Chinese Mainland, Taiwan and the US Military Complex Theory
Editor's note: The writer is Dr Mehmood Ul Hassan Khan, Executive Director of The Center for South Asia & International Studies (CSAIS) Islamabad, and regional expert on China, CPEC & BRI. The article reflects the author's opinions and not necessarily the views of Gwadar Pro.
Despite China’s strong messages and integrated diplomatic efforts to convince the US to stay away from its internal affairs, the US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi did not alter her plans and paid a visit to China’s Taiwan region and consequently infuriated China and its leadership.
Ironically, the US government and its establishment still believe in the one-Chinaprinciple and honour the three communiqués signed between the two sides in the past. But why Pelosi launched the so-called “Taiwan Independence Project”? The answer is not simple but seemingly it is a planned move to maintain the strategic status quo of Taiwan and tactically delay its reunification with the Chinese mainland for some 5-8 years. It is a diplomatic coup which has created unbearable heat and uneasiness between the two sides.
Nancy Pelosi left behind a great crisis, born out of mistrust, hypocrisy, and conspiratorial attitude of the hawks sitting in the Joe Bidden administration. They have been persuaded to reactivate the “US Military Complex Theory (UMCT)” to earn more money out of military misadventures and deadly conflicts in the Indo-Pacific region.
The UMCT has great validity and relevancy in the case of Taiwan, not the least because right now the US macro-economy is at its lowest ebbs and has entered into recession.
According to the Stockholm Internal Peace Research Foundation (SIPRI), the US spendsaround US$ 1.5 trillion on military purposesannually, not just in its ‘Defense’ department, but all of its departments taken together. In April, the institute reported that, “US military spending amounted to US$ 801 billion in 2021, which is the highest in the world.”
Under the UMCT framework, owners of the military industries promoted a dictatorship serving the owners of the military corporations and of their extraction-corporate dependencies such as Chevron.
Since 1945 starting from Truman to incumbent Joe Bidden, war euphoria, military misadventuresand deadly conflicts remained a profitable doctrine of successive US governments to support its military establishment, defense departments and last but not least military industries.
Frankly speaking, the US government was forced to remain on a virtually permanent war footing, even though World War II against imperialistic fascism had ended.
The US had to pass through the Global Neoliberal Militarism (GNM) which surfaced as the defining institutional-ideological configuration of USmilitarism, with the rise to power of a neoconservative coalition centred on the privatisation of all possible military functions while expressing an inordinate affection and affliction for military intervention embodying the worst illusions of the pre-First World War Prussian militarist.
The next crucial stage was the birth of the Corporate Militarism Regime (CMR) which was meant for the acquisition of windfall and structural profits, technological spinoffs, patent-rights transfers, and subsidised plant and equipment. This model may be now replicated on the so-called project of “Taiwan Independence” by the US and its strategic allies in the region.
Unfortunately, since the Second World War, corporate militarism has been active and jointly working with military Keynesianism and had close association with Global Neoliberal Militarism (GNM).
In this regard, between 2017 and 2021, the primary focus was on bolstering military contractors while US leaders sought legitimation by raising salaries for military personnel. This process was engineered by a coterie of industrial titans controlling the commanding heights of the Pentagon.
Public assent for US militarism was constantly advocated through various integrated means from 2001 to 2016. These years witnessed the rise of George W. Bush’s neoconservative war cabinet whose doctrine persuaded maintenance of global US hegemony through military dominance and intervention in the world.
Thus the genie of terrorism was sponsored, designed and disseminated to come out of the bottle which ultimately birthed global franchised sanctuaries around the globe.
Ultimately 9/11 happened and consequently defense spending was increased substantially as the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq began and endured. In this connection, the active US Army grew from 470,000 to 548,000 and the Marine Corps expanded from 158,000 to 202,000, while Air Force and Navy end strengths remained static or declined slightly.
Afterward, the US transformative initiatives further enhanced investments in command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance systems and in precision munitions, as well as in force protection enhancements such as up-armored wheeled vehicles.
To conclude, the US State Department announced the China Containment Policy in 2011 and thus started a new relentless and indirect war against China by forming strategic military alliances in the shapes of QUAD, AUKUS, military deals with Australia, Korea, Japan, Philippines and many others in the Indo-Pacific Region. Thus, Pelosi’s visit is an extension of the US hawkish attitude aiming to create military conflict and start selling arms.
Taiwan is the legitimate part of China which will be reunited in the near future. The US provocations have some methods of madness which is in search of new flashpoint to start milking unlimited profits for its defense industries from the region.
Even in his farewell address, US President Dwight D. Eisenhower clearly warned the public about the increasingly powerful military-industrial complex and the threat it posed to American democracy. This is still valid in the case of Taiwan.