Both American and Chinese officials have slammed the release of the Pentagon’s “Air-Sea Battle”—a war-planning document focusing on China—as damaging to U.S.-China relations. The criticism centers around concerns that the plan, which models potential scenarios for a future war between the U.S. and China, is both alarmist and irresponsible.Alarmist and irresponsible? Far from it.One of the main functions of the Pentagon is to predict and prepare for future threats. Given the tension between the U.S. and China, the Pentagon would be irresponsible if it didn’t to plan for the worst.Planning for war does not make war more likely. The Pentagon needs to think through the possibility of war with China and to think seriously about what the U.S. would need to prevail in such a conflict.The Chinese are certainly doing the same thing. But because China’s state-controlled media doesn’t carry that news, China is spared this kind of bad publicity and can go ahead and plan efficiently.Many people in the U.S. are not going to be happy with the cost of our new Asia policy. The “pivot to Asia” is not a plan for slashing defense budgets. It’s reasonable to debate how much it’s going to cost to manage our foreign policy in Asia. And it’s a fair assumption that politicians will need to examine Pentagon shopping lists skeptically. You should never give any bureaucracy everything it wants.But what’s happening in Asia is serious business. Peace is never cheap. War, however, is even more expensive. The shift to Asia will involve increasing some defense capabilities, and the Pentagon needs to take these changes into consideration along with the overall political situation.There really is no other way to handle this.
Pentagon Attacked for Doing Its Job
Newer Post China’s Carrot and Stick Diplomacy: More Stick, Less Carrot Older Post WRM to India for Three Weeks