Are we now on a march to war? What the US avoided during the Cold War is now looking like a distinct possibility, namely a war with Russia and perhaps, China. The heated rhetoric, accusations by both sides, and the revival of the US neocons are pushing the world ever closer to a world war.
With regard to Russia, the fuse is burning in Syria. The Pentagon, and the ascendance of the neo cons that led the US into Iraq want military intervention in Syria, overruling Obama, who has shown admirable restraint. The probability of Hillary Clinton being the next president will make a conflict more likely as her thinking is in line with that of her neo con supporters. Rumoured to be her defence secretary is Michele Flournoy head of the Centre for New America Security think tank, an extreme right wing organisation populated with prominent neo cons such as the dreaded Kagans. The CNAS openly support US global hegemony in their report, Extending American Power, https://www.cnas.org/publications/reports/extending-american-power-strategies-to-expand-u-s-engagement-in-a-competitive-world-order
Should such a plan be implemented we would be faced with a sure fire world war because attempts by the US to continue and/or extend its dominance will be met with resistance by both Russia and China. The US seems to believe that confrontation is the answer to those two countries. With Russia it is by sanctions and pushing NATO to Russia’s Western borders and with China by hemming in China with a naval presence in the South China Sea. Neither will work. These dangerous territorial overlaps are creating the probability of confrontations that could easily trigger a full-scale war.
In addition, the Rand Corporation think tank outlines a plan of action should war with China break out but they seem to favour a pre-emptive strike before China achieve parity or superiority militarily.
Rand is right about the rise of China. It is no longer the pushover it was a few years ago but surely the best solution is accommodation not confrontation. Alas, accommodation is not an acceptable term in the diplomatic vocabulary of the United States.
Rand also foresee a longer drawn out war favouring the US. Would it? It would wreak havoc on both countries but China’s history and mindset in that regard, favours China. The Chinese and Russians are accustomed to sacrifice, not the Americans. The US public has never had patience with long wars. The American want a quick return whether in business or war.
However, Rand are missing one vital element in such a conflict, namely that a war with China would have to deal only with China. Do they think that China’s ally Russia would sit idly by? They mention a role for Japan, a US ally but not nuclear-armed Russia. This is not to mention the cyber warfare capabilities of all three countries.
A bleak view of the not distant future.