Beijing could push nuclear button if US raises the stakes: expert


In an article written for the World Socialist Web Site operated by the International Committee of the Fourth International, James Cogan from Australia’s Socialist Equality Party said the United States and China are likely to go to war if the Obama administration does not stop its provocative policy towards Beijing.

The US AirSea Battle concept has been criticized by various defense experts within the United States, Cogan said. David Gompert and Terrence Kelly from the global policy thinktank RAND Corporation said that the doctrine was first established to disrupt the Chinese command-and-control system through wiping out the People’s Liberation Army’s sensors and weaponry before it could retaliate. However, China has already learned lessons through carefully studying the experience of US forces in Iraq, they said.

In the realization that it is unable to defeat the United States with conventional weapons, the AirSea Battle concept may eventually push China to launch a nuclear attack against the United States, the experts said. “With the advent of AirSea Battle, there is the danger that the US and China are both moving toward military postures and embracing operating concepts — if not war-fighting plans — that create spiraling incentives to act first,” the two wrote in a report.

Cogan said that for this reason the flight of a US B-52 into the Chinese air defense identification zone (ADIZ) over the East China Sea in the days after it was announced by Beijing last November is an example of an incident with the potential to escalate into a nuclear war should Beijing believe it would be wiped out if it does not mobilize its nuclear arsenal. This is why defense experts in Washington are looking for a new defense doctrine to maintain American influence in the Western Pacific, Cogan said.


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