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Wolfy’s Baaaack!: China and A New Nuclear Arms Race

As we’ve seen time after time, “hyping the threat” is most dog-eared play in the foreign policy playbook for a rogue's gallery of hawks and neocons. Disgraced Iraq War architect Paul Wolfowitz is back after being forced to resign at the World Bank with a report that hypes a missile attack threat from China.  It doesn’t stop at hyping the threat of course, it offers a solution: missile defenses and a new nuclear arms build up to correct for a U.S. nuclear weapons infrastructure that “has been allowed to deteriorate and atrophy”.

The report is from Secretary of State Rice’s chaired by Wolfowitz so it carries weight in certain quarters.

Hans M. Kristensen at the Federation of American Scientists Strategic Security Blog picks apart hype from fact with the report's findings.  Kristensen then points out that there is a stark choice to be made between smart and effective arms control diplomacy and another Cold War:

The militaristic focus of ISAB’s report and its lack of recommendations for arms control and broader public diplomacy to defuse rather than continuing and deepening the competitive and mistrustful relationship between the United States and China suggest that ISAB has failed to live up to its charter.

No matter what one might think of China’s military modernization, the ISAB appears instead to have drawn up a very effective plan for a Cold War with China.

Jim Lobe reporting in the Asia Times covered an interesting conflict of interest for Mr. Wolfowitz between his role as threat-hyper at the ISAB on the one hand and Chairman of the U.S.- Taiwan Business Council on the other. The Council's U.S. members include military contractors looking to sell military hardware both here in the U.S. and with administration approval to Taiwan. As the Times reports:

Moreover, the leak comes at a critical moment in the administration's deliberations about the long-pending arms package for Taiwan, whose approval Wolfowitz and other advocates had hoped would have been forthcoming last week.

Taiwan is hoping to acquire seven weapons systems from the US as part of the package – anti-tank missiles, Apache helicopters, Patriot PAC-3 missile batteries, diesel-electric submarines, P3C Orion anti-submarine aircraft, sea-launched Harpoon anti-ship missiles and Black Eagle helicopters.

What’s truly amazing is that Wolfowitz of all people is allowed on the national stage to “sex-up” another threat. It’s shameful to see these same snake oil salesmen back at it after the trauma this country, our troops, and the Iraqi people have gone through in Iraq. Let’s hope the next President and Secretary of State have better judgment. They’ll need to start by getting rid of Wolfowitz and the rest of the current ISAB. But they'll also need to prevent anyone in the new administration from betraying smart U.S. security by returning to the “hyping the threat” play.

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