Monthly Archives: June 2013

RUSSIA’S MILITARY RESURGENCE

RUSSIA’S LONG HOT SUMMER

Following a spring which saw the beginning of a draft that will add 153,000 conscripts into the Russian Armed Forces by mid-July, the summer of 2013 will be among the most active ever for Moscow’s armed forces.

The Russian Defense Ministry reports that Moscow’s military will conduct no less than 500 drills within the next several months. The Jamestown Foundation reports that in September, “Russia and Belarus will stage a joint military exercise on Belarus territory, allegedly to rehearse a defense against a Polish attack on the country.” A similar exercise held in 2009 included training for a pre-emptive nuclear strike on Poland.

A number of worrisome “Snap Drills” have taken place in recent months, in which Russian forces engage in war-footing maneuvers without prior warning. The Voice of Russia reports that in May, a snap drill involving Space Defense forces, long-range and transport aviation, and combined air and anti-missile defense forces in Russia’s Western District took place. 8,700 personnel were involved. Russia’s own emphasis on anti-missile defense renders Moscow’s objections to the U.S. ABM system rather odd.

Those maneuvers followed the March snap drill exercises in the Black Sea. The Jamestown Foundation described the exercise:
“At 4 a.m. on March 28, President Vladimir Putin delivered a sealed letter to Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu ordering him to launch at once unscheduled maneuvers involving not just the Black Sea Fleet but air and airborne forces and the Army… They were not the only such maneuvers conducted at this time, only the most prominent ones.

“In conjunction with these latest surprise military exercises, the Strategic Missile Command conducted an impromptu check of missile troops in Tver Oblast, and Russia also carried out exercises for Long-Range Aviation forces in the Saratov region (Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, March 30; Interfax, March 29). Simultaneously, Russia’s fleet in the South China Sea also conducted a live-fire exercise (Interfax-AVN, March 28). The exercise also consisted of a coastal landing operation in the Caucasus where the fleet, helicopters, and fighter and reconnaissance aircraft supported the marines landing ashore (Interfax-AVN Online, March 29). While one may plausibly say that the scope and size of the exercise described here was intended to demonstrate the regionally concentrated Russian forces’ capabilities to deploy at a moment’s notice and move to a combat theater, there are more disturbing aspects of this exercise. Indeed, the ground forces undertook a 500-kilometer forced march, while the airborne forces came from the Moscow, Ryazan and Tula divisions (Rossiya 1 TV, March 29).

“Although Russian leaders claimed that, under international agreements, they did not need to provide notice of the impending maneuvers to Russia’s neighbors because they kept the exercise under 9,000 men, it is clear that the implications of this exercise are disturbing for both Georgia and Ukraine (Interfax, March 28).

“This is not just a question of Russia following up on its negative reaction to joint US-Georgian exercises earlier in March and attempting to demonstrate that it remains the sole dominant power in the Caucasus and Black Sea region. As Aleksandr’ Golts suggested, the recent March exercises demonstrate that Moscow can, at a moment’s notice, call up its forces and attack Ukraine or Georgia without warning—with no regard for the fact that the Black Sea Fleet is stationed on what is Ukrainian territory and that at least parts of Russia’s regional ground and air forces are located on Georgian territory (Moscow Times, April 3).

“This suggests Moscow’s real view of these countries’ territorial integrity and sovereignty. Moreover, Golts ridiculed official proclamations that the exercises complied with international agreements, showing that Moscow violated the spirit, if not the letter of those accords (Moscow Times, April 3). Moscow may claim that it and Kyiv are ready to agree on the movement of the Black Sea Fleet’s units, but this fait accompli underlines what the real situation is like there (Interfax, March 28).”

Therefore, it is hardly surprising that Georgia’s foreign ministry issued a statement expressing its “grave concern” about this provocative action (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, March 28). While the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) offered no official response, there certainly was some disquiet in Brussels at Moscow’s actions.

As the New York Analysis has previously reported, Moscow has undertaken a $723 billion modernization program that includes procuring 1,700 warplanes, including cutting edge fighters and new air defense batteries. The Voice of Russia reports that in the 21st century, Russia has revamped its air force with many new craft, including some, like the T-50, that may surpass America’s latest fighter, the F-22 Raptor.

Moscow is placing a large emphasis on naval capabilities, which given the context of Russia’s geography has mainly offensive uses. $138 billion has been committed to this effort. Reuters’ Alexi Anishchuk notes that after an absence of twenty years, Russia will resume nuclear submarine patrols in the southern seas as well as the Mediterranean. Russia has been actively seeking new international naval bases. According to Moscow’s Vice admiral Viktor Chirkov, sites include Cuba, Vietnam, and the Seychelles in addition to Syria. President Putin has also pledged to militarize the Arctic region with a new naval base there.
Intentions.

Concern over the growing quantity, variety and sophistication of weaponry in the Russian arsenal is more than matched by a newly aggressive posture by Moscow’s military and civilian leadership. On Jan, 26, Gen. Col.Valeri Gerasimov, the top officer in Russia’s Armed Forces General Staff, contradicted the key tenet of American elected officials,(including both the President, most Democrats and some isolationist Republicans such as Ron Paul) that World War 2-scale conflicts were a relic of the past. Gerasimov is quoted in the Executive Intelligence Review stating: “No one rules out the possibility of major wars…and there can be no question of being unprepared for them.”

Pushkin House reports that “The Russian armed forces have been in the grip of a deep and drastic program of change and modernization in the last four years.”

American Assumptions

The sharp reduction of the American defense inventory over approximately the past twenty-three years has been predicated on two basic assumptions. First, that Russia, Washington’s chief cold war adversary, was no longer a substantial threat following the breakup of the Soviet Union. Second, that no military force or collection of forces on the planet had the technological sophistication to rival the United States.

Acting on those concepts, America’s armed forces were substantially reduced. The Navy shrunk from 600 ships to 286, the Air Force from 37 combat air wings to 20, and the Army from 17 divisions to 10. Under the Obama administration, this process has deepened and accelerated. The President has also pursued a course of significant and, in large part unilateral, nuclear arms reduction. The White House has also been reluctant to fully support key anti-ballistic missile defenses, or to fund replacements for many aging or obsolete conventional weapons.

Unfortunately, it has become evident that those two key assumptions are no longer, if they were ever, valid. Since Mr. Putin’s return to the leadership of a newly aggressive and militarily assertive Russia, vast sums have been appropriated by Moscow to revitalize that nation’s conventional and nuclear military. He has ordered a return to cold-war style tactics such as probing western defenses with nuclear submarines and atomic weapons-carrying bombers.
(China has developed a hyper-sophisticated armed force that openly rivals any technological edge formerly enjoyed by the United States. It has also made substantial inroads in gaining influence in Latin America.)

Despite these realities, President Obama has chosen not to confront, in any serious manner, either Russia or China (China has developed a hyper-sophisticated armed force that openly rivals any technological edge formerly enjoyed by the United States. It has also made substantial inroads in gaining influence in Latin America. The New York Analysis has previously reported on the rise of Beijing’s military.) on their military buildups or on their hostile actions towards some of their neighbors. The White House has de-emphasized preparations for the large-scale strategic threats that concerned prior administrations, despite the continued and growing existence of those threats, as evidenced by Russian General Gareyev’s emphasis on “the priority development of our strategic nuclear forces and the space defense system, as the decisive factor…”

The Great Leap Forward

Both China and Russia have saved vast sums in their military efforts thanks to Washington’s generosity and ineptness.
During the presidency of Bill Clinton, the American technological edge over both Russia and the People’s Republic of China was virtually eliminated following a sharp change in American policy which, for the first time, allowed the sale of Cray supercomputers to both of those nations.

In 1993, the New York Times described the sale as a “good will gesture.” Charles Smith, writing in WND, reviewed the events of the early years of the Clinton Administration, noting how Tony Podesta, a Washington Lobbyist and brother of Clinton advisor John Podesta, convinced the President to authorize the sale of cutting-edge computer hardware and software to both Russia and China.

Moscow Conference

In May, Russian and NATO leaders met at the Moscow Security Conference. Despite hopes for improved relations, The Kremlin took a hard line that did little to instill optimism that a new or improved relationship with the west was achievable, There were a few common concerns, including international trafficking in drugs, the threat of terrorism, cross border crime, and the illegal weapons trade.

However, Russia believes that the Conventional Forces Treaty (CFT) is “dead,” and views western efforts to protect itself against Iranian nuclear missiles as a threat to Moscow’s nuclear deterrent. Moscow has failed to explain its perspectives, and it is difficult to discern any logic to its position.

[STATE DEPARTMENT SUMMARY: ] TREATY ON CONVENTIONAL ARMED FORCES IN EUROPE (CFE)

(U.S. State Department: On November 22, 2011, The United States reluctantly announced in Vienna, Austria, that it would cease carrying out certain obligations under the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty with regard to Russia. The CFE Treaty’s implementation group came after the United States and NATO tried for 4 years to find a diplomatic solution following Russia’s decision in 2007 to cease implementation with respect to all other 29 CFE States. Since then, Russia has refused to accept inspections and ceased to provide information to other CFE Treaty parties on its military forces as required by the Treaty.

The United States stated it would continue to implement the Treaty and carry out all obligations with all States Parties other than Russia, including not exceeding the numerical limits on conventional armaments and equipment established by the Treaty. The U.S. offered to resume full Treaty implementation regarding Russia if Russia resumes implementation of its Treaty obligations.)

CFE Treaty
19 November 1990
Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe
________________________________________
Concluding Act
10 July 1992
Concluding Act of the Negotiation on Personnel Strenght of Conventional Armed Forces in Europe
________________________________________
Final Document
15-31 May 1996
Final Document of the First Conference to Review the Operation of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe and the Concluding Act of the Negotiation on Personnel Strength
________________________________________
Agreement
19 November 1999
Agreement on Adaptation of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe
________________________________________
CFE Final Act
19 November 1999
The Final Act of the Conference of the States Parties to the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe
________________________________________
Formal Conclusions
1 June 2001
Formal Conclusions of the Second Conference to Review the Operation of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe and the Concluding Act of the Negotiation on Pesonnel Strength
___________________________________________
Russia’s obsession with western efforts to protect itself from a nuclear attack has remained a constant in its policy. Some observers credit President Reagan’s “strategic defense initiative” plan as a key factor in convincing Soviet leaders that they could not win the cold war. The Moscow Times noted that “Russia sees U.S. plans to install missile defense assets in Poland and Rumania as a threat to its nuclear deterrent potential, while America’s view is that missile defense is specifically and definitely limited,” and thus incapable of hindering Russia defense abilities.

“NEW MILITARY DOCTRINE.”

In 2010, Moscow established a “New Military Doctrine.” The Doctrine adheres to Russia’s long standing belief that it is the constant target of military threats. Added to the Kremlin’s concerns about NATO are rather unsubstantiated worries about the former republics of the Soviet Union, and genuine concerns about terrorism. To further deal with the terrorist issue, President Putin, on May 6, announced the institution of a Special Operations command, which could have particular value in counter terrorism operations.
Excepts From the
Military Doctrine of the Russian Federation
February 5, 2010
Approved by the Decree of the President of the Russian Federation
I. GENERAL PROVISIONS
1. Military Doctrine of the Russian Federation (hereinafter – the military doctrine) is one of the key strategic planning documents in the Russian Federation and is the system officially adopted in the state of views on preparations for armed defense and the armed defense of the Russian Federation…despite the decline in the probability of the outbreak of the Russian Federation against large-scale war with the use of conventional weapons and nuclear weapons, in some areas of the Russian Federation military threats intensified.
8. The main external military dangers:
a) the desire to endow the power potential of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) global functions carried out in violation of international law, to bring the military infrastructure of countries – members of NATO to the borders of the Russian Federation, including by expanding the bloc;
b) an attempt to destabilize the situation in individual countries and regions and undermine strategic stability;
c) deployment (capacity) of military contingents of foreign states (groups of states) in the territories adjoining the Russian Federation and its allies, as well as in adjacent waters;
d) the creation and deployment of strategic missile defense systems that undermine global stability and violating the prevailing balance of power in the nuclear missile sphere, as well as the militarization of outer space, the deployment of strategic conventional high-precision weapons;…military action will be characterized by the increasing importance of high-precision, electromagnetic, laser, infrasound weapons, information and control systems, unmanned aerial vehicles and autonomous marine vehicles driven robotic weapons systems and military equipment.
Nuclear weapons will remain an important factor in preventing the occurrence of nuclear wars and military conflicts with the use of conventional weapons (large-scale war, regional war).
In the event of a military conflict with the use of conventional weapons (large-scale war, regional war), jeopardizing the very existence of the state, the possession of nuclear weapons may lead to the escalation of the military conflict in the nuclear military conflict.
22. As part of the strategic deterrence measures forceful nature of the Russian Federation provides for the application of high-precision weapons.
The Russian Federation reserves the right to use nuclear weapons in response to the use of force against it and (or) its allies of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction, as well as in the event of aggression against the Russian Federation with the use of conventional weapons, a threat to the very existence of the state.

CONCLUSION

A realistic examination of Russia’s armed forces budget, its central military planning document, its deployment of naval forces, its intense training and snap drill activities, its resumption of nuclear equipped patrols by bombers and submarines, and the statements of its key generals and national security officials reveals a clear return to a Cold War stance.

State governments Succeed As Washington Fails

Several recently released reports indicate that a number of states have improved their financial and budgetary positions, even while the national picture remains depressed.

America’s nationwide economy continues to languish in the economic doldrums, with high unemployment and even worse long term unemployment, weak manufacturing, poor export numbers, and other worrisome indicators.
(New York Analysis, Feb. 4) Indeed, with both an unprecedented national debt and ruinous annual deficits, there are few reasons for optimism in the U.S. picture. This contrasts with the news from a number of states, although even within those states reporting progress, challenges remain.

Much of this state-by-state progress may be attributable to adherence to economic perspectives markedly different than that of the White House, according to the National Governors Association.

“A number of governors discussed good government as a way of helping their state’s economy. Limiting regulations or streamlining the regulatory process was mentioned in 22 speeches…”

United States Supreme Court Justice Louis Dembitz Brandeis famously wrote “It is one of the happy accidents of the federal system that a single courageous state may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory, and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.”

The diversity among state governments celebrated by Justice Brandeis, and the growing tendency to adopt policies significantly different than Washington’s was recently noted by the American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) “Rich States, Poor States” report:

“With Congress locked in perpetual gridlock and the U.S. economy stuck in a lackluster recovery, state governments around the country are seeking their own solutions to the country’s economic woes. However, the paths that states are pursuing to achieve economic prosperity are not all the same. Some have seen magnificent success in achieving real economic recovery while others continue to struggle.”

The National Governors Association reports:

“Most governors reported balanced budgets, without reporting nearly as much of a need for large budget cuts or new revenues as they had in the past few years. Twenty-Four governors reported having a surplus or building up rainy day and revenue funds. Thirteen governors also pointed to their state’s good credit rating.

“However, many governors also were wary of potential federal budget reductions and forecasts suggesting economic growth will continue to be slow for most of the country…Twenty-one governors mentioned that funding pensions and other long-term employee benefits were a challenge for their state, though some governors who talked about pensions simply reviewed benefit changes implemented in the past couple of years…

“The states are also operating with a smaller workforce than was in place when the recession started–13 governors mentioned staff reductions, totaling in the tens of thousands. In most cases, governors reported these numbers as evidence of their success at rightsizing government…”

The public has noticed the contrasts between state governments and Washington. According to the Pew Research Center,

“Even as public views of the federal government in Washington have fallen to another new low, the public continues to see their state and local governments in a favorable light. Overall, 63% say they have a favorable opinion of their local government, virtually unchanged over recent years. And 57% express a favorable view of their state government – a five-point uptick from last year. By contrast, just 28% rate the federal government in Washington favorably. That is down five points from a year ago and the lowest percentage ever in a Pew Research Center survey.

“The percentage of Democrats expressing a favorable opinion of the federal government has declined 10 points in the past year, from 51% to 41%. For the first time since Barack Obama became president, more Democrats say they have an unfavorable view of the federal government in Washington than a favorable view (51% unfavorable vs. 41% favorable). Favorable opinions of the federal government among Republicans, already quite low in 2012 (20% favorable), have fallen even further, to 13% currently.

“The national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted March 13-17 among 1,501 adults, finds positive ratings across party lines for state and local governments overall. But the partisan makeup of the state government matters: Republicans give more positive ratings to GOP-led state governments, while Democrats rate Democratic-led state governments more highly.

“Notably, politically divided state governments get positive ratings from members of both parties. In the 13 states with divided governments – those in which the governor and a majority of state legislators are from different parties – majorities of both Republicans and Democrats express favorable opinions of their state governments.

“A sizable majority of Americans (69%) say that their state is currently facing budget problems. However, assessments of state budgets were even more negative two years ago; in February 2011, 81% said their state was encountering budget problems. And while just 30% say that economic conditions in their state are excellent or good, that is nearly double the percentage expressing a positive view of the national economy (16% excellent or good).”

There are sharp distinctions between the states. Many Republican-oriented states have cut costs, regulation, and taxes. On the other hand, Democrat-controlled states, according to the Wall Street Journal, including examples such as Minnesota, Massachusetts, Colorado, and Maryland, have hiked taxes.

Referring to those states, the Journal notes that:

“The measures contrast starkly with initiatives to cut or eliminate taxes on individual and corporate incomes that have dominated the discussion in much of the country, thanks to Republican control of nearly half the statehouses.

The “Rich States, Poor States” study notes that governors of the five states with the worst economic outlooks, including Vermont, New York, Illinois, California and Minnesota, are all Democrats.

Some of those comparing the inability of the leftist policies of the national government and state governments with views similar to the Obama Administration to make progress note that the more conservative policies of some state governments have proven more effective. An American Spectator article notes:

“…there are oases of rationalism found in the 25 states now governed under total Republican control, with a Republican governor, state senate, and state house. America is conducting a national experiment on capitalism versus socialism among these increasingly partisan states. Compare the fiscal and economic performance, for example, of Democrat-controlled California, Illinois, and New York, to that of Republican-controlled Texas, Florida, and Virginia, not to mention Indiana and Wisconsin.”

Washington may not be taking note. Authors David Lowery, Virginia Gray, and Frank Baumgartner note in a Publius article that:

“We find little evidence that changes in state policy agendas in the aggregate influence national patterns of policy attention…while federal funding and regulatory activity ensure that the national government can exercise influence over policy making in the states the obverse is not nearly so clear…Our results also indicate that…both national and state legislators would respond to common problems at the same time-may not be valid. To a considerable degree, state and national legislatures still have their own policy agendas and their own policy cycles.”

As the national economy continues to lag, Washington may soon have to take note of what has, and what has not, worked in the individual states.

U.S., China, in Crucial Meeting

President Obama will meet with PRC president President Xi Jinping on Friday and Saturday, the first get together since Xi assumed his nation’s leadership. The meeting follows recent high-level visits by National Security Advisor Tom Donilon, Secretary of State John Kerry, and Treasury Secretary John Lew.

The usual visual pomp accompanying state visits will be noticeably absent from the event, which will take place at the secluded Annenberg Estate in California. White House sources maintain that the President hopes to establish a good working relationship with Xi. The two first met last year before Xi’s ascension.

Security Issues

A number of serious issues exist between the two nations, including China’s rapidly growing military might and its ongoing cyber-attacks and espionage against the United States and its allies. While spying is normal between great powers, the unprecedented size and scope of Beijing’s efforts against American military, governmental and corporate targets more closely resembles full scale clandestine warfare rather than the normal cold war cloak and dagger interchange.

North Korean nuclear weapons development is also a crucial issue. Beijing wields extraordinary influence over Pyongyang, but has done little to dissuade it from its bellicose actions, missile development, or atomic weapons programs.

Donilon notes:
“The Chinese military is modernizing its capabilities and expanding its presence in Asia, drawing our forces into closer contact and raising the risk that an accident or miscalculation could destabilize the broader relationship. We need open and reliable channels to address perceptions and tensions about our respective activities in the short-term and about our long-term presence and posture in the Western Pacific.”

Human Rights

There is a question as to whether Mr. Obama will bring up serious ongoing human rights violations committed by China. According to Human Rights Watch: “[China] continues to be an authoritarian one-party state that imposes sharp curbs on freedom of expression, association, and religion; openly rejects judicial independence and press freedom; and arbitrarily restricts and suppresses human rights defenders and organizations, often through extra-judicial measures.
The government also censors the internet; maintains highly repressive policies in ethnic minority areas such as Tibet, Xinjiang, and Inner Mongolia; systematically condones—with rare exceptions—abuses of power in the name of “social stability” ; and rejects domestic and international scrutiny of its human rights record as attempts to destabilize and impose “Western values” on the country. The security apparatus—hostile to liberalization and legal reform—seems to have steadily increased its power since the 2008 Beijing Olympics. ..
At the same time Chinese citizens are increasingly rights-conscious and challenging the authorities over livelihood issues, land seizures, forced evictions, abuses of power by corrupt cadres, discrimination, and economic inequalities. Official and scholarly statistics estimate that 250-500 protests occur per day; participants number from ten to tens of thousands. Internet users and reform-oriented media are aggressively pushing the boundaries of censorship, despite the risks of doing so, by advocating for the rule of law and transparency, exposing official wrong-doing, and calling for reforms.
Despite their precarious legal status and surveillance by the authorities, civil society groups continue to try to expand their work, and increasingly engage with international NGOs. A small but dedicated network of activists continues to exposes abuses as part of the weiquan (“rights defense”)movement, despite systematic repression ranging from police monitoring to detention, arrest, enforced disappearance, and torture.”

Commerce

Major issues affecting Sino-U.S. relations concern currency, trade and investment. While the prospect of great gain from trading with the PRC continues to tantalize western enterprises, some observers are reducing their level of optimism.

The American Chamber of Commerce in China has identified potentially unlawful actions employed by Beijing designed to make China dominant in a number of economic endeavors. The Chamber notes that China’s market reforms were ceased in 2002. Central planning and actions designed to place foreign economic interests at a disadvantage were again employed the following year.

Among the most worrisome of the issues facing foreign investors in China is the issue of intellectual property rights (IPR). According to the Chamber’s recent annual survey,
“a growing number of respondents report China IPR infringements cause material damage to their company operations. The number of those who said IPR theft causes material damage to China operations rose 12 percentage points, to 34 percent. The percentage of those who reported material damage to global operations also rose by 4 percentage points, to 14 percent…In the most recent survey, the percentage of respondents who said Internet censorship “negatively impacts” their company’s ability to conduct business in China more than doubled, from 7 percent to 16 percent. The total number of respondents who see censorship to some degree hurting their business rose to more than 50 percent this year… A combined 62 percent of respondents report that blocking of search engines makes it more difficult to conduct business. In a global economy increasingly reliant on communication, censorship makes it cumbersome to retrieve real-time market information, share time-sensitive data, and communicate with business and research colleagues in other countries.”

Forbes summarized:

“If one were to predict the nature of the bilateral relationship over the next few decades by extrapolating from trends during any six-year period between 1978 and 2006, expectations would be quite positive. Despite occasional frictions, the relationship bore fruit for people in both countries and the broader geopolitical and philosophical differences between the U.S. and Chinese governments were, to a large extent, quarantined from infecting mutually beneficial economic relations.
That appears to be no longer the case. Although the massive economic relationship – which reached a record half trillion dollars of trade and investment flows in 2012 – is still mutually beneficial, the future of U.S.-China relations based on developments over the most recent six years appears more problematic. Today, it seems, most bilateral economic frictions are magnified through the prism of those geopolitical and philosophical differences, making controversies seem larger and more intractable.”

Unreality

An aura of optimism, whether warranted or not, permeates Washington’s perspectives towards China.

The Brookings Institute recently urged the President to use Xi’s rise to power as an opportunity to improve relations, but it fails to provide any credible reason why this would be the case.

In his March 11 remarks to the Asia society, President Obama’s National Security Advisor Tom Donilon stated that “substantial progress” has been made in Sino-American relations over the past four years:

“The United States welcomes the rise of a peaceful, prosperous China. We do not want our relationship to become defined by rivalry and confrontation. And I disagree with the premise put forward by some historians and theorists that a rising power and an established power are somehow destined for conflict. … It is not a law of physics, but a series of choices by leaders that lead to great power confrontation. Others have called for containment. We reject that, too. A better outcome is possible. But it falls to both sides—the United States and China—to build a new model of relations between an existing power and an emerging one. Xi Jinping and President Obama have both endorsed this goal. “

A realistic assessment provides no evidence of that progress. Beijing has engaged in wartime-style espionage within the U.S.; it has dramatically ramped up its spending on its armed forces; it has moved aggressively against its neighbors; and it has occupied offshore territory belonging to the Philippines. Donilon notes:

“To that end, a deeper U.S.-China military-to-military dialogue is central to addressing many of the sources of insecurity and potential competition between us. This remains a necessary component of the new model we seek, and it is a critical deficiency in our current relationship. The Chinese military is modernizing its capabilities and expanding its presence in Asia, drawing our forces into closer contact and raising the risk that an accident or miscalculation could destabilize the broader relationship. We need open and reliable channels to address perceptions and tensions about our respective activities in the short-term and about our long-term presence and posture in the Western Pacific.”

Economically, China continues to violate international norms regarding intellectual property rights. Especially important is the issue of cybersecurity. Donilon outlined the economic issues in March:

“It is also critical that we strengthen the underpinnings of our extensive economic relationship, which is marked by increasing interdependence. We have been clear with Beijing that as China takes a seat at a growing number of international tables, it needs to assume responsibilities commensurate with its economic clout and national capabilities. As we engage with China’s new leaders, the United States will encourage them to move forward with the reforms outlined in the country’s twelfth Five Year Plan, including efforts to shift the country away from its dependence on exports toward a more balanced and sustainable consumer-oriented growth model. The United States will urge a further opening of the Chinese market and a leveling of the playing field. And the United States will seek to work together with China to promote international financial stability through the G-20 and to address global challenges such as climate change and energy security.”

The June 7/8 meeting may be the most important conference to date in the 21st century. The military and economic climate of at least the next several decades will be affected by its outcome.