(en) Hi-Tech Warfare with China?

Richard K. Moore (rkmoore@iol.ie)
Mon, 7 Apr 97 14:20:00 CDT

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Hi-Tech Warfare with China? ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

7 April 1997 rkmoore@iol.ie

Rapid development underway of hi-tech US arsenal ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ "The Future of Warfare" - The Economist, March 8 - delves into the subject of hi-tech warfare, of which Desert Storm, we are told, was but a primitive prototype. The most advanced elements are still only in the idea stage, but others are well along in development, or already deployed, and the whole program is on a fast-track priority for the US military. The impression is given, and I believe rightly so, that the results will be formidably potent - not at all like the dubious, premature, Star Wars project of the Reagan era. Highlights:

The world is in the early stages of a new military revolution. The technologies include digital communications, which allow data to be compressed; a "global Positioning system" (GPS) of satellites, which makes more exact guidance and navigation possible; radar- evading "stealth"; and, of course, computer processing...

...over Bosnia the Americans have deployed JSTARS, a ground- surveillance system in the sky: a single screen can display, in any weather, the position and type of every vehicle within an area 200 kilometres (125 miles) square...

A system of systems ------------------- The revolution in military affairs revolves around three advances. The first is in gathering intelligence. Sensors in satellites, aircraft or unmanned aircraft can monitor virtually everything going on in an area. The second is in processing intelligence. Advanced command, control, communication and computing systems, known as C4, make sense of the data gathered by the sensors and display it on screen. They can then assign particular targets to missiles, tanks or whatever. The third is in acting on all this intelligence in particular, by using long-range precision strikes to destroy targets. Cruise missiles, guided by satellite, can hit an individual building many hundreds of miles away...

The Pentagon already has, or is developing, most of the technologies required for space weapons. For instance it has just awarded a $l.l billion contract for an airborne laser to hit ballistic missiles. if that technology works, it could be adapted for a satellite...

Aircraft carriers, like other surface ships, risk being sunk by cruise missiles. Some will be replaced by "arsenal ships", semi- submersible, stealthy barges, carrying hundreds of missiles but few sailors...

What's the point of this arsenal? ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ There are many more details to the article, but what may be of broader interest are the WHY questions ... What is all this for? ... Why the urgency? The Economist's own answers to these questions are woefully misinformed on almost every point:

This embryonic revolution, unlike the development of nuclear weapons, has not emerged in response to any particular threat to the United States or its allies. It has come about because it is there, that is, because generals want to play with new technologies in case a future threat emerges. In that it may resemble Blitzkrieg, which was based on the technologies of the 1920's, when defence budgets were declining and there seemed little prospect of another world war.

Nuclear weapons were developed (Manhattan Project) not - the record seems clear - because of any particular "threat", but as a key part of the American elite's intention to actively dominate the post-war world. Intelligence sources knew the Nazis weren't getting anywhere with their own nuclear research, and this fact was intentionally withheld from the scientists at Los Alamos, who were manipulated into urgency "lest Hitler use the bomb first".

The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki - both of which cities had intentionally been spared conventional bombing, so that test results would be accurate - accomplished live-target tests of the U235 and plutonium device prototypes, as well as demonstrating to the world (especially the Soviets) the will and ability to project power in such a way.

Similarly, Germany's blitzkrieg weapons were not idle technological developments, carried out with little anticipation of use. Krupp's engineers, with the connivance of several German governments, designed - starting long before Hitler's rise - a suite of military hardware that was aimed at achieving military superiority in a specific time-window (late 30's, early 40's), during which Germany was to regain its honor and further its own elite's imperialist ambitions.

Similarly as well, permit me to suggest, America's current hi-tech-warfare developments do not arise primarily from the play of generals nor even the profit-seeking of arms developers. As with both the A-bomb and Nazi blitzkrieg, what we are seeing with hi-tech warfare is the preparation of a weapons suite crafted with particular - and not defensive - missions in mind. But unlike the earlier precedents, as I'll seek to show, we are seeing here something beyond merely elite nationalist ambitions at work.

The arsenal includes more than technology ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Absent from the article, allow me to establish first, are other equally significant threads of the ultra-modern-warfare story. Let me draw your attention to some modern blitzkrieg conflicts: in Grenada, Panama, and Iraq. Was anyone else struck by the similarities in this sequence of incidents? These episodes had all the appearance, to me at least, of a sequence of incrementally larger-scale field tests - the unfolding deployment of a suite of techniques that included not only first-draft versions of the technology mentioned in the Economist piece, but also striking innovations in propaganda and international "law".

All three conflicts had highly dubious - in fact downright refutable - justifications. American citizens in Grenada were not in danger, and the touted Cuban "troops" were in fact civilian employees of a British firm building a civilian (not military) air field. Noriega was in full compliance with US drug-policy expectations, and the US put people back in power who have continued to use Panama as a drug banking center. Saddam was given a go signal, by the US Secretary of State, to invade Kuwait - just as Turkey was later given a go signal to invade Kurdish areas of Iraq.

The publicly declared motivations for these US offensive operations were clearly bogus. The operations can however be easily understood in terms of traditional "strategic interests" imperialism: Grenada, being blatantly socialist, was simply too much of an embarrassment, so close to American borders - a backbreaking straw added to the mortifying weight of Cuba on the backyard of Uncle Sam's self image. Noriega was threatening to get uppity about the Panama Canal - as strategic an issue as you can imagine. Saddam was succeeding in building a modern secular Muslim state in the Middle East - a precedent that threatened to undermine the controlled instability that the US has so carefully fostered in the region; the last thing the US (acting, as is traditional, in tacit support of major oil-company interests) wants are stable, prosperous, oil-owning states which are not beholden to outside interests to stay in power.

But careful consideration of this sequence of military-media offensives, as I hope to illustrate, reveals that these were multi-mission exercises: yes they accomplished traditional "sphere of interest" objectives (as did, for example, the overthrow of Allende), but they also accomplished other objectives which deserve to be noted - objectives that foretell much about what is likely to be the nature of international affairs in the age of globalization.

Prior to each of the conflicts, the media erupted with propaganda/demonization campaigns designed to prepare the way for the adventurism. Then came tight management of all information during the conflicts and hours of crafted infotainment (intelligence-provided diagrams, interviews with generals, jazzy hardware in operation) in the place of news coverage. The result was that these turned out to be, domestically anyway, crowd-pleasing conflicts - no mean feat in a nation that was both morally and practically shy of imperialism - a consensus sentiment that Reagan dubbed "Vietnam syndrome".

In the cases of Grenada and Panama there was little attention given to placating international opinion: the propaganda focus was on managing domestic perceptions, and the censure by much of the rest of the world was simply omitted, for the most part, from domestic news coverage. But with Iraq, not only was there a much grander technological deployment, and continued refinement of the propaganda machinery, but - and this is probably the most important outcome of Desert Storm - the successful establishment of a bold new precedent in de-facto international law.

There had been an expensive, all-stops-pulled propaganda/diplomacy/bribery campaign in the global press, on the floor of the UN, and in who-knows-how- many national capitals - a campaign designed to subvert all negotiation efforts, achieve UN approval of unfettered US military intervention, and patch together (through very costly bribery - in both money and future commitments) the pretense of an "allied" military operation.

When the dust - more accurately the sand and organo-phosphates - had settled, a de-facto new world order (as Bush accurately described it) had been established as regards an internationally-sanctioned role for Uncle Sam as the global policeman. Later in Somalia and Bosnia, due to this precedent, the US had very little trouble in gaining rubber-stamp international approval for whatever interventionist agenda it had in mind - dictated in fact more by geopolitical considerations than any bona fide sense of international peace and order.

I want to underscore the importance of this new-world-order diplomatic achievement. The US does not want to be an international pariah: it values and exploits its close working relationships with the world's leading (read: richest) nations. International approval, or at least acquiescence, has as much strategic importance to the US as does the raw physical ability to project its military power.

The missions of the arsenal: (1) globalist Imperial Legions? ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ I claimed earlier that "particular missions" are the aim of the techno/propagandist/diplomatic war chest we've been examining. Allow me to say more about those missions. First comes the observation that America has long outgrown its formerly narrow, purely nationalistic role, in the geopolitical game. It still behaves imperialistically, as it has ever since 1812 - when it hoped to take over Canada - but no longer is parochial national advantage the goal.

"Globalization" - with WTO, GATT, NAFTA, deregulation, privatization, and an enlarged NATO - has replaced "national advantage" as the unstated national purpose. The US government - which formerly acted as the tacit agent primarily of American-based corporate power - is now acting as the agent of the international corporate community generally. (Ironically, the world's premier "democracy" has usually been far from acting on behalf of its supposedly sovereign electorate.)

At the most fundamental level, it is not the US which is extending its power over other nations via a police-force role, but rather the corporate elite that is extending its power over additional nations via American globalist policies and police-force power. US nationalism persists as a domestic rhetorical fiction only so the citizens will continue to pay the bills, and provide the infrastructure, for services that are actually being rendered to others.

The propaganda phrase "American Interests", thus, will continue to be used, and will continue to be backed by force, in the tradition of the Monroe Doctrine. But other members of the NWO community (UK, Germany, et al) understand that their own interests - more precisely the interests of their corporate elites - are factored into the American equation. "American Interests", just like "Chevrolet", continues to ring "Made in America" - but both are increasingly assembled from foreign components.

This is what the New World Order (caps this time) is all about. Not simply an internationally sanctioned military role for Uncle Sam, but a broader agenda for Uncle Sam to pursue - the management of the globe on behalf elite corporate interests generally, making all regions of the Earth stable and profitable, from the perspective of capital investment.

The task of global management can be expected to involve conflicts of various sizes, from anti-"terrorist" operations, to brushfire civil wars, to "restructuring" of "renegade" regimes (as in Grenada and Panama) - all the way up to full scale wars - and I don't count Desert Storm as full scale. To handle flexibly this wide range of conflicts - and without sacrificing so many of "our boys" that domestic acquiescence is threatened - one can understand why the US needs its multi-faceted, hi-tech arsenal. But why does it need to be upgraded with such urgency? Isn't it already far ahead of all comers?

A trial balloon was sent up not that long ago whose goal was to add nuclear capability to the internationally-approved war chest. I refer, of course, to Libya and its (perhaps mythical) biological warfare plant (What ever happened to that plant, by the way?). If that balloon had not met with international focus-group derision, Libya might well have become the next in the sequence of field-test blitzkrieg deployments - this time bringing nukes (precise and clean? .. but of course) into the game.

The missions of the arsenal: (2) The China Question ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ In considering why tactical nukes would be deemed necessary by US military planners (not in Libya, but in the long run) - and in considering why the US seeks to advance further its hi-tech capability when it is already so far ahead of the pack - one is led inevitably to think about China.

China is the only remaining significant wild card in the New World Order game. Cuba, and other similars, may be virulently anti-NWO (ie. - insisting on their own sovereignty) - but they are small and highly vulnerable (and Clinton promised Castro "Your day will come" in his recent State of the Union message). Russia and the medium-sized "renegade" states (Iran, Libya et al) may be somewhat unpredictable, and vexing to NWO planners due to their size - but they don't (anymore at least) have great-power ambitions and can be adequately contained and coerced (militarily and economically) over time into acceptable roles - and convenient bad-guy is one of the most useful roles.

There are a pair of articles in the March/April Foreign Affairs - a propaganda journal for the globalist NWO agenda, with large type so aging plutocrats can read it - called "The China Threat - A Debate". (By the way, I commend Foreign Affairs in general to your attention. It is very informative, between the lines, as regards NWO designs, and quite humorous, in a dark sort of way, in the smooth-talking blatancy of its party-line assumptions and rhetoric.) The "debate" (to return to our story) is an old- boys affair - with much in the way of shared assumptions, and the differences only in which tactics would best serve the shared goal of subjugating China to the NWO agenda (or as they would say it: securing reforms which bring China into the family of modern nations).

Richard Bernstein and Ross H. Munro, in "The Coming Conflict with America", present the case that armed conflict between the US and China may be inevitable.

They tell us: "China's sheer size and inherent strength, its conception of itself as a center of global civilization, and its eagerness to redeem centuries of humiliating weakness are propelling it toward Asian hegemony." And they pass on an ominous sentiment attributed to General Mi Zhenyu, vice- commandant of the Academy of Military Sciences in Beijing: "For a relatively long time it will be absolutely necessary that we quietly nurse our sense of vengeance. We must conceal our abilities and bide our time" - giving fair warning to be wary of what may appear to be softening in future Chinese behavior.

What makes these observations especially dire, from a global perspective, is the article's seemingly authoritative description of Uncle Sam's attitude on the matter - a description that might well be taken at face value:

China's goal of achieving paramount status in Asia conflicts with an established American objective: preventing any single country from gaining an overwhelming power in Asia. The United States, after all, has been in major wars in Asia three times in the past half-century, always to prevent a single power from gaining ascendency.

The implication is clear that the United States can be expected to act decisively to alter what seems to be China's chosen path, even by warfare if that becomes necessary. And if conditions have changed since the cited three-war precedents, I'd say globalization mania only makes the thesis more likely to hold.

We are told - with typical sleight-of-number - that China is spending astronomical sums on military modernization - aimed at the ability to knock out US Carrier Task Forces, as well as dominating Asia. We are told that China's leaders "cannot be counted on to relinquish their monopolistic hold on power" and that "The most likely form for China to assume is a kind of corporatist, militarized, nationalist state, one with some similarity to the fascist states of Mussolini or Francisco Franco."

We are shown a map with explosion! symbols next to seven "flash points". Various plausible scenarios are explored, each of which could easily lead to armed conflicts. It is explained that Japan must be our special partner in counter-balancing Chinese hegemony.

Robert S. Ross, in "Beijing as a Conservative Power", takes up the debating position that "engagement" is the proper approach to China - "Treat China as an enemy and it will be one". Details are revealed regarding air and sea power, showing that China cannot be any kind of real threat for a long time to come. That provides time to build relationships and seek to integrate China, adequately if not ideally, into an acceptable scheme of things.

Recent history is visited, and we learn that China has actually been acting quite to US benefit in geopolitical terms. It balanced the Soviet Union; it stabilized Southeast Asia when Uncle Sam was forced out of Vietnam. We are urged to "invite China to participate in international rule-making", and to "reinforce China's interest in regional stability and strengthen its commitment to global stability. Engagement, not isolation, is the appropriate policy".

Both articles take it as a given that the US has the "strategic interest" - translation: the "right" - to insure that a "favorable" balance of power is maintained in Asia: it is categorically unacceptable that China achieve outright hegemony and freedom-of-action in Asia. The debate is about means, not ends.

I must say that the first article is more convincing - the fundamental case for eventual confrontation seems more solid than the likelihood of namby- pamby coaxing bringing about a paradigm shift in China's thousands-year-old sense of national greatness and sovereign pride.

Given the degree of societal dedication to be expected, and the prowess of China's scientific and engineering communities, one might anticipate (in this age where offense dominates defense) that China may be able to achieve some technological leap-frog in the local military balance of power - something as surprising as a Sputnik that neutralizes many of the American advantages.

For strategic military planners on both sides, one must assume that the race has been joined. Can China achieve a window of opportunity - based on focused achievement of military parity - during which it could establish a firm hold on its own sphere of influence? Could it hold this parity long enough for the new status quo to become accepted by the international community, as has, it seems, the occupation of Tibet?

The pre-World-War-II parallel ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ The scenario - I feel compelled to point out - is strikingly similar to the pre-World-War-II scenario: with China in the role of Japan or Germany. China has the same brand of soul-deep national ambition shared then by Japan and Germany, and a similar potential to express it in action. Japan and Germany could only be tamed (ie. adequate reforms imposed) - the historic lesson seems to clearly say - by complete destruction followed by complete rebuilding, under US tutelage. These are precedents that cannot be far from the minds of our Foreign Policy authors, although their pens would be unlikely to develop such comparisons until closer to the climax.

The parallels with the inter-war period are only accentuated by what we learn in "China preys on American minds - The US this week", Guardian Weekly (April 6).

Martin Walker describes the on-the-ground implementation of the engagement agenda. We are told of the Beijing-based US business council, "a formidable group of US executives whose corporate lobbies back in Washington have worked hard to ensure that no US politician dare confront the engagement- trade-investment model" (shades of Joe Kennedy et al). We are also reminded of "fat Chinese consultancy fees earned by those former secretaries of state, Dr. Henry Kissinger and General Alexander Haig". Clearly Foreign Affairs (Robert Ross) was providing "philosophical background" for what turns out to be an already operational corporatist agenda - an investment- intensive agenda parallel to that of the inter-war years.

Interestingly, Mr. Walker casts moral derision on this money-grabbing behavior: "There ought to be scandal in the way US corporations scurry to serve Beijing's interests." He reports with explicit admiration some words of Newt Gingrich, delivered recently at the Foreign Affairs College in Beijing:

"Americans cannot remain silent about the basic lack of freedom - speech, religion, assembly, the press - in China. In the most basic sense, we are simply asking the Chinese government to enforce its own constitution."

Perhaps one can presume Gingrich is replaying the crowd-pleasing Churchill role: espouse the high moral ground, encourage a simmering pool of popular suspicion toward the future enemy, and wait in the wings to form the nucleus of a war government when the bugle finally sounds. Like Churchill, he would be seen as morally untainted (as regards what in the end is known as appeasement), although I imagine his constituency gets its share of Chinese opportunities in the interim. The inter-war parallels are again underscored.

We now come to an interesting clue as to how the increasingly confrontational climate is to be spun in mass media doublespeak:

"The Clash of Civilisations, the book by Harvard professor Sam Huntington, may not have hit the bestseller lists, but its dire warning of a 21st century rivalry between the liberal white folk and the Yellow Peril - sorry, the Confucian cultures - is underpinning the formation of a new political environment.

"To adapt one of Mao's subtler metaphors, Huntingdon's Kultur-kampf is becoming, with stunning speed, the conceptual sea in which Washington's policy-making fish now swim."

Mr Walker lays out for us - and I'd be inclined take this for the time being as the official mass-media party-line - the proposition that the only reason for the US to be concerned about China is the question of human rights, and that the only other reason conflict might develop is due to some mythical notion of inevitable cultural warfare. Nowhere in this party-line is mentioned the fact, so obvious to not-so-mass-media Foreign Affairs, that American balance-of-power interests (not human rights, culture, or ideology) will be the primary counter-consideration to investment opportunities, vis a vis China policy.

Teddy Roosevelt said "Walk softly, and carry a big stick". The more profitable version of this admonition, as carried out in the inter-war years, in Iraq, and apparently again with China, is: "Profit through engagement, then deliver a just-in-time death blow".

I won't offer an opinion as to what the US "should" do re/China, any more than I would be able to say what it should have done pre-WW-II. In both cases, one would need to imagine a transformed protagonist before one could imagine a different outcome. The question of reforming US policy (according to whatever criteria) boils down to the question of changing who runs America - and that would stray us from our subject (solution in hand, but too long for margin).

What, in fact, America seems to be doing is to consciously replay the inter- war scenario: profit maximally from trade and investments in China, encourage US public opinion to maintain a simmering hostility toward what may become a future enemy, tacitly facilitate China's military development, closely monitor developments - and most important - be sure that the US, together with its projected allies, maintains strategic dominance militarily. In this last regard, the US may have skirted danger in WW II more closely than it will have to this time around.

This time around the US is on a continual wartime footing, with fleets sufficient for some specified number of simultaneous conflicts - not to mention nuclear submarines, satellite superiority, strategic missiles, and the new gadgets the Economist tells us about. This is a far cry from the comparative state of US preparedness in the inter-war years. And - due to the Grenada-Panama-Iraq shenanigans mentioned above - the US has field- tested formulas for arranging hostilities with favorable publicity at any time of its own choosing.

The war itself - considerations; Hi-tech arsenal considered mandatory ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ The first step in preparation for actual military engagement with China would be a demonization campaign, and it would need to be a globally effective campaign, not just for US consumption. Need I point out how incredibly easy that campaign would be? Slave labor camps, all but outright genocide against minorities such as the Tibetans, killing off infant females, religious suppression, massacre of peaceful demonstrators, legions of political prisoners, no semblance of human rights or free press by Western standards, possibly heartbreaking behavior toward Hong Kong, a dictatorial regime - the mix may change over time, but China will for quite a while be a very easy target for American style demonization campaigns. While Saddam and Khadafi have been successfully portrayed as inhuman devils - with far fewer actual sins than China's for the media to exploit - one may need to look more to Nazi Germany for a comparable precedent of a regime which was first cheerfully engaged and then thoroughly and officially despised - and all too easy a reversal one might note.

The immediate war-initiation scenario might not be much different from that employed in WW II. Sinking a carrier task force would have the same emotional impact on the US public as did the attack on Pearl Harbor, and no holds would then be barred the US military by domestic opinion. We saw how China's recent belligerency toward Taiwan (one of Bernstein and Munro's seven flash points) resulted in the dispatch of American fleets which then flouted their electronic superiority to the chagrin of the Chinese navy and the embarrassment and frustrated anger of Chinese leaders.

A more assertive China with a more formidable military capability - and this is where we're most likely heading - would make similar confrontations both more likely and more dangerous. And for the US to back down from what it perceived as strategic challenges would be to yield to that very Chinese hegemony which Foreign Policy informs us is categorically unacceptable to "American Interests".

Let us consider the parameters of the hypothetically resulting war. The US strategy would have certain fundamental objectives, which I surmise, based on common sense and precedents, would include: (1) very few, if any, nuclear strikes tolerated on US soil (2) nuclear annihilation of China not an option (3) tactical nukes in China OK (4) land war in China not an option (5) unconditional Chinese surrender a must

These kinds of strategic criteria lead one naturally to the kind of arsenal described in the Economist article - augmented by nuclear-armed cruise missiles. And only a likely showdown with China could so urgently compel a seemingly unassailed Uncle Sam to rapidly upgrade what looks otherwise like an already sufficient war chest. America must, given its self-appointed global role, be capable of assuring delivery on all five of the above objectives before the time-window of the anticipated conflict comes around - otherwise only distinctly disadvantageous scenarios (from an NWO globalist perspective) are obtainable.


BTW> If you read this far, you might want also to look at "America_&_NWO" in cyberlib/articles-by-rkm, see sig below.

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