US Eyes More Asian Bases
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  • Mark1971

    When I first read the headline I thought it said “US Eyes More Asian Babes.” I had to check to make sure I was at the right blog.

  • Anthony

    “America’s work in Asia cannot succeed until and unless China accepts an Asian order that protects the independence of All Asian countries and promotes their decelopment and growth in partnership with the rest of the world.” The aforementioned is both an ambitious and profound statement WRM…

  • Hu Ngu

    Ring of Firepower vs. String of Pearls?

  • thibaud

    “Does the US really have the resources and the will to rally maritime Asia long term, particularly as China’s economic and military power grow?”

    Not if Paul Ryan and the TPers have their way. Ryan’s ludicrous budget would slash discretionary spending – that is, EVERYTHING outside of SS/Medicare/medicaid/CHIP and interest on the debt – to a grand total of 3% of GDP by 2050.

    The TPers’ starve the gum’mint obsession would lead this country inevitably down the same path that Cameron’s Britain is following, to 2d-rate military status.

  • Jacksonian Libertarian

    “Does the US really have the resources and the will to rally maritime Asia long term, particularly as China’s economic and military power grow?”

    Obviously moving back into Cold war era bases would save considerable time and money. Also China’s economic and military power have already seen their greatest growth, and will now stabilize if not stagnate in relation to its neighbors. In particular because its neighbors will be buying top of the line US military equipment, adopting US military training, organization, and tactics, as well as integrating themselves into a US military strategic posture.

    “And on the other hand, will the steps the US has taken convince China that the US is out to contain and weaken it, leading to a deeper and more dangerous competition between Washington and Beijing.”

    Please! You phrased that sentence like China is some benevolent power uninterested in empire or territorial expansion, like it was America you were talking about. China is the belligerent here, there’s no leading to a deeper competition; their Generals already regularly threaten the US and their neighbors. Treaties which China has signed mean nothing to them, for example China has signed the LOST (Law of the Sea Treaty) and yet they claim the entire South China Sea in violation of the terms of that treaty.

    China is a greedy and grasping bully that must be opposed by all good and just nations.

    • Walter Russell Mead

      @Jacksonian Libertarian: this is not about morals, but about the realities of power. China, let us stipulate, is greedy and grasping unlike our selfless selves. Nevertheless it responds to the facts of power and the logic of events. It is not in our interest to have an all-out contest with China in which both countries throw everything they’ve got into the fight. If possible, we want to make clear to China that nothing can be gained by escalation and that even from the standpoint of being greedy and grasping, their interests are better served by swimming with the current rather than against it. One way to do that is to stress the limited nature of our objectives.

  • Tom


    2011 GDP: UK–2.481 trillion
    USA–15.06 trillion

    Forgive me if I am not altogether concerned about the possibility of America being forced bck to British levels of military power.

  • thibaud

    Tom – “levels” refers to a) % of GDP and more importantly, b) amount of spend _relative to the nation’s geopolitical STRATEGY_.

    The US is the only nation holding together a global capitalist equilibrium that allows an extraordinary level of trade and prosperity to be shared across the major regions of the world economy. Freedom of the seas is guaranteed by the USN, period.

    Paul Ryan’s budget would gut the blue-water capabilities of the USN and force us into regional power status.

    Once again, we see that Paul Ryan’s fans, like Paul himself, don’t know how to do the math.

  • Tom


    In reply to A, please note that I did not say levels of spending, rather, I said levels of power.
    In reply to B, the question arises about what that 3% of GDP will be spent on–also, if you sincerely believe that Paul Ryan and crew could reduce US discretionary spending to 3% of GDP, you have much more faith in their ability to persuade people than I do.

  • Mick The Reactionary


    “Freedom of the seas is guaranteed by the USN, period.”

    True. And why beneficiaries of the safe seas should get it for free?

    US Navy cost a lot of money paid by US taxpayer while benefits largely go China, Germany, India and OPEC.

    Perhaps Mead and thibaud are not aware but we, the US, are broke. Like in We Got No Money!

    Why US pensioners must see their Soc Security and Medicare cut so that Chinese commies, Russian oligarchs and OPEC sheiks could make even more money because oceans made safe by USN?

    I can support a world-wide tribute paid to US by the biggest exporters, or, if not achievable, overseas military adventures and fun must be cut by 50%.

    Oh, The Tragedy of imported Chinese crap doubling in price!
    A welfare mother could not afford 5 pairs of Nikes for each of her 5 kids.
    I might be able to live with it.

  • thibaud

    @ Tom – you really need to study Ryan’s budget more closely. This is why people have little confidence in the man’s numbers or judgment. It’s a loopy proposal, not to be taken seriously.

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