Over the past few decades, while the world’s attention has been focused elsewhere (particularly after the attacks of 9/11 and growing terrorist activity) China has been surely but quietly building it’s strategic and tactical military establishment. No nation on earth threatens China yet it’s buildup of long-range military strength, including ships, aircraft, and missiles suggests that it’s preparing for more than homeland defense. By 2020 it’s estimated that their navy will have 100 more ships and submarines than ours. Sea power is one-third of the military triad, and it’s as important today as ever. Recently it’s been occupying and even building islands in the South China Sea, a critical shipping route that has disputed claims of ownership. The ability to disrupt commerce in the shipping lanes can’t be underestimated.
It has also taken non-military actions that could adversely affect the USA if China chose to attack us. US corporations have been hacked by Chinese seeking our technology, and these hacking skills are directly transferable to hacking of government networks and cyber attacks on our infrastructure. China has been buying property in the US that could be used as centers for espionage or sabotage. It also holds over 1 trillion dollars of US debt that could be redeemed at once to cause an economic shock.
So, what can the US do to protect ourselves without becoming isolationist?
First, recognize that China is still a communist country that’s just using capitalism to enrich itself. It’s a trading partner that needs world markets for its cheaply made products, but it’s not our friend. It has no interest in concepts like individual freedom or human rights. Over 99% of court trials end in a conviction. The death penalty is widely used. It uses threats against family members in China to silence dissenters who live in other countries. The state controls every aspect of peoples’ lives, much as “progressives” would like to do here.
With that recognition, accept the idea that all future wars won’t necessarily be geographically limited and keep our military strong. We can rule the seas or lose them. We need well equipped and trained troops, long-range aircraft, and, even though we hope they’d never be used, our land and sea-based intercontinental ballistic missiles. The concept of MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) is one remnant of the Cold War that hasn’t gone away.
Keep our infrastructure strong. Our transportation infrastructure is essential to rapid mobilization and sustaining a long conflict. The idea that a hacker anywhere in the world could shut down large sections of our electric grid or cripple our financial system is unacceptable. China isn’t the only nation exploring cyber warfare against the US. Computer attacks from Eastern Europe and Middle Eastern nations like Iran have been increasing too.
Impose limits on the total amount of US debt that can be held by other countries along with a limit on how much can be held by any one country. I proposed this in an earlier article.
Uphold the Second Amendment. The endlessly repeated story that Japan didn’t invade the USA during WW II because there would be “a rifle behind every bush” has not been historically verified, but it does illustrate a point. If foreign troops were to land on US soil during a widespread conflict when our troops were spread thin around the world, the men and women of the shooting sports would defend their families and their country from the invaders. They would become the militia that the authors of the Constitution envisioned, and every other nation knows it.