The Chinese nuclear effort long predates Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but the U.S.’s wariness about getting directly involved in the war there has likely reinforced Beijing’s decision to put greater emphasis on developing nuclear weapons as a deterrent, some of these people say. Chinese leaders see a stronger nuclear arsenal as a way to deter the U.S. from getting directly involved in a potential conflict over Taiwan.
Part of that may be plausible.
The truly significant part though is that China’s accelerating buildup suggests that it expects an imminent conflict.
Among recent developments, work has accelerated this year on more than 100 suspected missile silos in China’s remote western region that could be used to house nuclear-tipped missiles capable of reaching the U.S., according to analysts that study satellite images of the area.
American leaders have said the thinking behind China’s nuclear advance is unclear. Independent security analysts who study nuclear proliferation say they are also in the dark about what is driving Beijing after exchanges between Chinese officials and analysts mostly dried up in the past few years.
The answer is pretty clear.
China expects to need a larger nuclear arsenal with which to stalemate, blackmail or intimidate another nuclear power, and realistically it’s a short list.
China is an ongoing conflict with India, but it’s not likely to be engaging in a major nuclear buildup for that. It has plenty of nukes with which to intimidate India. While the Russia-China relationship is complex and has tensions, realistically China expects to intimidate America. And Taiwan and various Chinese expansionist plans are the issues likely to trigger any kind of showdown.
This is why Biden’s mishandling of the Ukraine war by sending mixed messages and showing weakness has been a disaster.
The likeliest way to stumble into a war is by sending mixed messages and showing weakness whether or not you want a war.
Milley’s Dishonest Answer on Afghanistan-Ukraine Invasion Link
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley didn’t hesitate to bash Trump, but he’s working overtime to protect Biden over the linkage between Afghanistan and Ukraine.
When pressed by Sen. Marsha Blackburn, a Tennessee Republican, on the Afghanistan withdrawal and whether it played a part in Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine, Milley replied: “From the intelligence I’ve read, it’s not clear. I think it certainly is possible, but I also know that Putin had aims on Ukraine long before the end of the war in Afghanistan.”
Blackburn cut him off: “I think we all know that. So he saw his opening, right?”
“Well, the forces were building up — they began to build up their force in September, October,” Milley replied. “So I think in order to do that, they would’ve had to have the plans and approval long before September, October.”
This is dumb. And Milley isn’t this dumb. No one in his position could be. This is a case of deliberately playing dumb.
The Russians would have had a dozen plans for invading Ukraine going back who knows how long. I’m sure Milley’s seen that we have plans for invading Ukraine, Fiji and anywhere else in the world. Considering Russia’s interests, I doubt they would have had to suddenly scramble to formulate new plans. And considering Russia’s performance, they were almost certainly working off some old plan.
As for approval, is Milley serious? Russia isn’t America. There’s a much shorter approval process in dictatorships especially ones in which the military brass is very political. Considering the botched disaster in Afghanistan, which Milley and other brass knew would go bad, he ought to appreciate that. When you can’t tell the head cheese that he’s an idiot and what he wants is going to get a bunch of people killed, the approval process is surprisingly short.