Foreigners will “beat their heads and shed blood” if they try to stop the rise of China, Communist country’s Party leader Xi Jinping said in a speech Wednesday at an event marking the party’s centenary.
“The Chinese people will never allow foreign forces to intimidate, oppress us or enslave us. Anyone harboring illusions while doing this will break their heads and spill blood on the Great Steel Wall built from the flesh and blood of 1.4 billion Chinese, ”Xi said, according to the report. New York Times, who notes that Xi was “dressed in a Mao costume” for the occasion.
Other notable snippets include:
- “No one should underestimate the unwavering determination, steadfast will and powerful ability of the Chinese people to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity. “
- “A strong power needs a strong army, and only a strong army can make a country safe.”
At this last point, China would be on an ICBM silo-building frenzy in his north-central Gansu province, researchers from the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies in California discovered and shared with the Washington post Wednesday.
Further concerning: “The 119 nearly identical construction sites contain characteristics that mirror those seen in existing launch facilities for China’s arsenal of nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles,” WaPoJoby Warrick reports.
What else, “If elevators under construction at other sites across China are added to the tally, the total rises to around 145 elevators under construction,” said Jeffey Lewis of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. “We believe China is expanding its nuclear forces in part to maintain a deterrent force that can survive a US first strike in sufficient numbers to defeat US missile defenses. “
All this construction “would force his enemies to take all the new silos seriously. and strengthen the image of China as a nuclear power much more powerful than before ”, tweeted Tong Zhao of the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for World Politics. “Whether China actually fills every silo with an ICBM is another matter. “
House Panel Offers $ 1 Million To Start Renaming Bases That Honor Confederates // Caitlin M. Kenney: The name change commission plans to finalize the list in the fall of 2022.
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B-52 engine replacement could keep bomber flying until its 100th anniversary // Tara Copp: Other improvements allowed the Air Force to consider smaller crews.
When does a “cyber attack” demand retaliation? NATO expands its vision // Stefan Soesanto: A set of “malicious cumulative cyber activities” can now constitute an armed attack.
The Iran nuclear deal is not the problem. Iran is. // James Jeffrey and Dennis Ross, The Atlantic: If and when a return to the deal is made, the Biden administration will also have to counter Iran’s growing efforts in the Middle East.
Welcome to this Thursday edition of Briefs D by Ben Watson with Bradley Peniston. If you haven’t already subscribed to Briefs D, You can do it here.
Dunford and Esper rush to Milley’s defense after former President Donald Trump called for Milley’s sacking in rambling declaration Wednesday.
“Gen. Mark Milley’s biggest fear is to upset the waking crowd”, Trump said in his opening sentence, before adding, “General. Milley should resign and be replaced by someone who is genuinely ready to defend our military against radical leftists who hate our country and our flag.
What is happening: Several of America’s most extreme conservatives have started attack Milley last week after testifying on Capitol Hill. There he spoke about the importance of being “open-minded and well-read” when it comes to understanding race-related issues in America today. “I read Mao Zedong. I read Karl Marx. I read Lenin, ”Milley said at the hearing. “That doesn’t make me a Communist. So what is wrong with having some understanding of the situation in the country we are here to defend? Hours later, Fox News host Tucker Carlson called him a “pig” and “dumb” and Trump called Milley “pathetic” in an interview with Newsmax.
Behind all this drama hides “a wider GOP campaign seeking to make critical race theory an electoral issue, applying the label to all kinds of teachings on race and diversity ”, The hill reports. “The GOP’s effort to harness the idea of critical race theory has increasingly turned its ire toward diversity, equity and inclusion efforts in the military.”
“I think General Milley always tried to keep the military out of politics,” Dunford said Politics, who notes that AEI’s Kori Schake has a different take than Dunford’s on Milley’s political instincts. Still, Dunford continued: “I think these incidents reflect more the difficult political environment in which he operates rather than an indication that he has changed his mind about anything.”
“The personal attacks on GEN Mark Milley and the calls for his resignation are totally unwarranted”, Esper tweeted Wednesday evening. “He and I have worked together for over 3 years to advance United States security and strengthen our armed forces. He is an officer and a person of impeccable integrity and professionalism. GEN Milley is a decorated veteran who has served our great country for over 4 decades. His patriotism and his commitment to the Constitution are indisputable. The attempts to denigrate it and to politicize our military are wrong. I will always be with / for him and the US military.
In international headlines, Ethiopian rebels reportedly ignore government ceasefire and make new gains. “Rebel fighters in Ethiopia’s Tigray region continue to gain ground after recapturing the regional capital Mekelle from government forces,” reports the BBC. Rebel spokesman Getachew Reda told Reuters that Tigrayan fighters will “destroy the enemy” by entering Eritrea north of Tigray and Ethiopia’s Amhara region to the south.
ICYMI: “Horrible atrocities” are committed in Tigray, and Washington will not stand still, senior US State Department official Robert Godec said on Tuesday. The BBC notes, however, that “all parties to the conflict have been accused of massacres and human rights violations.” Read on, here.
Virgin Orbit has just launched four Pentagon satellites into orbit from the wing of a 747. CNBC has a few more here.
And finally: former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld died Tuesday at his home in Taos, New Mexico, at the age of 88, his family said in a statement Wednesday. Rumsfeld was a smart and dedicated public servant, and an exceptionally accomplished veteran of Beltway politics. He is also the only person to lead the US military under two different presidents (Presidents Ford and George W. Bush), making him the 13th and 21st Secretary of Defense of the United States. “The first time, in 1975-77, he was the youngest of all time,” writes ABC News. “Next time, 2001-06, he was the oldest.”
Long-time Pentagon reporter Bob Burns delivered a particularly effective summary de Rumsfeld and his legacy in the Associated Press obituary on Wednesday: “When the others were resting, he would run.” While others were seated, he stood up. But try as he could, at the height of his career as Secretary of Defense he could not foil the ruinous policy of the Iraq war. “
SecDef27 Esper called Rummy “a leader and a patriot who has served our great country in many ways during an extraordinary life, ”he said. tweeted Wednesday, and added: “I had the privilege of working for him as DepAsstSec in the 2000s. He will be sadly missed by many. “
Another POV: “The Worst US Secretary of Defense” wrote George Packer in Atlantic, “Began to make mistakes in the hours following the [9/11] attacks and never stopped. He argued that the attacks proved the need for the missile defense shield he had long advocated. He believed that the American war in Afghanistan meant the end of the Taliban. He believed that the new Afghan government did not need the United States to stick around for security and support. He believed that the United States should stiffen the United Nations, push back its allies and go it alone. He insisted that al Qaeda could not function without a strong man like Saddam… ”More, here.
This is the perfect time to hear Rami defend himself in a lengthy interview devoted to his 2013 legacy titled “The Unknown Known”. It’s from acclaimed documentary maker Errol Morris, and it’s now streaming on Netflix.