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General Cartwright: We Need To
Not Demonize China, and We Need More
Dialogue with Russia on Missile Defense

May 15, 2012 (EIRNS)—This release was issued today by the Lyndon LaRouche Political Action Committee.

Retired Gen. James Cartwright, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff until last September, urged that we step away from the current strategic direction with regards to both China and Russia, during a luncheon address to the Joint Warfighting Conference in Virginia Beach, Va. today. During his opening remarks, he attacked the ongoing work in the Defense Department on the "Air-Sea Battle concept," a "concept" being jointly developed by the Air Force and the Navy against "anti-access/area denial" measures being taken by certain countries to keep U.S. forces out of range in case of a conflict. While the Pentagon refuses to say the concept is aimed at China (and, to a lesser extent, Iran), its proponents outside the Pentagon have no such restraints. Cartwright simply declared, as a response to this,

"Air-Sea Battle is demonizing China. That's not in anybody's best interests."

During the question-and-answer period, EIR asked Cartwright whether, given Air-Sea Battle and China, and the concerns that the Russians have expressed in recent days about U.S. missile defense policy in Europe, we shouldn't reconsider our strategy towards both Russia and China before we get into a strategic conflict with them.

Cartwright replied by first describing the two concerns that have been expressed to him by Russians with whom he has been in dialogue. One, they're concerned about the possibility of U.S. missile defenses being able to "reach out and touch" their ICBMs and therefore upsetting the balance of power that currently exists between the U.S. and Russia. Secondly, he said, "there's the potential that you could, in fact, generate a scenario in which, in a bolt from the blue, we launch a pre-emptive attack and then use missile defense to weed out their residual fires [that is, retaliatory launch of their remaining ICBMs—Ed.]... We're going to have to think our way out of this. We're going to have to figure out how were going to do this."

The second concern, Cartwright said, comes from the capabilities represented by the Block IIB Standard missiles that are to be installed in Poland and Romania in a couple of years down the road — therefore,

"the question is, should we do that? Maybe we shouldn't. I don't know, yet. There's more dialogue that must occur between now and then, but that's a very good question and we have to find a solution."

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