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If it comes to a shooting war …
By Victor N. Corpus
Victor N Corpus is a retired brigadier general. He has a master’s degree in public administration from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. His major assignment while serving in the armed forces of the Philippines was as chief of the intelligence service.
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One could call this article a worst-case scenario for the new American century. Why worst case? Because of the hard lessons from history. The Romans did not consider the worst-case scenario when Hannibal crossed the Alps with his elephants and routed them; or when Hannibal encircled and annihilated the numerically superior Roman army at the Battle of Cannae.
The French did not consider the worst-case scenario at Dien Bien Phu and when they built the Maginot Line, and the French suffered disastrous defeats. The Americans did not consider the worst-case scenario at Pearl Harbor or on September 11, and the results were disastrous for the American people. Again, American planners did not consider the worst-case scenario in its latest war
in Iraq, but instead operated on the “best-case scenario”, such as considering the Iraq invasion a “cake walk” and that the Iraqi people would be parading in the streets, throwing flowers and welcoming American soldiers as “liberators”, only to discover the opposite.
Scenario One: America launches ‘preventive war’ vs China
Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power. These regions include Western Europe, East Asia, the territory of the former Soviet Union and Southwest Asia.
–Paul Wolfowitz, former US deputy secretary of defense and currently president of the World Bank
Consider these snapshots of China:
- Since 1978, China has averaged 9.4% annual GDP growth
- It had a five-fold increase in total output per capita from 1982 to 2002
- It had $61 billion in foreign direct investment in 2004 alone and foreign trade of $851 billion, the third-largest in the world
- The US trade deficit with China exceeded $200 billion in 2005
- China has $750 billion in foreign exchange reserves and is the second-biggest oil importer
- Last year it turned out 442,000 new engineers a year; with 48,000 graduates with master’s degrees and 8,000 PhDs annually; compared to only 60,000 new engineers a year in the US.
- China for the first time (2004) surpassed America to export the most technology wares around the world. China enjoyed a $34 billion trade surplus with the US in advanced technology products in 2004 (The Economist, December 17, 2005). In 2005, the surplus increased to $36 billion
- It created 20,000 new manufacturing facilities a year
- It holds $252 billion in US Treasury Bonds (plus $48 billion held by Hong Kong)
- Among the five basic food, energy and industrial commodities –grain and meat, oil and coal and steel –consumption in China has eclipsed that of the US in all but oil.
- China has also gone ahead of the US in the consumption of TV sets, refrigerators and mobile phones
- In 1996, China had 7 million cell phones and the US had 44 million. Now China has more mobile phone users than the US has people.
- China has about $1 trillion in personal savings and a savings rate of close to 50%; U.S. has about $158 billion in personal savings and a savings rate of about 2% (The Wall Street Journal, Nov 19, 2005)
- Shanghai boasts 4,000 skyscrapers – double the number in New York City (The Wall Street Journal, Nov 19, 2005)
- Songbei, Harbin City in north China is building a city as big as New York City
- Goldman Sachs predicts that China will surpass the US economy by 2041.
Before China’s economy catches up with America, and before China builds a military machine that can challenge American superpower status and world dominance, America’s top strategic planners (Project for the New American Century) decide to launch a “preventive war” against China. As a pretext for this, the US instigates Taiwan to declare independence.
Taiwan declares independence!
China has anticipated and long prepared itself for this event. After observing “Operation Summer Pulse –04” when US aircraft carrier battle groups converged in the waters off China’s coast in mid-July through August of 2004, Chinese planners began preparing to face its own worst-case scenario: the possibility of confronting a total of 15 carrier battle groups composed of 12 from America and three from its close British ally. China’s strategists refer to its counter-strategy to defeat 15 or more aircraft carrier battle groups as the “assassin’s mace” or shashaujian.
After proper coordination with Russia and Iran and activating their previously agreed strategic plan, troops and weapon systems are pre-positioned. China then launches a missile barrage on Taiwan. Command and control nodes, military bases, logistics centers, vital war industries, government centers and air defense installations are simultaneously hit with short and medium range ballistic missiles armed with conventional, anti-radar, thermo baric and electro-magnetic pulse warheads.
At the North American Aerospace Defense (NORAD) Command and Control Center, ranking defense officials watch huge electronic monitor screens showing seven US and two British aircraft carrier battle groups converging on the East China Sea with another three US carrier battle groups entering the Persian Gulf, while the remaining two US and one British battle groups remain in the Indian Ocean to serve as a strategic reserve.
As the aircraft carrier battle groups advance, China draws out one of its “trump cards” by leaking to the world media that it is dumping its holdings of US Treasury bonds and shifting to gold and euros.
Meanwhile, strategic planners at NORAD watch with glee as they observe on the screen as monitored by their radar satellites that Chinese surface ships are making a hasty retreat as nine allied carrier battle groups advance toward the Philippine Sea and Chinese waters near Taiwan.
The assassin’s mace: China’s anti-satellite weapons
Glee and ecstasy soon turn to shock as monitor screens suddenly go blank. Then all communication via satellites goes dead. China has drawn its second “trump card” (the assassin’s mace) by activating its maneuverable “parasite” micro-satellites that have unknowingly clung to vital (NORAD) radar and communication satellites and have either jammed, blinded or physically destroyed their hosts.
This is complemented by space mines that maneuver near adversary satellites and explode. Secret Chinese and Russian ground-based anti-satellite laser weapons also blind or bring down US and British satellites used for C4ISR (command, control, communication, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance). And to ensure redundancy and make sure that the adversary C4ISR system is completely “blinded” even temporarily, hundreds of select Chinese and Russian information warriors (hackers) specifically trained to attack their adversary’s C4ISR systems simultaneously launch their cyber offensive.
For a few precious minutes, the US and UK advancing carrier battle groups are stunned and blinded by the “mace”, ie, a defensive weapon used to temporarily blind a stronger opponent. But the word mace has another meaning; one which is deadlier and used in combination with the first.
A mace can be a spiked war club used in olden times to knock out an opponent. Applied in modern times, the spikes of the assassin’s mace refer to currently unstoppable supersonic cruise missiles capable of sinking aircraft carriers that are in China’s inventory; complemented by equally unstoppable “squall” or SHKVAL rocket torpedoes and regular 65 cm-diameter wake-homing torpedoes, bottom-rising rocket-propelled mines, and “obsolete” warplanes converted into unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) firing anti-ship missiles from standoff positions and finally dive-bombing into the heart of the US and UK aircraft carrier armada.
Missile barrage on advancing carrier battle groups
A few seconds after the “blackout”, literally hundreds of short and medium-range ballistic missiles (DF7/9/11/15s, DF4s, DF21X/As, some of which are maneuverable) pre-positioned on the Chinese mainland, and stealthy, sea-skimming and highly-accurate cruise missiles (YJ12s, YJ22s, KH31A/Ps, YJ83s, C301s, C802s, SS-N-22s, SS-NX-26/27s, 3M54s & HN3s) delivered from platforms on land, sea and air race toward their respective designated targets at supersonic speed.
Aircraft carriers are allotted a barrage of more than two dozen cruise missiles each, followed by a barrage of short and medium-range ballistic missiles timed to arrive in rapid succession.
Supersonic cruise missiles constitute China’s third deadly “trump card” against the US – part of the so-called assassin’s mace. These unstoppable cruise missiles may be armed with 440-lb to 750-lb conventional warheads (or 200-kiloton tactical nuclear warheads 10 times stronger than Hiroshima) traveling at more than twice the speed of sound (or faster than a rifle bullet).
The cruise missiles, together with the SRBMs and MRBMs (short and medium-range ballistic missiles) may also be armed with radio frequency weapons that can simulate the electro-magnetic pulse of nuclear explosions to fry computer chips, or fuel-air explosives that can annihilate the personnel in aircraft carriers and battleships without destroying the platforms.
Their effective range varies from less than 100 to 1,800 kilometers from stand-off positions. Delivered by long-range fighter-bombers and submarines, their range can be extended even further. In fact, stealthy Chinese and Russian submarines can deliver such nuclear payloads to the US mainland itself.
No US defense vs supersonic cruise missiles
The US and UK aircraft carrier battle groups do not have any known defense against the new supersonic missiles of their adversaries. The Phalanx and Aegis ship defense systems may be effective against subsonic cruise missiles like the Exocets or Tomahawks, or exo-atmospheric ballistic missiles, but they are inadequate against the sea-skimming and supersonic Granits, Moskits and Yakhonts or similar types (Shipwreck, Sunburn and Onyx – North Atlantic Treaty Organization codenames) of modern anti-ship missiles in China’s inventory.
Not only China and Russia have these modern cruise missiles, so do Iran, India and North Korea. These missiles can be delivered by SU-27 variants, SU-30s, Tu22M Blackjacks, Bears, J6s, JH-7/As, H-6Hs, J-10s, surface ships, diesel submarines or common trucks.
Adding to the problems facing aircraft carriers are the SHKVAL or “squall” rocket torpedoes installed in some Chinese and Russian submarines and surface ships. At 6,000 lbs apiece, these torpedoes travel at 200 knots (or 230 miles per hour) with a range of 7,500 yards guided by autopilot. They are designed to sink aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines. Again, it is unfortunate for the US and UK to have no known or existing defenses against this new generation of rocket torpedoes.
China’s sea mines
Complicating matters for the US aircraft carrier battle groups are the hundreds of hard-to-detect, rocket-propelled, bottom-rising sea mines that are anchored and hidden on the sea bottom covering pre-selected battle sites in the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea designed to home in on submarines and surface ships, particularly aircraft carriers.
These sophisticated sea mines (EM-52s) have been deployed by Chinese and Russian submarines before the missile attack on Taiwan in anticipation of the major event that is to follow.
Finally, in addition to all these asymmetric weapons, the US and UK aircraft carrier battle groups will have to contend with the thousands of “obsolete” Chinese fighter planes converted into unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) launching missiles at stand-off positions and finally diving kamikaze-style into the heart of the carrier battle groups.
Chinese and Russian submarines fire their inventory of anti-ship cruise missiles (ASCMs) and “squall” rocket torpedoes at the aircraft carriers and submarines of the US and UK as the carrier battle groups come within range. As the battle progresses, the Chinese and Russian submarines maneuver to the rear of the carrier battle groups to complete the encirclement.
In less than an hour after launching the saturation barrage of missiles on the US and UK naval armada, all the aircraft carriers and their escorts of cruisers, battleships and several of the accompanying submarines are in flames, sinking or sunk, turning the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea into a modern-day “Battle of Cannae”.
Meanwhile, the Chinese fleet that conducted a strategic retreat forms a phalanx along the forward positions off China’s coast, ready to augment the hundreds or thousands of land-based long-range surface-to-air missiles of China (SA-10s, SA-15s and SA-20s) with their own short, medium and long-range air defense missile systems.
Applying its long-held military doctrine of “active defense”, China also launches simultaneous missile attacks on the forces-in-being and logistics-in-place of the US and its allies in Japan, South Korea, Guam, Okinawa, Diego Garcia and Kyrgyzstan, hitting these US bases with missiles armed with radio frequency weapons, fuel-air explosives and conventional warheads. As another Chinese military doctrine states: “Win victory with one strike.”
Chinese and Russian missiles cocked
Both Chinese and Russian inter-continental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), and the two countries’ extensive air defense systems have been coordinated and ready to respond in the event that the US and UK decide to retaliate with a nuclear attack.
In addition, Ranets-E and Rosa-E radio frequency/electro-magnetic pulse systems scattered all along China’s coastal cities are on the look-out to neutralize incoming missiles and aircraft that may respond after the attack on the aircraft carrier battle groups. These systems can work in tandem with airborne-based anti-missile laser systems now in China’s inventory.
China’s trump cards vs the US
China’s deadly “trump cards” (ie, the huge holdings of US Treasury bonds, the anti-satellite weapons system, the supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles, SRBMs, MRBMs, “squall” rocket torpedoes, sea mines, UCAVs, DF31A and DF41 road-mobile ICBMs, JL2 SLBMs, air defense system, IO/EW/IW, and other RMA weapons) are the key ingredients of the assassin’s mace.
China may not possess any of those expensive aircraft carriers of the superpower, but it can wipe out those carrier battle groups with a “single blow” of its assassin’s mace or shashaujian –its major tool for conducting asymmetric warfare to defeat the US in a major confrontation over the Taiwan issue or other issues.
The US may possess the most powerful war machine in the world, but it can be defeated by an inferior force by avoiding the superpower’s strength and exploiting its weaknesses. Again, an integral part of Chinese doctrine is: “Victory through inferiority over superiority.” One famous Chinese strategist, Chang Mengxiong, compared asymmetric warfare to “a Chinese boxer with a keen knowledge of vital body points who can bring a stronger opponent to his knees with a minimum of movement”.
The sad part for the American people, particularly the innocent sailors who will be manning the battle groups, is that even if US planners come to realize that the aircraft carrier battle groups (which are the mainstay of the US Navy and the main instrument of US power projection worldwide), have been rendered vulnerable or obsolete by China’s assassin’s mace.
The US cannot simply change strategy or discard such a weapons system. To change strategy or “retool” would mean wasting hundreds of billions of dollars invested in those highly sophisticated systems. The strong lobbying of influential defense contractors making those systems would make change extremely difficult.
For defense authorities to admit the strategic blunder constitutes an almost insurmountable barrier to a change of strategy. And finally, the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs related to those systems may be politically and economically unbearable for any US administration to bear should the program for the aircraft carrier battle groups be scrapped. Because of these factors, America may be stuck with an obsolete system that is too expensive to maintain but will only lose the war for the US when employed in a major conflict.
Meanwhile, on the Middle East Front
On another major front, on previously coordinated signals with China and Russia, Iran lets loose its own barrage of supersonic Granit, Moskit, Brahmos and Yakhont cruise missiles carried by trucks or hidden in man-made tunnels all along the mountainous shoreline of Iran fronting the Persian Gulf.
The three US aircraft carrier groups that entered the Persian Gulf to ensure the unhindered flow of Arab oil are likely to be helpless “sitting ducks” against the bottom-rising sea mines and low-flying, supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles in Iranian hands. In the process, a couple of oil tankers about to exit the Strait of Hormuz are hit with the aid of rocket-propelled sea mines, thus effectively blockading the narrow strait and stopping oil supplies from coming out of the Middle East.
A “weak” nation like China or Iran, without a single aircraft carrier in their respective navies, could thus obliterate the carrier battle groups of a superpower. Here, one can see the hidden and often unnoticed power of asymmetric warfare, which may well spell the end of “gunboat diplomacy” in the not so distant future.
The Central Asian front
On yet another major front in Central Asia, Russian troops lead the other member-countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan) into a major offensive against US military bases in Central Asia.
The bases are first subjected to a simultaneous barrage of missiles with fuel-air explosives and electromagnetic pulse (EMP) warheads before they are overrun and occupied by SCO coalition forces. The missile attack on the US bases is followed by a lightning attack by four mechanized armored divisions coming from the Yili Korgas pass of China’s Xinjiang province, linking up with Russia’s own armored divisions in a pincer offensive against US forces in Central Asia and the Middle East.
America crippled on three major fronts
In just a few hours (or days) after the outbreak of general hostilities, America, the world’s lone superpower, finds itself badly crippled militarily in three major regions of the world: East Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East.
Impossible? Unfortunately, the answer is no. China now has the know-how and the financial resources to mass-produce hundreds, if not thousands, of Moskit, Yakhont and Granit-type supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles and “squall”-type rocket torpedoes against which US and UK aircraft carriers and submarines have no known defense.
Iran, on the other hand, already possesses the same supersonic cruise missiles that can destroy any ship in the Persia Gulf, including aircraft carriers. Russia and China, meanwhile, are operating on familiar grounds close to their territory, compared to the US, which needs to cross the Atlantic and Pacific to replenish troops and logistics.
A geopolitical reality America has to face
An important consideration in any US-China conflict is the geopolitical reality that the US and its allies will be operating on exterior lines, while China will operate on interior lines. This gives China a huge advantage in a major war in Asia against US and allied forces.
Consider the long sea lanes of communication (10,000 kilometers) that the US alliance would be forced to cross each time its forces had to resupply and you get an idea of the huge logistics problem that the US would face in a confrontation with China.
Such lengthy sea lanes of communication (SLOC) are highly vulnerable to a gauntlet of Chinese and Russian submarines lying in ambush along the route laden with underwater sea mines. This will make transporting personnel and equipment by the US over the Pacific or the Atlantic extremely dangerous and expensive.
Compare this US handicap with troop movement by Chinese troops using heavy-lift aircraft, railways and highways within the China mainland. China’s interior lines of communication are shorter and protected, with little chance for enemy interdiction. Chinese troops can concentrate numerically superior forces rapidly at any given point to defeat invading US forces one by one with much shorter and less vulnerable lines of communication.
And in the event that the US forces and their allies are lucky enough to land on the Chinese mainland, they will be faced not only with a conventional People’s Liberation Army of more than 2 million, but also with a people’s militia conducting asymmetric warfare and a people’s war in its teeming millions. US forces and their allies will be like a raging bull charging and goring a hive of killer bees. US forces may be able to set foot in China, but it is highly doubtful if they could come out alive.
There is a scenario grimmer than described above, however, and that is if strategic planners belonging to that elite group called the Project for the New American Century decide to launch a nuclear “first strike” against China and Russia and risk a mutually-assured destruction: 1)In defense of Taiwan … or 2) In launching a “preventive war” to stop China from catching up economically and militarily. Or, if China decides to start an offensive against Taiwan with a one-megaton nuclear burst 40 kilometers above the center of the island. Or, if China and Russia decide to arm a number of their short and medium-range ballistic missiles and supersonic cruise missiles with tactical nuclear warheads in defending themselves against US and UK aircraft carrier battle groups.
Land-attack versions of these supersonic cruise missiles armed with nuclear warheads carried by stealthy Chinese and Russian submarines can also put American coastal cities at great risk to nuclear devastation. Strategic planners must also consider these worst-case possibilities.
Scenario two: America vs a medium power
“In the Middle East and Southwest Asia, our overall objective is to remain the predominant outside power in the region and preserve US and Western access to the region’s oil.” – Paul Wolfowitz
“I cannot think of a time when we have had a region emerge as suddenly to become as strategically significant as the Caspian. But the oil and gas there is worthless until it is moved. The only route which makes both political and economic sense is through Afghanistan.” – Dick Cheney in 1998 as chief executive of a major oil services company
History is replete with vivid examples where a much stronger and larger force has been defeated by a weaker and smaller force. The French were defeated by Vietminh guerrillas in Dien Bien Phu. Soviet Union forces, still a superpower at that time, were defeated in Afghanistan. And another superpower, the United States, was defeated by “ill-clad, ill-fed and ill-armed” Vietcong guerrillas in Vietnam.
If the US pushes through its plan of world domination, then it should expect all the smaller and weaker countries that do not wish to be pushed around to fight back using asymmetric warfare. This is a form of warfare that allows the weak to fight and defeat a much stronger foe by “attacking the enemy’s weakness while avoiding his strengths”.
The US, for instance, may possess the most sophisticated weapons system on Earth. It may have the most modern planes, helicopters, ships, guns, precision-guided weapons, sophisticated sensors and command and control systems, but if it cannot see its adversary, if it is fighting a shadowy and “invisible” enemy (like American and British forces are experiencing in Iraq), such advanced and sophisticated weapons systems are rendered useless.
In asymmetric warfare, most of the fighting is conducted at the team level. Thousands of agile and elusive teams consisting of two to five members equipped with man-portable surface-to-air missiles, portable anti-tank guided weapons, sniper rifles, man-portable mortars, anti-tank mines, anti-personnel mines, sea mines, C4 explosives (for making car bombs, booby-traps and improvised explosive devices or IEDs) riding on bicycles and motorcycles and fast boats will make the lives of any invading or occupying forces extremely miserable.
These “invisible” agile teams merge with the population most of the time and come out only when there is a vulnerable target to strike at. Then, they disappear into the shadows. They communicate via runners bringing coded written messages, so there are no electronic signals to track down. They operate semi-autonomously, so there are no centers of gravity that can be targeted.
And since they are indigenous to the area and united with the local people, their human intelligence (humint) is far more superior to that of the invaders. They will also enjoy a tremendous advantage in psychological operations (psyops), for it is much easier to mobilize nationalist sentiments against a foreign occupier than for an aggressor to justify occupation.
Asymmetric warfare may be compared to a fierce lion invading the territory of a school of piranhas; or a king cobra encroaching into a colony of fire ants. The lion may be the king of beasts, mighty and strong, but it is no match against the tiny piranhas in their own territory. The sharp fangs and claws of the lion are rendered useless. The same is true with the cobra’s venom. The analogy applies to the French in Dien Bien Phu, the Soviets in Afghanistan and the Americans in Vietnam and now in Iraq.
Aside from asymmetric warfare, weak nations fighting the strong can also avail themselves of asynchronous warfare. If a strong nation invades or occupies a weak one, the weak bides its time before striking back. And it strikes at a time and place when and where the adversary least expects.
An example is Iraq. The underground resistance movement in Iraq may recruit Iraqi scientists or sympathetic scientists of other nationalities to infiltrate the US (via the Mexican border, for instance) and manufacture dirty bombs as well as chemical and biological weapons inside the US. Such weapons may be brought to Washington and detonated in or near the US Congress.
They could also hire a private plane, or buy one themselves, and use it to spread biological or chemical weapons they have manufactured in-country over New York or Washington. They can mail letters containing anthrax to key offices of vital services all over the US and paralyze utilities and other government functions nationwide.
Or they can smuggle, say, the components of a hundred portable surface-to-air missiles, assemble them in the US, and employ them simultaneously in all of the major airports in America. Or they can employ those portable surface-to-air missiles to simultaneously target American airlines taking off or landing in different international airports all over the world.
Some major powers may pass on their research on RMA (revolution in military affairs) to the Iraqi resistance to be tested inside the US. These weapons include laser weapons, ultrahigh frequency weapons, ultrasonic wave weapons, stealth weapons, high-powered microwave weapons and electromagnetic guns. They include miniature robot ants that infiltrate computers, stay dormant and then activate on the signal to destroy their hosts. The Iraqi underground could also recruit hackers to work inside and/or outside the US to hack into key US systems.
As the sole superpower, the US stands at a critical crossroad. One road leads to world domination. Using its pre-eminent military war machine without equal, it can strike at any perceived threat, change foreign sovereign regimes at will, grab precious mineral resources anywhere in the world and control local economies with its host of transnational corporations. It can also sabotage the economy of up-coming rivals, or launch preventive wars to preempt prospective competitors and try to defeat them militarily while they are still weak compared to America.
Such a course of action is very tempting, especially to leaders with global ambitions of becoming “Lords of the Earth”. But such a road is full of risks and what is planned on paper, as what was done in Iraq, may not turn out as hoped. And such a path will necessarily ignite the outrage of most right-thinking people. America will earn for itself the enmity and hatred of people all over the world.
America had outlined its blueprint for world domination, by force if necessary, in the following documents:
National Security Strategy of the United States of America, September 2001
President George W Bush’s speech at the Graduation Ceremony at West Point, June 1, 2002
Rebuilding America’s Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources for the New Century, a report of the Project for the New American Century, September 2000
Defense Planning Guidance written by then deputy defense secretary Paul Wolfowitz in February 18, 1992
In these documents, the US outlined some of its new doctrines and policies, such as: preventive war, pre-emptive military action, unilateralism, regime change, acting as the world’s constabulary or “cavalry”, establishment of military bases and spreading US forces all over the world, control of outer space and the global commons of cyberspace and control of the world’s oil resources.
The alternate road, on the other hand, leads to world leadership. The US can choose to use its power, wealth and influence to sincerely do good for the people on this planet. It can lead in easing or obliterating the debt burden of poor nations, or in promoting the spread of quality education through distance learning in remote villages of developing countries.
It can focus in the fight against poverty, or the fight against drugs, or the effort to save the deteriorating environment of planet earth. It can lead the fight against HIV/AIDS, or malaria and other deadly diseases. The whole world is waiting for the US to lead in these important battles.
If the US chooses to focus its huge resources on the latter, I am confident that it will gain the hearts and minds of people all over the world. Then it can be a true world leader. Then it can maintain its preeminent world status. By gaining the world’s sympathy and support, terrorism directed against Americans and the US mainland will be greatly minimized. The alternate road, in fact, is the key to defeating the phenomenon of “terrorism” gripping the world today.
Speaking Freely is an Asia Times Online feature