No. 49October 21, 2021
The integration of Canada’s armed forces into the U.S. war machine is a serious problem that must be taken up for solution. This past month a Canadian Navy frigate, the HMCS Winnipeg has been involved in U.S.-led war exercises that endanger peace in the Asia Pacific region. The frigate has been in the region since early September, engaged in two missions: Operation PROJECTION and Operation NEON.
On October 3 the HMCS Winnipeg along with a British aircraft carrier was part of a U.S.-led war exercise in the Philippine Sea. In the two weeks following these drills (from October 3 to 17) the Canadian warship was part of a massive display of military might led by the U.S. against China and Russia. Seventeen war ships from six countries were assembled for a joint war exercise off the island of Okinawa.
CBC news reported this exercise in an irresponsible manner, relishing in the display of power. The commander of the HMCS Winnipeg said the sight of so many big warships and so much firepower in one space left his sailors in awe. “I’ve been in the navy for 20 years and I have never been in such a showcase of naval power,” he said. The HMCS Winnipeg is often deployed to the Asia Pacific so his remarks indicate the escalating U.S. military presence in the region.
The CBC also reported that the commander of the British Carrier Strike Group involved said the deployment “sent a message to China” that “nations like ourselves really are alarmed at the militarization of the area.” The irony that it is the U.S. and its allies that are responsible for the militarization of the area was apparently lost on the British navy commander and the CBC.
Also on October 14-15, the HMCS Winnipeg accompanied an American destroyer through the Taiwan Straits. This would be the first time in recent years that any other country has joined American warships in transiting the Strait. It speaks to Canada’s integration into the U.S. war machine.
(Photos: RU, CAFO)
China and Russia have begun responding to U.S. navy exercises in the Asia Pacific region. They have held nine joint sea military exercises in 2021 with one of the largest to date also taking place October 14-17. Despite notification of live fire exercises given to all commercial and military ships, a U.S. destroyer ignored notice to change course and came within 60 metres of a Russian anti-submarine ship, the Admiral Tributs, before finally reversing course.
These are grave dangers to peace and it is a matter of serious concern that Canadian warships directly engage in or contribute by their presence under U.S. command in the Asia Pacific region. Operation PROJECTION involves Canadian armed forces in training exercises with foreign navies supporting NATO Maritime Command and U.S. Naval Forces. Operation NEON sees Canadian warships routinely deployed to the Asia Pacific to enforce sanctions against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).
A few years ago, acting as the front man for the U.S., Canada tried but failed to mobilize Pacific Rim countries in a “coalition of the willing” to impose an all-out naval blockade against the DPRK. Blockades, whereby one party blocks entry to, or departure from, a defined part of another country’s territory, are acts of war.
These are dangerous times that call on Canadians to establish an anti-war government and to Make Canada a Zone for Peace. The CBC and other monopoly media should be held to account for reporting escalating war exercises as something exciting and positive. Building the readership of and distributing publications of the Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada such as Renewal Update is one way to do that. At the same time the parties in the House of Commons all bear responsibility to bring the troops home and show what they stand for with their deeds. Repeating phrases in the name of peace is neither convincing nor acceptable.
The fact that Canada has joined the U.S. warmongers in imagining a “winnable” war to destroy China is a matter of grave concern for the Canadian people. Canada’s cartel parties, media, think tanks and pundits engage in non-stop anti-China propaganda similar to that used in preparation to invade and destroy Iraq in 2003, and Libya and Syria beginning in 2011.
A planning document produced by the Office of the Undersecretary of the U.S. Army commissioned from the RAND Arroyo Center’s Strategy, Doctrine, and Resources Program, released in 2016, is called “War with China: Thinking Through the Unthinkable.” The RAND Arroyo Center is a U.S. federally-funded research and development center sponsored by the United States Army.
The RAND report says the years until 2025 present an “opportunity” to defeat China militarily. It states, “We postulate that a war would be regional and conventional. It would be waged mainly by ships on and beneath the sea, by aircraft and missiles of many sorts, and in space (against satellites) and cyberspace (against computer systems). We assume that fighting would start and remain in East Asia, where potential Sino-U.S. flash points and nearly all Chinese forces are located.”
The RAND thesis suggests that because almost all Chinese military forces are located in China, unlike the U.S. military with forces spread throughout the globe, that any anti-China war would be concentrated in and around Chinese territory.
The report expands on U.S. President Obama’s 2011 order for the military to “pivot to Asia” and concentrate two-thirds of U.S. naval and air forces on China’s doorstep in the Asia Pacific. The report adds urgency to Obama’s pivot, urging the U.S. and its NATO and other allies to unleash war on China before 2025.
Those countries which appease the U.S. warmongering such as Canada, Australia and Britain have obliged, ordering warships to sail right up to China’s shores. In fact, the Chinese government recently denounced Canada for doing just that after the Canadian military on October 14 and 15 sailed the navy frigate HMCS Winnipeg in a war convoy with the U.S. Navy’s guided missile destroyer USS Dewey just off the coast of the Chinese mainland through the narrow Taiwan Strait connecting the South China and East China Seas.
The RAND report gloats that an anti-China war would not involve any Chinese attack on “the U.S. homeland, except via cyberspace, given (China’s) minimal capability to do so with conventional weapons. In contrast, U.S. nonnuclear attacks against military targets in China could be extensive.”
The report continues with optimism for a U.S. military victory stating, “[The] war could eventually be decided by non-military factors. These should favour the United States now and in the future. Although war would harm both economies, damage to China’s could be catastrophic and lasting: on the order of a 25-35 per cent reduction in Chinese gross domestic product (GDP) in a year-long war, compared with a reduction in U.S. GDP on the order of 5-10 per cent. Even a mild conflict, unless ended promptly, could weaken China’s economy. A long and severe war could ravage China’s economy, stall its hard-earned development, and cause widespread hardship and dislocation.”
The report suggests an anti-China war fought mainly on Chinese territory would undermine the progress China has made in building a modern economy and would create social and political instability leading to regime change. The report predicts, “Such economic damage [from U.S. military attacks and blockade] could in turn aggravate political turmoil and embolden separatists in China [to] undermine the legitimacy of the Chinese regime in the midst of a very difficult war. In contrast, U.S. domestic partisan skirmishing could handicap the war effort but not endanger societal stability, much less the survival of the state, no matter how long and harsh the conflict, so long as it remains conventional. Escalating cyberwarfare, while injurious to both sides, could worsen China’s economic problems and impede the government’s ability to control a restive population.”
Making such calculations which are devoid of moral considerations is par for the course for the imperialists and their allies. It is unconscionable that they do not base their actions on principles of peaceful co-existence between nations big and small and respect for sovereign states and non-interference into their internal affairs, as well as sorting out problems without resorting to the use of force. These calculations show the urgency to step up the work to make sure Canada is a zone for peace.
No MP should be left without knowing where Canadians stand with respect to U.S. war preparations and Canada’s participation in them. Arguments should be given which show that NATO is not a force for peace and back up demands for Canada to get out of NATO and not participate in U.S. military exercises. No MP should be permitted to claim ignorance of the consequences of Canada’s foreign policy which appeases the U.S. warmongers. MPs should uphold the right to deliberate on matters of war and peace and hold their parties to account. The war path the Government of Canada is on must be opposed by speaking out against it as a starting point.
(Photos: Red Braid Collective, Code Pink)
(To access articles individually click on the black headline.)
Send your articles, photographs, reports, views and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org