‘Obama’s new roadmap no step to pacifism’
“This is not a step away from war, this is not a step towards pacifism or towards a retreat from empire building,” Becker says. He argues that it simply proposes a military strategy that costs American political leaders, Obama or otherwise, less on the home front.
“If there are fewer American casualties, if all the bleeding is done on the other side, if all the destruction is done by those who are suffering the consequences of war, they feel there will be less anti-war sentiment at home.”
So, according to Becker, Obama's proposal is anything but progressive.
“What the Obama Administration and the Pentagon are doing – and Obama is signaling it explicitly in his speech – is putting again the primacy of the turn towards Asia, which really is a turn against China.” Becker says the US is looking forward to “endless competition and the evolution of a possible Cold War-type scenario with China,” which would give the Pentagon a long-term enemy to justify a continued expansion of the US defense budget.
“This does not cut the defense budget, it only slows its projected growth,” Becker says. The US government budget deficit is a major problem and a threat to the US standing in the global market, Becker points out, but nonetheless the primacy of the military-industrial complex is intact.
“So if there is a budget shortage, you’ll see teachers laid off, nurses laid off, firefighters laid off, but the Pentagon will get more than its fair share.”
The plan, with an emphasis on making the military leaner and cheaper, calls on the armed forces to abandon their ability to fight two simultaneous land wars, and shift focus to military superiority across Asia and the Pacific.