Biden ruffles feathers of anti-China hawks with Mid-East comment - ABDULLAH MURADOĞLU

Biden ruffles feathers of anti-China hawks with Mid-East comment

U.S. President Joe Biden announced during his speech at the Jeddah Summit in Saudi Arabia that the United States will not withdraw from the Middle East.

In fact, these statements contradict the basic idea associated with Biden's decision to withdraw the United States from Afghanistan. Because the main idea was that the United States withdraw from the Middle East and focus all its energies on the Indo-Pacific region.

Before Trump came, former U.S. President Barack Obama had called for an Asia-focused policy. At present, Joe Biden's VP is of Asian descent.

After his election as President of the United States, Biden chose his foreign policy and national security team of staff who held positions under the Obama administration, as these names shape U.S. policy in the Middle East and China.

Some of the figures were authors of books geared toward America's development of more effective, comprehensive, and deterrent strategies against China.

William Burns, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), warned against China's serious intention to invade Taiwan. This came during his speech at the Aspen Security Forum, which was held in Colorado between July 19 and 22,

Burns pointed out that China is closely following the developments of the Ukrainian war, and learned lessons from it.

"I think Chinese President Xi Jinping will take the step of invading when he is certain that his army has the ability to intervene in Taiwan," Burns said.

He added, "Our sense is that it probably affects less the question of whether the Chinese leadership might choose some years down the road to use force to control Taiwan, but how and when they would do it."

There is consensus in Washington among Democratic and Republican foreign policy elites to halt China's economic, technological, and military rise.

In their policy toward China, these elites are divided into "wise hawks" and "hotheaded hawks" Even if their partisan leanings differ, we can describe both sides as the anti-China parties in the United States.

The "hotheaded hawks" are taking a tougher stance against China as they consider Beijing a priority and place it in the context of the urgent problems of U.S. global hegemony.

These hawks consider the war in Ukraine, Russia, Europe, and the Middle East to be minor issues compared to this urgent problem, so the United States needs to make better use of its limited energy and time.

According to the hawks' (anti-China party) perspective, the Indo-Pacific is the main battlefield on the world stage and the United States should focus all its energy on China alone. The anti-China party asserts that in the not-too-distant future Beijing will try to invade Taiwan.

This party believes that the ability of the United States to defend Taiwan lags behind that of China. They, therefore, propose increasing U.S. defense spending to the extent that it exceeds China's military technological capabilities. The hawks are also encouraging the United States to expand and strengthen its alliances in the Indo-Pacific. For example, Japan should increase its defense spending to 2 or 3 percent of GDP, and Taiwan should restructure its military with a more defensive concept and effectiveness.

In this context, Biden's statements (announcing that his country will not withdraw from the Middle East) at the Jeddah summit in Saudi Arabia provoked the anger of the urgent (hotheaded) hawks (the anti-China party). This group believes that what Biden has announced about the Middle East may reduce the United States' focus on the Indo-Pacific region.

Elbridge Colby, former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense under Trump, is one of the leading figures among the "hotheaded hawks".

Colby was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the principal architect of the document for the 2018 U.S. National Defense Strategy.

Elbridge Colby is also the grandson of William Colby, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Elbridge talked at length about China throughout his book published in 2021 titled "The Strategy of Denial: American Defense in an Age of Great Power Conflict."

In his book, Colby argues that China intends to invade Taiwan, and wants the United States to be prepared accordingly.

Accordingly, the United States should develop a "counter-strategy" based on the best strategy in China's mind, not on the lowest odds. According to Colby, who argues that capabilities make intentions possible, the biggest threat to the United States is China, not Russia. Stating that China has strengthened its military capabilities, Colby said the U.S. should take China's capabilities into account in long-term strategic planning.

Arguing that U.S. foreign policy should not be guided by a "special affinity" or "ism" for any region, Colby said, "The United States should focus on the most important parts of the world for the security, welfare, and freedom of Americans. In the past, this was primarily Europe. Now it's  Asia,” he says. For the hotheaded hawks, preventing China from establishing "hegemony" in Asia - no matter what happens in Europe - should be the priority of U.S. foreign policy.


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