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The Right: Wrong about China and the Defense Budget

Posted on May 14 2010 10:00 am
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The defense budget is being cut because too many conservative defense hawks, at the Weekly Standard and elsewhere, have a misplaced fear of the phantom Chinese dragon.

John Guardiano’s latest post at FrumForum

If you want to know what’s wrong with the conservative movement, look no further than the Weekly Standard— and read Tim Mak’s insightful bit of reporting on “Chuck Devore’s Red Nightmare.”

Devore, Mak notes, is worried about ‘the emerging [Chinese] threat.’ In fact, Communist China, Mak reports, is one of the reasons Devore ‘opposed the current plan to increase troop levels in Afghanistan.’

‘We have to prepare for the next enemy. It’s not Afghanistan. It’s the People’s Republic of China,’ said Chuck Devore. After the debate, Devore told reporters that ‘weakness invites aggression, and I’m concerned now that our posture is inviting Chinese aggression.’

‘[Devore] believes that the true strategic threat to the United States is not the Taliban… but is the PRC,’ Joshua Treviño, Devore’s communications director, explained to FrumForum.

Weekly Standard bloggers John Noonan and Michael Goldfarb also are worried about the Chinese military. Noonan, for instance, blogged Monday about “Fighting the Dragon While Potentially Downsizing Our Military.”

Noonan’s worried about fighting a naval war with China. “That scenario, whether it’s five or 10 years off, could be dire,” he warns. “It’s a threat that we should be taking seriously.”

Goldfarb agrees. The Chinese, he notes, “are already working on a fifth-gen fighter.” Yet, the Obama administration has killed the F-22 — “the world’s premier air supremacy fighter and the only ‘fifth generation fighter’ currently in production anywhere.”

The death of the F-22, Goldfarb says, is all the more ominous because its replacement aircraft, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, is experiencing significant cost overruns and delays.

All of this hand wringing over the supposed Chinese military “threat” is no accident. It is par for the course on the Right. It comes moreover, in the wake of Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ announcement that he will push for a new round of defense budget cuts.

Read the rest of the article at FrumForum

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