Written by Eric Zuesse
U.S. strategy against Russia must succeed in order to make success of U.S. strategy against China possible; Ukraine is the U.S. proxy against Russia, and Taiwan is the U.S. proxy against China. Ukraine became a U.S. ‘ally’ or vassal-nation in 2014, but Taiwan isn’t yet officially a U.S. ‘ally’ or vassal-nation.
The plan by the U.S. Government to add Taiwan to its empire has already been made public by U.S. military officials (who will be quoted extensively below here); and, as announced, it builds upon these two models:
- the U.S. Government’s determination to outlast Russia’s Government in the Ukrainian war and to use that example — winning against Russia — in order to solidify and grow the U.S. regime’s alliances with (the vassalages of) other major maritime nations, so that those other maritime nations will join America’s war to consume Taiwan, just as Britain still consumes the Falklands. (Both the Falklands and Taiwan are islands claimed by a [U.S./UK] ‘enemy’ [Argentina or China] as being its territory.) America therefore must first defeat Russia, before it defeats China — and, then, it will control the world; and the U.N. will be nothing more than a virtue-signaling international talking-forum, nothing of a setter of international laws, which will instead be replaced by America’s own “rules-based international order.” Global rule by the U.S./UK empire is the ultimate objective. (Supporters of this objective are commonly called “neoconservatives,” which is an international-affairs ideology that all of the leaders and public officials in all political Parties in both the UK and the U.S. support, and it is sometimes referred to as “the Special Relationship” — see this, and especially this — between the U.S. and the UK, to control, ultimately, the entire world.)
- the example of UK’s success in the 1982 Falklands War, which gave Britain control over the Falkland Islands, so that, as Wikipedia says, “In 1994, Argentina adopted a new constitution,which declared the Falkland Islands as part of one of its provinces by law.However, the islands continue to operate as a self-governing British Overseas Territory.” In other words: the U.S./UK regime plans for Taiwan “to continue to operate as a self-governing U.S. overseas territory.” (UK will thus regain control over China, by using the U.S., exactly in the way that Cecil Rhodes had drawn up in 1877 and carried through by the terms of his will setting up the Rhodes Trust in 1902, with Winston Churchill being a key part of the operation during subsequent decades.)
Here are the details, the whole plan (to conquer both Russia and China), as described by American military planners:
- On 10 November 2022, the South China Morning Post bannered “Top US general vows military support for Taiwan, warns Beijing against conflict”, and reported:
A top US military officer pledged to support Taiwan militarily while warning Beijing to learn from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The remarks were made by General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, during an event in New York on Wednesday.
“The US is committed through the Taiwan Relations Act, and President Biden has said on many occasions recently that the United States will continue to support Taiwan,” Milley said.
“We will support them militarily … We would try to help train them and equip them.” …
“A lesson that comes out of Ukraine for China is that war on paper and real war are two different things. And what they have seen was a tremendous strategic miscalculation,” he said.
“I think President Xi is taking a step back and … he’s evaluating the situation.”
Milley said it would be hard for Beijing to carry out an amphibious attack across the Taiwan Strait.
“That’s really difficult,” he said. “It’s really hard. And I think they’re coming to realise that and they’re probably evaluating the situation and recalculating what they might do.”
The 1979 Taiwan Relations Act, which governs US ties with Taipei, requires the United States to ensure the self-ruled island has the resources for self-defence and to prevent any unilateral change of status by Beijing. But it does not require the US to defend the island militarily. …
Xi told the congress that the PLA should reach its target of becoming a world-class military capable of winning “regional wars”.
Milley said China wanted to achieve global military superiority by the middle of the century and regional superiority by 2027. …
The U.S. objective is therefore to force China to invade Taiwan before 2027, while America still has the ability to defeat a Chinese invasion from the mainland. But in order to force such an invasion, the U.S. would first need to provoke a blockade of Taiwan by the mainland forces. The way to do that is to flood Taiwan with U.S.-and-allied weapons and training in how to use them, so as to make increasingly difficult for the mainland to enforce a Chinese blockade and take over the island; but, also, for the U.S. and its allied forces to break through that blockade. This latter — the means of breaking through — is where #2 comes into play:
- On 1 October 2022, the U.S. Naval Institute Magazine (or “Proceedings”) headlined “Prepare the Logistics to Break a Chinese Blockade of Taiwan: If China attempts a quarantine of Taiwan, the United States and its allies must be prepared to quickly deploy merchant shipping.” It said:
U.S. shipping will be vital to ensuring Taiwan retains access to the global logistics supply chain and matériel. Unfortunately, the U.S. merchant fleet is a shadow of its World War II zenith. Globalization and the complexity of global supply chains have eroded the reach of U.S. merchant shipping; just 125 U.S. naval supply ships currently are in service and some 140 U.S.-flagged merchant ships globally.1
Luckily, there are historical blueprints for achieving success in either scenario: Great Britain’s Ships Taken Up from Trade (STUFT) of Falklands War fame and Operation Earnest Will from the Gulf War each illuminates a path for the United States to quickly generate and protect a naval logistics enterprise. These events are ripe with lessons that should be considered as the United States marshals resources for a potential conflict in the Indo-Pacific.
The Falklands War is frequently held up as an example of what a modern, “missile age” naval conflict might look like. One often-studied aspect of the conflict is the herculean logistics enterprise that sustained a carrier strike group at the ends of the earth for 74 days. STUFT was the key legal mechanism employed by the Admiralty to requisition British-flagged ships for government use to move men, matériel, and stores to the theater of operations. From luxury liners converted to troop carriers to fishing trawlers converted to submarine hunters, 47 British commercial vessels were activated at the behest of the First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Henry Leach, who stated simply, “Man and support the Fleet. Money is no object.”2
When Great Britain emerged victorious from the Falklands conflict, the fusion of military and commerce was cited as a critical enabler of a victory more than 8,000 miles away and some 3,500 miles from the nearest friendly port. Though the Admiralty was able to retrofit and get its fleet of STUFT sailors underway mere weeks after hostilities began, its legal authority was rooted in three major factors.
First, the “Royal Prerogative,” the loosely defined residual powers of the Crown, held by the king or queen and delegated to the executive arms, gave the government the power to requisition ships. This authority dates to as early as 1138 CE.3 Second, the 1907 Hague Convention (VII) outlined policy governing how nations may convert merchant ships to warships. …
Last, a six-part criteria governing a merchant ship’s transition to combatant was met that allowed the vessels to retain the privileges of a warship, including mandates governing flag state, crewing, and adherence to the laws of war.4
These measures allowed the Admiralty to convert commercial ships to lawful combatants and scale its transport fleet in just seven weeks, birthing the logistical enterprise necessary to win a war on the other side of the planet.
Operation Earnest Will
If the Falklands War offers a template for how the United States could assemble a commercial-military fleet, Operation Earnest Will demonstrates why one may be necessary. …
In post-conflict arbitration of the Falklands War, Argentina levied several complaints of improper behavior at Britain. The British cruise liner Queen Elizabeth II, employed as a troop transport, was cited for improperly flying noncombatant flags when, as a warship under Hague conventions, she could have been subject to lawful attack from Argentinian forces.7
While Argentina may only have been able to take issue with elements of STUFT’s legal credibility following the cessation of hostilities, China undoubtedly would not make the same mistake. Given China’s access to global media outlets and international governance mechanisms such as the United Nations, one can assume that a major international effort led by the United States to build a blockade-breaking merchant fleet would face myriad attempts at sabotage, destruction, and delegitimization well before hoisting colors. …
If the United States and its allies attempt to undermine a quarantine of Taiwan, they will need to be aware they will be repudiating a competitor whose credibility, at home and abroad, relies on the success of the operation. A logistics mission of this nature cannot singlehandedly end such a conflict, but it can serve as a basis for de-escalation, giving ample breathing room for diplomatic negotiations before a strained geopolitical situation boils over into open conflict. Therefore, such an operation cannot be intended purely for stability’s sake. It will need to be scoped and prepared for with the realistic expectation that unless diplomacy or other international pressures external to the actual operation defuse the situation, the situation likely will escalate into open hostilities.
Current Sea State
The Falklands War and Operation Earnest Will present two examples of a modern, mass mobilization of merchant fleets to augment the military. For a presumed conflict in the Indo-Pacific, this military-civil fusion will have to take place on a much larger scale. …
Given the insufficiency of the U.S. maritime logistics apparatus, recapitalization alone will not meet the demands of a future conflict. In austere budget environments, bold spending to address the gap in logistics capability is unlikely. Further, given the intractable nature of Jones Act reform, it is unrealistic to assume the legislation could be altered on a timeline necessary to meet the moment. To address the gap between U.S. logistics capabilities and needs, low-cost, high-yield solutions must be emphasized. Given these considerations, the United States should take a two-pronged approach. …
This is a score on which the United States and its allies have already made considerable progress. Of the Quad nations, Australia and India have begun using variants of the MH-60 Seahawk helicopter, and Japan has announced intentions to use F-35 variants for carrier aviation. While these efforts are not a panacea for interoperability, it is clear the technical capacity for such measures exists. Fortunately, measures to ensure interoperability are firmly at the Department of Defense level and only require strong communication with counterparts and modest investments to realize them, not vast expenditures or mobilizing enormous fleets.
Reflagging operations. The United States must secure a series of flag-state agreements with commercial carriers and their host nations to protect commercial shipping in the event of a Chinese quarantine or open hostilities and provide credible deterrence against further escalation. The United States needs a system to rapidly acquire scalable tonnage. Fortunately, it has a proven template for executing such an endeavor. The Maritime Security Program (MSP), administered by MarAd, is a public-private partnership that allows the U.S. government to effectively “charter” U.S.-flagged ships with U.S. crews to execute maritime logistics for military operations. Notably, MSP vessels have carried 99 percent of cargoes destined for Afghanistan and Iraq since 2009. The program is currently congressionally capped at 60 vessels, despite efforts to expand capacity.8
Given the gaps in the U.S. commercial fleet’s tonnage, the solution for fielding a scalable logistics solution in such a conflict must come from allies. Such a solution would take features of STUFT, Operation Earnest Will, and the MSP program to rapidly generate sealift capacity.
First, the United States must research and establish a short list of candidate nations. Criteria should include the extent of their trade relationship with Taiwan, volume of shipping tonnage available, and likelihood of their support of assertive operations to counter Chinese hostilities. Several regions offer opportunities, such as Southeast Asia, Europe, Africa, and Latin America. By offering modest subsidies and a planning framework to allies from these areas, the United States could lay the groundwork for deploying a large fleet of allied shipping—flagged, crewed, operated by partners in a broader effort to check Chinese aggression and protected by the laws of armed conflict and U.S. naval power.
Two key considerations should be factored into this calculus. First, ensuring that the companies involved are not underwritten by Chinese investment banks—as of 2018, 3 of the top 15 shipping portfolios, including 2 of the top 5, were held by Chinese banks.7 Further, ensuring that the ships are not crewed by hostile nationalities—in this case, Chinese. Fortunately, as the commercial shipping industry is crewed in large part by Filipino and Indian sailors, this is a secondary consideration.
The scenario in which conflict breaks out is admittedly more complicated. Given the number of Chinese shipping firms and their dominance in world shipping volume, if a conflict were to break out, world maritime shipping would likely bifurcate. Countries that have demonstrated interest in a “Free and Open” Indo-Pacific, such as Germany, France, and Great Britain, likely would side with the United States in such a scenario. These countries, when combined with Nordic shipping companies, have competitive domestic shipping industries that, combined, rival Chinese preeminence in terms of tonnage and dollars invested.
Is there any mystery regarding “Why does the U.S. Government support nazis all around the world?” The U.S. Government (starting on 25 July 1945) continued on from where Germany’s Nazi Government left off — and has been far more successful at it than Hitler’s Government was.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse’s new book, AMERICA’S EMPIRE OF EVIL: Hitler’s Posthumous Victory, and Why the Social Sciences Need to Change, is about how America took over the world after World War II in order to enslave it to U.S.-and-allied billionaires. Their cartels extract the world’s wealth by control of not only their ‘news’ media but the social ‘sciences’ — duping the public.
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