Never has US intentions in Asia been so obvious. Attempts to portray America’s role in the region as constructive or necessary have been ongoing since the end of World War II, however, recently, with Asia able to begin determining its own destiny for itself, the tone from Washington has become increasingly curt and direct.
US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter’s remarks during the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore were all but a proclamation of US hegemony over Asia – a region of the planet quite literally an ocean away from Washington.
In Reuters’ article, “U.S. flexes muscles as Asia worries about South China Sea row,” Secretary Carter is quoted as saying:
The United States will remain the most powerful military and main underwriter of security in the [Asian] region for decades to come – and there should be no doubt about that.
The US, besides implied exceptionalism, never fully explains why it believes underwriting security for an entire region of the planet beyond its own borders is somehow justified.
Reuters would also report (emphasis added):
Any action by China to reclaim land in the Scarborough Shoal, an outcrop in the disputed sea, would have consequences, Carter said.
“I hope that this development doesn’t occur, because it will result in actions being taken by the both United States and … by others in the region which would have the effect of not only increasing tensions but isolating China,” Carter told the Shangri-La Dialogue, a regional security forum in Singapore.
The term, “isolation” is key – and has defined US foreign policy toward rising powers in Asia since before even World War II.
US Policymakers Make No Secret of Aspirations of Primacy in Asia
Robert Blackwill, a former US ambassador, a senior fellow at the Council of Foreign Relations (CFR), a lobbyist, and US National Security Council Deputy for Iraq during the US invasion and occupation in 2003, penned last year a paper for the CFR titled, “Revising U.S. Grand Strategy Toward China” (.pdf), in which no secret was made about US designs toward Asia Pacific.
The paper states explicitly that (emphasis added):
Because the American effort to “integrate” China into the liberal international order has now generated new threats to U.S. primacy in Asia—and could eventually result in a consequential challenge to American power globally—Washington needs a new grand strategy toward China that centers on balancing the rise of Chinese power rather than continuing to assist its ascendancy.
The paper elaborates by enumerating precisely how this will be done (emphasis added):
…preserving U.S. primacy in the global system ought to remain the central objective of U.S. grand strategy in the twenty-first century. Sustaining this status in the face of rising Chinese power requires, among other things, revitalizing the U.S. economy to nurture those disruptive innovations that bestow on the United States asymmetric economic advantages over others; creating new preferential trading arrangements among U.S. friends and allies to increase their mutual gains through instruments that consciously exclude China; recreating a technology-control regime involving U.S. allies that prevents China from acquiring military and strategic capabilities enabling it to inflict “high-leverage strategic harm” on the United States and its partners; concertedly building up the power-political capacities of U.S. friends and allies on China’s periphery; and improving the capability of U.S. military forces to effectively project power along the Asian rimlands despite any Chinese opposition—all while continuing to work with China in the diverse ways that befit its importance to U.S. national interests.
It should be noted that in particular, the point regarding “concertedly building up the power-political capacities of U.S. friends and allies on China’s periphery” is not as innocuous as it sounds. Blackwill himself in his capacity as a lobbyist represented one of those “friends and allies on China’s periphery,” the client regime of Thaksin Shinawatra in Southeast Asia’s nation of Thailand.
Shinawtra while in power, would send Thai troops to aid in America’s illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq, hosted the CIA’s abhorrent rendition program within Thai territory, and attempted to ramrod through a US-Thai free trade agreement – all at the expense of Thailand’s best interests. Shinawatra’s attempts to turn Thailand into a client state of Wall Street and Washington interests eventually unraveled into a bloody political conflict that continues even today.
Shinawatra would be ultimately ousted from power, but US interests have continued to work to put him or a similar proxy into power, while undermining and attempting to destroy Thailand’s own existing political order and institutions.
In reality, “building up the power-political capacities of U.S. friends and allies on China’s periphery” actually means toppling sovereign governments and replacing them with obedient client regimes to be used in Washington’s proxy war with Beijing – at the cost of the client regime’s own peace, stability, and prosperity.
Blackwill’s paper also hits on the importance of using tension in the South China Sea to serve the “U.S. grand strategy” in Asia. The paper notes:
Because of PRC behavior, Asian states have already begun to balance against China through greater intra-Asian cooperation—actions that are entirely consistent with and only reinforce our U.S. grand strategy.
Indeed, throughout Asia, the realist understanding of a need to balance power between a rising China and the rest of Asia has guided the economic and military expansion of China’s neighbors. It is done, however, independently of US ambitions and done with maintaining good relations with Beijing. The US has openly stated that its goal is to maintain primacy in Asia – and aims at isolating and containing China’s rise. This is entirely inconsistent with the best interests of each and every nation along China’s periphery.
Washington’s Long-War on Beijing
Secretary Ashton Carter and Robert Blackwill’s admissions of US policy in Asia are only the most recent affirmations of a long-running policy of containment that stretches back to the 1950s, the Vietnam War, and has continued onward to this very day.
From the US State Department’s “Office of the Historian,” a 1968 “Status Report on Tibetan Operations,” is published, exposing US Central Intelligence Agency support for the 14th Dali Lama and armed Tibetan militants for the expressed purpose of the “containment of Chinese Communist expansion.”
The report would state:
The CIA Tibetan program, parts of which were initiated in 1956 with the cognizance of the Committee, is based on U.S. Government commitments made to the Dalai Lama in 1951 and 1956. The program consists of political action, propaganda, paramilitary and intelligence operations, appropriately coordinated with and supported by [less than 1 line of source text not declassified].
The report also states that (emphasis added):
In the political action and propaganda field, Tibetan program objectives are aimed toward lessening the influence and capabilities of the Chinese regime through support, among Tibetans and among foreign nations, of the concept of an autonomous Tibet under the leadership of the Dalai Lama; toward the creation of a capability for resistance against possible political developments inside Tibet; and the containment of Chinese Communist expansion—in pursuance of U.S. policy objectives stated initially in NSC 5913/1.2 [6 lines of source text not declassified].
The infamously leaked “Pentagon Papers,” a secret Department of Defense study of America’s involvement in Vietnam from 1945 to 1967 put together by then Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara in 1967, would reveal US military force being used more directly in America’s continued attempts to contain China.
Three important quotes from these papers reveal this strategy. It states first that:
…the February decision to bomb North Vietnam and the July approval of Phase I deployments make sense only if they are in support of a long-run United States policy to contain China.
It also claims:
China—like Germany in 1917, like Germany in the West and Japan in the East in the late 30′s, and like the USSR in 1947—looms as a major power threatening to undercut our importance and effectiveness in the world and, more remotely but more menacingly, to organize all of Asia against us.
Finally, it outlines the immense regional theater the US was engaged in against China at the time by stating:
…there are three fronts to a long-run effort to contain China (realizing that the USSR “contains” China on the north and northwest): (a) the Japan-Korea front; (b) the India-Pakistan front; and (c) the Southeast Asia front.
It is clear that from the conclusion of World War II up to and including today, the goal of containing China has dominated America’s foreign policy in Asia. It has included proxy wars as admitted to by the US State Department in the 1950’s in Tibet, full-scale war as seen in Vietnam during the 1960’s, and the creation of client regimes with which to confront China more recently from 2001-2006 under Thaksin Shinawatra and now fully manifested as a costly political crisis still undermining peace and stability in Thailand today.
A similar client regime is in the process of taking power in Myanmar under Aung San Suu Kyi – quite literally a creation and perpetuation of US and British funding and political support. Malaysia has been targeted by political instability through US-proxy Anwar Ibrahim, and the Philippines have long been subordinate to US foreign policy for over a century.
In East Asia, both Japan and South Korea host US troops since World War II and the Korean War respectively.
Placing this all on a map, and including the US occupation of Afghanistan – which borders China’s west – and efforts even within China’s borders to subvert political order and stability, a geopolitical ring virtually surrounds China from west to east.
US Primacy at the Cost of Asian Peace and Prosperity
It is worth repeating that Asia is already rebalancing accordingly to China’s growing regional influence. However, nations along China’s periphery can already be seen benefiting from this rise as well. Working with China across a wide range of areas from economics to military cooperation are directly benefiting China’s neighbors. The region – it appears – seeks to strike a balance of power but within a non-confrontational, cooperative regional order.
The United States – as an opportunist – seeks to pose as assisting in the creation of this regional order, but with its recent proclamations, is clearly aiming to isolate China by deliberately inflaming tensions everywhere from Myanmar regarding ongoing Chinese-constructed infrastructure projects, to the South China Sea, to the Korean Peninsula.
The process of isolating and hindering the rise of China will not just cost Beijing – it will cost all of Asia – even if the risks and costs of confrontations the US is cultivating within Asia are negated. However, considering these US-engineered and encouraged confrontations – nations are being prodded into expending resources and political goodwill to fulfill Washington’s own self-serving regional ambitions.
It is quite simple. The United States does not reside in Asia. Turning Asia into a conflict zone suits it perfectly well. An Asia on the rise poses as a direct competitor to the interests on Wall Street and the politicians who serve them in Washington. The US has nothing to gain from a strong Asia that no longer capitulates to disparate trade deals, political coercion, and threats. Containing China at the cost of peace and prosperity across all of Asia is an added bonus for US policymakers – ensuring that indeed the US maintains primacy in all of Asia “for decades to come.”
For Asia’s leaders it is important for them to continue on constructive and cooperative means of striking a balance of power between a rising China and the rest of Asia. This must be done while incrementally displacing America’s unwarranted and malicious influence in the region. This does not mean isolating the United States as it seeks to isolate China – but only isolating it to the extent that the US concedes to maintaining normal ties with Asia predicated on equality, not hegemony.
Asian security is no more the United States’ to underwrite as American security is Asia’s to underwrite. Making this clear to US policymakers and the special interests they serve is essential in establishing the fact that no nation is “exceptional” and for any real “international order” to exist, impartial and objective standards must be applied to all – whether they reside in Washington or Beijing, or beyond.
By Tony Cartalucci
About the author:
Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.
Donald Trump, influential billionaire and a candidate for the president of United States, back in the 1999, as a guest of the famous host Larry King on CNN, spoke about that time ongoing topic of the bombing of Serbia.
Asked by Larry King, what does he think and what would he do if he was in Clinton’s place, Trump criticized the decision to bomb Serbia.
“So, I would do something different and I know it will sound ghastly to everybody. But, look at the chaos which we created in Kosovo. I think, we can say that we lost only few people. Of ...
Instances of the United States overthrowing, or attempting to overthrow, a foreign government since the Second World War. (* indicates successful ouster of a government)
China 1949 to early 1960s
East Germany 1950s
Iran 1953 *
Guatemala 1954 *
Costa Rica mid-1950s
British Guiana 1953-64 *
Iraq 1963 *
North Vietnam 1945-73
Cambodia 1955-70 *
Laos 1958 *, 1959 *, 1960 *
Ecuador 1960-63 *
Congo 1960 *
Brazil 1962-64 *
Dominican Republic 1963 *
Cuba 1959 to present
Bolivia 1964 *
Indonesia 1965 *
Ghana 1966 *
Chile 1964-73 ...
On September 10th, 2015 a City Council of Croatia’s capital Zagreb decided to promote a war criminal General Ante Gotovina to “honorable citizen of the City of Zagreb” for his “contribution to the defending of Croatia’s independence and territorial integrity”. The General, however, as a Commander-in-Chief of Croatia’s army, is directly responsible for a brutal ethnic cleansing and war crimes committed by Croatia’s army, police forces and state authorities over the Serbs during the SS-punishment-style military-police operation “Storm” (Oluja) in August 1995 when around 3000 ethnic Serbs in the Krajina region were killed and 250.000 expelled from their homes. That ...
What does it mean when the US and British financial systems launder hundreds of billions of dollars of illicit funds stolen by world leaders while their governments turn a ‘blind eye’, and yet the very same Anglo-American officials investigate, prosecute, fine and arrest officials from rival governments, rival banks and political leaders for corruption?
What does it mean when the US government expands a world-wide network of nuclear missiles on bases stretching from Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, the Gulf States to Japan, surrounding Russia, Iran and China, while the very same US and NATO officials investigate and condemn rival defense officials from Russia, China ...
“malè ou swete bèlmè, se manman ou li frape” – the evil you wish upon your mother-in-law strikes your mother, Haitian wisdom
The other day, I saw a video excerpt of an October 2012 speech in which Bill Clinton was telling an audience in New-York how his wife, Hillary, possesses the extraordinary psychic ability to speak regularly with the dead, in particular, with the spirit of former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.*
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The crimes committed by the US against the people of Korea in the course of the Korean War but also in its aftermath are unprecedented in modern history.
“We Killed Off – What – Twenty Percent of the Population. We Burned Down every Town in North Korea…”
The above quotation is from General Curtis Lemay, who coordinated the bombing campaign (1950-53)
Who is a Threat to Global Security? The US or the DPRK?
The public perception of the entire population of North Korea is that the US is a threat to their national security.
During the Korean War, the DPRK lost more than 25% of ...
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Russian researcher Boris Borisov touched a really hot topic in his material on the estimated number of victims of the American Great Depression, which in turn, apparently caused a very strong reaction ...
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In a pamphlet written in 2011 – Europe: The Unfinished Project – I wrote:
At the present time the EU project seems to be stuck in no-man’s land, unable to press ahead with full political integration, or retreat back into a northern European protectionist Deutschmark zone, and leaving the peripheral member states to the tender mercies of unfettered, globalized capitalism. However there seems to be a sufficient residue of the original EU idealism in the present stage of ...
On December 19, 2005, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced the appointment of Ambassador Frank G. Wisner as the Special Representative of the US Secretary of State to the Kosovo Status Talks.
Who is Frank G. Wisner, Jr.?
If his name sounds familiar that is because he is the son of Frank Gardiner Wisner, Sr., the CIA agent most responsible for the recruitment of Nazis by the US government after World War II. A former member of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the World War II precursor to the CIA, Frank G. Wisner, Sr., was one of the most infamous ...
How can it be that in virtually all of the Presidential-candidate head-to-head Democratic versus Republican polling that was done of both Democratic and Republican candidates during the primaries, the preferred Democratic candidate against any one of the Republican candidates was Bernie Sanders, but he almost certainly won’t be that Party’s nominee (and there’s more on that here); and the preferred Republican candidate against either one of the Democratic candidates was John Kasich, but he certainly won’t be the Republican nominee?
Sanders and Kasich also scored the highest in his respective Party for net favorability rating, but almost certainly neither candidate will ...
Last month was the 18th anniversary of the attack on the Serbian village of Kravica committed by Moslem forces from Srebrenica under the command of Naser Orić on Orthodox Christmas day, January 7, 1993. Several dozen villagers were killed in the attack, the remaining Serbian population was forced to flee to safety, and many homes were pillaged, demolished and torched during the several weeks that Kravica was forcibly occupied by neighbours from nearby Srebrenica. Regardless of arcane debates of who started the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, on a human level the attack on the village of Kravica and the ...
Donald Trump‘s decision to launch cruise missile strikes on a Syrian Air Force Base was based on a lie.
In the coming days the American people will learn that the Intelligence Community knew that Syria did not drop a military chemical weapon on innocent civilians in Idlib. Here is what happened:
The Russians briefed the United States on the proposed target. This is a process that started more than two months ago. [prior to the Chemical Weapons attack] There is a dedicated phone line that is being used to coordinate and deconflict (i.e., prevent US and Russian air assets from shooting at ...
This paper was presented by the late Sean Gervasi at the Conference on the Enlargement of NATO in Eastern Europe and the Mediterrenean, Prague, 13-14 January 1996. It was published on Global Research when the Global Research website was launched on September 9, 2001.
The late Sean Gervasi had tremendous foresight. He understood the process of NATO enlargement several years before it actually unfolded into a formidable military force. He had also predicted the breakup of Yugoslavia as part of a US-NATO project.
See also Sean Gervasi’s 1993 video interview
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization has recently sent a large task force into ...
Americans are outraged by allegations that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an intelligence service to hack email accounts of the Democratic National Committee. How inexpressibly heinous that one country, Russia, would try to influence elections in another sovereign country, in this case the United States! How unprecedented! How diabolical! How uniquely Russian!
In response, the Obama administration has expelled Russian diplomats, hinted at economic sanctions, and promised further retaliation using America’s “world-class arsenal of cyber weapons.” (NYT Dec. 16, 2016) Obama’s Republican opponents, for their part, have demanded “rocks” instead of Obama’s “pebbles.”
But does the USA meddle in the presidential elections ...
Barack Obama is the first two-term American president to have presided over war every day of his tenure in office. He bequeaths to a Trump administration ongoing operations in Afghanistan, continuing drone strikes in northwest Pakistan, the consequences of the 2011 destruction of Libya, the instigation of civil war in Syria, US sponsorship of the brutal Saudi interventions in Yemen, and the civil conflicts in Ukraine, the Caucuses and across Africa.
Obama’s blood-soaked legacy, however, is most graphic in Iraq. There is a bitter irony in this, given the fact that he was elected in 2008 largely on the basis of ...
If Trump can defeat the oligarchy and save America, he can go down in history as Trump the Great.
Liberals, progressives, and the left-wing (to the extent that one still exists) are aligning with the corrupt oligarchy against president-elect Trump and the American people.
They are busy at work trying to generate hysteria over Trump’s “authoritarian personality and followers.” In other words, the message is: here come the fascists.
Liberals and progressives wailed and whined about “an all white male cabinet,” only to be made fools by Trump’s appointment of a black male and two women, one a minority and one a Trump ...
The U.S. public loves fascists; they elect them, constantly. Donald Trump, who “says he would raise the minimum wage and stop the endless efforts at regime change,” is called a fascist by some. But Hillary Clinton “is happy to bomb Libya or Syria or any other country,” and played a major role in mass Black incarceration. Barack Obama is the war-maker and deporter-in-chief. “All of the major party candidates fit the F word description in some way.”
“No one comes into office with any intention of undoing America’s leadership as the world’s worst jailer.”
Donald Trump is the ill spoken, boorish, graceless ...
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Photo of Vietnamese civilians killed by an American unit during the massacre at My Lai, 16 March 1968.
Atrocities During the Vietnam War
The actions of armies in war have seldom ...
“This is an historic opportunity to demonstrate the even-handedness of international justice” – Michael Mandel, law professor, York University, Toronto, Canada, 1999
NATO leaders found guilty of war crimes in Yugoslavia
“NATO leaders acted in open violation of the Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12th August 1949, and the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), 8th June 1977 . . .” Dr Will Podmore, The Lancet (June 26th 1999)
In the District Court of Belgrade on September 22, 2000, the President of the court, Veroljub Raketic, handed down guilty verdicts against government leaders of NATO countries for ...
Donald Trump: We created chaos, we should not have attacked Serbia!
Overthrowing Other People’s Governments: The Master List
The “Serb Question” And Its final Solution In Euro-Croatia
Anglo-America: Regression and Reversion in the Modern World
If This Haitian Was Superstitious Like The Clintons
U.S. Crimes of Genocide Against North Korea
Holodomor in the United States
What Is The European Union For?
Who was US Special Representative to Kosovo Frank G. Wisner?
US, UK, & EU, Are Now Dictatorships
The Srebrenica Massacre: Some Victims Are More Equal Than Others
Donald Trump is an International Law Breaker
The Syrian War of Imperialism
Why Is NATO In Yugoslavia?
US Meddling in 1996 Russian Elections in Support of Boris Yeltsin
Mosul, Iraq and Obama’s Legacy of War
Barack Obama, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton: Who’s the Fascist?
Vietnam War Atrocities Committed By The US Army
Lawyers Serve Indictment on NATO Leaders for War Crimes