It’s really not that surprising or radical — the U.S. simply does nothave the capacity to maintain the margin of superiority it had overChina, say,a decade ago. But it does bring Australia’s defence dilemmainto sharper relief. Bring on the White Paper.
And here’s Medcalf:
Then again, perhaps Washington has a deeper logic at work. The more itcan disconcert its allies, the more they are likely to spend on sharingthe costly burden of hulls in the water and jets in the air.
Interestingly, while Europe is in the same situation of limited defense spending, its strategic vision has increasingly converged with that outlined by Secretary of Defense Gates. That could change, though, should relations with Russia grow more confrontational.
I think there’s still some ways to go before, a) the U.S.’ margin of superiority over China becomes alarming; and b) the U.S.’ posture towards China reaches Alfred E. Neumann proportions.
But it’s a good reminder that our internal COIN vs. Conventional debate has global implications, and that we’re not the only ones paying close attention to it.