So says Robert Zoellick in his Monday Wall Street Journal op-ed.
We truly do not need another Cold War. But this one is being forced on us, anyway, by the People’s Republic of China and the economic war it’s prosecuting against us. The environment for this one also was facilitated by the multi-polar world so enthusiastically built by ex-President Barack Obama (D).
Baker also is operating from a defeatist proposition.
The New Cold Warriors can’t contain China given its ties throughout the world; other countries won’t join us. Nor can the US break the regime, though the Communist Party’s flaws could open cracks within its own society. The US can impose costs on China, but to what end, and at what price to Americans?
So were the Soviet Union’s ties throughout the world, yet we, in turning Nikita Khrushchev’s words back on his nation, buried them.
Other nations are joining us in the struggle against the PRC, as the PRC’s military acquisitiveness has grown more blatant and the bloody deadliness of its transgressions along with its utter lack of concern for the lives of other nations’ citizens (much less those of its own citizens) made more obvious by its performance with its Wuhan Virus and its behavior in the aftermath of the international spread of the virus.
Nor is regime breakage a goal of our government—as our government has repeatedly and openly said. Only behavioral change. And that is our overall, clearly and repeatedly stated, end.
I have to wonder, too, in what world Zoellick thinks he lives that conflict is always bloodless and costless for either side—or is Zoellick back-door suggesting we should just be quietly accepting lest our enemy become perturbed with us?
The New Cold Warriors expunge the successes of past US cooperation with China. Beijing was once a wartime enemy, a supplier of proxy foes in North Korea and North Vietnam, and the world’s leading proliferator of missiles and nuclear weapons technology. Beginning in the 1990s, China reversed course and worked with the US to control dangerous weapons. It turned from proliferation partnerships with Iran and North Korea to helping the US thwart their development of nuclear arms. From 2000 to 2018, US diplomacy prodded Beijing to support 182 of the 190 United Nations Security Council resolutions that imposed sanctions on states.
There never has been cooperation of the PRC with us, merely an occasional alignment of interests. Beijing has made itself an overt enemy of Vietnam, beginning with its attempted invasion of Vietnam shortly after the close of the Vietnam War.
It continues to supply northern Korea with needed supplies and technologies, even as the PRC pays lip service to the empty resolutions of the UN.
It continues to supply Iran with needed supplies and technologies, even as the PRC pays lip service to similar empty resolutions of the UN.
It continues to develop its own nuclear weapons, in secret and in underground low-yield test sites.
And those costs to us of defending ourselves in the PRC’s Cold War? Those costs surely will accrue, but the tariffs imposed, to date, have imposed little cost on American producers or consumers, the chatter of the nattering class notwithstanding: the PRC has been devaluing its currency in pace with our tariffs in order to keep their export prices—what Americans and other importers actually pay—relatively unchanged.
No, we don’t need this Cold War—but that’s merely to state the obvious: no nation needs war. But sometimes a war must be fought in defense—the survival of our nation as a free and independent polity, rather than one subservient to our enemy, depends on it and on winning this one.