korea, the real target is China's 20 intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).

The strategy of ringing China with US military bases is also well underway. Besides its traditional bases in Japan and South Korea, Guam has become, according to Pacific Commander Admiral William Fargo, a "power projection hub", that will play an increasing role in Asia, with "geo-strategic importance". The island already hosts B-52s, fighter planes, nuclear attack submarines, and the high-altitude spy drone, the Global Hawk. Since Guam is a US colony acquired during the Spanish American war, the military does not need permission for the buildup, as it would in Japan or Korea.

The US is also attempting to build bases in Southeast and South Asia. While Indonesian authorities deny the story, the Singapore Times reports that the US is presently negotiating to open a naval base on Sulawesi Island. It is also strengthening military ties to Thailand, Singapore, India, Sri Lanka, and Malaysia.

The encirclement has also spread to Central Asia, an important source of oil and gas for China. The US presently has bases in Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan, and military ties with Uzbekistan, which, according to Rumsfeld, are "growing stronger by the month".

Encircle and tighten.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 28, 2005 11:22 PM

Conn Hallinan is the son of a former CPUSA Presidential candidate, I believe, and his brother is the San Francisco DA. Need we say more.

The reality is that none of the other nations in the region wish to be subordinate to a Chinese hegemon. For many, it is a matter of 'been there done that.' The Chinese have a choice. They can be nice and develop their nation beyond the bad Third World state it remains in for the most part. Or they can jump ugly with the US and get nailed from almost every border.

I wonder if Hallinan knows that the US is training the Mongolian Army and that the NYPD is training some of their police forces.

Posted by: Bart at March 1, 2005 11:00 AM