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Entries in US foreign policy (197)

11:09AM

WPR's The New Rules: Four Options for Redefining the Long War

There is a profound sense of completion to be found in America's elimination of Osama bin Laden, and the circumstances surrounding his death certainly fit this frontier nation's historical habit of mounting major military operations to capture or kill super-empowered bad actors. Operation Geronimo, like most notable U.S. overseas interventions of the past quarter-century, boiled down to eliminating the one man we absolutely felt we needed to get to declare victory. Now we have the opportunity to redefine this "long war" to America's most immediate advantage. I spot four basic options, each with their own attractions and distractions.

Read the entire column at World Politics Review.

11:24AM

Time's Battleland: "Pakistan: indispensable to US security?"

I am amazed at how quickly the Obama administration is going out of its way to assure everyone that we're sticking with Pakistan for the long haul no matter what. No discussion and little explanation, it's just assumed that Pakistan becomes the new indispensable partner that anchors US national security, even as every day reveals some new aspect where we clearly don't trust the government, military or secret police whatsoever.

Read the entire post at Time's Battleland blog.

1:05PM

WPR's The New Rules: For U.S., Abandoning the Middle East not a Solution

America's successful assassination of Osama bin Laden, long overdue, naturally renews talk across the country about ending the nation's military involvement in Afghanistan-Pakistan. Coupled with the ongoing tumult unleashed by the Arab Spring, Washington is once again being encouraged to reconsider its strategic relationship with the troubled Middle East. The underlying current to this debate has always been the widely held perception that America's "oil addiction" tethers it to the unstable region. Achieve "energy independence," we are told, and America would free itself of this terrible burden.

Read the entire column at World Politics Review.

11:28AM

Latin America turning to East, but not exactly in China's pocket yet.

The FT has a curious headline on this piece, which kicks off a special section on "new trade routes" for Latin America.  It says, "China is now region's biggest partner."

A region once known for instability has sailed through the global financial crisis. Poverty is falling, the middle classes booming, and asset markets bubbling.

This is due to a spectacular expansion of commodity-based trade. Over the past decade, fast-growing emerging countries, be they in Asia, India or Africa, have shown a near insatiable demand for the commodities that Latin America has in such abundance, whether Argentine soya, Brazilian iron ore, Chilean copper or Peruvian gold.

The change has been rapid: in 1999, trade betwen Latin America and China was a mere $8bn. By 2009, according to UN figures, it had grown 16 times to $130bn. By comparison, bilateral trade with the US rose by just a half over the same period.

Less well appreciated is how intra-Latin American trade has grown over the same period. During the colonial years, neighbouring countries were more likely to trade with Europe than each other. Now, growing business and infrastructure links are bridging Latin America’s huge geographical obstacles – its vast forests and giant mountain ranges – knitting the region’s economies together.

If anything, the pace of change has increased since the global financial crisis. Developed markets remain mired in sluggish growth and high debt. Meanwhile, emerging economies are surging ahead; they now account for three-quarters of global economic growth, according to the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB).

The rising middle classes of the emerging world are behind this shift. They aspire to own the same homes and cars, and eat the same foods, as their peers in the developed world. As a result, their economies have a higher propensity to consume the commodities that Latin America produces.

Most dynamic new partner, yes, but the same piece later states that US trade with the region was $486B in 2009, or "almost four times China's total." If US trade grew by half over the last decade, then it grew in the range of about $150B, or more than China's entire amount.

Piece also says that 90% of the FDI flowing into the region's two biggest economies, Mexico and Brazil, come from OECD or Old Core economies.

Would seem that an editor got excited.

10:42AM

WPR's The New Rules: Glass Half Full on Obama's New National Security Team

President Barack Obama reshuffled his national security team last week, and the reviews were overwhelmingly positive. The White House proclaimed that this was the "strongest possible team," leaving unanswered the question, "Toward what end?" Obama's choices represent the continued reduction of the role of security as an administration priority. That fits into his determined strategy to reduce America's overseas military commitments amid the country's ongoing fiscal distress. Obama foresees a smaller, increasingly background role for U.S. security in the world, and these selections feed that pattern.

Read the entire column at World Politics Review.

9:17AM

Arming the Libyan rebels

NYT coverage of the debate in Washington about whether or not to arm the rebels.

Right up to this point, everything I've ever come across or anyone I've ever spoken with has said there are only trace amounts of al-Qaeda affiliated elements in Libya.  Now, of all a sudden, people are talking like maybe it's majority AQ, which strikes me as nonsense. Piece here quotes Mr. Terror Blurb himself, Bruce Reidel, saying it could be 2% or 80% - we don't know.  Frankly, again, slapping that level of SWAG on our understanding seems silly.

We know this:  plenty of Libyans showed up as fly-in jihadists in Iraq during the civil war period there, meaning they mixed it up with AQ then.  Does that make them AQ forever?  It certainly makes them opportunists.  All it really tells me is that there's an underemployed class of young men in Libya who, in the absence of other opportunities, will go where the fight is.  Nothing unique there.  

There's also al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), but that group has frankly struggled to be taken seriously as a force, as it's mostly a relabeling of an existing group that was going nowhere (bigger the territory in the title, more likely, in my mind, that it's not exactly succeeding anywhere). Up to now, no one has portrayed that group as Libyan-centric.  Yes, they will show up, but that's standard.  The reality, as noted in the piece, is that you have to train on what you provide, so we'll have people on the ground (besides the CIA already there).  If things go really sour, then we burn that bridge when we come to it.  But this is not a logical showstopper.  A Libyan long divided in two and suffering civil conflict will do the same - or far better - for AQIM than a concerted arms push to dethrone the guy.  So, again, factor them in as the cost of doing any sort of business here, but do not elevate them into the decision-tilting bogeyman, because they're not, and speculating in the press doesn't make them so.

So telling me that there are "flickers" (ADM Stavridis' term) doesn't exactly make me hesitate all that much. And raising the specter of Bin Laden in Afghanistan in the 1980s likewise doesn't do a whole lot, because it's not like that experience changed his goals or hatreds one bit in the end (Run the counterfactual and we don't supply the mujuahideen.  Is Bin Laden now our friend and non-terrorist?).  What arms his early AQ people obtained from us were also not exactly used against us, and given all the other arms we sell in this world (half the world's total), citing this "into the hands of AQ" danger is likewise a bit much.  AQ doesn't have a hard time buying small arms.

I'm not saying that all the usual dangers do not apply, because they most certainly do.  I'm just saying that layering on this additional fear factor about "arming al-Qaeda" is a red herring and - by all accounts until suddenly this week - an uninformed one.  I'm prepared to have my mind changed, but let's see the evidence of AQ running that rebel show.  If Mr. Reidel wants to propose an 80% infiltration of the rebel ranks, he should back it up or stop throwing unsubstantiated fears out there.

10:35AM

The neocons own no ideological monopoly on the use of force - or regime change

Bret Stephens in the WSJ brags that "we're (almost) all neocons now," reflecting the silly conceit of that crowd that any use of force or any encouragement of regime change justifies their entire dogma. This is like declaring that all American unionists in the 1930s were puppets of Stalin. The belief in the utility of one common aspect (the worker) does not imply belief in the entire misbegotten ideology (Stalinism).

The neocons were, and remain, about so much more than just the use of force or the concept of regime change, two means used by every president of recent decades.  They were about primacy. They were about using force to maintain US primacy.  The goal of primacy?  More primacy.

Their ideology, as a means of expressing what has been the US grand strategy, with one notable lapse, since the turn of the 20th century (Open Door), is inherently anti-American.  It takes the exceptionalism argument to extreme lengths.  It places little to no faith in waiting on economics to determine politics.  But, again, at the end of the day, it demands that the US remain the prime power in the system - ad infinitum.  So it fundamentally rejects the outcome of the Open Door grand strategic impulse, which is peacefully rising great powers all over the map.  

Also, because it demands primacy, it demands unilateralism in decision-making (not seen in Libya) and requires near-monopolistic ownership of the resulting situation.  The US owns Afghanistan, not NATO, and it has sought to limit the ability of neighboring powers (Iran, India, Turkey, China, Russia) to influence the evolution there. Same story in Iraq, where we obsess over Iranian influence and worry over the Turks - and the Chinese as they move in.  In short, we still run both situations in far too much of a neocon fashion - Obama included.  So there the charge lingers.

But not on Libya.  Not by a long shot.

The neocons hated the Balkans show, and hated Clinton's takedown of Milosevic.  This resembles that far more than Iraq, which was run incredibly badly primarily to avoid the perception of a repeat of the Balkans.  And we paid plenty in blood and treasure - unnecessarily - for that ideological vanity.

Stephens would do better than to offer such a weak defense of a very discredited ideology.

12:01AM

WPR Feature: Demand as Power in a Resilient Global Order

One of the most revealing features of today's international system is that only two nations, America and China, possess sufficient power to truly disrupt it -- either directly, through the application of military force, or indirectly, by unleashing an uncontainable economic crisis. In fact, to truly derail globalization in its current trajectory, the two would need to act in concert, either by fighting each other directly or experiencing simultaneous economic collapses. Short of those two scenarios, modern globalization remains highly resilient to shocks of all sorts. That resilience is the only power that really matters in this world. It defines our global present, and it enables a global future worth attaining.

Read the entire feature at World Politics Review.

9:31AM

WPR's The New Rules: Obama Abdicating U.S. Leadership in Libya

If President Barack Obama's handling of the events in Libya exemplifies his own definition of a "post-American world," then we have moved past a G-Zero reality, which is how Nouriel Roubini and Ian Bremmer described a G-20 that can't agree on how to rebalance global power, and into what I would describe as the "G-Less-Than-Zero" world, where America purposefully abdicates its global leadership role.

Read the entire column at World Politics Review.

1:30PM

Appearance on "The Alyona Show"

 

Where I blew it:  I moved around too much.  I have a terribly hard time holding still, because the more still I am, the more boring I am, and the more I move, the better I sound--but don't look.  I also got too close at points, letting my chin get covered by byline and making me too big relative to her in the 2-shot look.  Next time I will hang a cut-out over the screen so I know where my head should be.  Beware the big head!

It is a conundrum.

Other thing:  I have a clip-on mike that I could have and should have used!  Could have lit myself better too. Next time I will do better.

I had spent a good chunk of time just beforehand spreading mulch outside--hence the raccoon-like lower eyelids.

I will say, though, so much nicer just to do from office as opposed to the 2-3 hour effort to go all the way downtown, etc.  that part I simply love.

8:51AM

WPR's The New Rules: U.S. Should Pursue 'Open Door,' not Primacy

The decline of the American "empire" has been a persistent theme of the punditocracy these past several years, with the underlying logic being Washington's inability to extend, ad infinitum, the primacy seemingly conferred upon it at Cold War's end. The global financial crisis has now further revealed a suddenly -- and stunningly -- rebalanced global order, and as a result, Americans are supposed to dread the vast uncertainties of our allegedly "post-American world."

Read the entire column at World Politics Review.

8:18PM

Wikistrat Strategic War Room on Egypt: Scenario Dynamics Grid online and available for voting

 

This front page, summarizing 4 implied scenario pathways (Egyptian people win . . . fast!, Egyptian people win . . . more slow, Regime holds on, Military steps in) in columns going L to R, is available to view, with voting encouraged across the four scenarios.  

But rather than emphasizing the sequencing of those four paths, we array them across a series of issues:

 

  • How the protests unfold
  • Regime response
  • US response
  • Regional response
  • Global response
  • Tipping point
  • Exit glidepath

 

So you get a chance to vote for one of four in each of those four scenario points.

9:00AM

On NPR's "All Things Considered" Weekend Edition with Guy Raz

Did the interview in local PBS studio back on the 6th during snowstorm.  Was told by host Guy Raz that I would be mixed in with Gideon "Zerosum" Rachman of FT and Jim Fallows of Atlantic. Latter apparently didn't happen, because the 11 mins is just Rachman and I.Guy Raz

Here's the excerpt from the site text on the segment, which is labeled, "The U.S. And China: Rivals That May Need Each Other":

Chinese President Hu Jintao's scheduled visit to the White House this week comes at critical moment in U.S.-China relations.

America has entered a new year with a rising national debt and deficit projections. Meanwhile, China continues its ascent as a global economic player. In the years to come, an economically bruised U.S. may have to share the superpower spotlight with the competition.

Still, former Pentagon strategist Thomas P.M. Barnett tells NPR's Guy Raz, American hype over China's rise is overblown, while foreign affairs commentator Gideon Rachman predicts that China-U.S. relations will get "bumpier" over the next few years . . .

Go here for the audio and "story."

Tomorrow or Thursday:  Jim Fallow's various posted responses to the segment.

9:22AM

WPR's The New Rules: Why America Needs to Demonize China

President Barack Obama came into office promising a new sort of bilateral relationship with China. It was not meant to be. Washington hasn't changed any of its long list of demands regarding China, and Beijing, true to historical form, has gone out of its way to flex its muscles as a rising power. With the recent series of revelations concerning Chinese military developments, the inside-the-Beltway hyping of the Chinese threat has reached fever pitch, matching the average American's growing fears of China's economic strength.

Read the entire column at World Politics Review.

12:01AM

Nice piece in FT on upcoming summit needing to defuse US-PRC tensions

Philip Stephens in Thursday's FT on the deterioration of the past year or so:

“You started it” has thus far been the shared refrain. So Mr Hu will be tempted to protest that the second of the two developments flowed from the first: the chill was a consequence of a US strategy to contain China. Mr Obama’s riposte will be that America’s diplomatic and military re-engagement in the region was an inevitable response to China’s decision to throw its weight around.

The sad thing is, how much this sounds like two children arguing.

Now to the real underlying tensions, which hardliners are taking advantage of.  Naturally, this was the guiding dynamic for our (Center for America-China Partnership) recent "term sheet" proposal for Hu and Obama:

This, of course, is before the two leaders get to the economics. Most of the headlines from Mr Hu’s state visit next week will probably be generated by differences over trade and exchange rate policy. China’s huge trade surplus generates strong protectionist pressure in the US. Washington’s oft-repeated demand for revaluation of the renminbi is seen in Beijing as unwarranted intrusion in China’s economic affairs.

These are the issues where the domestic political pressures most obviously bite. Mr Obama is presiding over a jobless recovery. Mr Hu is under constant pressure from the Chinese exporters who have driven the country’s growth.

The best point, which starts fleshing out our term sheet:

Taking a longer view, the success or failure of the White House summit will depend on whether the two presidents manage to break out of the loop of deepening mistrust over the balance of power in east Asia. The dangerous flashpoints in the relationship are to be found on the Korean peninsula and the seas off China’s eastern coastline.

On the face of it, there are powerful incentives to defuse the tensions. Neither country has anything to gain from an escalation of what already looks like an east Asian arms race. [emphasis mine] Both, albeit in different ways, are threatened by the unpredictability of the nuclear-armed regime in Pyongyang.

A longer bit reciting the recent Gates trip, J-20 show, etc.

The response of the People’s Liberation Army was to stage-manage the maiden flight of its new stealth fighter jet only hours before Mr Gates’s meeting with Mr Hu. The test of the hitherto secret J-20 inevitably fanned speculation about a power grab by China’s military chiefs.

Frankly, the rush to judgment on that last bit strikes me as silly.  Gates reads a face and assumes he knows how the Chinese portray surprise v. embarrassment v. putting on a good show ("What?  I know of no test" and so on).  Honestly, the speculation here, some by very experienced analysts on our side, is embarrassingly broad.

Chinese foreign policy experts acknowledge the rising influence of the PLA. Some of them worry about it. China’s economic rise, they say, has made the case for a rapid expansion of military capabilities to match the country’s burgeoning interests and vulnerabilities. The booming economy has provided the PLA with the wherewithal, while its leadership has proved adept at harnessing popular nationalism.

Can I get a "duh!" on all that.  Normal stuff for a rising power, and not at all illogical or particularly "provocative" as long as we act like adults.

The risks of misunderstanding and miscalculation reach beyond the particular ambitions of the PLA. Washington, too, has its hawks. What’s worrying is that the political leaderships of the two countries have thus far failed to provide an alternative narrative.

The true missing piece:  the "alternative narrative."  That's what the term sheet is for.

In the US administration’s version of events, Mr Obama’s offer in 2009 of a strategic partnership was misinterpreted by Beijing as admission of US decline.

Oh my, can we put away our shame for a second here and remember who we are?

China saw an America gripped by the financial crisis and facing secular decline. Its response was to push around its neighbours, to take a tougher line on Taiwan, to harden its maritime claims and step up the missile and other weapons programmes specifically designed to counter US access to the region.

All stipulated.  

In the Chinese account, the trouble began with US arms sales to Taiwan, its welcome for the Dalai Lama, its support for Japan in the disputed East China Sea and its declaration of a national interest in the South China Sea. Whatever Washington might say about partnership, its regional alliance-building, notably with India, and a provocative series of US military exercises smacked of a strategy of containment.

The second great "duh!" of the piece, but Stephens has to include, because that's how weak our dialogue on this subject has been.  We need to be reminded of our own actions and their consequences.  To me, this says the Obama crowd ain't all that different from the neocons.  The primacy impulse is still there--as in, "we call the shots, and you do the dance!"

A more objective view would say China did misjudge the reaction both in the region and in Washington to its more combative stance.

Clearly.  Point is, Beijing's reaction was not unjustified.  You're not paranoid if everyone around you is plotting against you.

In any event, you do not have to take sides to see where the present standoff is leading. China builds new weapons systems designed to push US forces farther from its coastline; the US develops countermeasures. The hawks’ prediction of inevitable confrontation then becomes self-fulfilling as mistrust feeds miscalculation.

Couldn't agree more.

There is no easy way out of this loop. China will continue to build its military and to stake its claim to a pre-eminent role in its own backyard. That is what rising powers do. The US is not about to abandon its role as the guardian of east Asian security. Great powers do not readily hand over to new ones. Anyway, most of the countries in the neighbourhood want the US to stay.

All true.

Washington is not trying to contain China. It knows the attempt would be futile.

Wrong.  Washington is being granted too much intelligence and foresight here by Stephens, who does not realize how strong the big war crowd is at the Pentagon.  Clapper was one thing, but just watch when RMAer Michael Vickers becomes USec for Intell.  Expect a steady stream of analysis on China as the looming big threat.  I could be wrong, but I see the combo of go light on terror (footprint) and go heavy on China as the new preferred mix in the PNT.  I think this is dreaming, because I know China will disappoint and Al Qaeda will not.

FT piece ends with a vague bit of, Can't we all just get along.

But other than the end, solid logic throughout and a great piece to see in the FT.

My WPR piece on Monday will extend this logic considerably:  It is entitled, "The Top Ten Reasons Why Washington Must Demonize China."

 

12:01AM

I join the Center for America-China Partnership

 

Happy and excited to join the team/theme.  

 

8:59AM

WPR's The New Rules: A Wish List for the New Year

To kick off 2011, I thought I'd put together my top-10 international affairs wish list for the year, going from left to right on my wall map. But like Spinal Tap, only better, my list goes to 12:

Read the entire column at World Politics Review.

2:30PM

China - US Grand Strategy Agreement Proposal

PRESS RELEASE
For Immediate Release: 31 December 2010

A proposed China-US Grand Strategy Executive Agreement between Presidents Hu and Obama formally delivered today to the China’s State Council and U.S. Ambassador was drafted by John Milligan-Whyte, Dai Min and Dr. Thomas P.M. Barnett with input from China’s:

  - Former Minister of Foreign Affairs;
  - Former UN ambassador,
  - Former U.S. ambassador,
  - Former Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the PLA,
  - Former Military Attaché to North Korea and Israel,
  - Former Vice Minister of Commerce,
  - President of Shanghai Institutes of International Studies,
  - China’s Central Party School Institute of International Strategic Studies,
  - Chinese People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs,
  - China Center for International Economic Exchanges,
  - China Institute For International Strategic Studies,
  - China Foundation for International & Strategic Studies,
  - Boao Forum,
  - China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations.

The resulting final text of the proposed executive agreement published in China Daily Online, World Politics Review and Seeking Alpha is posted for free download in the publication section at www.CenterACP.com.

The purpose of the executive agreement is to ensure that U.S. and China balance their bilateral investment and trade, never go to war with each other, the US will refrain from seeking regime change and interference in China's internal affairs and China will continue its political, legal, economic reforms.

It combines in three pages a comprehensive package of bilateral and multilateral breakthroughs not otherwise achievable in 2011 for:

  - U.S. economic recovery,
  - Increasing U.S. exports to China,
  - Balancing China-US trade,
  - Creating 12 million US jobs,
  - Reducing U.S. government deficits and debt,
  - Stabilizing the dollar, global currency and bond markets,
  - Protecting the security of sea transport,
  - Rebuilding failed states,
  - Reforming international institutions,
  - Ensuring collaboration on climate change remediation, energy efficiency, and affordable green technologies essential for rapid and effective pollution remediation globally.

To achieve greater economic stability it provides the new grand strategy and framework that align the economic and national security of the U.S. and China, which 192 other nations depend upon for economic recovery. Creating 12 million jobs for Americans in 2011-2012is essential for the U.S.’s economic recovery and creating support for the executive agreement among Democratic and Republican members of Congress, governors, mayors and the American people. In order to create the12 million U.S. jobs:

  - Chinese companies will invest up to 1 trillion U.S. dollars at the request of the U.S. President,
  - The U.S. will lift export bans on high technology,
  - China will purchase sufficient U.S. goods and services to balance their bilateral trade each year,
  - The Strategic and Economic Dialogues will become a permanently sitting commission for constant senior-level collaboration,
  - U.S. companies’ access to the Chinese market will be equal to the access that Chinese companies have in the U.S. market,
  - The U.S. and China will encourage global joint ventures between U.S. and Chinese companies.

To achieve greater geopolitical stability the executive agreement provides that:

  - The U.S. and China will hold regular joint naval exercises in Asian waters, with invitations to other regional navies; have permanent officer-exchange programs and create a joint peacekeeping force and command; and establish a joint commission collaborating constantly on U.S. and PRC technology sharing and budget expenditures.
  - There will be a reduction of China’s strike forces arrayed against Taiwan, a U.S. moratorium on arms transfers to Taiwan, and a reduction of U.S. strike forces arrayed against China. - China and the U.S. will support a reunification of North and South Korea. The U.S. will eschew its regime change goals for North Korea, which will terminate its nuclear weapons program, and China will assist North Korea’s economic reforms.
  - The U.S. and its allies will not attack or seek regime change and will eliminate trade restrictions against Iran and China will encourage Iran to suspend development of nuclear weapons.
  - China will create and invest in a South China Sea Regional Joint Development Corporation with other shareholders that have conflicting sovereignty claims and negotiate the eventual resolution of sovereignty disputes on the basis of the 2002 Declaration of the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea.
  - The U.S. and China will harmonize and coordinate their roles in Asian Economic and Regional Security and relations.

The executive agreement is not a treaty, does not require U.S. Senate confirmation, does not constitute a "G2" or an alliance between the U.S. and China, nor replace existing U.S. alliances. It is an improved framework for collaboration among all UN members pursuant to the Preamble and Article I of the U.N. Charter.

12:01AM

More Chinese media coverage

Seemingly, a second Phoenix TV story on the "term sheet" discussion coverage.

My WPR column of this week (Obstacles to a U.S.-China Partnership Made in U.S.A.?) gets translated into Chinese and then posted by:

The Chinese essay on the "term sheet" in Lianhezaobao(联合早报) of Singapore has been re-posted by the two influential website of China. See below:
1:00AM

Our plans to bomb the length and breadth of China

From AirSea Battle:  A Point-of-Departure Operational Concept, by Jan Van Tol and others at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.

Under the section, "Blind PLA ISR Systems," this is the map of all the sites we'd presumably want to bomb as early in the campaign as possible:

Then in the section, "Executing a Missile Suppression Campaign," here's all the sites we'd want to hit early as well:

Then here's the sub bases we'd need to strike as part of our "Defeating the PLA submarine force":

It's interesting for our president to meet China's and sign a joint declaration where both sides say they don't consider the other to be an enemy and then to have a Pentagon-favorite military think tank publish maps of strike sites all over China that we'd want to hit in the opening days of our war with the Mainland over Taiwan.

When you're that open with your plans, it's hard to describe anything the Chinese do in return as particularly "provocative." And yet, we do offer Beijing the benefit of our transparency on the subject.

Me?  If somebody publishes maps of the U.S. delineating all the places they'd want to bomb on the first day of the war . . . I'd take that kinda personally.  No, I'm not naive enough to believe the Chinese don't have theirs. But it takes a certain chutzpah to publish yours so openly while decrying Chinese "provocations" and "throwing their weight around."  China hasn't waged war in a very long time.  The U.S. does so regularly.  Whose maps should we take more seriously?

I know, I know. We must think these bad thoughts in order to prevent their occurrence. I'm sure we have similar maps for every country in the world yes?  Just to be certain?

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