THE US government might like to deny it, but Barack Obama’s former intelligence chief has confirmed China is a principal target of a major US war plan.
The American plan, known in Washington as Air-Sea Battle, is strategically flawed, Australia’s foremost regional defence expert, Hugh White, said, and risks escalating a US-China struggle to the level of nuclear strikes. It is also known to have angered the Chinese military, and the confirmation is likely to be viewed with displeasure in Beijing.
The confirmation was provided by Admiral Dennis Blair, a straight-talking Asia expert who until 2010 was Mr Obama’s director of national intelligence. Before that he led the US Pacific Command, which represents about a fifth of the US military machine.
His answers were in response to questions posed by the Herald about Air-Sea Battle, a Pentagon strategy designed to knock out an enemy’s long-range surveillance radar and precision missiles, followed by a blistering air and sea assault.
When asked about Air-Sea Battle and whether it directly related to China, Admiral Blair said: ”I’m not in the Pentagon any more, so I can’t say [what] that [is] in particular, but it doesn’t take any classified piece of information to let you know that countries like Iran and China … have taken advantage of technology in terms of submarines and missiles to be able to keep US maritime and air forces at a distance.”