The pivot, part of a larger plan to focus deployments and military ties to the Asia-Pacific region to combat the rising threat of China, has been a central tenet of Pentagon strategy as the agency looks to wind down the war in Afghanistan.
But Katrina McFarland, assistant secretary of defense for acquisition, said the agency is now reconsidering the strategy in light of the budget pressures it faces.
“Right now, the pivot is being looked at again, because candidly it can’t happen,” she told Aviation Week’s Defense Technologies and Requirements conference in Arlington, Va.
After the decades of Cold War, the US in the late 1990s was starting to size up China as the global main strategic focus.
The US military industrial complex needs a “Big Bad” to justify their huge budgets. The “Pivot to Asia” is defense jargon for declaring a new “Big Bad”. The military–industrial complex, or military–industrial–congressional complex, comprises the policy and monetary relationships which exist between legislators, national armed forces, and the military industrial base that supports them. A big military will want to use politics, money and influence to keep a lot of money flowing to big military.
A Big Bad is a term applied to describe major villains in the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. The Big Bad is typically not only dangerous but also helps articulate the major themes of the season.
China was about to crowned the Big Bad after the Hainan Island Incident
On April 1, 2001, the Hainan Island incident occurred when a mid-air collision between a United States Navy EP-3E ARIES II signals intelligence aircraft and a People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) J-8II interceptor fighter jet resulted in an international dispute between the United States of America and the People’s Republic of China.
However, the Middle East jumped up with 9-11 and said no wait. Make Islamic Extremists and Terrorists the Big Bad. Please kill us and fight us. The US then had the Afghanistan and Iraq War.
The US had begun to wind down those wars and was getting ready to crown China as the Big Bad.
The US will still have distractions of terrorism/middle east problems, Russia, North Korea, Iran and other issues.
China might be number 3 or 4 on the list of US geopolitical priorities (unless China chooses to be overly stupid with Japan and the South China Sea.
China has been getting geopolitical gifts for decades.
China was about a $1 trillion economy in 2001. In 2014, China should become a $10 trillion economy on an exchange rate basis. China went from about 10% of the US economy to 60%.
In 5-8 years, China should be around equal to the US economy. China will also likely have rebalanced and gotten more domestic consumption.
In 12-18 years, China will be double the US economy.
Also, if China issues more debt and financial instruments and has more of that held by western banks.
Then this would be a more powerful strategy than in the middle east where terrorists use citizens as human shields.
China will have completely tied in their economy to the western banks and economy. Do any harm to China and you kill your banks and send your economy into a depression. This situation mostly already exists but it will get even more connected over the next few years.
Mutually Assured Financial Destruction (MAFD) would be almost as powerful as Mutually Assured Nuclear destruction (MAD). It probably will be more powerful, because the power elite might think they can avoid MAD with really good bunker and missile defense and realistic nuclear exchanges would actually hit 10-20% of population or less. Most nuclear weapons are targeted at nuclear and military assets. The elite have more exposed financial skin so MAFD would hurt them more.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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