Recent days have been particularly interesting as the domestic scene has been full of bombs going off and Ricin being delivered in the mail, shades of the period after 9/11 when the Bush administration was pushing for passage of the Patriot Act and the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Talk about over kill.
Obama’s administration likes a more discrete war mongering. Drone strikes, and smaller scale bombings, picking on smaller foes, like North Korea, and dancing around the bigger potential bug bears such as Iran and ultimately the biggest contender China.
The gradual build up of forces in Asia has a handy trigger in the North Korean faux conflict. As anyone should understand North Korea is a proxy for US and Chinese interests, with Japan playing a secondary role as America’s backup, they are even planning to re-militarize as part of the overall new containment strategy being pursued by the Obama administration. The shift in Focus from the Middle East, note Obama’s total unwillingness to get into the Syrian debacle, and his tentative support of Israel, as the main focus is moved to East Asia. Beefing up existing alliances, bids to take Myanmar from the Chinese orbit into the Western alliance, movement of troops into Northern Australia for easier access to the Gulf of Malacca choke point for oil imports to China, backing up Japanese aggression in the South China Sea to intimidate the Chinese and possibly provoke a premature reaction, are all part of the international chess game of big power ploys to retain or gain access to vital resources around the world.
China has expanded into the global South in a big way and has become the main contender for African loyalties. But the largest investments by far are in the United States and Australia. Australia having become economically dependent on continued Chinese economic growth as a resource supplier, hardly more than a third world country, and the USA dependent on Chinese production of cheap consumer goods in its scramble to become the world’s largest dumping ground for cheap consumables, presumably to keep the increasingly dispossessed American lower classes able to afford the necessities of life in a Faustian bargain, Americans trade good paying jobs for low paying service positions in exchange Americans get low cost consumer goods at Walmart and the proliferating Dollar Stores.
It is interesting that both of the sites I have linked too have vested interests that are governmental as VOA clearly is, or Heritage Foundation with its association with Neocon policies as the IRC report indicates.
The ratcheting up of East Asian tensions over the last few years, with China increasingly asserting itself in the region as a creditable alternative to the US as the hegemonic power, it remains to be seen if a renewed Sino-Russian alliance can counter the weight of the USA and Japan with India as a potential additional asset in the gambits to control resources and spheres of influence.
Still by far the largest overseas deployments are in Afghanistan, Japan and Germany, with larger numbers in cold war formations surrounding Russia than China at this point in time. Russia with a large nuclear force is still deemed the most dangerous of the forces potentially confronting the US.
China and Russia seem to be working in a loose alliance to contain the USA and its allies, with supporting Iran against western bombing and maintenance of Syria. The Russians seem to be wobbling in their support of the Syrian regime, they have an ally that is a bird in the hand with Assad, as opposed to the opposition which is currently a bird in the bush and potentially trouble if Al Qada gains a base there. The Russians already have trouble with Chechnya and Dagestan’s Islamic resistance. China faces Islamic resistance in Xinjiang, Buddhists in Tibet and a restless domestic population seeking greater freedoms, less pollution, greater food safety and increased wages to name a few. Russia has its own domestic problems, including a growing fascist tendency.