My Photo
Location: Manchester, New Hampshire, United States

Thursday, January 18, 2007

(CHICAGO)(January 15, 2007) During the 1800's Great Britain and the Royal Navy enjoyed unquestioned supremacy across the world's seas. That supremacy ended in 1914. Without unquestioned naval power the British Empire gradually began to dissolve. Within a few decades the empire had evaporated.
Last week the United States stopped being "the world's only superpower." A tiny Chinese rocket fired at an invisible satellite exploded the myth of our continuing military supremacy.
Being a superpower involves controlling with unquestioned authority all areas of critical world conflict. Whether on the open seas during the British era, or in the air during America's age of hegemony, superpower status must be constantly maintained and relentlessly renewed or it is lost. Nations, no less than successful business enterprises, are endlessly at risk from disruptive new military technology and creative leaders who can determine how to successfully deploy new weapons.
During the last half-decade President Bush and the Bush administration have been dilly-dallying over Iraq and Saddam Hussein. Bush & Co. invented pretexts to invade, and now the entire U. S. Army—which was supposedly deigned to be capable of fighting 2-1/2 wars at the same time (!)—can't even control Greater Baghdad.
In the meantime, China has been developing technology to assert and exert its control over the next area of potential world military conflict: space. A few days ago the Chinese shot down a satellite using an anti-satellite weapon.
Overnight, much of America's space technology has been become endangered and obsolete. The day your communications and intelligence satellites can be knocked out by someone else's rockets is the day you can no longer claim "super" status.
The United States remains an immensely powerful nation with superior military forces. The Iraq conflict can't endanger the strength of our navy or air force. But our unquestioned worldwide influence has now been diluted. For the first time in decades we have been rendered vulnerable, by China's endangerment of our space-based power.
Congress, of course—both Democrats and Republicans—have ignored the growing Chinese threat because it was easier to keep stomping on poor George W Bush and proving he was an incompetent boob when it came to foreign policy. Well, the days of easy or "cheap" criticism of Bush, Donald "Rummy" Rumsfeld and the defense establishment are over.
Today China has become a major threat to our future military capabilities. We are "super" no longer.
The capability to destroy satellites is the capability to render much of the U. S. defense establishment helpless and blind. We rely on satellites to control our airplanes, to spy for us from both high and low altitudes, and to provide guidance right down to the platoon level with handheld devices and intelligence systems. Today those satellites are all endangered. Our military establishment has been put at risk, virtually overnight.
The surrender-at-any-cost apologists now have a new cause. Demo Surrendercrat Ed Markey has already been quoted in the Washington Post as saying we must "negotiate" to stop the Chinese. Fat chance.
Liberal dreamers, and even some conservative dreamers, always like to dream away problems.
Nuclear weapons? Just prohibit everyone else from building them. Dream away.
Space. Just "negotiate" for peace. Dream away.
Since 1972 the United States has helped China make a peaceful transition from a warlike nation to a relatively peaceful one. But that relatively peaceful country is still expanding its war-making capabilities and has now projected its growing capabilities into space by shooting down a satellite.
China has become more civilized in the past half-century but not nearly civilized enough. Chinese leaders and government officials are still capable of incredibly arrogant and aggressive military policy decisions, as they were when they grounded a U. S. reconnaissance plane early in the Bush administration.
China is still a rogue state by Western standards. China
censors the Internet, imprisons journalists and tries desperately to maintain the internal trappings of a police state while seeking to appear open and accessible in the world of commerce. Those contradictions can't last forever. Because of internal pressure China is a potential explosion waiting to happen. Some desperate leader might decide instead to trigger an external explosion. Tora. Tora. Tora.
And China is sitting on one trillion dollars of "reserves" while Chinese entrepreneurs steal our technology, pilfer our intellectual property and plan for the day when China will issue orders to the United States and not vice versa.
And guess who has also been undermining our security by selling China critical technology: our "friends," the Israelis.
Russia lost the cold war because that nation ultimately went bankrupt. They had nothing to sell to generate the wealth necessary to arm and rearm endlessly. China has virtually bottomless financial reserves to compete with the United States militarily—because Americans are providing that money through our insatiable appetite for Chinese products. Well.
President John Kennedy was famous for his Harvard thesis, "Why England Slept," a study of how England allowed Germany to rearm and prepare for World War II. By no means do I want to suggest we are on the brink of war. But China's preparations and policies could easily lead us into war at some future time.
Some of us have already noticed—many probably by surprise—how China's demand for hydrocarbons (oil) have driven up prices of energy and other natural resources. We lapsed into a bidding "war" without realizing it. Surprise.
Soon China will be able to confront our policies not only in Asia but also in other parts of the world, including the Middle East.
I pray that someday, somewhere, some student won’t author a senior thesis arguing "Why America Slept." But it sure looks like George Bush & Co. were asleep. While Bush & Co. were chasing Saddam Hussein, looking for imaginary weapons of mass destruction, China was quietly building real weapons of mass destruction. Sleep on that.
________________________________________________Chicago-based Internet journalist, broadcaster and critic Andy Martin is the Executive Editor and publisher of © Copyright by Andy Martin 2007. Martin covers national and world politics with forty years of personal experience; he is America’s most respected independent foreign policy, military and intelligence analyst. Columns also posted at;; Comments? E-mail: Media contact: (866) 706-2639


Post a Comment

<< Home