David Archibald has been pointing towards a coming confrontation with China for quite a long time, and it seems that his concerns are reflected at the very top in the United States. Never mind what I or David say, this is what the new Acting American Secretary of Defence says.
Now that he is acting secretary of defense, the civilian Shanahan now 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 agonising over terrorists whose faith will not be named, no handwringing 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.
And if you go to the link in the para above, this is what you come to:
‘China, China, China’: Trump’s new Pentagon chief Patrick Shanahan sets US defence priorities. The article begins:
Patrick Shanahan, the acting US defence secretary, singled out China as a key priority in a “great power competition” on his first full day in his new role at the Pentagon on Wednesday, continuing a course set by his predecessor.
“While we are focused on ongoing operations, Acting Secretary Shanahan told the team to remember China, China, China,” an anonymous defence official was quoted as saying….
Shanahan provided his view of long-term competition with China and Russia while speaking at an Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association event last February.
“We all hear about how our competitiveness has eroded,” Shanahan said. “Our strategy is about how to sharpen and strengthen our competitiveness.”
He told the audience that “there are no such things as fair competitions – there’s just competition”.
If this really is the real thing, worrying about deployment of a couple thousand in Syria is an absolute nothing.
Meanwhile, China is becoming more centre stage. These are minor items at Drudge today, but the issues are becoming more visible.
We certainly do live in interesting times.