Military Review

How Trump Wanted to Solve the Indo-Pacific Problem

24

The events that are now taking place in Washington, among other things, lead to deliberate or not deliberate leaks of sufficiently serious documents, which to one degree or another reveal the plans or actions of the United States in solving certain international problems. Such leaks have occurred and are occurring in most countries, where work begins to remove leadership at the presidential or prime minister level.


It is clear that people of this level do not sign "small" documents. Any document signed by the president plays a role not only in domestic but also in foreign policy. In their desire to remove the country's leadership, the opponents use all means, including secret documents. This is exactly what happened in the United States earlier this week.

In order to immediately exclude the version about the stuffing and intrigues of foreign intelligence services, I will say that the document was not "stolen" from Trump's desk, but officially declassified by the US government and is in the public domain. This is the 2018 Indo-Pacific Strategy. Don't be confused by the presence of a specific year in the title. Such documents are not drawn up for one year; this is a strategic document of rather long use. At least during the term of the incumbent president of the United States, for sure.

Where and why this document appeared


This document was developed by the US NSC (National Security Council - ed.) During 2017 and approved by President Donald Trump in January 2018. The level of secrecy is appropriate, the document was supposed to be declassified only in 2042. However, on the evening of January 12, this document appeared on the American segment of the Internet. True, with numerous fixes.

The fact that President Trump worked very carefully with this document is evidenced by the events that took place in the region almost throughout the presidency of Donald Trump. And the very fact that the US President's visa was issued immediately after the publication of the 2018 US National Defense Strategy confirms a serious examination of this document at the headquarters of the US Army.

The American media already have versions about the developers of this document. Among them are quite high-ranking officials from the intelligence and defense ministries who have just resigned after the events in Washington or left their post after 2018. But this question does not interest us today. Rather, it is a question of the relationship between Republicans and Democrats of the United States.

It remains to clarify the region referred to in the document. This is virtually the entire area from the west coast of the United States to the west, and this is not a typo, namely the west coast of India. That is, the area includes two oceans at once! Accordingly, the attentive reader already roughly understands which countries will be mainly discussed.

Who are the key opponents or possible allies for the United States in the Indo-Pacific region?


Let me remind you that the strategy was developed in 2017. Therefore, we have a unique chance to consider the plan and the implementation of this plan together. Although, as it seems to me, during his presidency, Donald Trump never managed to bring many plans to life, and this, given the temperament of the American president and his experience in big business, somewhat cooled the excitement and, possibly, prevented serious events in the region, which were planned during that period.

So, no matter how offensive it may be for us, the main enemy of the United States in the region is not Russia, but the People's Republic of China. According to the document, Washington does not take Russia into account in this region. Why? The strong see the strong. The elephant sees the elephant, but does not see the mouse. True, I heard somewhere that elephants suffer most from mice ...

Where are the "US national interests" today? The document does not directly say about this, but in the context of the confrontation with the PRC, one can understand to which territories these interests extend.

First, the United States must dominate the air and sea within the first island chain. Second, the US Navy must protect US allies, including Taiwan, from Chinese aggression. Third, America must dominate all areas outside the first island chain!

Naturally, a quite reasonable question arises for the Russian reader: "How does this concern us?" Alas, it does. The Americans refer to the "first chain of islands" all large archipelagos that are close to the Asian continent. And, if you look from the north, this chain of islands begins from our Kamchatka. It ends with the Malay Peninsula, the Japanese archipelago, Taiwan and the Northern Philippines. By the way, the document quite correctly points out that the PRC has territorial claims to many uninhabited islands in this area.

The main target is Beijing


I am not at all surprised by this choice. China indeed and rightfully took the place of the USSR as a strategic enemy of the United States. And here the matter is not even in the strength of the PRC army, not in the successes of Chinese industry and science, not in the economic competition between American and Chinese firms.

China as an adversary for the Americans is "more familiar". Somehow we have already forgotten about the "competition of two systems", which we were told about in the Soviet Union. But China is a completely different economic and political system for the United States, and a system that is successfully developing and is no longer catching up with the United States, but competing with them.

To illustrate this thesis, I will cite an excerpt from the document:

How to maintain US strategic supremacy [...] and promote a liberal economic order, preventing China from creating new, illiberal spheres of influence and cultivating areas of cooperation to promote regional peace and prosperity.

This statement is practically no different from the expressions of American diplomats and politicians during the confrontation with the USSR. Replace China with the Soviet Union, and everything will immediately fall into place. For example, this is no longer suitable for modern Russia, since such a statement would violate the anti-Russian propaganda system that is being created now.

The struggle for the rights of liberal organizations in Russia implies their existence. In the "Chinese" version, one can safely speak about totalitarianism, and about ideological oppression, and about the state policy of destroying liberal thought. Moreover, the PRC can be blamed even when the Chinese government does not take any steps to expand its sphere of influence:

China will bypass international rules and regulations to gain an advantage.

What is so worried about American politicians and the military? What areas of Chinese life have suddenly become critical for Americans? In the USSR-USA confrontation, everything was more or less clear. Comparable Armed Forces, nuclear arsenals, number of carriers and other types of weapons. But the PRC ... The answer is also in the described document.

First, China's growing nuclear potential. This is indeed a serious threat to the United States. However, nuclear charges without an appropriate number of carriers are rather dangerous for US military bases in the region or for US allies in the region. Hence the second "concern" follows.

Second, an increase in the capabilities of long-range ballistic and cruise missiles. The presence of such carriers, coupled with the development of strategic aviation, makes the territory of the United States already vulnerable. And this is the main danger for the Americans. Striking one's own territory can cause an unpredictable response from the US population.

Third, the rapid development of the PLA Navy. American dominance time fleet the region has come to an end. Yes, today the American fleet is the strongest in the region, but without taking into account the capabilities of coastal anti-ship formations. Ashore, the Americans have no chance now. There is only one thing left - to take measures to suppress coastal anti-ship systems.

Fourth, the development of Chinese digital technologies. The presented document does not emphasize this, but there is one link that deserves our attention:

... Beijing's proliferation of digital surveillance, information control, and influence operations [which] will harm US efforts to advance our values ​​and national interests in the Indo-Pacific and increasingly in the Western Hemisphere and at home.

We must pay tribute to the American specialists who correctly predicted three years ago the increase in the military activity of the PRC and the United States in the South China Sea. Moreover, they pushed the US president to take some actions, which are discussed below.

A few thoughts outside the document


The South China Sea has long been a zone of tacit disputes between the United States and China. But, if China openly makes claims to uninhabited islands, while, contrary to international law, simply equips its settlements and fishing villages on them, the Americans are forced to act through their allies. Simply because it is legally easier.

At the same time, any appearance of Chinese settlements on uninhabited islands, if it is possible to protect them with the help of military force, strengthens the position of China. It seems to me that understanding this fact became one of the reasons for the trade war between the United States and China. Trade as one of the ways to put pressure on the governments of other countries. Quite American.

Another way of war with China, the Americans made the supply of military equipment and weapons to their allies in the region, in particular Taiwan. The logic is clear enough. The American navy has done a great job in the "scare" situation with the DPRK. Taiwan's confidence in defending against the PRC was shaken. So the "humanitarian" deals of American companies began to supply modern weapons systems to the island.

And one more observation. The Americans have significantly increased diplomatic pressure on the PRC. It is in matters of relations at the regional level. We can already talk about a diplomatic war.

This intractable Kim Jong-un


Again I will “offend” Russian patriots - in second place, according to the published document, North Korea - North Korea is among the enemies of the United States. The reason for such hatred, I think, is clear to everyone. Even in our country, for a long time, the attitude towards the DPRK was about the same as towards China of the model of the "cultural revolution". And many even today speak quite seriously about the concentration camp country and give examples of North Koreans fleeing south.

At the same time, they delicately keep silent about the fact that this has happened and is happening in almost all countries of the world. Someone is running illegally, while someone is quite legally moving from country to country and changing citizenship. There is no country in the world in which there would be no dissatisfied. Migration was, is and will be. And under what "sauce" it is served to the layman - this is a question for politicians.

The DPRK does not pose a threat to the United States at sea or in America itself. This is a purely regional adversary. And Pyongyang's second place is largely due to the demonstration of numerous tests not only of nuclear weapons, but also launch vehicles. It was these tests that showed the Americans their weakness as defenders of South Korea and Japan.

It was perfectly clear to everyone that during the land operation, the losses of the Americans would be catastrophic. And strikes on Japan and South Korea with nuclear weapons will lead to a quick withdrawal of these countries from the war. Moreover, with all the advantages of Seoul, the option of seizing the south of the peninsula by the northerners was the most likely.

... North Korea's nuclear missiles and its declared intent to enslave South Korea pose a serious threat to (...) the United States and our allies.

The main task of the United States is very clearly defined as:

... to convince Kim's regime that the only way to survive is to give up nuclear weapons.

The question arises about the sanity of Americans. However, let's remember 2017. Even then, President Trump promised all sorts of punishments to the "anti-popular regime of Kim Jong-un", even then the American fleet threateningly deployed its missile launchers towards the DPRK, and then a campaign to intimidate the North Koreans began. That is, the conviction of the DPRK leadership to abandon nuclear, and possibly all other types of weapons of mass destruction, is a forced decision.

At the same time, all the US proposals “beautiful for Kim Jong-un” are completely refuted by the further plans outlined in the Strategy. Again, the Americans have proposed removing all types of weapons of mass destruction and cyber weapons from the peninsula. The Korean Peninsula is a zone of peace! Hurrah!

However, simultaneously with the destruction of weapons of mass destruction on the peninsula, the Americans planned to increase supplies to the South Koreans and Japanese of the most modern non-nuclear weapons. Thus, firstly, North Korea was losing its advantage in conventional weapons, and its nuclear-free status generally raised the question of the very preservation of the DPRK as a state.

Secondly, the Americans would get the right to safely use Korean territorial waters for operations against the DPRK. American ships are capable of defending against conventional Korean missiles.

Thirdly, the PRC would be deprived of quite serious support from the DPRK in confronting the United States.

Alas, the "young North Korean dictator" did an excellent job of calculating the Americans. Starting with the formidable approach and the rapid withdrawal of the American fleet and ending with the big American "sweets" that Trump promised during personal negotiations with Kim Jong-un. If you look at the plans, then everything converges, but if you look at the implementation - Trump's complete failure.

The main US ally in the region


In order to immediately dot all the "i" s, I will quote part of a quote from the document under consideration, which says that the United States should focus on the following:

Accelerating India's growth and ability to serve as a networked security provider and major defense partner; strengthen a strong strategic partnership with India, backed by a strong Indian army capable of working effectively with the United States and our partners in the region to address common interests.

A strong India in cooperation with like-minded countries would act as a counterbalance to China.

Agree, in a situation where there is no possibility of escalating the military component, it is logical to use those who can create such a situation. India is ideally suited for this. Comparable population, military and economic potential, and geographic location. Moreover, the influence of the United States there is quite tangible.

By the way, I do not exclude that the next confrontation between China and India in Ladakh and the Tibet Autonomous Region, which resulted in armed clashes between the border guards of these countries, is the fruit of American pressure on New Delhi. The Americans have long been repeating that China's territorial claims in these areas are unfounded.

Among other things, American analysts do not take into account the long-standing and bloody "love" of India and Pakistan. But Pakistan is the PRC's ally! Therefore, China is quite capable of neutralizing India in a land war, even with the support of the Indian army from the United States and NATO. And the Americans have strengthened this support. The Indian army is now receiving modern weapons from American firms at a frantic pace.

Another component of the plan outlined in the Strategy looks much more promising. This is the creation of a powerful American naval group in the Indian Ocean and adjacent areas of the Pacific Ocean. A certain square of defense. USA-Australia-India-Japan. Thus, an area that is really important in all respects falls under the control of the Americans. By the way, this has already happened under President Bush.

Conclusion


Geopolitics in its "underwater part" is much more interesting than in the surface. In particular, I hardly touched on Russia, but those who remember the events of 2018-2019 have already guessed the reasons for the increased attention of our government to the defense of Kamchatka and the Far East as a whole. Alas, sometimes you have to "patch holes at an accelerated pace." Respond to emerging threats.

Overall, the 2018 US Indo-Pacific Strategy is an excellent example of planning strategic directions for government agencies responsible for geopolitics. This is a "string" on which "beads" of events of many ministries and departments will be strung in the future. This is the “lighthouse light” that sailors look to in stormy weather.

In general, the plans of the Trump administration in the described region have failed. Maybe that's why they declassified the Strategy on the eve of the inauguration of the new US president. As if hinting that the strategy will change, and this old one is just historical document. You can assume a lot and ... nothing. We have what we have.

However, I have a completely different explanation for the appearance of this particular document in the public domain. Just yesterday, January 14, while listening to the speeches of the American congressmen on the events in Washington, I "stumbled" on the speech that China, Russia and a number of other countries would "throw firewood on the fire" of the riots.

To be honest, in my opinion, everything that is happening in the United States today is just a play put on by a rather inept director. The Americans are too "soft" nation for protests to develop into any real action. And all these paratroopers in the Capitol, calls to identify "internal terrorists", a wave of denunciations against relatives and neighbors are just an indicator of the "revolutionary spirit" of the Americans. Weak nation, no ridge.

The main rival of the United States today is China. The document, declassified by the government, is mostly about China. I think this is a preparation of public opinion to the idea that it is the Chinese and, in part, Russia who have destabilized the situation in the most democratic country in the world. It is doubtful that this idea will "take root", but the fact that it will be played out is beyond doubt ...
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  1. rotmistr60
    rotmistr60 18 January 2021 06: 39
    +4
    The main target is Beijing
    Opened the secret of Punchinelle. It has long been clear that the main enemy of the United States in this region is China and of course the DPRK. With "friends" it is also understandable, because it is not in vain that the Americans have been piling up India for a long time and persistently trying to get a controlled ally in the region. We are in the honorable third place, but this is according to this document, and according to others, as it should be in the first place.
    1. Civil
      Civil 18 January 2021 08: 26
      0
      The battle of the hegemons of the PRC and the USA pushed one power into the 3rd world. Even with nuclear weapons such as the DPRK.
    2. abrakadabre
      abrakadabre 19 January 2021 18: 03
      +1
      We are in the honorable third place, but this is according to this document, and according to others, as it should be in the first place.
      It's more a matter of priority. Therefore, priorities are selected from the following prerequisites:
      1. The US does not have stable footholds for an attack on the Russian Federation from the East and South-East. To obtain these bridgeheads, it is required to deal with the PRC and the DPRK.
      2. The PRC and the DPRK are ideological antagonists of the United States. Unlike today's Russia.
      3. Unlike Russia, these countries do not have a statistically significant fifth column for the collapse of the country from within.
      4. The foreign policy of the PRC and the DPRK is practically uncompromising. This makes it impossible to drive these countries into the corner of all sorts of numerous agreements. When the attacked countries will be forced to suffer damage unilaterally. Russia suffers such damage. Examples: SP-2, sanctions, participation in the Olympic movement, etc. China does not allow itself to be driven into such situations, immediately giving a symmetrical response. The DPRK, in general, basically sends the United States on an erotic journey on foot at every opportunity. And builds autarky as much as possible.
      5. The pace of economic and, consequently, military-technical development.

      Thanks to the above principles, Russia as an enemy can be pushed aside for later. Even in spite of the fact that we are in the first place to destroy the US statehood by military means.
  2. carstorm 11
    carstorm 11 18 January 2021 07: 27
    +16
    Resentment that we are not enemy number one?) Is this a new form of masochism?) In my opinion, now it is our turn to observe this from the outside. And skim the cream out of it within reasonable limits. The states need an enemy. They found him. We are their enemy by nature. Ratings don't matter here.
  3. Egoza
    Egoza 18 January 2021 07: 57
    +1
    Maybe this was one of the reasons why Trump was removed from power? Too far he was willing to go in "righteous anger." But there were more sober heads who decided that "we don't need this kind of hockey"
    1. Aleksandr21
      Aleksandr21 18 January 2021 11: 18
      +3
      Quote: Egoza
      Maybe this was one of the reasons why Trump was removed from power? Too far he was willing to go in "righteous anger." But there were more sober heads who decided that "we don't need this kind of hockey"


      No, the reason was clearly not China. Rather, Trump got too carried away with the idea of ​​making America Great again and began to disrupt global ties between the United States and the rest of the world. And many in the United States did not forgive him for this ... And Biden has a different approach, for him the priority is democratic institutions and the global connection of the United States with the Western world (EU, UK, Canada, Australia, etc.), so this is the main the reason why Trump was ousted. The only thing is that at the very end of the term, when it became clear that Trump had lost, he had no support ... and no one gave him a hand) and then China could have a hand in reminding of their "friendship" with Trump.
  4. Dimy4
    Dimy4 18 January 2021 08: 04
    +5
    I also had the thought that all the riots taking place in the United States with the capture of the Capitol are just staging.
    1. tihonmarine
      tihonmarine 18 January 2021 09: 32
      +5
      Quote: Dimy4
      I also had the thought that all the riots taking place in the United States with the capture of the Capitol are just staging.

      From the opera "He Set the Reichstag on Fire", "Yeltsin and Rostropovich on a Tank".
  5. rocket757
    rocket757 18 January 2021 08: 15
    +2
    The fact that President Trump worked very carefully with this document is evidenced by the events that took place in the region almost throughout the presidency of Donald Trump.

    That is the essence of what is happening ... the previous president of the strip WORKED!
    Will the current one work ??? although, the "train" will not remain in place ... the "chief driver" has helpers!
    But where the train will roll, how far and with what speed, we will see SOON!
  6. Ros 56
    Ros 56 18 January 2021 08: 29
    0
    This is understandable, of course, China is the enemy of the striped at the regional Indo-Pacific level, but only one country in the world is capable of destroying the striped as a geopolitical formation, you will not believe it, this is Russia. bully
    And therefore, we will be content with the role of an observer in their confrontation, we do not need someone else's attention and at the same time we will always be on the alert.
  7. Semenov
    Semenov 18 January 2021 08: 36
    +15
    The time of the dominance of the American fleet in the region came to an end. Yes, today the American fleet is the strongest in the region, but without taking into account the capabilities of coastal anti-ship formations. The Americans have no chance on the shore now

    No wonder - they tried to embrace the immensity.
  8. Semenov
    Semenov 18 January 2021 08: 40
    +14
    strengthen a strong strategic partnership with India, backed by a strong Indian army capable of working effectively with the United States

    I wonder how Pakistan will react to this?
    1. Tzar
      Tzar 18 January 2021 12: 40
      0
      It can be assumed, given that Pakistan's trade partner # 2 is the United States, and the fact that during the elimination of Benladen, the Pakistani authorities did not even inform them that during the conflict between the US + India and China, they would sit quietly and express diplomatic concern. Well, or for the sake of appearance, they will arrange a dance battle on the border with the Indians, and they will calm down.
  9. Selevc
    Selevc 18 January 2021 08: 42
    +1
    I think that under Biden we will face a demonstratively opposite US policy. Destroy all more or less reasonable starting Trump is the primary task of Democrats number 1. And what cannot but amuse - this will be done by the Americans even to the detriment of the USA themselves !!!

    The Titanic, called the United States, is still sailing, but already collapsing and sinking right on the move.
    1. tihonmarine
      tihonmarine 18 January 2021 09: 34
      +1
      Quote: Selevc
      The Titanic, called the United States, is still sailing, but already collapsing and sinking right on the move.

      And at the same time, captains are changed on the fly.
  10. certero
    certero 18 January 2021 08: 51
    +4
    The author wrote an interesting article. But why insert such obviously chauvinistic things like "a weak nation without a ridge"
    Alas, this "weak nation" still holds the whole world by the balls.
    I am totally against underestimating the enemy. And the Americans are just a very active, skillful and rich enemy.
  11. Avior
    Avior 18 January 2021 09: 01
    +5
    ... it is a long-term strategic document. At least during the term of the incumbent president of the United States, for sure.

    That is, for another 2 days.
    Judging by the text, indeed, with Trump's departure, it can change
    1. tihonmarine
      tihonmarine 18 January 2021 09: 35
      -2
      Quote: Avior
      That is, for another 2 days.

      There is time for Donald to hit the road. In Rostov, a comfortable 2-room Khrushchev is waiting for him.
      1. Avior
        Avior 18 January 2021 09: 46
        +2
        and a warm company, so that it would not be boring :)
  12. timokhin-aa
    timokhin-aa 18 January 2021 10: 59
    +3
    Weak nation, no ridge.


    Doesn't fight without diapers, right? Well, where does all this come from, huh?
  13. prior
    prior 18 January 2021 11: 46
    0
    Trump. You're good at declassifying US secrets.
    Do not stop. You still have time. In two days, you can make such a secret ....!
    Themselves fucking. Walk, so walk.
  14. Alexander P
    Alexander P 18 January 2021 13: 15
    0
    If a card is being played, then it is necessary to play cards, not chess. The communists beat the fascists and the document eloquently shows the place of the Russian Federation and the USSR in this war ... Without the people and for the people, nothing is worth a pittance ...
  15. Simple
    Simple 21 January 2021 01: 41
    0
    At the same time, any appearance of Chinese settlements on uninhabited islands, if it is possible to protect them with the help of military force, strengthens the position of China.

    The topic of the disputed islands (more precisely, the exclusive economic zone) has not been disclosed. smile
    Example: At a state at a remote point of the exclusive economic zone, as a result of tectonics, a rock "climbed out" from the sea (or from the ocean). - a little - just a couple of meters. Moreover, at high tide, it goes under water.
    But legally it is already dry land.
    Take a compass and draw a 200-mile radius circle on the map.
    Profit!
    Moreover, the most valuable thing is always in the depths.
    Some countries periodically wash up the former land (tectonics can, and vice versa, win back smile ) so that the territory is de jure preserved.

    I think this is a preparation of public opinion to the idea that it is the Chinese, and partly Russia, who have destabilized the situation in the most democratic country in the world.


    Why so hard?

    Here (or rather, there they have) once again "found a scythe on a stone" - Democrats against Republicans. This time, however, the representative of the Republicans
    "I made a sharp bend and (as the near future will show) I did not fit into the bend"
    Biden has already promised to check the shipbuilding plan approved by Trump.
    You can see how businesses lobbied by Democrats will receive contracts that "floated away" from them during the Republican rule. And won't the $ 147 billion decrease smile ... China has not become smaller)
    And this is just the beginning.
  16. NF68
    NF68 22 January 2021 18: 49
    0
    Trying to solve certain problems, Trump, and not only him as the President of the United States, created new problems, and it remains to be seen how in the future these problems will hit the United States or its allies. The world is changing rapidly and not in favor of the United States.