What to say? WSJ says US is planning yet another "major expansion of missile defenses" in Asia.
The excuse continues to be North Korea, but that's a lot of money for just the DPRK.
"The focus of our rhetoric is North Korea," said Steven Hildreth, a missile-defense expert with the Congressional Research Service . . . "The reality is that we're also looking longer term at the elephant in the room, which is China."
As usual, I ask you to consider the reverse scenario: China placing missile defense systems around the perimeter of the United States so it could maintain "access" for its carriers and their air wings. Imagine the Congressional hearings on that one.
But we are only being prudent while the Chinese are being aggressive. After all, it's East Asia, where the U.S. military has long ruled as de facto Leviathan. We did this so powers could rise peacefully - through economics, which China most certainly has (how many wars has China fought since 1980 versus the United States?), but China grows it's military quite a bit, even as observers might note just how much bigger the US defense budget has become over the same time period (let's say the US has increased its budget by $500m since 1990 and China has probably jacked its budget up by about $125).
Yes, no doubt that China is spending plenty to make it hard for the US to get in close, and that worries its neighbors.
But you really have to ask, is this an arms race we can expect to afford - much less win? Their neighborhood: we can plant plenty of defense systems, they can stock up on plenty more missiles, but what is the end-point here?
We spent decades encouraging the peaceful rise of Asia writ large, and now we flood the place with weaponry? Triggering a race dynamic with China?
Makes you wonder where our mil-mil could be if not for the Taiwan situation holding it back all these years.