US media beats war drums as China, Russia draw closer


Illustration: Liu Rui / GT

Before and after President Biden’s trip to Europe, major US media speculated on the outcome of a possible military conflict between the United States and China or Russia. Although they vary across the political spectrum with Bloomberg leaning to the left, while the national interest remains centered – the rhetoric and conclusions are substantially similar. They talk about crystallizing an anti-China / Russia consensus not only within the country’s political establishment, but also in the media.

In a rare – for politically plural American media – unison of positions, the conservative national interest agrees with pro-liberal Bloomberg. They argue that the US conflict with China and Russia would be long, “big [and] crushing “with Beijing” invading “the island of Taiwan and Moscow launching a” Baltic blitz “and testing NATO defenses.

The true origins of the threatening confrontation may lie in the reworked ideological acrimony promoted by Biden as “democracy versus autocracy.” In effect, it restores the realities of the Cold War.

Bloomberg points out that the Pentagon “is seriously preparing to prevail in the early stages of the war.”

The Pentagon is currently considering establishing a permanent naval task force in the Pacific region to challenge China’s growing military assertiveness with the authority given to the US Secretary of Defense to inject additional money if needed. In March, the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command requested $ 4.68 billion for FY2022 to fund the China-led Pacific Deterrence Initiative and sought an even larger budget for FY2023-2027. .

The US Department of Defense also sought in May a 2% increase in defense spending over what had been allocated to the Pentagon in fiscal year 2021 in order to deal with “advanced and persistent threats”, including those from Russia. The inclusion of the two main US antagonists in the defense budget bill is a symbol of the Biden administration’s priority to prepare to extend and intensify a rivalry with the two.

The aforementioned measures complement the measures taken by the Biden administration to counter China and Russia. They include the creation of the largest Defense Ministry task force dedicated to China, several rounds of sanctions against Moscow, the rallying of democracies and a global promotion of shared values ​​in opposition to authoritarian regimes – namely China and the United States. Russia.

President Biden has embarked on a mission of coalescing allies around the same goal but on a global scale. His recent trip to Europe with gatherings of closest friends under the auspices of the G7, NATO and EU-US summits can be seen as effective. The three high-profile summits produced harsh reprimands against Moscow and Beijing with the earlier announced goal of “dealing with the nefarious activities of [their] Governments. ”

For the first time, NATO has called China “systematic challenges”, while harassing Russian “aggressive actions” as constituting “a threat to Euro-Atlantic security”.

While Trump institutionalized China as the top foreign policy priority of his administration four years ago, President Biden has gone further by internationalizing the threat from China by making it part of an agenda of all multilateral platforms led by United States. The United States listed the new trade and technology council co-launched between the EU and the United States to supplant Beijing, the revamped Quad plan as well as the “Rebuild a better world” plan inspired by the G7. The latter refers to Biden’s national economic megaproject “Build Back Better” aimed at challenging Beijing’s flagship Belt and Road initiative.

As the US-Russia summit in Geneva suggested with its “strategic stability” priority, Washington is unwilling to go to war. Nonetheless, he remains concerned about the growing understanding between Russia and China. This serves as additional insurance as its security forces prepare for worst-case scenarios.

So recent publications in major US media and the Biden administration adopted anti-China / Russia policies nationally and globally unveil his current preparations for a long-term confrontation, if not war.

Such a coherent Western march brings Moscow and Beijing closer together, making them foresee such a scenario by deepening full-fledged cooperation and recognizing “attempts to destroy the relationship” – as President Putin has asserted on NBC. However, this is unlikely to happen since the Chinese Foreign Ministry has stressed that “there is no cap” for Russian-Chinese cooperation.

The author is an expert at the Russian Council for International Affairs. [email protected]

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