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Mostrando postagens com marcador Guerra. Mostrar todas as postagens
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segunda-feira, 24 de junho de 2019

Quase guerra EUA contra o Irã: Trump como sempre mentindo - Ishaan Tharoor (WP)

A verdadeira razão de porque Trump retrocedeu na ordem de bombardear o Irã é, como em todos os outros casos, puramente eleitoral: ele não quer perder as eleições do ano que vem, se por acaso ordenar uma nova guerra.
Ele jamais se comoveria em salvar 150 mil vidas iranianas.
Ele só pensa nele mesmo.
Paulo Roberto de Almeida

Can Trump put out the fire he started?

Ishaan Tharoor
The Washington Post, June 23, 2019

(Zach Gibson/Bloomberg)
(Zach Gibson/Bloomberg)
It’s a strange thing for leftist doves to find themselves on the same side of an issue as Tucker Carlson. The right-wing Fox News anchor known for his unabashed white nationalism was among the skeptics who privately urged President Trump not to launch a military strike against Iran last week. After Iranian authorities downed a U.S. surveillance drone above the Strait of Hormuz, the White House plotted retaliatory action. Key figures in the administration — chiefly, national security adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo — were reportedly keen on hitting back. A plan of attack was put into place.
But on Friday, Trump took to social media and congratulated himself on reining back a U.S. military that was “cocked and loaded” to strike at Iranian targets. Carlson’s thinking — that Trump’s nationalist base is uninterested in, if not wholly opposed to, costly military entanglements abroad — appeared to be on the president’s mind. He suggested the more effective approach would be for the United States to maintain its current pressure campaign on Iran, including slapping on more economic sanctions Monday. (The United States did carry out cyberattacks on Iranian systems last week.)
“I’m getting a lot of praise for what I did. My expression is, ‘We have plenty of time,’ " Trump told reporters Saturday, referring to his decision to halt an attack that would have claimed Iranian lives. “Everyone was saying I’m a warmonger, and now they’re saying I’m a dove, and I say I’m neither. I didn’t like the idea of them unknowingly shooting down an unmanned drone and we killing 150 people.”
Trump also publicly upbraided Bolton for his “tough posture” and hawkish mentality. In private, Trump was said to be complaining about the assembled hard-liners in his inner circle. “These people want to push us into a war, and it’s so disgusting,” Trump told one confidant about his own advisers, according to the Wall Street Journal. “We don’t need any more wars.”
On one count, Trump is right. He is neither a warmonger nor a dove. If Trump had his way, the United States would likely have a smaller military footprint in the Middle East and lean more aggressively on its allies in the Gulf to execute its regional agenda. But for all Trump’s insistence that he is opposed to war, he still is the one who laid the powder for a dangerous flare-up.
The showdown over Iran was just the latest instance of Trump playing both arsonist and fireman. The current state of tensions is a direct consequence of the Trump administration reneging on the terms of the Iranian nuclear deal, reimposing sanctions and enacting other measuresto squeeze the regime in Tehran. All of this was done against the wishes of key U.S. allies in Europe and amid the protestations of much of the foreign policy establishment in Washington.
“Trump’s usual shtick is to paper over the problem of his creation and then declare victory, but this week he added a biblical dimension to the drama-making,” wrote Politico’s Jack Shafer. “First, he assumed the persona of the vengeful god, commanding an attack on Iran in retaliation for its shoot-down of a $200 million Navy surveillance drone. Then he ducked into the wardrobe for a costume change to emerge in the cloak of the Prince of Peace and called off the strike.”
It’s a somewhat unconvincing act, especially as Trump’s hawkish advisers remain on the warpath. Both Bolton and Pompeo journeyed to the Middle East over the weekend, talking tough on Iran and vowing to prevent Tehran from building nuclear weapons — a prospect the U.N.'s atomic agency and the other permanent members of Security Council all believed had been avoided by the nuclear deal Trump rejected.
Bolton appeared in Israel alongside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who hailed the “crippling American sanctions” placed on Iran. Pompeo is slated for a whirlwind set of talks about Iran on Monday in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the two Arab monarchies most bent on countering the Islamic Republic.
“Pompeo, who last year issued a list of 12 broad demands for change in Iran, shows no signs of softening his outreach to the Islamic Republic,” wrote my colleague Carol Morello. “He began his travels lashing out at Tehran, belittling its explanation of why it downed a U.S. drone last week as ‘childlike’ and not worthy of belief.”
Pompeo tried to steer Trump toward military action last week, and he retains significant influence within the White House. “In an administration that churns through cabinet members at a dizzying pace, few have survived as long as Pompeo — and none have as much stature, a feat he has achieved through an uncanny ability to read the president’s desires and translate them into policy and public messaging,” noted the New York Times. “He has also taken advantage of a leadership void at the Defense Department, which has gone nearly six months without a confirmed secretary.”
America’s top diplomat also rubbished claims that Trump had sent a message to Iran via a diplomatic backchannel run by Oman. The president says that he is open to talks with the regime in Tehran, but few experts believe this administration is on track to lead Iran to the table.
Seyed Hossein Mousavian, a former spokesman for Iranian nuclear negotiators and a scholar at Princeton University, told the Atlantic that, “by destroying the deal, Trump destroyed confidence and any chance for future negotiations.”
And tensions seem bound to spike again.
“Avoiding further escalation will be difficult, given both sides’ determination not to back down,” Philip Gordon, a former Obama administration official, wrote in Foreign Affairs. “A new nuclear negotiation, which Trump claims to want, would be one way to avoid a clash. But Iran is not likely to enter talks with an administration it does not trust, and even less likely to agree to the sort of far-reaching deal Trump says is necessary.”

quinta-feira, 11 de dezembro de 2014

The Next Great War?: USA vs China? - Introduction to the book, Steven Miller

"The Sarajevo Centenary—1914 and the Rise of China"

Introduction

December 2014
Author: Steven E. Miller, Director, International Security Program; Editor-in-Chief, International Security; Co-Principal Investigator, Project on Managing the Atom
Belfer Center Programs or ProjectsInternational Security

NOTE

Steven E. Miller's introduction to The Next Great War? The Roots of World War I and the Risk of U.S.-China Conflict appears below in an excerpted version.

The drama of 1914 draws our gaze backward, but an equally haunting question arises if we look ahead: Could 1914 happen again? Could the forces and factors that put the great powers on what turned out to be an unstoppable path to war operate in our own time? If there is to be a great power conflict in the era ahead, it seems most likely that this will involve a rising China challenging a predominant America. Could there be a 1914 redux between these two powerful states?
The analyses that follow highlight or reveal at least as many differences as similarities; 2014 does not wholly resemble 1914. Many of the factors that are thought to have contributed to the outbreak of war in 1914 do not exist today. In particular, many of the intellectual and internal pathologies that made war more likely and made the crisis difficult to resolve peacefully are absent from the current environment. Put simply, many of those making fateful choices in 1914 (as well as the elites around them and the publics they governed) were influenced by a toxic stew of pernicious beliefs. Bad ideas fed bad decisions, which led to war in 1914. The bad ideas flourished in various domestic settings and were incorporated into the worldview of dominant domestic coalitions in several key countries.
The 1914 analogy is clearly an imperfect framework for assessing U.S.-China relations, but nevertheless war between Washington and Beijing remains possible. Full recreation of the environment of 1914 is not a prerequisite for war. Further, some lessons from the outbreak of World War I do seem at least potentially relevant today and identify sources of worry and grounds for vigilance. On the international level, the stage is clearly set for rivalry. If U.S.-China relations turn significantly more hostile and competitive, there is a clear potential for arms racing, for destructive diplomatic maneuvering, for Cold War, and for conflict. In a more toxic environment, one of Asia’s many potential flash points could ignite a war; the United States’ alliances make it likely that Washington will be involved.
As the years leading up to 1914 demonstrate, adapting to shifts in the balance of power is difficult and can lead to a pattern of repeated crises as challengers seek to upend the status quo and claim a larger role in international politics while the dominant powers act to protect their place in the international hierarchy. Managing relations between rising and declining powers is particularly fraught with risk and danger.
It is not hard to see how U.S.-China relations could go badly wrong: the potential for much more intense hostility and military competition clearly exists. These considerations imply that particular care should be taken in tending this relationship and that every effort should be made to avoid the mistakes and pitfalls of the past.
One of the most troublesome aspects of the international order in 1914 is partially reproduced today. If there is one warning that particularly leaps out from the pages of this volume, it is the danger of entrapping alliances. The most likely route to war with China is via a dispute involving one or more of the United States' Asian allies. This is not a purely hypothetical danger. Asia's many territorial disputes, on both land and sea, are potential flash points. Japan and China are feuding over disputed North Pacific islands. Taiwan and China remain stalemated. Confrontations and crises have already happened and more are likely. There could well emerge a pattern of recurrent crises, as was true in the decade before 1914. If crises are handled without escalation, complacency could set in. But if such crises gradually grown more malignant, more difficult to handle; mistakes could be made; and complacency could turn out to be a glide path to war.
Many of the factors that seem in retrospect to have facilitated war in 1914 had been present for years or decades without producing war, so the war that came was in some sense a surprise, was in some sense unexpected. In a similar manner, war with China seems unlikely. There are strong arguments (economic and otherwise) for preserving the peace. The relationship between Washington and Beijing has its ups and downs, but overall relations are not that bad and contain some reassuring elements of consultation and cooperation. There are occasional crises in Asia (involving sovereignty over island and maritime boundary disputes, for example) but these are handled without recourse to war. As was true in the first half of 1914, one could justify the conclusion that we should expect some "unremarkable years" ahead. But corrosive factors lurk in the background: the perilous dynamic between the predominant and the challenger, the arms race pressures, the web of alliances that connects the United States to potential conflicts in Asia and to allies who want to harness American power to advance their claims in the region, the flash points across Asia that could, in the manner of a remote assassination in the Balkans, ignite a wider war. If war were to come, no doubt many would look back and say it was inevitable, it was predicted, the signs were there, the pressures were understood, there were so many war-promoting factors that it was impossible to preserve the peace.
It will matter enormously whether U.S.-China relations are managed wisely or poorly. There are many in the American debate who favor a primarily competitive response to the rise of China, seeking to preserve and maximize American primacy while encircling and containing China. In this volume we find instead—in the analyses of Alexandroff, Rudd, and Rosecrance, for example—the argument that the wise course involves bringing China closer, drawing it into shared institutions, making it a partner in the provision of international public goods, building strategic trust, preserving and strengthening lines of communication between the two potential antagonists. But even if one accepts that this is the wise course—and clearly many will not—surely one of the lessons of 1914 is that wisdom does not always prevail. To make their way to war, leaders in Washington and Beijing do not have to echo the beliefs and reproduce the realities and mistakes of 1914. They can invent their own flawed beliefs and make their own mistakes.  

For more information about this publication please contact the ISP Program Coordinator at 617-496-1981.
For Academic Citation:
Miller, Steven E. "The Sarajevo Centenary—1914 and the Rise of China." Chap. Introduction in The Next Great War? The Roots of World War I and the Risk of U.S.-China Conflict. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, December 2014.

segunda-feira, 4 de agosto de 2014

Um judeu antissionista e contra a ocupacao de Israel de territorios palestinos - Marcelo Gruman

Transcrevendo um comentário sincero, independente de quais sejam suas posições. Trata-se de um "intelectual" (ou algo próximo a isso) judeu, que não se sente representado por Israel e que está cançado do vitimismo para justificar o expansionismo israelense.
Paulo Roberto de Almeida

Não em meu nome
Marcelo Gruman (*)
[Recebido em 4/08/2014, de Maurício David]

Na minha adolescência, tive a oportunidade de visitar Israel por duas vezes, ambas na primeira metade da década de 1990. Era estudante de uma escola judaica da zona sul da cidade do Rio de Janeiro. As viagens foram organizadas por instituições sionistas, e tinham por intuito apresentar à juventude diaspórica a realidade daquele Estado formado após o holocausto judaico da Segunda Guerra Mundial, e para o qual todo e qualquer judeu tem o direito de “retornar” caso assim o deseje. Voltar à terra ancestral. Para as organizações sionistas, ainda que não disposto a deixar a diáspora, todo e qualquer judeu ao redor do mundo deve conhecer a “terra prometida”, prestar-lhe solidariedade material ou simbólica, assim como todo muçulmano deve fazer, pelo menos uma vez na vida, a peregrinação a Meca. Para muitos jovens judeus, a visita a Israel é um rito de passagem, assim como para outros o destino é a Disneylândia.

A equivalência de Israel e Disneylândia tem um motivo. A grande maioria dos jovens não religiosos e sem interesse por questões políticas realizam a viagem apenas para se divertir. O roteiro é basicamente o mesmo: visita ao Muro das Lamentações, com direito a fotos em posição hipócrita de reza (já viram ateu rezando?), ao Museu da Diáspora, ao Museu do Holocausto, às Colinas do Golan, ao Deserto do Neguev e a experiência de tomar um chá com os beduínos, ir ao Mar Morto e boiar na água sem fazer esforço por conta da altíssima concentração de sal, a “vivência” de alguns dias num dos kibutzim ainda existentes em Israel e uma semana num acampamento militar, onde se tem a oportunidade de atirar com uma arma de verdade. Além, é claro, da interação com jovens de outros países hospedados no mesmo local. Para variar, brasileiros e argentinos, esquecendo sua identidade étnica comum, atualizavam a rivalidade futebolística e travavam uma guerra particular pelas meninas. Neste quesito, os argentinos davam de goleada, e os brasileiros ficavam a ver navios.

Minha memória afetiva das duas viagens não é das mais significativas. Aparte ter conhecido parentes por parte de mãe, a “terra prometida” me frustrou quando o assunto é a construção de minha identidade judaica. Achei os israelenses meio grosseiros (dizem que o “sabra”, o israelense “da gema”, é duro por natureza), a comida é medíocre (o melhor falafel que comi até hoje foi em Paris...), é tudo muito árido, a sociedade é militarizada, o serviço militar é compulsório, não existe “excesso de contingente”. A memória construída apenas sobre o sofrimento começava a me incomodar.

Nossos guias, jovens talvez dez anos mais velhos do que nós, andavam armados, o motorista do ônibus andava armado. Um dos nossos passeios foi em Hebron, cidade da Cisjordânia, em que a estrada era rodeada por telas para contenção das pedras atiradas pelos palestinos. Em momento algum os guias se referiram àquele território como “ocupado”, e hoje me envergonho de ter feito parte, ainda que por poucas horas, deste “finca pé” em território ilegalmente ocupado. Para piorar, na segunda viagem quebrei a perna jogando basquete e tive de engessá-la, o que, por outro lado, me liberou da experiência desagradável de ter de apertar o gatilho de uma arma, exatamente naquela semana íamos acampar com o exército israelense.

Sei lá, não me senti tocado por esta realidade, minha fantasia era outra. Não encontrei minhas raízes no solo desértico do Negev, tampouco na neve das colinas do Golan. Apesar disso, trouxe na bagagem uma bandeira de Israel, que coloquei no meu quarto. Muitas vezes meu pai, judeu ateu, não sionista, me perguntou o porquê daquela bandeira estar ali, e eu não sabia responder. Hoje eu sei por que ela NÃO DEVERIA estar ali, porque minha identidade judaica passa pela Europa, pelos vilarejos judaicos descritos nos contos de Scholem Aleichem, pelo humor judaico característico daquela parte do mundo, pela comida judaica daquela parte do mundo, pela música klezmer que os judeus criaram naquela parte do mundo, pelas estórias que meus avós judeus da Polônia contavam ao redor da mesa da sala nos incontáveis lanches nas tardes de domingo.

Sou um judeu da diáspora, com muito orgulho. Na verdade, questiono mesmo este conceito de “diáspora”. Como bem coloca o antropólogo norte-americano James Clifford, as culturas diaspóricas não necessitam de uma representação exclusiva e permanente de um “lar original”. Privilegia-se a multilocalidade dos laços sociais. Diz ele:

As conexões transnacionais que ligam as diásporas não precisam estar articuladas primariamente através de um lar ancestral real ou simbólico (...). Descentradas, as conexões laterais [transnacionais] podem ser tão importantes quanto aquelas formadas ao redor de uma teleologia da origem/retorno. E a história compartilhada de um deslocamento contínuo, do sofrimento, adaptação e resistência pode ser tão importante quanto a projeção de uma origem específica.

Há muita confusão quando se trata de definir o que é judaísmo, ou melhor, o que é a identidade judaica. A partir da criação do Estado de Israel, a identidade judaica em qualquer parte do mundo passou a associar-se, geográfica e simbolicamente, àquele território. A diversidade cultural interna ao judaísmo foi reduzida a um espaço físico que é possível percorrer em algumas horas. A submissão a um lugar físico é a subestimação da capacidade humana de produzir cultura; o mesmo ocorre, analogamente, aos que defendem a relação inexorável de negros fora do continente africano com este continente, como se a cultura passasse literalmente pelo sangue. O que, diga-se de passagem, só serve aos racialistas e, por tabela, racistas de plantão. Prefiro a lateralidade de que nos fala Clifford.

Ser judeu não é o mesmo que ser israelense, e nem todo israelense é judeu, a despeito da cidadania de segunda classe exercida por árabes-israelenses ou por judeus de pele negra discriminados por seus pares originários da Europa Central, de pele e olhos claros. Daí que o exercício da identidade judaica não implica, necessariamente, o exercício de defesa de toda e qualquer posição do Estado de Israel, seja em que campo for.
Muito desta falsa equivalência é culpa dos próprios judeus da “diáspora”, que se alinham imediatamente aos ditames das políticas interna e externa israelense, acríticos, crentes de que tudo que parta do Knesset (o parlamento israelense) é “bom para os judeus”, amém. Muitos judeus diaspóricos se interessam mais pelo que acontece no Oriente Médio do que no seu cotidiano. Veja-se, por exemplo, o número ínfimo de cartas de leitores judeus em jornais de grande circulação, como O Globo, quando o assunto tratado é a corrupção ou violência endêmica em nosso país, em comparação às indefectíveis cartas de leitores judeus em defesa das ações militaristas israelenses nos territórios ocupados. Seria o complexo de gueto falando mais alto?

Não preciso de Israel para ser judeu e não acredito que a existência no presente e no futuro de nós, judeus, dependa da existência de um Estado judeu, argumento utilizado por muitos que defendem a defesa militar israelense por quaisquer meios, que justificam o fim. Não aceito a justificativa de que o holocausto judaico na Segunda Guerra Mundial é o exemplo claro de que apenas um lar nacional única e exclusivamente judaico seja capaz de proteger a etnia da extinção.

A dor vivida pelos judeus, na visão etnocêntrica, reproduzida nas gerações futuras através de narrativas e monumentos, é incomensurável e acima de qualquer dor que outro grupo étnico possa ter sofrido, e justifica qualquer ação que sirva para protegê-los de uma nova tragédia. Certa vez, ouvi de um sobrevivente de campo de concentração que não há comparação entre o genocídio judaico e os genocídios praticados atualmente nos países africanos, por exemplo, em Ruanda, onde tutsis e hutus se digladiaram sob as vistas grossas das ex-potências coloniais. Como este senhor ousa qualificar o sofrimento alheio? Será pelo número mágico? Seis milhões? O genial Woody Allen coloca bem a questão, num diálogo de Desconstruindo Harry (tradução livre):

- Você se importa com o Holocausto ou acha que ele não existiu?

- Não, só eu sei que perdemos seis milhões, mas o mais apavorante é saber que recordes são feitos para serem quebrados.

O holocausto judaico não é inexplicável, e não é explicável pela maldade latente dos alemães. Sem dúvida, o componente antissemita estava presente, mas, conforme demonstrado por diversos pensadores contemporâneos, dentre os quais insuspeitos judeus (seriam judeus antissemitas Hannah Arendt, Raul Hilberg e Zygmunt Bauman?), uma série de características do massacre está relacionada à Modernidade, à burocratização do Estado e à “industrialização da morte”, sofrida também por dirigentes políticos, doentes mentais, ciganos, eslavos, “subversivos” de um modo geral. Práticas sociais genocidas, conforme descritas pelo sociólogo argentino Daniel Feierstein (outro judeu antissemita?), estão presentes tanto na Segunda Guerra Mundial quanto durante o Processo de Reorganização Nacional imposto pela ditadura argentina a partir de 1976. Genocídio é genocídio, e ponto final.

A sacralização do genocídio judaico permite ações que vemos atualmente na televisão, o esmagamento da população palestina em Gaza, transformada em campo de concentração, isolada do resto do mundo. Destruição da infraestrutura, de milhares de casas, a morte de centenas de civis, famílias destroçadas, crianças torturadas em interrogatórios ilegais conforme descrito por advogados israelenses. Não, não são a exceção, não são o efeito colateral de uma guerra suja. São vítimas, sim, de práticas sociais genocidas, que visam, no final do processo, ao aniquilamento físico do grupo.

Recuso-me a acumpliciar-me com esta agressão. O exército israelense não me representa, o governo ultranacionalista não me representa. Os assentados ilegalmente são meus inimigos.

Eu, judeu brasileiro, digo: ACABEM COM A OCUPAÇÃO!!!

(*) Marcelo Gruman é antropólogo.

Referências bibliográficas:
CLIFFORD, James. (1997). Diasporas, in Montserrat Guibernau and John Rex (Eds.) The Ethnicity Reader: Nationalism, Multiculturalism and Migration, Polity Press, Oxford

quinta-feira, 31 de julho de 2014

Historia, 1894: a primeira guerra sino-japonesa, 120 anos atras

China’s Leaders Draw Lessons From War of ‘Humiliation’


Photo
Chinese cadets taking part in a bayonet drill on the outskirts of Beijing. Mindful of past defeats, President Xi Jinping has embarked on an ambitious program to overhaul the military.Credit Andy Wong/Associated Press

Imagine China beset by domestic and external menaces, its rulers and commanders complacent, decadent and corrupt, humiliated by Japan in a war that pushes the once indomitable power closer to collapse.
This image of China from over a century ago, in the twilight of the Qing dynasty, remains a potent nightmare for Communist Party leaders, and the 120th anniversary of the start of a war with Japan has unleashed a spate of images, speeches and official commentary drawing lessons from the defeat.
The lessons from that time have become all the more pointed today, when Chinese-Japanese ties are tenser than they have been for decades, and President Xi Jinping of China has embarked on an ambitious program to overhaul the military and to curtail corruption throughout the military and the party.
“The victory of the aggressors was a humiliation for the Chinese nation,” Chu Yimin, a People’s Liberation Army general and political commissar, said in an interview published on Monday in Study Times, a party newspaper. “The wounds are increasingly healed over, but the scars remain, and what we need most of all nowadays is to awaken an intense sense of humiliation, so that we never forget the humiliation of our country and military, and turn knowledge of this into courage.”
This Friday will mark the anniversary of the formal start of the war, called the Jiawu War in Chinese, and often called the First Sino-Japanese War in English. “Jiawu” refers to the year in the 60-year cycle of the traditional Chinese calendar; 2014 marks another Jiawu year, adding weight to the anniversary.
As if to reinforce the martial message, the Chinese military has announced exercises, extending off the east coast of China, which the civilian aviation authorities have indicated are already causing severe delays for commercial flights.
A professor from China’s National Defense University, Gong Fangbin, said the disruption of air traffic would be a test of citizens’ patriotic support for a stronger military.
“It’s foreseeable that, as long as the international threats to our country persist, large-scale, and even larger-scale, military exercises will happen,” he wrote on Monday in Global Times, a widely read tabloid. “Each time will be yet another test of the public’s awareness of national defense and its willingness to bear a burden.”
The clash between Japan and China’s Manchu rulers started as a contest for dominance of Korea. The Manchu court assumed its forces would overwhelm Japan, but instead the Japanese naval and army forces humbled their opponents, pushed into northeastern China, and isolated Taiwan.
The war ended in April 1895, when the Qing court agreed to a treaty that ended China’s hold over Korea and ceded Taiwan and territory in northern China to Japan. The humiliation exposed the brittleness of China’s military power, which a bout of policy changes failed to overcome, and the dynasty collapsed in 1911.
At the time, Chinese advocates of bold change said the defeat showed the success of Japan’s outward-looking Meiji Restoration, and the contrasting sclerosis of the Qing court. But the Communist Party leadership has turned the anniversary into a template for reinforcing its own theme of patriotic revival and military readiness.
“2014 is another Jiawu year,” China’s main military newspaper, The People’s Liberation Army Daily, said on its front page on Monday. It said the army was using the anniversary to reinforce the need for readiness against any external threats.
“For China now, the goal of national rejuvenation has never been closer, and the obstacles to national rejuvenation have never been clearer,” said the paper.
“Around our country’s periphery, hot spots are increasing and the ignition point is lower. Certain major powers are fanning the flames in the Asia-Pacific region, the ghost of Japanese militarism has stirred back to life,” it said, also noting the territorial disputes in the South China Sea. “The chances of chaos and war on our doorstep are growing.”
But not all the lessons from the Jiawu War are directed abroad. Chinese textbooks present the defeat of 1895 as the price of corruption and decadence that fatally weakened Qing rule and left its military ill equipped and ill trained. Mr. Xi has extended his campaign against graft into the high ranks of the military, and again the lessons of 120 years ago are not far away.
“For a military, corruption and defeat are twin brothers,” General Chu wrote in Study Times. “Corruption breeds fear of dying.”

segunda-feira, 23 de junho de 2014

Consequencias economicas da violencia e dos conflitos - Steve Killelea

Artigo

Um guia econômico para a Guerra e a Paz

Segundo Steve Killelea, os custos globais para conter a violência atingiram 9,5 trilhões de dólares — ou 11% do PIB mundial

Steve Killelea
Veja.com, 22/06/2014
Destruição em Londres após bombardeio alemão durante Segunda Guerra Mundial
Destruição em Londres após bombardeio alemão durante Segunda Guerra Mundial (Bert Hardy/Picture Post/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
As notícias sobre conflitos enchem as manchetes dos jornais na atualidade: quer seja sobre a guerra civil na Síria, sobre os conflitos internos na Ucrânia, o terrorismo na Nigéria, ou a repressão policial no Brasil; o imediatismo espantoso da violência é realmente muito evidente. Mas, enquanto os comentaristas debatem sobre as questões geoestratégicas, a dissuasão, os conflitos étnicos, a situação desesperada dos cidadãos comuns capturados no meio desses conflitos, raramente o assunto de outro aspecto vital do conflito é abordado objetivamente - o seu custo econômico.
A violência também tem custos financeiros significativos. Os custos globais para conter a violência ou para o tratamento das suas consequências atingiram a incrível soma de 9,5 trilhões de dólares (11% do PIB mundial) em 2012. Este valor representa mais que o dobro do tamanho do setor agrícola a nível global e excede o total de gastos em ajuda externa.
Levando em conta esses montantes colossais, é crucial que os responsáveis políticos analisem devidamente onde e como esse dinheiro é gasto, e considerem maneiras de reduzir essa cifra. Infelizmente, tais questões são raramente analisadas com a devida seriedade. Esta situação deve-se, em grande medida, ao fato de as campanhas militares serem geralmente motivadas por preocupações de natureza geoestratégica e não de lógica financeira. Embora os opositores à guerra do Iraque possam acusar os Estados Unidos de cobiçar os campos de petróleo do país, a campanha foi, no mínimo, antieconômica. A Guerra do Vietnã e outros conflitos também foram verdadeiras catástrofes financeiras.
Existem perguntas semelhantes em termos de gastos em armas em tempo de paz. Poderíamos, por exemplo, questionar a lógica financeira da recente decisão tomada pela Austrália de gastar 24 bilhões de dólares na aquisição de problemáticos aviões de caça enquanto, simultaneamente, prepara o país para os mais rigorosos cortes orçamentários registados em décadas.
Os gastos desnecessários relacionados com a violência não são apenas uma questão de guerra ou dissuasão. Por exemplo, as campanhas de “ordem pública”, duras e dispendiosas, embora sejam atrativas para os eleitores, geralmente, têm pouco efeito sobre as taxas de criminalidade subjacentes. Quer seja uma situação de guerra mundial ou de policiamento local, os conflitos envolvem sempre um aumento acentuado nos gastos públicos. A questão é saber se essa despesa vale a pena.
É evidente que gastar dinheiro a fim de conter a violência nem sempre é uma coisa ruim. A presença da polícia, dos serviços militares, policiais ou segurança pessoal são, muitas vezes, uma presença muito bem-vinda e necessária. Se for devidamente aplicada, conduzirá, em longo prazo, à economia do dinheiro dos contribuintes. A questão pertinente é se o montante gasto em cada caso é adequado.
Certamente, poucos países alcançaram um bom equilíbrio ao abordar a questão da violência e o fizeram mediante custos relativamente baixos; isto prova que existem formas de reduzir as despesas desnecessárias. A utilização mais eficiente de fundos pode ser conseguida mediante um trabalho minucioso sobre a prevenção. Sabemos como se sustentam as sociedades pacíficas: a distribuição equitativa de renda, o respeito pelos direitos das minorias, padrões de elevada qualidade no ensino, baixos níveis de corrupção e um ambiente de negócios atrativos.
Além disso, quando os governos gastam demais para conter a violência, desperdiçam dinheiro que poderia ser investido em outras áreas mais produtivas, como a infraestrutura, o desenvolvimento de negócios, ou a educação. A maior produtividade resultará em consequência, por exemplo, com a criação de escolas em lugar de prisões,  melhoraria o bem-estar dos cidadãos e, consequentemente, diminuiria a necessidade de investir na prevenção da violência. A isso eu dou o nome de “ciclo virtuoso de paz”.
Comparemos, por exemplo, os quase 10 trilhões de dólares gastos em 2012 no mundo para conter a violência com os custos globais da recente crise financeira mundial. Mark Adelson, o ex-diretor de crédito do Standard & Poors, estima que a crise tenha originado perdas totais globais no valor de 15 trilhões de dólares no período entre 2007 e 2011, o que representa a metade do valor derivado para fins de contenção da violência durante o mesmo período. Se os responsáveis pelas diretrizes políticas gastam o mesmo tempo e dinheiro para prevenir e conter os  conflitos, o benefício, em termos de menos violência e de um crescimento econômico mais rápido, poderia ser enorme.
Os governos poderiam começar por reavaliar as suas despesas em matéria de auxílio. Em termos globais, o valor gasto em contenção da violência já é 75 vezes maior que em ajuda total combinada para o desenvolvimento. Além disso, não é coincidência que os países com maior despesa com violência (em relação ao PIB) figuram também entre os mais pobres do mundo - a Coreia do Norte, a Síria, a Libéria, o Afeganistão e a Líbia, para nomear alguns entre muitos outros. Poderia esse dinheiro ser melhor direcionado para investimentos destinados a reduzir ou a prevenir conflitos?
Além das razões humanitárias óbvias de que é preciso se investir na paz, especialmente no âmbito de estruturas de desenvolvimento internacionais estabelecidas, tal investimento tornar-se visível também uma das formas mais rentáveis de desenvolver a economia e equilibrar o orçamento. É por essa razão que vale a pena discutir este tema.
Steve Killelea é presidente do Instituto de Economia e Paz
(Tradução: Roseli Honório)
© Project Syndicate 2014

segunda-feira, 5 de maio de 2014

Vietnam 1954: a guerra quase virou nuclear (BBC)

French soldiers during the battle for Dien Bien PhuCould Vietnam have been nuked in 1954?

BBC, May 4, 2014, 20:35 GMT-3

Sixty years ago this week, French troops were defeated by Vietnamese forces at Dien Bien Phu. As historian Julian Jackson explains, it was a turning point in the history of both nations, and in the Cold War - and a battle where some in the US appear to have contemplated the use of nuclear weapons."Would you like two atomic bombs?" These are the words that a senior French diplomat remembered US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles asking the French Foreign Minister, Georges Bidault, in April 1954. The context of this extraordinary offer was the critical plight of the French army fighting the nationalist forces of Ho Chi Minh at Dien Bien Phu in the highlands of north-west Vietnam.
The battle of Dien Bien Phu is today overshadowed by the later involvement of the Americans in Vietnam in the 1960s. But for eight years between 1946 and 1954 the French had fought their own bloody war to hold on to their Empire in the Far East. After the seizure of power by the Communists in China in 1949, this colonial conflict had become a key battleground of the Cold War. The Chinese provided the Vietnamese with arms and supplies while most of the costs of the French war effort were borne by America. But it was French soldiers who were fighting and dying. By 1954, French forces in Indochina totalled over 55,000.
At the end of 1953, French commander in chief Gen Navarre had decided to set up a fortified garrison in the valley of Dien Bien Phu, in the highlands about 280 miles from the northern capital of Hanoi. The valley was surrounded by rings of forested hills and mountains. The position was defensible providing the French could hold on to the inner hills and keep their position supplied through the airstrip. What they underestimated was the capacity of the Vietnamese to amass artillery behind the hills. This equipment was transported by tens of thousands of labourers - many of them women and children - carrying material hundreds of miles through the jungle day and night. On 13 March the Vietnamese unleashed a massive barrage of artillery and within two days two of the surrounding hills had been taken, and the airstrip was no longer usable. The French defenders were now cut off and the noose tightened around them.
French soldiers during the battle for Dien Bien PhuIt was this critical situation which led the French to appeal in desperation for US help. The most hawkish on the American aide were Vice-President Richard Nixon, who had no political power, and Admiral Radford, Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Also quite hawkish was the US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, who was obsessed by the crusade against Communism. More reserved was President Eisenhower who nonetheless gave a press conference in early April where he proclaimed the infamous "domino theory" about the possible spread of Communism from one country to another.
Red Cross helicopter flies to French positions at Dien Bien Phu
"You have a row of dominoes set up, you knock over the first one, and what will happen to the last one is the certainty that it will go over very quickly," he said. "So you could have a beginning of a disintegration that would have the most profound influences."
Saturday 3 April 1954 has gone down in American history as "the day we didn't go to war". On that day Dulles met Congressional leaders who were adamant they would not support any military intervention unless Britain was also involved. Eisenhower sent a letter to the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill warning of the consequences for the West if Dien Bien Phu fell. It was around this time, at a meeting in Paris, that Dulles supposedly made his astonishing offer to the French of tactical nuclear weapons.
In fact, Dulles was never authorised to make such an offer and there is no hard evidence that he did so. It seems possible that in the febrile atmosphere of those days the panic-stricken French may simply have misunderstood him. Or his words may have got lost in translation.
Map showing details of Dien Bien Phu
"He didn't really offer. He made a suggestion and asked a question. He uttered the two fatal words 'nuclear bomb'," Maurice Schumann, a former foreign minister, said before his death in 1998. "Bidault immediately reacted as if he didn't take this offer seriously."
According to Professor Fred Logevall of Cornell University, Dulles "at least talked in very general terms about the possibility, what did the French think about potentially using two or three tactical nuclear weapons against these enemy positions".
Bidault declined, he says, "because he knew… that if this killed a lot of Viet Minh troops then it would also basically destroy the garrison itself".
In the end, there was no American intervention of any kind, as the British refused to go along with it.
The last weeks of the battle of Dien Bien Phu were atrociously gruelling. The ground turned to mud once the monsoon began, and men clung to craters and ditches in conditions reminiscent of the battle of Verdun in 1916. On 7 May 1954, after a 56-day siege, the French army surrendered. Overall on the French side there were 1,142 dead, 1,606 disappeared, 4,500 more or les badly wounded. Vietnamese casualties ran to 22,000.
In this year marked by two other major anniversaries - the centenary of the outbreak of World War One and the 70th anniversary of D-Day - we should not forget this other battle that took place 60 years ago. In the history of decolonisation it was the only time a professional European army was decisively defeated in a pitched battle. It marked the end of the French Empire in the Far East, and provided an inspiration to other anti-colonial fighters. It was no coincidence also that a few weeks later a violent rebellion broke out in French Algeria - the beginning of another bloody and traumatic war that was to last eight years. The French army held so desperately on to Algeria partly to redeem the honour it felt had been lost at Dien Bien Phu. So obsessed did the army become by this idea that in 1958 it backed a putsch against the government, which it believed was preparing what the generals condemned as a "diplomatic Dien Bien Phu". This putsch brought back to power Gen de Gaulle who set up the new presidential regime that exists in France today. So the ripples of Dien Bien Phu are still being felt.
Dien Bien Phu memorial to French soldiers who died in battle there
A memorial in Dien Bien Phu commemorates the French soldiers who died there
It was also in 1954 that France began working on its own independent nuclear deterrent.
For the Vietnamese, however, Dien Bien Phu, was only the first round. The Americans, who had refused to become directly involved in 1954, were gradually sucked into war - the second Vietnam War - during the 1960s.
Listen to The Siege of Dien Bien Phu written and presented by Julian Jackson on the BBC iPlayer
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BBC © 2014

sexta-feira, 20 de setembro de 2013

Guerra e paz na historia - Deepak Lal

The dove and the wolf

Deepak Lal
Business Standard (New Delhi), September 20. 2013

A recent meeting of the Mont Pelerin Society I organised in the Galapagos Islands on the theme of "evolution, the and liberty" brought together some of the world's leading neuroscientists, evolutionary psychologists, geneticists and social scientists to discuss what answer recent advances in these human sciences provide to the fundamental question, "what is ?".

One session was on the human animal as a warrior. Richard Wrangham provided an excellent summary of evidence on the evolutionary origins of human  following his path-breaking book (with Dale Peterson), Demonic Males. He argued persuasively that war is part of our evolutionary psychology (particularly in males). His Harvard colleague Steven Pinker accepts this but argues that because of a complex set of social and cultural factors war may now be defunct. This was the view I disputed in my own paper.

I read Professor Pinker's monumental door-stopper of a book, The Better Angels of Our Nature, in my study in New Delhi in May. I could not help thinking that I was about six minutes flying time away from  from Pakistan to my west, and that to my north the heavily armed People's Liberation Army had just made an illegal incursion 12 miles into Ladakh. This made it difficult to believe that Professor Pinker's "better angels" were about to take over the world.

My own view of human nature was heavily influenced by David Hume, who wrote: "There is some benevolence, however small ... some particle of the dove kneaded into our frame, along with the elements of the wolf and serpent." From Professor Pinker's comprehensive survey of the mounting neuroscientific and socio-biological evidence, it is clear that the genial Scot, sitting in his study contemplating his fellow creatures, had got it right.

Where Professor Pinker has gone wrong is in attributing what he terms the Long Peace to the various social processes he discusses at length; they have allowed the dove to tame the wolf and the serpent in at least the developed countries. In my own book on In Praise of Empires, I developed a framework that emphasised the importance of empires (or global hegemons) - the equivalent of Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan in international affairs - in maintaining global order and thereby peace in an otherwise anarchical society. I surveyed the rise and fall of empires since antiquity to show how they provided the order needed to pursue the elementary and universal goals that David Hume maintained any society must pursue for any social life to exist. These are: first, to secure life against violence that leads to death or bodily harm; second, that promises once made are kept; third, the stabilisation of possessions through rules of property. Through their Pax, these empires maintained peace and prosperity, and their decline and fall led to both domestic disorder and the disintegration of the enlarged economic spaces they had created.

True, these ancient empires did not seek to end various barbarous violent practices that were very much part of their "cosmological beliefs", and Professor Pinker is right in stating the importance of what he calls the "civilising and humanitarian processes", whose evolution I also traced in myUnintended Consequences. But nevertheless these have been insufficient to tame the instincts of the wolf in all civilisations, and the role of empires in maintaining peace and prosperity in their domains cannot be gainsaid.

Thus, despite its abhorrent cultural practices by the standard of contemporary norms, the Roman Empire had, through its Pax Romana, brought unprecedented peace and prosperity to the inhabitants of the Mediterranean littoral for nearly a millennium. When it collapsed, the ensuing disorder and the destruction of the imperial economic space led to a marked fall in the standards of living of the common people inhabiting the fallen empires.
In his history of war and peace, Professor Pinker completely neglects the rise and fall of empires. The graph depicts his Long Peace. It does not, as he claims, show that war is now defunct. For it depicts the long struggle for the mastery of Europe, to create another Roman empire (albeit Holy) after the fall of Rome, and the success first of the British in the 19th century and then the United States after the Second World War in creating global empires that mitigated international anarchy.

Thus, during the post-medieval period since 1500, with the consolidation of European nation-states, religious wars were fought to a stalemate. They only ended with the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. But after a brief lull of peace, they resumed their conflicts in wars for the mastery of Europe - till, with its victory in the Napoleonic Wars, Britain established its global imperium in 1820. But by 1870 Britain's long imperial decline had begun. Challenged by the emerging great powers, Germany and the US, and temporarily Russia, the British were willing but unable to maintain their hegemony.

The US, which became a partner rather than a competitor of Britain in the First World War, thereafter turned inwards and was unwilling to take over or share Britain's imperial responsibility for maintaining global order. This led to the global disorder of the interwar years. It lasted till after the Second World War, when a duopoly of empires (the US and the Soviet Union) succeeded in maintaining some global order - with the mutual assured destruction of nuclear weapons preventing a direct war between the two superpowers, and their continuing competition being limited to proxy wars. With the implosion of the Soviet Union, the US became the sole superpower, and the era of warfare depicted in Professor Pinker's graph came to an end.

Hence, the Long Peace is the result of the empires established by Britain in the 19th century and by the US in the late 20th century. With the West again turning inwards, and the current global order being threatened by the rising power of China, there is an emerging struggle for the mastery of Asia. India is at the centre of this coming maelstrom. It cannot afford to believe that the dove in our nature has now replaced the wolf in international relations.

quinta-feira, 2 de agosto de 2012

Empires strike in the future: USA vs USA - Washington Post

U.S. model for a future war fans tensions with China and inside Pentagon

 

The Washington Post, August 1, 2012

When President Obama called on the U.S. military to shift its focus to Asia earlier this year, Andrew Marshall, a 91-year-old futurist, had a vision of what to do.
Marshall’s small office in the Pentagon has spent the past two decades planning for a war against an angry, aggressive and heavily armed China.
No one had any idea how the war would start. But the American response, laid out in a concept that one of Marshall’s longtime proteges dubbed “Air-Sea Battle,” was clear.
Stealthy American bombers and submarines would knock out China’s long-range surveillance radar and precision missile systems located deep inside the country. The initial “blinding campaign” would be followed by a larger air and naval assault.
The concept, the details of which are classified, has angered the Chinese military and has been pilloried by some Army and Marine Corps officers as excessively expensive. Some Asia analysts worry that conventional strikes aimed at China could spark a nuclear war.
Air-Sea Battle drew little attention when U.S. troops were fighting and dying in large numbers in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now the military’s decade of battling insurgencies is ending, defense budgets are being cut, and top military officials, ordered to pivot toward Asia, are looking to Marshall’s office for ideas.
In recent months, the Air Force and Navy have come up with more than 200 initiatives they say they need to realize Air-Sea Battle. The list emerged, in part, from war games conducted by Marshall’s office and includes new weaponry and proposals to deepen cooperation between the Navy and the Air Force.
A former nuclear strategist, Marshall has spent the past 40 years running the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment, searching for potential threats to American dominance. In the process, he has built a network of allies in Congress, in the defense industry, at think tanks and at the Pentagon that amounts to a permanent Washington bureaucracy.
While Marshall’s backers praise his office as a place where officials take the long view, ignoring passing Pentagon fads, critics see a dangerous tendency toward alarmism that is exaggerating the China threat to drive up defense spending.
“The old joke about the Office of Net Assessment is that it should be called the Office of Threat Inflation,” said Barry Posen, director of the MIT Security Studies Program. “They go well beyond exploring the worst cases. . . . They convince others to act as if the worst cases are inevitable.”
Marshall dismisses criticism that his office focuses too much on China as a future enemy, saying it is the Pentagon’s job to ponder worst-case scenarios.
“We tend to look at not very happy futures,” he said in a recent interview.
China tensions
Even as it has embraced Air-Sea Battle, the Pentagon has struggled to explain it without inflaming already tense relations with China. The result has been an information vacuum that has sown confusion and controversy.
Senior Chinese military officials warn that the Pentagon’s new effort could spark an arms race.
“If the U.S. military develops Air-Sea Battle to deal with the [People’s Liberation Army], the PLA will be forced to develop anti-Air-Sea Battle,” one officer, Col. Gaoyue Fan, said last year in a debate sponsored by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a defense think tank.
Pentagon officials counter that the concept is focused solely on defeating precision missile systems.
“It’s not about a specific actor,” a senior defense official told reporters last year. “It is not about a specific regime.”
The heads of the Air Force and Navy, meanwhile, have maintained that Air-Sea Battle has applications even beyond combat. The concept could help the military reach melting ice caps in the Arctic Circle or a melted-down nuclear reactor in Japan, Adm. Jonathan Greenert, the U.S. chief of naval operations, said in May at the Brookings Institution.
At the same event, Gen. Norton Schwartz, the Air Force chief, upbraided a retired Marine colonel who asked how Air-Sea Battle might be employed in a war with China.
“This inclination to narrow down on a particular scenario is unhelpful,” Schwartz said.
Privately, senior Pentagon officials concede that Air-Sea Battle’s goal is to help U.S. forces weather an initial Chinese assault and counterattack to destroy sophisticated radar and missile systems built to keep U.S. ships away from China’s coastline.
Their concern is fueled by the steady growth in China’s defense spending, which has increased to as much as $180 billion a year, or about one-third of the Pentagon’s budget, and China’s increasingly aggressive behavior in the South China Sea.
“We want to put enough uncertainty in the minds of Chinese military planners that they would not want to take us on,” said a senior Navy official overseeing the service’s modernization efforts. “Air-Sea Battle is all about convincing the Chinese that we will win this competition.”
Like others quoted in this article, the official spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject.
A military tech ‘revolution’
Air-Sea Battle grew out of Marshall’s fervent belief, dating to the 1980s, that technological advancements were on the verge of ushering in a new epoch of war.
New information technology allowed militaries to fire within seconds of finding the enemy. Better precision bombs guaranteed that the Americans could hit their targets almost every time. Together these advances could give conventional bombs almost the same power as small nuclear weapons, Marshall surmised.
Marshall asked his military assistant, a bright officer with a Harvard doctorate, to draft a series of papers on the coming “revolution in military affairs.” The work captured the interest of dozens of generals and several defense secretaries.
Eventually, senior military leaders, consumed by bloody, low-tech wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, seemed to forget about Marshall’s revolution. Marshall, meanwhile, zeroed in on China as the country most likely to exploit the revolution in military affairs and supplant the United States’ position as the world’s sole superpower.
In recent years, as the growth of China’s military has outpaced most U.S. intelligence projections, interest in China as a potential rival to the United States has soared.
“In the blink of an eye, people have come to take very seriously the China threat,” said Andrew Hoehn, a senior vice president at Rand Corp. “They’ve made very rapid progress.”
Most of Marshall’s writings over the past four decades are classified. He almost never speaks in public and even in private meetings is known for his long stretches of silence.
His influence grows largely out of his study budget, which in recent years has floated between $13 million and $19 million and is frequently allocated to think tanks, defense consultants and academics with close ties to his office. More than half the money typically goes to six firms.
Among the largest recipients is the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, a defense think tank run by retired Lt. Col. Andrew Krepinevich, the Harvard graduate who wrote the first papers for Marshall on the revolution in military affairs.
In the past 15 years, CSBA has run more than two dozen China war games for Marshall’s office and written dozens of studies. The think tank typically collects about $2.75 million to $3 million a year, about 40 percent of its annual revenue, from Marshall’s office, according to Pentagon statistics and CSBA’s most recent financial filings.
Krepinevich makes about $865,000 in salary and benefits, or almost double the compensation paid out to the heads of other nonpartisan think tanks such as the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Brookings Institution. CSBA said its board sets executive compensation based on a review of salaries at other organizations doing similar work.
The war games run by CSBA are set 20 years in the future and cast China as a hegemonic and aggressive enemy. Guided anti-ship missiles sink U.S. aircraft carriers and other surface ships. Simultaneous Chinese strikes destroy American air bases, making it impossible for the U.S. military to launch its fighter jets. The outnumbered American force fights back with conventional strikes on China’s mainland, knocking out long-range precision missiles and radar.
“The fundamental problem is the same one that the Soviets identified 30 years ago,” Krepinevich said in an interview. “If you can see deep and shoot deep with a high degree of accuracy, our large bases are not sanctuaries. They are targets.”
Some critics doubt that China, which owns $1.6 trillion in U.S. debt and depends heavily on the American economy, would strike U.S. forces out of the blue.
“It is absolutely fraudulent,” said Jonathan D. Pollack, a senior fellow at Brookings. “What is the imaginable context or scenario for this attack?”
Other defense analysts warn that an assault on the Chinese mainland carries potentially catastrophic risks and could quickly escalate to nuclear armageddon.
The war games elided these concerns. Instead they focused on how U.S. forces would weather the initial Chinese missile salvo and attack.
To survive, allied commanders dispersed their planes to austere airfields on the Pacific islands of Tinian and Palau. They built bomb-resistant aircraft shelters and brought in rapid runway repair kits to fix damaged airstrips.
Stealthy bombers and quiet submarines waged a counterattack. The allied approach became the basis for the Air-Sea Battle.
Think tank’s paper
Although the Pentagon has struggled to talk publicly about Air-Sea Battle, CSBA has not been similarly restrained. In 2010, it published a 125-page paper outlining how the concept could be used to fight a war with China.
The paper contains less detail than the classified Pentagon version. Shortly after its publication, U.S. allies in Asia, frustrated by the Pentagon’s silence on the subject, began looking to CSBA for answers.
“We started to get a parade of senior people, particularly from Japan, though also Taiwan and to a lesser extent China, saying, ‘So, this is what Air-Sea Battle is,’ ” Krepinevich said this year at an event at another think tank.
Soon, U.S. officials began to hear complaints.
“The PLA went nuts,” said a U.S. official who recently returned from Beijing.
Told that Air-Sea Battle was not aimed at China, one PLA general replied that the CSBA report mentioned the PLA 190 times, the official said. (The actual count is closer to 400.)
Inside the Pentagon, the Army and Marine Corps have mounted offensives against the concept, which could lead to less spending on ground combat.
An internal assessment, prepared for the Marine Corps commandant and obtained by The Washington Post, warns that “an Air-Sea Battle-focused Navy and Air Force would be preposterously expensive to build in peace time” and would result in “incalculable human and economic destruction” if ever used in a major war with China.
The concept, however, aligns with Obama’s broader effort to shift the U.S. military’s focus toward Asia and provides a framework for preserving some of the Pentagon’s most sophisticated weapons programs, many of which have strong backing in Congress.
Sens. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) and John Cornyn (R-Tex.) inserted language into the 2012 Defense Authorization bill requiring the Pentagon to issue a report this year detailing its plans for implementing the concept. The legislation orders the Pentagon to explain what weapons systems it will need to carry out Air-Sea Battle, its timeline for implementing the concept and an estimate of the costs associated with it.
Lieberman and Cornyn’s staff turned to an unsurprising source when drafting the questions.
“We asked CSBA for help,” one of the staffers said. “In a lot of ways, they created it.”


Julie Tate contributed to this report.