As both a lifelong student of history---and also as the published author of 20 books of history worldwide since 1993---I note with interest that in the 1960 Kennedy-Nixon debates, the single word "Vietnam" was not even mentioned once! That, of course, turned out to be THE political foreign affairs issue of the next full decade and more.
Discussed instead---even more oddly!---were two totally obscure Nationalist Chinese islands contested by Taiwan and then Peking (now Beijing) called Quemoy and Matsu, not heard from since, 56 years later!
I read my first book on America’s first Korean War during the summer of 1963 when I worked as a restaurant busboy at Bethany Beach, DE, and thus was well aware that the Red Chinese had fought us in that war by invading Korea.
In 1967, I was myself serving against Communists in South Vietnam, when I turned over in my mind what would happen if the Red Chinese Army chose to intervene in that war by invading South Vietnam? My conclusion was that we might very well be defeated in a conventional war that our army had been seeking, because we were overconfident. I still think so, too.
In more recent years, it has developed in fact that the Red Chinese did have troops in North Vietnam as advisors to the Communist regime at Hanoi. Thus, "veterans’ voices" books now include these Chinese veterans as well.
If we could peer ahead 50-100 years in the future, we might be astonished to find---and maybe not---that the Third World War broke out against us and our traditional allies in the West and Israel on one side, and China, Iran, Iraq, and the Arab states on the other. Oddly, it may very well develop that Putin’s Russia and even today’s Red Vietnam might fight on our side, as both
fear Red China even more than we do.
In 1969, I recall reading a book entitled War Between Russia and China by the late Harrison E. Salisbury, then the military analyst for The New York Times. This was highlighted by a series of Sino-Soviet border disputes along the Mongolian Ussuri River. It was solved diplomatically with the aid of then President Richard Nixon, who never got the credit for that which he
I’ve also read all four volumes of the memoirs of the late Soviet Premier Nikita S. Khrushchev, from which the following true anecdote has always stood out in my memory decades later. NSK was sunbathing by the Peking swimming pool of his Chinese counterpart, then Mao Zedong.
NSK decided to impress Mao with what war with the mighty Soviet Union would mean: "We can kill 20 million Chinese with our atomic bombs!" This was a time when the Red Chinese didn’t have any effective nuclear deterrent, and Russia could easily have actually destroyed every major city in Mainland China.
Mao coolly replied, "Drop them---we have 40 million!" Of course, the figures were greater, but you get the point. Was Mao bluffing? Maybe, maybe not; we’ll never know for certain.
As we fix our attention, rightly, on both ISIL and ISIS in the Middle East, the greatest threat to us was, is, and remains, the Communist People’s Republic of China, and will most likely for the rest of this thus-far most warlike 21st Century. ISIL and ISIS will come and go, but China will stay.
In 2015, Asia already had 60% of the world’s total population. The People’s Republic of China/PRC nuclear tipped intercontinental ballistic missiles can already reach Baltimore in a matter of mere minutes after having been launched from Mainland China, much less from any submarine firing platform.
The 2015 book by Peter Navarro entitled, Crouching Tiger: What China’s Militarism Means to the World, also asserts that from its rocketry base on Hainan Island, China can as well now strike both St. Louis and Boston.
The PRC’s main missile rocketry arsenal lies protected beneath what has come to be called its Great Underground Wall, and its manic client state to the south---North Korea---is also moving full-speed to develop that very same capacity, one they expect to attain within the next decade.
Regarding the latter, I am already on record as stating that I will support the destruction of those North Korean sites and developmental stations long before they, too, threaten San Francisco and other US cities like ours by any means necessary.
To his credit, Donald Trump is now the only candidate of either major party in the current Presidential campaign even talking about this threat to us by both of these Asian Communist powers. Good for him! I am happy to join him in that discussion.
They began for me in 1971, when I was but a junior at then-Towson State College. That July---when Nixon announced he was going to China---I immediately started a China study group at my home in Govans the very next weekend, that included fellow students like me who were interested.
Since then, I’ve read books on the modern Chinese military, as well as the memoirs of Mao’s personal physician that I think is the very best book on him to date.
The PRC has been a nuclear power since 1964, and now has a population of 1.4 billion people ruled by an un-elected Commie oligarchy of but 2,500 members total---who re-elect themselves! (Don’t tell our Congress that!)
They have the world’s largest standing army and police forces to enforce their will, and since the brutal 1989 putdown of the Tienanmen Square revolt, the Communist Party has made, essentially, this cynical deal with its enslaved people: commercial success and prosperity in return for their continued, unfettered, one-party reign.
With the 1991-92 example of the fallen USSR ever before its eyes, the Chinese Communist Party will do whatever it takes not to have that experience repeated in China. That might include foreign military adventures like our own to deflect attention away from unsolved domestic problems that we both have.
If the Party attempted to take its people into world war, would it be overthrown at last? We don’t know. What we do know, however, is that since at least 2003---some 13 years already!---the PRC has been waging an ever more aggressive cyberspace war against us to steal our most valuable military, scientific, business, and industrial secrets.
This criminal theft of our intellectual property includes our drone technology, as well as our Aegis battlement management early warning system, that has been described as being at "the heart of" the US Navy’s defenses.
To his credit, Maryland US 2nd District Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger has been one of the leading Members of Congress pushing back against their illegal, secret war against the United States. I salute him!
Chinese computer hackers penetrated the Pentagon in 2007---nine years ago---and are already in their 5th generation of sophisticated electronic espionage devices and systems to steal even more from us.
Reportedly, the PRC maintains cyber warriors spread across some 12 bureaus and a trio of research institutes, with dedicated cyberspace hacker schools training more.
By 2020, the goal of the PRN---the People’s Republic Navy---is to break out from both of the USN’s current two island chains of defenses in the Pacific Ocean, and by 2050, to have achieved PRN global naval supremacy as well.
The First World War was caused in large measure because the-then rising Imperial German High Seas Fleet attempted to overcome the British Royal Navy. The Second World War was partially caused by the-then Imperial Japanese Navy/IJN attempting to defeat all the combined navies of the ABCD Powers---America, Britain, China, and Holland/Dutch---to establish what they called the
Imperial East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.
Now comes the PRN to confront the USN, and beyond that lies the new battleground of Outer Space, where it intends to neutralize our satellite early warning systems. Will this cause World War 3? Hopefully, not!
In Part 2 I discuss the naval aspect of our current face off with China in the Pacific, the South China Sea, the Straits of Malacca, and elsewhere.
As your elected United States Senator from the Free State of Maryland, I will continue to monitor all of the above on our behalf.
Read part 2
Thank you for your kind consideration!