U.S. Navy Secretary Wants To Use Military Force To Keep China ‘in Line’
Oct. 6, 2021 (EIRNS)—U.S. Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro delivered a speech to midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy last night, in which he described a new strategic guidance document which amounts to a plan for the U.S. Navy to dominate the world’s oceans and keep China under control.
“The desired goal, quite frankly, is not to fight China. No one wants to enter into a conflict. ... It’s our ultimate responsibility to deter them from what they’re trying to accomplish, including taking over Taiwan. So it’s incredibly important ... that we make the investments now, this year, as necessary to actually be able to focus more so on China and many of the other threats that we sometimes face around the world,”
Del Toro described China as the first strategic competitor that the U.S. has faced since the end of the Cold War, one that has a larger navy than that of the U.S. “But it’s not just ships and weapons that concern me,” he went on. “It’s what Beijing does as it strives to achieve leverage over its competitors. It uses every advantage in a coercive, extractive, and dangerously irresponsible manner.” Such measures, he claimed, include predatory lending to take control of infrastructure and resources in other countries, diplomatic leverage to expand its sphere of influence, stealing personal information and intellectual property and so on. “And finally, it’s using military leverage to threaten its neighbors, challenge established norms, and attempt to control international waters as its own.”
In response to this alleged threat, the U.S. Navy is making investments in shipyards and maintenance depots and other readiness enablers, as well, to ensure those platforms and weapons could remain in the fight. “Artificial intelligence. Cybersecurity. Unmanned platforms. Directed energy. Hypersonic weapons. Distributed power. These are the frontiers that will define your advantage against the People’s Republic of China, and it’s crucial that we field them expeditiously,” he said to the midshipmen.
But keeping China “in line” isn’t just about the South China Sea. “The Chinese are everywhere: they’re down the Pacific coast of Central and South America, they’re down the West Coast of Africa, for example, and it’s so important for us to be able to continue to engage with our maritime partners around the world to better understand why is it their countries are making the investments they’re making” with China under its Belt and Road Initiative and if there are safer ways the U.S. can help these countries solve their problems without becoming economically or militarily beholden to China, he said.