The Best Defense

Gates to China: Grow up, little comrades

While Tom Ricks is away from his blog, he has selected a few of his favorite posts to re-run. We will be posting a few every day until he returns. This originally ran on June 7, 2010.

Interesting comment on U.S.-China relations from Defense Secretary Gates in Singapore over the weekend:

Last fall, President Obama and President Hu made a commitment to advance sustained and reliable military-to-military relations between the United States and the People's Republic of China. The key words here are "sustained" and "reliable" -- not a relationship repeatedly interrupted by and subject to the vagaries of political weather.

Regrettably, we have not been able to make progress on this relationship in recent months. Chinese officials have broken off interactions between our militaries, citing U.S. arms sales to Taiwan as the rationale. For a variety of reasons, this makes little sense:

  • First, U.S. arms sales to Taiwan are nothing new. They have been a reality for decades and spanned multiple American administrations.
  • Second, the United States has for years demonstrated in a very public way that we do not support independence for Taiwan. Nothing -- I repeat, nothing -- has changed in that stance.
  • Finally, because China's accelerating military buildup is largely focused on Taiwan, U.S. arms sales are an important component of maintaining peace and stability in cross-strait relations and throughout the region."
  • Zakaria has more on Beijing's new arrogance.

    (HT to AD)

    Flickr

    The Best Defense

    Here's the most worrisome sign in a soldier coming home from combat

    While Tom Ricks is away from his blog, he has selected a few of his favorite posts to re-run. We will be posting a few every day until he returns. This originally ran on May 27, 2010.

    I had a couple of flights yesterday so I caught up on my reading of military magazines -- Proceedings, Marine Corps Gazette, Air Force, and Army. Brig. Gen. Loree Sutton, the Army's highest-ranking psychiatrist, tells her service's magazine what sort of homecoming soldier worries her most:

    As a psychiatrist, I must say that an individual who comes back from 12 to 15 months, moreover a series of repeat tours over the last nine years, and says, 'It hasn't affected me at all' -- that's the person I'm most concerned about.

    health.mil