As millions in the most powerful military nation in history prepared for Thanksgiving, U.S. Air Force B-52 bombers entered air space over the South China Sea claimed by China. The British Broadcasting Corporation alone reported this unpleasant news item while U.S. networks focused on turkey, inclement weather and football.
U.S. troops ate nearly 50,000 turkey dinners with hopes of pulling out of Afghanistan, our longest war in history. The longed-for withdrawal is actually a “threat” to the Department of Defense.
How can we continue spending $1 billion daily on “defense” if there is no tangible danger from other nations? President Eisenhower remembered the total military budget in 1945 was only $1 billion for the year.
Commander-in-Chief Obama must be somewhat aware that sending U.S. Marines to Australia in 2012 as a signal/warning to China is an affront to a powerful nation and a culture that does not wish to “lose face” through unwelcome actions by others. The USA, with a brief history of 200 years, stands like an infant in disposable diapers alongside China’s 10,000 year history.
In 2013, China is one of the five most powerful military nations. Secretary of Defense Hagel blustered, “The USA will stand with Japan in its dispute over the Senkaku islands of the South China Sea.” Trouble is brewing in Asia.
Through living in Hong Kong for a decade, I discovered many residents of the former colony knew instantly of China’s response to behavior of other nations near its territory. In the 1970s, China would not allow U.S. Navy ships to dock in Hong Kong. They had to anchor a mile or more from Chinese soil.
We need only imagine Washington’s response to foreign aircraft flying anywhere near U.S. territory.
One U.S. Air Force spy plane collided with a Chinese fighter jet over the Chinese island of Hainan island April 1, 2001, and the crippled U.S. plane landed there. Soon, one USAF plane from Guam was allowed to land in Chinese territory, rescue the U.S. crew of a downed plane then take the lucky survivors back to a U.S. base. The incident was put to rest without China’s uproar. What would the Defense Department do if a foreign military plane spying on the US collided with one of our planes along any coast line? Or over the Gulf of Mexico?
After spending billions on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, our national debt has swelled to $17 trillion. China holds over $1 trillion of our national debt and we owe trillions more to other foreign nations.
If we are beholden to several banks for our personal wasteful lives, would we insult or brandish a weapon in the face of a banking CEO who lent money to us?
Since Vietnam, the US has ”intruded” in at least 15 other nations.
China is the most powerful among those countries. Chuck Hagel of the Defense Department would do well to ponder the wisdom of philosopher Frederick Hegel who said, “The only thing we learn from history is that we never learn from history.”