Pacific Ocean Navies in 2020

Wars don’t happen by accident. Any armed conflict is prepared for and planned well in advance. That’s a fact. People living in an absolutely peaceful country sometimes aren’t even aware that their country has decided to go to war and preparations for it are already in full swing. To better understand the issue I’m going to discuss, we need to review a little history.

On July 28, 1914, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. Then came Verdun, the Somme, tanks, mustard gas and millions of dead soldiers and civilians. The reason for the massacre was the assassination of the Archduke of Austria by a Serbian student. The cause was a struggle among the major imperialist powers on how to divide up the world.

July 28, 1914 was the official start date for World War I. Its latent phase had actually begun much earlier. That is, the ruling circles of the countries concerned had made the critical decision to achieve certain political objectives by military means long before that date.

This very brief excursion into history was needed for the following reason. I fear that the decision to start World War III has already been made, and it’s scheduled to start in 2020. Why is that?

There are some alarming facts and factors. Some of them are tied to the current violence in the Islamic world. If World War III comes, however, it will undoubtedly begin in the Asia-Pacific region. It will be started by the United States, and that country’s main target will be China. It’s entirely possible that Russia will be drawn into the fighting.

Let’s look at some of the circumstances and events that I find alarming. Humanity’s current industrial leader is China, while the United States remains its military leader. China is becoming increasingly dependent on imported raw materials. It has a vital need to protect the shipping lanes that bring it those raw materials. It’s obvious that within 20 or, at most, 25 years,1 China will build a navy capable of at least standing up to the US Navy on an equal footing. That would of course mean the end of the United States as a superpower and the reduction of the Western world to the level of a tourist attraction for Chinese businessmen.

Thus, the United States has the following choice to make. Either it decides to knock the desire out of China to build up its navy to the point where it owns a powerful aircraft carrier fleet, or it humbly gives up its position as the world’s leader in defense spending. It’s unlikely to choose the second option. US leaders have many virtues, but, alas, humility isn’t one of them.

First of all, Washington recently announced a “return to Asia.” That doesn’t mean that the United States had left it and has now suddenly decided to come back and visit old friends from the Vietnam War. Translated from Washington-speak, “return to Asia” means “forming a US-led military-political bloc against China.”

Second, the traditionally transparent US Defense Department recently told the world what its strategic priorities are.

On June 2, US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta informed the interested public about the Pentagon’s new military strategy at a forum on security in the Asia-Pacific region (the Shangri-La Dialogues). That strategy now involves building up its presence in the Asia-Pacific region, which, as it turns out, poses a definite military threat to America. Just like that! Nothing more and nothing less.

What steps will the Pentagon actually take under its new strategy? According to Panetta, about 60% of the US Navy’s surface ships and submarines will be concentrated in the Pacific Ocean by 2020. Within 8 years, 6 of America’s carrier task forces and a majority of its cruisers, destroyers and submarines will be on alert in the region. The Pentagon is planning to increase the number and size of its military exercises in the Asia-Pacific region and the number of port visits by naval ships to countries in the region.

In organizational and political terms, the new US military strategy will focus on growing the US military presence in the Asia-Pacific region by forming military alliances with pro-American countries in the region, particularly with Japan, India, Australia, the Philippines and generally all countries willing to sacrifice their own soldiers for US interests. In his speech at the forum, Panetta (in the spirit of transparency, of course) dismissed suggestions by some delegates that the efforts of the Pentagon and the State Department in the Pacific are aimed at curbing China’s growing influence in the region. Translated from diplomat-speak into language we can all understand, that sounds like “aimed at preparing for military aggression against China.” It’s apparently scheduled for 2020, and the pretext will obviously be territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

Panetta’s dismissal of accusations that he is preparing for aggression against China is completely understandable. It would be strange if he were to agree with them.

So. Curiously, the date “2020” appears in yet another remarkable military document: Russia’s State Armaments Program for 2011-2020 (GPV-2020). Perhaps it is nothing more than a curious coincidence, but the rate and quantity of purchases mean that 70% of Russia’s military inventory will be the latest high-tech weapons by 2020. That’s a very high percentage. There’s no doubt that it can be done. After all, Russia has GLONASS and manned spacecraft, whereas the United States has GPS and has scrapped its space shuttle.

What does it all mean? It means that by 2020 Russia will return to the military big league, which it temporarily left after 1991. The military-political balance in the world could change dramatically by 2020 due to the rapidly deteriorating economic position of the United States and the European Union, among other factors.

The following needs to be clearly understood. GPV-2020 isn’t aimed at aggression against the United States. But Washington isn’t at all concerned about that. The United States today is clearly superior to both the Russian Federation and China in terms of advanced weapons. That may not be the case by 2020. In addition, recent developments show that the governments of China and Russia see themselves becoming strategic allies. That alliance could put an end to the predatory policies of the United States.

Washington apparently understands that very well. It has little time remaining. The year 2020 may be a watershed in world politics.

Source: New Eastern Outlook 

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