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The very last thing we need in the world is a military conflict with China, David Vine writes in Counterpunch about the folly of taking the Cold War path again.

 

“The Biden administration and the United States must do better than resuscitate the strategies of the nineteenth century and the Cold War era. Rather than further fueling a regional arms race with yet more bases and weapons development in Australia, U.S. officials could help lower tensions between Taiwan and mainland China, while working to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea. In the wake of the Afghan War, President Biden could commit the United States to a foreign policy of diplomacy, peace-building, and opposition to war rather than one of endless conflict and preparations for more of the same. AUKUS’s initial 18-month consultation period offers a chance to reverse course.

Recent polling suggests such moves would be popular. More than three times as many in the U.S. would like to see an increase, rather than a decrease, in diplomatic engagement in the world, according to the nonprofit Eurasia Group Foundation. Most surveyed would also like to see fewer troop deployments overseas. Twice as many want to decrease the military budget as want to increase it.

The world barely survived the original Cold War, which was anything but cold for the millions of people who lived through or died in the era’s proxy wars in Africa, Latin America, and Asia. Can we really risk another version of the same, this time possibly with Russia as well as China? Do we want an arms race and competing military buildups that would divert trillions of dollars more from pressing human needs while filling the coffers of arms manufacturers? Do we really want to risk triggering a military clash between the United States and China, accidental or otherwise, that could easily spin out of control and become a hot, possibly nuclear, war in which the death and destruction of the last 20 years of “forever wars” would look small by comparison.

That thought alone should be chilling. That thought alone should be enough to stop another Cold War before it’s too late.”

 

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