It can hardly be an accident that China has begun throwing its weight around in other ways, as well. As David Goldman wrote in the Asia Times on November 27th under the nom de plume Spengler: "It is symptomatic of the national condition of the United States that the worst humiliation ever suffered by it as a nation, and by a U.S. president personally, passed almost without comment last week. I refer to the November 20 announcement at a summit meeting in Phnom Penh that 15 Asian nations, comprising half the world's population, would form a Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership excluding the United States.
We were not accidently barred from this new grouping. Rather, Goldman reports, Obama tried to use the summit to promote a U.S.-sponsored "Trans-Pacific Partnership" that would exclude China. He not only failed.
The ASEAN nations plus India, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand actually agreed to form instead a new club with China in, and the United States out. Spengler attributes this poke in the eye to a cold calculation by the Pacific rim types that the United States is no longer the region's dominant economic power. That may be.
But whether it is a recalibration rooted in changing financial and trade relations or a sense that China is emerging as the new hegemon in their part of the world, the result is the same: Dynamics in Asia that are unlikely to prove conducive to our economy or security.
Then, there is President Obama's rash effort to rid the world of nuclear weapons, starting with ours. A State Department advisory committee made up of rabid disarmers has just issued a recommendation that the United States make still further, deep reductions in its nuclear stockpile, through negotiated agreements with Russia, if possible, and unilaterally if Vladimir Putin will not go along. This panel ¬ like the Obama administration that is expected to embrace its recommendations ¬ seems indifferent to the growing evidence that China may have substantially more deployed nuclear weapons than we do. And, unlike ours, theirs are on modern launch vehicles, many of which appear to be hidden in 3,000 miles of hardened tunnels. Meanwhile, Team Obama is ensuring that there will be no modernization of the U.S. arsenal and that its weapons, and the industrial complex vital to their future deterrent value and readiness, will continue to atrophy.
President Obama is redistributing power, all right, and is thereby giving the globe a strategic makeover. Think of it as his "fundamentally transforming the United States of America" by diminishing its power and upgrading that of its enemies.
Does any one actually think this is going to have any effect other than emboldening those who wish us ill, even as we reduce our capacity to deter and, if necessary, to defeat them?
Frank Gaffney Jr. is the founder and president of the Center for Security Policy and author of War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World .
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