Red tide rising

Photo of Chet Nagle
Chet Nagle
Former CIA Agent
  • See All Articles
  • Subscribe to RSS
  • Bio

      Chet Nagle

      Naval Academy graduate and Cold War carrier pilot, Chet Nagle flew in the Cuban Missile Crisis. After a stint as a navy research officer, he joined International Security Affairs as a Pentagon civilian -- then came defense and intelligence work, life abroad for 12 years as an agent for the CIA, and extensive time in Iran, Oman, and many other countries. Along the way, he graduated from the Georgetown University Law School and was the founding publisher of a geo-political magazine, The Journal of Defense & Diplomacy, read in over 20 countries and with a circulation of 26,000. At the end of his work in the Middle East, he was awarded the Order of Oman in that allied nation’s victory over communist Yemen; now, he writes and consults. He and his wife Dorothy live in Virginia.

A few years ago, politicians, economists and military analysts calculated that Communist China might be able to deny access to the western Pacific by 2025. Their calculations were wrong. China threw down the gauntlet this summer and claimed sovereignty over the seas from Vietnam to the Philippines, and from the Leizhou Peninsula to oil rich Borneo. While the Pentagon makes plans to further weaken our navy, Pacific trade routes are slipping under Chinese control, our Asian allies are drifting toward Beijing, and freedom of the seas is fading.

As usual, the White House and the State Department have got it exactly wrong. Instead of building powerful peacekeeping forces, President Obama tried to buy off China by declaring the communists to be our “partners” and by offering military exchanges, visits by Chinese officers to sensitive facilities, and other gifts of military expertise and cooperation. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, and the diversity-obsessed Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Gary Roughead, cheerfully helped Beijing take full advantage of the White House policy of appeasement.

The ultimate intentions of our “partner” were revealed on July 29th, when Beijing ordered naval exercises with a command to “…soundly prepare for combat,” and then announced China has “indisputable sovereignty” over the 1.3 million-square-mile South China Sea. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was undoubtedly shocked that Beijing was neither interested in her idea of a code of conduct, nor impressed by President Obama’s incomprehensible policy of “soft power.” Playing his role in those bizarre initiatives, Admiral Mullen said he was only “curious” about China’s growing armory of powerful ships, submarines, satellites, missiles and aircraft. These days, with analysts calculating the Chinese navy will surpass the U.S. Navy by 2015, he admits he may be “concerned.”

Economists who viewed China as a Third World economy, dependent on exports and locked into buying ever more of the mountain of American debt, are now as befuddled as our politicians and admirals. China’s economy has surpassed Japan’s to become the world’s second largest, after ours, and could be first by 2025. That should not be too difficult. With an annual growth rate topping 9% every year since 1978, China should blow past us long before then. Communists have less than transparent accounting systems, so the figures may be suspect, but what is not suspect is that China now uses more energy than any other nation in the world. They passed us four times faster than predicted. That means Chinese heavy industry and infrastructure are growing at breakneck speed, and will need to devour even more energy and raw materials. China is muscling up its military to be sure it gets what it wants, when it wants — no matter who objects.

Besides growing an economy resembling a metastasizing tumor, China is taking an aggressive stance in the areas of finance, foreign affairs, and offensive military capability.

  • Dagong Global, China’s leading credit rating agency, downgraded US debt from AAA to AA and elevated China to an AA+ rating. After selling $35 billion of US bonds, China now holds less American debt than Japan. Beijing is bailing out of risky dollars and buying into sounder currencies.
  • Over 10,000 Chinese “workers” are in Pakistan “helping with flood relief.” In fact, they are digging mountain tunnels to build a safe route for China’s future energy supplies. On our side of the planet, Beijing is spending $5 billion widening the Panama Canal to ship raw materials from its projects in Africa and South America directly to China.
  • Already budgeting for space warfare, cyberwar, and an army of 1.25 million, China will soon add aircraft carriers to its navy of 275 ships. Besides nuclear submarines, ships, and aircraft all equipped with anti-ship missiles, China will also test a ballistic missile that kills aircraft carriers 1,000 miles away. U.S. Navy access to Taiwan and the western Pacific is ending.

  • Pingback: Thuỷ triều đỏ đang dâng « Tin tức hàng ngày online

  • 2old4this

    Joseph Tan begins his response to the Chet’s article by writing “Don’t be alarmed.” Faced with the data and analysis provided by the researcher Nagle and independent readings available to all of us, even to Joe Tan, one wonders what planet Joe lives on. And then to say that China has always been a super power further adds to Joe’s lack of credibility on the subject of China’s history and on today’s expanding growth.

    I will continue to ‘fret’ Joe. Your conclusion that we Americans should make the best of the situation, stop provoking other nations and driving some into submission, and accept the fact America will soon be second to China in all things is not settling at all. It shouldn’t be for you either.

  • JosephTan

    Don’t be alarmed. China is just voicing her security concern of her territorial integrity loudly to America, That’s all. An analogy can be drawn in the case that a foreign navy (equipped with a almost 100, 000 ton aircraft-carriers) will be started patrolling in the Caribbean Sea or the Atlantic Ocean perhaps about 200 km outside Washington DC, American would surely protest the same.

    Make no mistake. Except for the last 150 years or so, China is always a world superpower since ancient time. as late as 1820 China command an economy of 1/3 (a third) of the world’s gross national product (GNP) higher than even during American heydays (in the 1950′s to 1960′s).

    Therefore, Chinese interests deserves to be respected if America is looking on a long-time vision. America is going to decrease just as China is going to be increased. Fret no longer. Make the best of the situation. America is still the leading economy with cutting-edge technology and best focus on her strength and niche markets – not going around provoking another nations or any other nations to be submissive under Uncle Sam. The time has since long gone.