The April 16, 2007 issue of the National Weekly Edition of The Washington Times featured an article by Bill Gertz entitled “Report: Pentagon should expand military, shift balance of forces to the Pacific region.” The article stated that a special panel of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) recommended not only should the USA “build up military forces in Asia to counter China’s military expansion” but that it should also move “naval forces toward the Pacific from the Atlantic.” 
I can’t help but comment that the latter step would be an especially vital one because in any war between the USA and China, the Panama Canal would likely be rendered useless in the opening stages of such a war by Chinese agents or forces. While this was not mentioned in the article, I’ll bet that it was an important consideration in this CFR panel recommendation. Without the Panama Canal, the USA’s Atlantic naval forces would take a very long time to arrive in the Pacific theater and China (with its Russian and Iranian allies) would be able to concentrate their submarine fleets off the southern tip of South America and in the Malacca Straits by Indonesia to intercept vessels of America’s Atlantic fleet before they could reach the Pacific Ocean..
The CFR report also urged that “upgrades to the U.S. military base on the Pacific Island of Guam should continue and that the U.S. military should ‘invest broadly’ in next-generation technologies…such as advanced naval and air forces.” The report goes on to predict that China’s military expansion will, by 2010, reach a point where it would be “very difficult” for US forces to help Taiwan in any war waged to make Taiwan a part of Communist China. It further added that “unless we double the number of our aircraft carriers and triple our bomber fleet, China is going to be a peer competitor by 2030.” [Emphasis added.]
Did you notice the gravity of that last statement? It acknowledges that China’s military expansion is so rapid that even if the USA doubled its aircraft carriers and tripled its bomber fleet, China will still reach military equivalence with the USA by 2030. The report did not state when China’s military would equal the USA’s military power if the USA didn’t double its carrier fleets and triple its bomber fleets. Obviously, if the USA merely maintains the current level of its military forces (which are greatly reduced from the Cold War years), China will reach military parity with the USA a lot, lot sooner!
Indeed, China could negate much of the USA’s military advantage right now by using unconventional tactics (which it surely would do in any war). China would not fight by the archaic “rules” of war-gamers in dusty Pentagon backrooms. China would seek to disable the USA in its opening strike. If China placed concealed cruise missiles on its massive fleet of merchant vessels bringing all those cheap goods to America (and other Western nations) and launched them in a coordinated surprise attack when those vessels are near American shores, China could right now achieve a “Pearl Harbor” type of surprise attack against all strategic targets on America’s landmass. Only the gullible would think that this option hasn’t already occurred to Chinese war planners. The Washington Times printed an article in the August 6-12, 2001 issue of its National Weekly Edition that “in war games…a Chinese [civilian] freighter…had artillery mounted on its deck that fired vs. land targets.” The Washington Times also reported in the January 10, 2002 issue of the same publication that “there is a danger some nations could fire short- or medium-range cruise missiles from ships close to US coasts.” What nation always has lots of ships close to US shores bringing numerous goods to American stores? China!
So, China has already practiced how to convert civilian merchant ships into weapons platforms. Chinese merchant vessels would be far more effective in firing cruise missiles at American targets from near US shores in an opening salvo of a new war than firing mere artillery. The fact that a special CFR panel is now warning about the imminent dangers of the growing Chinese military is cause for hope. The CFR panel is absolutely correct. The USA needs to wake up and invest a lot of money and effort into rebuilding its military or it is going to be in a very precarious military situation in just a few years.
In order to prepare the USA to meet China’s rapidly-growing threat, the CFR will first have to wake up some sleepyheads in the Bush administration. In an “Inside the Ring” report by Bill Gertz in The Washington Times National Weekly Edition of April 23, 2007, it is stated (in the portion entitled “F-22s to Japan”) that “pro-China officials in the Bush administration are working against the sale of the advanced [F-22] warplane” to Japan, an ally of America. Why would Bush administration officials serve China’s interests by opposing Japan’s ability to obtain necessary warplanes to counter China’s threat to Japan? The Bush administration seems to be dominated by the large multinational corporations who have invested so much money in low-cost manufacturing plants in China that the short-term financial interests of the corporations is being put ahead of the long-term security interests of the USA and its allies. A sad situation, indeed. I certainly hope the CFR can wake the “pro-China officials in the Bush administration” out of their stupor. 
There is a major obstacle to the US being able to rearm itself to meet the growing and inevitable Chinese threat. Much of the USA’s industrial capacity (which could ordinarily be converted to military production) is now located in…China. Also, much of the money that the already heavily-indebted US government would need to borrow to produce new weaponry would have to be borrowed from foreign lenders, the biggest of which is…China. China may have foreseen that a time would come when the USA would finally recognize the real extent of the military danger posed by China.  In acting to first lure much of the USA’s industrial capacity to China before the USA fully realized its danger, China has made it much harder for the USA to rebuild its military even it wants to do so. Also, by transforming itself into America’s banker, China has made it even harder for the USA to act in its own vital interests. Proverbs 22:7 states an inexorable financial law: “the borrower is servant to the lender.”  The USA is the “borrower” and China is the “lender.” Maybe Beijing is already “calling the tune” behind the scenes as it intimidates Bush administration officials into implementing China’s will “or else” the Chinese will stop buying US Treasury Debt instruments. It sure would be interesting to be a “mouse in the corner” when Chinese officials talk candidly to the Bush Administration officials behind closed doors away from cameras, microphones and recorders.


Steven Collins
May 16, 2007