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Old 08-28-2019, 01:44 PM
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Arrow Defense Secretary Mark Esper: It's China, China, China

Defense Secretary Mark Esper: It's China, China, China
By: Tom Rogan - Washington Examiner 8-29-19
RE: https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/o...na-china-china

Speaking to the press on Wednesday, new Defense Secretary Mark Esper outlined his vision for the Pentagon.

Summed up, it's basically: China, China, China.

Esper was clear that the Indo-Pacific is now America's "priority theater" for operations. He was equally clear that China is deliberately undercutting international rules and that the "Chinese Communist Party" has divergent interests from the vast majority of regional nations. In contrast, Esper said, the United States is "upholding core principles" related to "international rules and norms."

While these comments might not be surprising to some observers, their unambiguous quality is a clear message to Beijing and nations nearby. Esper is saying that we're here to stay here to stay both in terms of regional presence in the Pacific and in preserving the U.S.-led international order that has done so much for so many (including China) since the end of World War II. That order, after all, has enabled free trade and democratic rights to prosper to the benefit of humanity.

But Esper's message isn't one that he alone subscribes to. The outgoing head of the U.S. Navy is equally clear that his force's increased activity in the Indo-Pacific reflects a new norm. Standing alongside Esper, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Joe Dunford noted that the Pentagon has adopted a new global orientation in its contingency planning for threats from China and Russia. This reflects those nations' ability to turn a regional fight into cyber, space, and ranged warfare.

Still, the key takeaway is that China is top of Esper's to-focus-on list. Considering that nation's effort to trample American interests, Esper is right on the mark.
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