US military complex is a ‘malignant virus’ that’s evolved to defend itself – Andrew Cockburn — RT USA News

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US destroyer armed with missiles enters S. China Sea in challenge to Beijing’s territorial claims

A US Navy Arleigh Burke-class destroyer sailed next to a disputed shoal in the South China Sea, ignoring repeated warnings from Beijing to stay clear of the region amid rising tensions between the two economic superpowers.

On Sunday, the USS Preble (DDG-88), armed with Tomahawk missiles, sailed along the Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea in order to “challenge” the Asian giant’s claim to the area. Washington has repeatedly refused to acquiesce to Chinese protests over its incursions into the sea, citing the principle of “freedom of navigation.”

“Preble sailed within 12 nautical miles of Scarborough Reef in order to challenge excessive maritime claims and preserve access to the waterways as governed by international law,” Commander Clay Doss, a spokesman for the Seventh Fleet, stated.

The navigation of the Preble, so close to the Scarborough Reef, was later condemned by Beijing. Commenting on the matter during a news briefing, Foreign Minister Lu Kang said the ministry “strongly urges” the US to stop sending its warships to the region, calling them “provocative actions.”

Sunday’s incident marks the second such US intrusion into the South China Sea this month. On May 6, the USS Chung-Hoon sailed within 12 nautical miles of Gaven and Johnson Reefs in the Spratly Islands, triggering a strong response from China.

“The relevant actions of the US warships violated China’s sovereignty and undermined peace, security and good order in the relevant sea areas,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said…

US is heading toward a looming maritime showdown… but not with Iran:

FILE PHOTO The Ronald Reagan Strike Group ship’s aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan conduct an exercise with the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force ships © U.S. Navy/Handout via REUTERS/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kaila V. Peter

There are many indications that the United States and China are creeping towards a potential conflict in the South China Sea. When the motivations behind this war become clear the stakes become that much more serious.
While the world is drumming up a potential maritime showdown between the US and Iran (yet again), Western media is conveniently ignoring a potential looming conflict in the South China Sea, one that has been building up for years.

Recent developments

Just last week, naval vessels from Japan, the US, India, and the Philippines sailed through the South China Sea in an almost week-long military drill aimed at containing China’s expanding influence in the region. As it happens, China’s renewed friendship with the Philippines under the rule of Rodrigo Duterte has been short-lived and is not exactly going as planned.

Duterte, who has signalled he wants to turn his country away from the US and work more closely with China, even disregarding an international arbitration ruling which ruled in favour of the Philippines, has had his work cut out for him. For example, he must reckon with two former Filipino officials who filed a complaint with the International Criminal Court (ICC) over China’s activities in the South China Sea. He also has to deal with what he feels is the to-ing and fro-ing between the US and China on a regular basis. Should the Philippines be forced to defend any of its claimed territories from China, Washington has signalled that it is committed to defending the Philippines against China due to a mutual defence treaty between the two nations…

Quote from following article:

The MIC is embedded in our society to such a degree that it cannot be dislodged, and also that it could be said to be concerned, exclusively, with self-preservation and expansion, like a giant, malignant virus.

The system’s “beauty,” he ironically points out, “lies in its self-reinforcing nature.” Every new system, weapon, or piece of equipment, costs up to twice as much as the one it’s built to replace, and is often either plagued by bugs that have to be fixed (for additional money), or is straight-up worse than the predecessor. Busted deadlines and post-rollout fixes then inflate the costs even further, lining the defense contractors’ pockets.

With this in mind, defense spending has been growing at a steady pace since World War II, and when there’s talk of slashing that growth, a perceived ‘threat’ emerges to justify bumping it up. This was the case with the “fraudulent specter” of the “missile gap” with the Soviet Union during the Cold War, or the war in Vietnam…

I would recommend the following article for all of the flag-waving, “USA” shouting morons out there. Every empire that has ever existed has risen and fallen. And your dying empire, Mr and Ms ‘Exceptional’ America, will be the shortest-lived and yet most destructive, perverse and genocidal one to have ever risen and fallen.

This will be your fallen empires’ legacy, its pitiful and disgusting epitaph, Mr and Ms ‘Exceptional’ America, when the rest of the world finally rises up and brings your empire down, which is already in progress (The U.S. Has Been Eclipsed in Every Sphere But War):

US military complex is a ‘malignant virus’ that’s evolved to defend itself

FILE PHOTO © Reuters / Inquam Photos / Octav Ganea

The US military industrial complex has grown into a self-sustaining organism with an immune system that attacks and smothers any threat to its food supply – the taxpayers’ money, writes renowned defense analyst Andrew Cockburn.

Cockburn outlines the process that allows US defense contractors to thrive despite repeatedly missing deadlines and producing overpriced, subpar equipment. The system has evolved to be very good at defending itself – while leaving the country, “in reality so poorly defended,” he writes in his latest think piece for Harper’s Magazine titled ‘The Military-Industrial Virus: How bloated defense budgets gut our armed forces’.

Cockburn, whose 40+ years of experience include numerous books and publications on the US’ military complex, its foreign wars and adversaries, looks at the current state of America’s armed force – from the overpriced “disaster” that is the F-35 fighter, to the few “dilapidated” minesweepers, to faulty personal protection and radios American soldiers are equipped with – and compares it to the exorbitant defense bills the taxpayer has to foot.

The MIC is embedded in our society to such a degree that it cannot be dislodged, and also that it could be said to be concerned, exclusively, with self-preservation and expansion, like a giant, malignant virus.

The system’s “beauty,” he ironically points out, “lies in its self-reinforcing nature.” Every new system, weapon, or piece of equipment, costs up to twice as much as the one it’s built to replace, and is often either plagued by bugs that have to be fixed (for additional money), or is straight-up worse than the predecessor. Busted deadlines and post-rollout fixes then inflate the costs even further, lining the defense contractors’ pockets.

With this in mind, defense spending has been growing at a steady pace since World War II, and when there’s talk of slashing that growth, a perceived ‘threat’ emerges to justify bumping it up. This was the case with the “fraudulent specter” of the “missile gap” with the Soviet Union during the Cold War, or the war in Vietnam.

Opposition to the exorbitant spending among Washington’s politicians is muted and misdirected, Cockburn writes. Even those who are against it, like Rep. Ro Khanna (D-California), tend to focus on the “misuse of our military power,” not the apparent fact that its use is driven first and foremost by MIC revenues – not the other way around. US President Donald Trump’s recent attempt to reduce the growth of defense spending by proposing a $700 billion budget for 2020 was an “aberration,” quickly corrected to $750 billion.

Cockburn’s arguments ring especially true as Washington gears up for a stand-off with Iran, sending warships, nuclear-capable bombers and reportedly preparing a 120,000-strong force for a possible Middle East showdown. He points to the absence of military parades in the US – but what’s a parade, in terms of showcasing military might (and the money at work), compared to a live-fire demonstration with an ‘adversary’ on the receiving end?

Source: US military complex is a ‘malignant virus’ that’s evolved to defend itself – Andrew Cockburn — RT USA News