Biden Tightens the Noose Around China, by Michael T. Klare

There’s reason to suspect the old noose strategy isn’t going to work, especially when it also has to fit around Russia. From Michael T. Klare at consortiumnews.com:

The term “containment” never comes up, writes Michael T. Klare. But nonetheless, here is the new 21st century Cold War on a planet desperately in need of something else.

U.S. President Joe Biden at the Department of Defense in Washington, D.C., Feb. 10, 2021. (DoD, Lisa Ferdinando)

The word “encirclement” does not appear in the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), signed into law by President Joe Biden on Dec. 27, or in other recent administration statements about its foreign and military policies. Nor does that classic Cold War era term “containment” ever come up. Still, America’s top leaders have reached a consensus on a strategy to encircle and contain the latest great power, China, with hostile military alliances, thereby thwarting its rise to full superpower status.

The gigantic 2022 defense bill — passed with overwhelming support from both parties — provides a detailed blueprint for surrounding China with a potentially suffocating network of U.S. bases, military forces, and increasingly militarized partner states. The goal is to enable Washington to barricade that country’s military inside its own territory and potentially cripple its economy in any future crisis. For China’s leaders, who surely can’t tolerate being encircled in such a fashion, it’s an open invitation to… well, there’s no point in not being blunt… fight their way out of confinement.

Like every “defense” bill before it, the $768 billion 2022 NDAA is replete with all-too-generous handouts to military contractors for favored Pentagon weaponry. That would include F-35 jet fighters, Virginia-class submarines, Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, and a wide assortment of guided missiles. But as the Senate Armed Services Committee noted in a summary of the bill, it also incorporates an array of targeted appropriations and policy initiatives aimed at encircling, containing, and someday potentially overpowering China. Among these are an extra $7.1 billion for the Pacific Deterrence Initiative, or PDI, a program initiated last year with the aim of bolstering U.S. and allied forces in the Pacific.

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