“We will have a very strong (military) presence, very strong continued posture throughout the region to back our commitments to our allies, to protect and work with our partners and to continue ensuring peace and stability in the region, as well as back our diplomacy vis-à-vis China on the South China Sea”. -David Shear, US Department of Defense’s Assistant Secretary for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs.
Indian President Modi “seals $22 billion of deals on China visit . . . China had already promised $20 billion of infrastructure investment during (Chinese President) Xi’s visit to India last year”. -Financial Times (5/18/165, p. 4)
The highly influential Council on Foreign Relations recently published a Special Report entitled, “Revising US Grand Strategy toward China”, (Council on Foreign Relations Press: NY 2015), co-authored by two of its Senior Fellows, Robert Blackwill and Ashley Tellis (‘B and T’), which proposes a re-orientation of US policy toward China. The Report a policy for buttressing ‘US primacy in Asia’ and countering what they describe as “the dangers that China’s geo-economic and military power pose to US national interests in Asia and globally”. The Report concludes by listing seven recommendations that Washington should follow to re-assert regional primacy.
This essay begins by discussing the basic fallacies underpinning the Report, including outdated and dangerous presumptions about US power and presence in Asia today, and the authors’ incoherent, contradictory and unrealistic prescriptions.
Mistaken Assumptions about Past and Present US Policies to China