Robert Gates makes nonsensical claims, raises fears over Iran, China and the military budget at ASIS
By End the Lie
At the ASIS International 58th Annual Seminar and Exhibits in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, former United States Secretary of Defense Robert Gates gave a keynote speech in which he presented some nonsensical claims regarding the non-existent Iranian nuclear program, promoted fear of China and he seemed to hint at another September 11, 2001-style attack if the military budget is not maintained.
This kind of rhetoric is far from surprising, seeing as Ryan Crocker, the former American ambassador to Afghanistan, claimed that al Qaeda could plan and carry out another attack in the mold of 9/11 if we stop occupying Afghanistan.
Gates gave some quite dark warnings about the coming “financial cliff” he sees coming this fall due to the Budget Control Act of 2011 since it will force mandatory across-the-board cuts called “sequestrations.”
Gates appeared to be attempting to leveraging fear when he claimed that the forced cuts could result in “the same anemic intelligence operations that were the result of budget cuts to intelligence agencies in the 1980’s, which contributed to the lack of intelligence on the first World Trade Center attack and the Sept. 11 attacks,” according to Government Security News Magazine.
Government Security News Magazine also points out that the three threats Gates focused on are hardly surprising targets due to “Gates’ knowledge and experience with all three in his tenor [sic] not only as secretary of defense between 2006 and 2011, but his past 26 year career in the Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Council.”
Gates said that the United States “can expect more belligerence,” from China while focusing on cyberwarfare as their weapon of choice. To be fair, China does have a quite advanced cyberwarfare program, although they are increasingly focusing on spending in traditional warfare sectors.
Much of the Chinese military buildup appears to be in response to the United States’ activities in the South China Sea (and the shifted focus to the region) which, despite Chinese warnings, has continued unabated and in some cases even increased evidenced by the military technology being exported to nations which do not share Chinese interests in the region.
However, Gates said that China has been investing in asymmetric warfare and alternative technologies rather than investing in traditional military hardware, which, while true is a bit of a misrepresentation since they have also acquired an aircraft carrier, which the United States ironically demanded an explanation for.
Gates also said that both the rapidly improving standard of living in China and the export-based economy are unsustainable. He said that the “paranoid leadership of the country,” as Government Security News Magazine put it, is looking to cover up their instability by pushing nationalism while “inflaming regional resentments with Japan.”
It was somewhat surprising to learn that Gates spoke out against a preemptive strike on alleged Iranian nuclear facilities by Israel. Gates reportedly said that such a strike would inflame Middle Eastern tensions leading to potential retaliatory strikes against the United States and an increasingly intense drive towards nuclear weapons.
“An attack would make a nuclear-armed Iran inevitable,” Gates said. Personally, I think this is a point which is far too often overlooked but more interestingly, it is yet another clear statement showing that Iran does not, in fact, have nuclear weapons.
Gates claimed that the ideal course of action is continued sanctions which he claims “are beginning to bite. “The best chance we have is diplomatic isolation” of Iran, according to Gates.
Oddly enough, Gates nonsensically also stated that the so-called Iranian nuclear weapons crisis is “the most difficult national security problem” he has seen in the past 45 years.
How can Gates clearly state that Iran does not have nuclear weapons and then revert to claiming that it is a national security problem in the same address with a straight face?
Your guess is as good as mine.
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