Biden’s Feb. 11 Indo-Pacific Strategy nullified by Ukraine invasion; Analyst lays out emergency Taiwan plan

by WorldTribune Staff, April 1, 2022

On Feb. 11, Team Biden released its Indo-Pacific Strategy. Less than two weeks later it had been overtaken by events, an analyst noted.

“Russian dictator Vladimir Putin made this strategy obsolete by demonstrating the failure of American and European deterrence with his invasion of Ukraine,” Rick Fisher, a contributing editor, wrote for The Prospect Foundation on March 31.

Ships from the Indian Navy, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, and the U.S. Navy sail in formation during Malabar 2018. / U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Erwin Jacob V. Miciano

A press release issued by the Biden administration on Feb. 11 said: “The Biden-Harris Administration has made historic strides to restore American leadership in the Indo-Pacific and adapt its role for the 21st century. In the last year, the United States has modernized its longstanding alliances, strengthened emerging partnerships, and forged innovative links among them to meet urgent challenges, from competition with China to climate change to the pandemic.”

Team Biden’s Indo-Pacific Strategy outlines five “objectives” that the U.S. will pursue with “allies, partners…[and] regional institutions;” Advance a free and open Indo-Pacific; Build connections within and beyond the region; Drive regional prosperity; Bolster Indo-Pacific security; Build regional resilience to transnational threats.

But, since Feb. 24, “this order has been made obsolete; the fourth objective is now paramount: how to prevent Russia and China, no longer deterred by U.S. and allied power, from starting wars,” Fisher, a senior fellow with the International Assessment and Strategy Center, wrote.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin introduced the concept of “integrated deterrence” in the summer of 2021. The concept does not just rely on military means, but also “federal agencies, partner nations and allies…using every military and non-military tool in lock-step with allies and partners.”

“But the Chinese military challenge is becoming much more direct and existential, requiring first, far greater military deterrence,” Fisher wrote. “China is now sprinting to achieve nuclear superiority over the United States; the PLA could amass over 4,000 nuclear warheads by late in this decade, while the Biden Administration has limited the U.S. to 1,550 warheads by extending U.S. adherence to the 2010 New Start nuclear reduction treaty to 2026.”

The situation “could get much worse,” Fisher noted, even if Putin loses his war in Ukraine.

If Putin’s regime survives “it will become much more dependent on China for aid, commerce, and even new weapons. But their strategic entente, a decade in development, already includes ‘strategic defense’ cooperation, meaning they could also have started ‘nuclear offense’ cooperation,” Fisher wrote.

China and Russia could then “combine their nuclear forces to coerce the United States from trying to halt a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, just as China and Russia could push North Korea to initiate diversionary nuclear or non-nuclear conflicts, with China having provided significant assistance to enable Pyongyang’s nuclear capabilities,” Fisher noted.

Related: China’s newest carrier transited Taiwan Strait 12 hours before Xi-Biden call, March 22, 2022

On March 10, a Russian regime opponent named Vladimir Osechkin revealed an alleged analysis from a Russian secret service member noting that, until the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Chinese supreme leader Xi Jinping was planning to invade Taiwan in the Fall of 2022.

“While there is no way to validate this information, there is no questioning that the PLA is building up to invade Taiwan, and the fact that time is running out to prevent this disaster,” Fisher wrote.

For U.S. Indo-Pacific Strategy, there is no greater priority “than the prevention of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, the Philippines, or India, which now requires that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leadership be made to fear the power of the United States and a coalition of states that are armed and coordinated to defeat Chinese aggression,” Fisher wrote.

“This, in turn, requires an acknowledgement and a constant public information campaign that provides awareness of how China and Russia, along with North Korea and Iran, constitute a new ‘Axis of Evil’ capable of a full range of nuclear and non-nuclear coercive and warfighting strategies — at varying levels of cooperation. Such a strategy also requires specifically exposing the CCP’s explicit ambitions for hegemony on earth, and in outer space, where the CCP seeks to control the ‘Space Economy’ which it envisions driving prosperity on Earth in future centuries.”

To counter the combined China-Russia nuclear threat, Fisher noted, the U.S. must abandon the New Start Treaty with Russia “and then build and deploy thousands of new nuclear warheads. There are some in Washington who oppose the U.S. building of new nuclear armed sea-launched cruise missiles (SLCM-N), but it is crucial that these be deployed along with new nuclear armed medium and intermediate range ballistic and hypersonic missiles.”

The United States must also approach Japan, South Korea and Australia “to offer joint basing of tactical nuclear weapons when their respective governments determine that is required,” Fisher wrote. “As nuclear attack submarines may not be ready for Australia for a decade, it is necessary for the U.S. to offer joint-basing of strategic bombers like the B-1A, to provide a near-term very long range non-nuclear deterrent.”

It must be made clear to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) “that its aggression against Taiwan or any other neighbor will not succeed, or that Russian or North Korean aggression will not be allowed to provide diversionary cover, and that the CCP will not achieve its ambitions for global hegemony, the Indo-Pacific Strategy must include a campaign to politically and economically isolate Russia and China, as well as to strengthen the isolation of North Korea and Iran.”

President Donald Trump successfully pressured and convinced European allies to increase their defense spending, “an example of positive leadership that could yet help Russia to decide not to expand its war beyond Ukraine,” Fisher noted. “It is also necessary for Washington to provide similar leadership to convince Asian democracies, especially Taiwan, Japan, South Korea and Australia, to significantly increase their defense budgets.”

Fisher concluded: “A new Indo-Pacific Strategy will require the tough leadership necessary to reorder domestic ‘progressive’ priorities. Requirements to deter existential threats from China and Russia now dictate that the hundreds of billions of dollars democracies were planning to throw at ‘climate change’ be devoted to immediate massive requirements for increased defense capabilities.”

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