During inauguration festivities on Monday, President Barack Obama proclaimed that a decade of war is now ending. Would that it were so.
While he was making this proclamation, Reuters reported the United States has begun transporting French soldiers and equipment to Mali as part of its logistical aid to French forces fighting Islamists in the northern part of the country. Britain, Belgium, Canada and Denmark are also transporting French materiel.
Those militant Islamists the French are fighting are part of the same group NATO armed and used to overthrow Moammar Gadhafi in Libya, and the same ones it’s arming in Syria to keep that nation in turmoil. It’s also part of the same group the United States has been fighting on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan.
The U.S. continues to rain death and destruction down on the people of several African countries from Predator drones. That region and Syria will be powder kegs for years to come.
Meanwhile, Chinese leaders have instructed the People’s Liberation Army to get ready for war.
China’s General Staff Headquarters issued a harsh directive last week to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to prepare for war, writes Generational Dynamics. The directive stated:
In 2013, the goal set for the entire army and the People’s Armed Police force is to bolster their capabilities to fight and their ability to win a war … to be well-prepared for a war by subjecting the army to hard and rigorous training on an actual combat basis.
Although past directives have directed soldiers to be prepared in case of war, this year’s directive, for the first time, uses the Chinese word “dazhang,” which means “fighting war,” and uses it 10 times in the 1,000-word directive, according the website.
Apparently, Chinese war hawks have decided the United States is bluffing in the East China Sea and Obama’s strategic “pivot” of U.S. military strategy in the Asia-Pacific region is for show. They are taking their calls for wars against regional neighbors to the airwaves of Chinese TV and radio and to Internet blogs and public speeches.
Among the highlights:
- Calls for “short, sharp wars” to assert China’s sovereignty.
- Strike first, prepare for conflict. One term used was “kill a chicken to scare the monkeys.”
- A short, decisive war, like China’s clash with India in 1962, would deliver long-term peace.
- “Since we have decided that the U.S. is bluffing in the East China Sea, we should take this opportunity to respond to these empty provocations with something real,“ wrote Chinese Air Force Colonel Dai Xu in the Global Times.
- “The United States would ‘run like a rabbit’ if China went to war with Japan over the Diaoyu Islands,” Rear Admiral Zhang Zhaozhong told state television on August 12.
Remember, the United States has mutual defense treaties with Japan and the Philippines and assists Taiwan with defense.
Partly out of conflicts of Obama’s own making and partly out of conflicts he may not be able to control, the prospects for the end to perpetual war are slim at best.