This article is quite extraordinary. It's like trapped in amber from 15 years ago.… @elyratner A couple of point/counterpoints: 1/
"We'd be wiser to adhere to Physician heal thyself than to scapegoat China." Who's scapegoating China? The oped itself says: "China certainly bears enormous responsibility forpandemic". If that's true -as it is- aren't @SecPompeo @HawleyMO et al right to hold PRC accountable? 2/
#NSS & #NDS "overstate China’s ambitions and capabilities alike. China’s strategic preoccupation, as its 2019 defense white paper makes clear, is maintaining its territorial integrity & internal stability." Is this really using PRC white paper as authoritative source on goals? 3/
"China can best be understood as a regional power that seeks to reduce U.S. influence in its backyard and to increase its influence with its neighbors." Wait. Isn't China now largest economy in world in PPP? Why is its power so limited? 4/
Such a strong state seeking to increase power by necessity is like Jupiter in the Solar System. @haass compares to Mercury or some minor planet. 5/
"And when China does reach farther afield, its instruments tend to be primarily economic." Sure. But what about the global PLA that is emerging?… And what about China's global political coercion?… 6/
This seems like a low bar that's a caricature of the USSR! "Unlike the Soviet Union, China isn’t looking to impose its model on others around the globe or to control international politics in every corner of the world." 7/
China is looking to dominate Asia and then achieve global preeminence.… 8/
"China faces serious limitations in trying to extend its reach and influence. The era of double-digit Chinese economic growth is over." Sure - but what is growth rate of the advanced economies? It's comparative. 9/
"Of course, China poses both an actual and a potential threat—but it’s one that can be addressed without making China the focal point of American foreign policy." Why, given that China is 1st time US is not largest economy in global system since 19th century? 10/
This is the siren song toward failure right here: "the U.S. should push back against China where necessary to defend US interests. As much as possible, however, this competition should be bounded so that it doesn’t preclude cooperation with China in areas of mutual interest." 11/
No hard choices! Cake and eat it too!

America should stick with #NDS #NSS direction in which we're now moving.… 12, END/

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More from @ElbridgeColby

Aug 3
I'm very sympathetic to those who don't want to fight to defend Taiwan. I'm against the forever wars and generally am skeptical about the use of our military.

But defending Taiwan makes sense *for Americans' concrete economic interests, freedoms, and sovereignty*.

Why? 👇 1/
First and foremost, China's ambitions are almost certainly not limited to Taiwan. Rather, they appear to seek first hegemony over Asia and global preeminence from there. How do we know? Well, they say it pretty openly now. Plus they're building a power projection military. 2/
If China achieves this goal, you can be *very confident* that Americans' prosperity and liberties will suffer. Why? China will have a controlling influence over more than 50% of global GDP. It will be the gatekeeper and the center of the global economy. 3/
Read 15 tweets
Jul 13
I'm more and more alarmed about a PRC invasion of Taiwan. Why? It's certainly not because I have any special insight into Xi Jinping's decisionmaking. Nor is it because I have some special insight into the Chinese military. To the contrary, others know more than I about both! 1/
Rather, it's because we're heading to a situation in which it might *be rational* for China to invade Taiwan. Like: It might make instrumental sense for them to do it. *That* really worries me. 2/
Why? Well, they're clearly not going to hoodwink the Taiwanese people into giving up through "political warfare" or what not. Taiwan can see what happened to Hong Kong. And the younger generation is more anti-mainland than the older one: Taiwan is moving away from unification. 3/
Read 12 tweets
Jul 13
"The USAF officer responsible for contracting for the service has issued a stark warning about China’s rapid gains in defense acquisition, with the result its military is now getting its hands on new equipment “five to six times” faster than the US." 1/…
"China increasingly appears to be jockeying for the lead in the development of all kinds of high-end military technologies as part of its broader drive to become a preeminent strategic power." 2/
"The Chinese are also operating far more efficiently. 'In purchasing power parity, they spend about one dollar to our 20 dollars to get the same capability. We are going to lose if we can’t figure out how to drop the cost and increase the speed in our defense supply chains.'" 3/
Read 6 tweets
Jul 13
"Yet, while Kishida is set to make big boosts to defense spending, it will take years for Japan to reach even 2%-of-GDP annual defense allotments. Significantly more than that will be necessary to deter China and provide credible support to the U.S. military in any war..." 1/
"Japan particularly needs more longer-range missiles, submarines, and a higher level of readiness on the part of its naval and air forces." 2/
"Alongside Australia, Japan recognizes that a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, which most U.S. military and intelligence officers believe is likely to occur by 2030, would dramatically undermine its own security and sovereignty. Were China to conquer Taiwan, its forces..." 3/
Read 4 tweets
Jul 11
It's a consistent position to argue for doubling defense spending. But now you should reckon with reality: that's not happening. And adapt your strategy.

"The reality is that even the $45 billion won’t change the trajectory of managed military decline."…
Personally I think we should make hard choices within the defense budget and get our allies to spend more like what we spend before we saddle the American people with double the defense spending burden. But I recognize that you can think it's better for Americans to spend 7%. 2/
But what I don't think should fly is saying that we should *act* like we're spending 7% on defense and just - year after year - blithely ignoring that we're not. The logical consequence of saying we're not spending enough is that we need to change our strategy. 3/
Read 4 tweets
Jul 7
What's striking to me is how FBI Director Wray talks about the Chinese threat to attack Taiwan as a given. Like it's not even something that really needs to be explained any more. That should worry us all. 1/…
"There’s been a lot of discussion about the potential that China may try to forcibly takeover Taiwan. Were that to happen, it would represent one of the most horrific business disruptions the world has ever seen." 2/
"Now, when it comes to the threat against Taiwan I mentioned a minute ago, I’m confident in saying that China is drawing all sorts of lessons from what’s happening with Russia and its invasion of Ukraine—and you should, too." 3/
Read 4 tweets

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