Washington's paranoia has a clear purpose

Updated: 2015-03-20 08:17

By Chen Weihua(China Daily)

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Hyping the "China threat" theory is nothing new in Washington, the center stage for US military complex lobbying. But it has intensified lately amid the fight between the Congress and the Barack Obama administration over the 2016 budget.

That is why the other major news in Washington this past week has been how Russian missiles pose a threat to the US after William Gortney, commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), said on March 12 that Russia is continuing to work on its program to deploy "long-range conventionally armed cruise missiles" that can be launched from its bomber aircraft, submarines and warships. "Should these trends continue over time, NORAD will face increased risk in our ability to defend North America against Russian air, maritime and cruise missile threats," he told the Congress.

Gortney's remarks have alarmed US senators and the country, for they fear the Russian missiles "can range critical infrastructure in Alaska and in Canada that we rely on for a homeland defense mission".

What Gortney and defense lobbyists did not say is that the US poses a far greater threat to other countries with its monstrous military spending in 2014, equaling the combined expenditures of the next top 10 military spending countries.

The US is the largest exporter of major weapons, dominating 31 percent of the global market, according to the report of Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, issued on March 16. Regardless, fear-mongering in Washington has been effective.

The Gallup poll in February showed that 34 percent Americans, the highest since 2001, believe the US spends "too little" on its military. There is thus little doubt that Washington's severe paranoia has a clear purpose.

The author, based in Washington, is deputy editor of China Daily USA. chenweihua@chinadaily.com.cn

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