On Wednesday, President Biden announced a new Pentagon task force that will be reviewing the US military’s policy towards China, another sign that the new administration is prioritizing confronting Beijing.
Pentagon officials said the task force is a “sprint effort” that will examine things like US troop presence in the region, intelligence, and the role of US allies and partners in countering China. Leading the task force is Ely Ratner, a China hawk who Biden appointed as a special advisor to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.
Before his new position at the Pentagon, Rather worked at the interventionist Center for a New American Security (CNAS) think tank. Despite the Trump administration’s hardline policies towards Beijing, Ratner didn’t believe Trump was tough enough. In September 2020, he co-authored an op-ed titled “Trump Has Been Weak on China, and Americans Have Paid the Price.”
From his post at CNAS, Ratner led a congressionally mandated study on China that was released in January 2020. The report outlined various ways the US could compete with Beijing in Asia, including military deterrence or a “combat-credible posture in the Indo-Pacific,” as the study put it.
The study says the US should help its allies in the region build up their militaries to counter China, with a focus on India. “The United States should pay particular attention to supporting India’s efforts to pose military dilemmas for China,” the report reads.
Both Secretary Austin and Kathleen Hicks, his deputy secretary of defense, identified China as the “pacing threat” to the US military. With Ratner leading the review and China the Pentagon’s priority, the likely result of the task force will be an expanded US military presence in Asia.
The announcement of the task force comes as the new administration is stepping up provocations in the South China Sea. On Tuesday, two US aircraft carriers entered the disputed waters and held rare dual-carrier drills.
10 thoughts on “Biden Announces Pentagon Task Force to Review China Policy”
Here is an article on the previous Pentagon “China ” review in 2008:
PACAF’s “Vision” Thing
by Richard Halloran
Pacific Air Forces has begun to forge a doctrine of AirSea Battle with
the intent of deterring any Chinese, North Korean, or Russian military
aggression in Asia and the Pacific. The doctrine is in its early stages
of development, and initial findings are being drawn from a two-phase
wargame called Pacific Vision, held in October…
Expanding military presence in Asia reduces the maneuverability to avoid global war. It appears nobody in power sees the pattern of history emerging. Unless they do, the consequences will be catastrophic.
Another Vietnam in the making with the same result for the USA, when are the Americans going to learn they are no good at the art of war .
The Pentagon can huff and puff all it wants. But US industry (what’s left of it) refuses even to compete for advanced technology unless it’s guaranteed windfall profits (>30% ROI) the way its other monopoly rackets pay.
China has a huge cadre of scientists and engineers deployed towards very well identified targets, starting with 5G killer apps and quantum communications where the Chinese have take large leads.
Without millions of 5G base stations the US won’t even be able to deploy apps for advanced robotics, autonomous vehicles etc. The Chinese are well on their way to installing this kind of capacity despite US economic-warfare/ sabotage efforts.
On the human capital side, only 20% of STEM students are US citizens, with Chinese students and professors leading these very same departments. It’s over for the Empire of Terror.
There is a big difference between the military and diplomacy. True, in the US that has been fudged together. However, it is still a real difference. Reality intrudes.
The military OUGHT to make worst case analysis of the limits of our military position and the strengths of its potential opposition. Just as examples: the US military failed to do that just before China jumped into the Korean War and ran us off the Korean Peninsula right down to its very tip; the US military failed to do that when it failed to defend the Philippines against Japan and so made the Pacific War possible and a very hard fight — having such looney ideas as the Japanese could not be good pilots.
Diplomacy on the contrary OUGHT to study the potential for peaceful agreements avoiding war. As examples, it ought to have realized that pushing past the 38th Parallel in Korea was a gamble without sufficient payoff, and that the Oil Embargo on Japan was almost certain to result in the Pacific War.
So sure, have the Pentagon realize the dangers and costs of war, and present the full price tag to appall lawmakers.
But also have actual diplomats do actual diplomacy, so we don’t have wars with China.
Ratner and his co-author dumped all over Trump and then told us what Biden would do.
Biden’s comments add up to a large zero.
>There’s no such thing as an illegal declaration of an ADIZ. The US has several of them. There are no treaties on them.
>China expelled a dozen US journalists in retaliation to US actions, Biden’s firm stance notwithstanding.
>What is China’s “cyber theft of American business?” Apple IPhones manufactured in China?
Nothing important from Biden, and we shouldn’t expect much from Ratner either. He has had no military instruction nor military duty, with a PhD in political science. This qualifies him to lead a Pentagon study? . . .No.
Here we go again, you talking out of both sides of your mouth.
Center for a New American Security……….hmm….sounds eerily similar to Project for a New American Century.
They did such a bang up job the first go round.
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