Nov 9, 2021
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American generals are not ready to fight China

General Mark Milli: China today has capabilities in space, cyberspace, on land, at sea, in the air, under water

The US leadership began to consider various scenarios of actions in the event of a military confrontation between the US and China over Taiwan.

The US military could protect Taiwan from a potential Chinese attack if asked to do so, said General Mark Milli, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. “In the near future, probably not, but anything can happen.”– he added, speaking at the 12th Security Forum at the Aspen Institute (Aspen Security Forum)

Such conferences are annually organized by the Strategic Group of the Institute (Aspen Strategy Group) and are conducted with the participation of politicians, government and military leaders, experts and journalists from the United States and foreign countries. Among the participants in the forum, held in early November, there were many current and former high-ranking officials of the US administration, as well as generals who determine Washington’s military strategy.

The conference was opened by a speech by the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff. Mark Milli says the world today is potentially dangerous. In his opinion, the United States is entering a three-way war between the great powers, to which he attributed America, Russia and China. And they “have to be very careful” with each other. “Coordinated communication between the great powers will become a necessity” – added General Millie.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, US Army General Mark A. Milli.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, US Army General Mark A. Milli. Photo:

Such restraint is rare among US politicians. For example, speaking at the same forum, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, urged USA “Make it clear to China what a significant price it will pay if it uses force to try to invade and take over Taiwan.”

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is often criticized for acting like a politician and not like a general. For example, some time ago he said that his commander-in-chief, President Trump, could abuse his powers to attack Iran. Washington Post noted on this occasion that General Millie “Goes beyond its role as military adviser to the president”

At the same time, some forces in the United States would like the high-ranking general to silently work out the version about the inevitability of a military conflict with China. Opponents of Millie’s restraint on China remind him that he called his Chinese counterpart twice for fears Trump might provoke a war with China after losing the election. In telephone conversations, Milli sought to reassure Lee that the United States was not going to attack, and in the event of an attack, he would warn his colleague in advance, the report said.

Such, in fact, an unthinkable step has become possible only now – in a world where the United States is gradually decreasing, and China is growing and developing.

In fact, American generals do not oppose the White House. They call on the government to realistically assess the changed balance of military forces. In an interview Washington Times Lieutenant General Hinote, Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategy, admitted how quickly the Chinese armed forces accelerated the development and modernization of hypersonic weapons, nuclear arsenal, surface and submarine naval forces, and strategic aviation. The Pentagon and the intelligence community misjudged the Chinese military; Such miscalculations, says Hinote, did not happen with the USSR at the height of the Cold War.

Photo: REUTERS / Jason Lee

The Deputy Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Hayten, told reporters that “Their pace [китайцев] advancements and the trajectory along which they move will surpass Russia and the United States “… The general called for something to be done to prevent this from happening.

Hayten said America has conducted nine hypersonic tests in the past five years, while “the Chinese have conducted hundreds.” The unsuccessful test in the United States of a hypersonic gliding apparatus confirmed the general’s point of view. The Pentagon described the failure of the tests as a failure in the race to develop the latest hypersonic weapons with Russia and China.

In August this year, according to media reports, China tested a hypersonic weapon capable of carrying nuclear weapons. It is assumed that, in theory, this missile can evade US missile defense systems. Chinese officials say they have tested reusable spacecraft technologies.

Chinese warship warns US destroyer

Chinese warship warns US destroyer

At the Aspen Security Forum, General Milli noted that hypersonic technology is just one area in which China has made significant progress. In the meantime, the US Department of Defense confirms that last year China adopted the DF-17, a medium-range ballistic missile capable of launching a hypersonic glider.

In addition to developing hypersonic missiles, China is rapidly expanding its nuclear arsenal and could have 1,000 nuclear warheads by the end of the decade, according to a Pentagon report released on November 3. The report was released hours after General Milli gave an analysis of China’s military progress. At the Aspen Forum, Milli summed up his assessments of China: “Forty years ago it was a very large infantry based on a peasant base, mostly army. Today it has capabilities in space, cyberspace, on land, at sea, in the air, under water. “

According to Milli, Beijing challenged America not only regionally, but globally: a country emerged among the opponents of the United States, “Which is becoming unusually powerful and wants to redefine the international order in its own interests”

One can agree that China does not intend to follow the rules of the world order established by the Americans. There is no doubt that America will fight this. The question is the likelihood of an armed conflict. Today, relations between China and Taiwan, at the center of growing US-China tensions, are at their lowest. The risk of military confrontation is not diminishing.

Adapted from: REUTERS / Amanda Voisard

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