narrow our strategic options Investments in cyber and anti satellite warfare

Narrow our strategic options investments in cyber and

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narrow our strategic options … Investments in cyber and anti-satellite warfare, anti-air and anti-ship weaponry, and ballistic missiles could threaten America's primary way to project power and help allies in the Pacific—in particular our forward air bases and carrier strike groups (US Department of Defense 16 September 2009). Gates’ geographical imagination of China in this speech is predicated on two inter-related assumptions that exemplify a political realist “way of seeing”. First, China is not recognized as an “ally” of the US, although it is clear that the US is the key driver of such politics of recognition in the first place . Furthermore, it appears that US military “protection” is a precondition to qualify as an “ally”, a logic which automatically casts states without such “protection” as suspect. Second, China's military-modernization process is ostensibly a “threat” because such efforts could , in Gates’ terms, “ disrupt ” the “ strategic options of the US in East Asia , even when it is entirely plausible that increased defense spending is to fulfil other valid purposes, such as replacing obsolete military equipment to address new threats by terrorists and maritime pirates, and enhancing remuneration packages for soldiers. Third, America wants to “project power” on its own terms, which is why it becomes “ concerned ” when so-called non-allies upgrade their defence technologies . This point is further reaffirmed in the Pentagon's 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review: “lack of transparency and the nature of China's military development and decision-making processes raise legitimate questions about its future conduct and intentions within Asia and beyond” (Pentagon 2010:60). However, the extent to which the questions are “legitimate” is clearly a unilateral
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legal-discursive construction of the US that reflects the enduring effect of political realism in US security thought . These assumptions collectively constitute what Bialasiewicz et al (2007; see also Lott 2004) call America's “performative” security strategy , through which perceived insecurities are constructed as ontological facts so that mitigation” measures could be justified . A critical assessment of the motivations behind China's military modernization policies is thus necessary before it can be ascertained whether a “China threat” exists. First, while China is not recognized as a US “ally”, it does not justify its defense modernization programs through anti-US rhetoric. For Chinese policymakers, it does appear that the critical issue is protection and consolidation of its existing territories (more on this in the third section). According to Luo Yuan, a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and senior researcher with the Academy of Military Sciences, “China is the only permanent member of the UN Security Council that has not achieved territorial integrity … We need to think more on how to preserve national integrity. We have no intention of challenging the US” (China Daily 4 March 2010). In terms of defense budget, China's increased 2010
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