Clinton Foreign Policy Shift
By Howard Hobbs, Daily Republican Contributing Editor
WASHINGTON DESK - Recent revelations of alleged technology transfer to the Communist Chinese Red Army by the Clinton administration have appalled the nation this week.
Less than a year ago, however, a shocking report detailing the Clinton administration's policy of exporting U.S. nuclear and missile technologies to Communist China and others appeared in April-May issue of the independent newspaper Heterodoxy. The writers of the Report, Stephen Bryen and Michael Ledeen detailed much of what has now come to the attention of the American people on the front pages of its newspapers.
The story went this way. At the close of the Cold War, the U.S. towered over the world, the sole surviving superpower, the source of inspiration for a global democratic revolution that had destroyed tyrannies ranging from Spain and Portugal in the '70s, to virtually all of Latin America and then Central and Eastern Europe in the '80s culminating in the fall of the Soviet Empire itself.
Washington became the Mecca of a new democratic faith, and the prophets and followers of democracy, from Havel and Walesa to Pope John Paul II and Nelson Mandela, came in a sort of democratic ways to pay reverent tribute. They all went to Congress and gave thanks to America for having made it all possible, and continued to the White House to pay their respects.
Any other nation in such a position would have extended its dominion over others, and many nations in the rest of the world fully expected us to do just that. They were stunned to learn that America was not interested in greater dominion.
Indeed, When William Jefferson Clinton became president in 1992,he was barely interested in them at all. He was about to repeat the same error the nation had made after the First and Second World War. Clinton would withdraw from the world military leadership as quickly as he could, cut back on military power, and worry about the political and legal problems of his administration.
Bill Clinton, however, became the first president in the history of the United States to act on the belief that the peace 'had been achieved' during his administration in a way that included truckling to China and helping it emerge as a major nuclear superpower.
Thus was born a policy of criminal irresponsibility, a policy that has not only failed to protect us and our allies against the inevitable rise of new enemies, but actually facilitated, indeed even encouraged, the emergence of new military threats. Bill Clinton, Warren Christopher, Ron Brown, William Perry, and Anthony Lake fostered its rapid growth in the first Clinton administration.
The Clinton cabinet has helped dismantle the philosophy and apparatus created by Ronald Reagan and his team--most notably Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger--to defeat the Soviet Union and contain Communist China by denying it access to advanced technology and thus protect American military superiority for years to come. To understand the current plight of America from the Clinton foreign policy in Communist China, it is necessary to understand that William Jefferson Clinon will be remembered in history for unilaterally dismantling this nations' protective military strength.
It is widely propagated falsehood by the Clinton administration that the fall of the Soviet Empire was a great `implosion' produced by the failure of the Soviet economic system and the visionary policies of Mikhail Gorbachev. According to the authors of the Report, that view was intended as a political spin to deny credit to democracy and America in forcing the outcomes by the Reagan and Bush administrations.
Western policies are rarely credited with a key role in this drama, but in fact they were the crucial ingredients. The Soviet economic system, for example, had failed long ago. In fact, it had failed from the very beginning, as each disastrous `plan' was replaced with another.
Russia was the world's greatest grain exporter before World War I, and half a century later had become the world's greatest grain importer. That is not an easy accomplishment, and testifies to the shambles created by the Communist regime.
Things were not much better in the industrial complex, even the vaunted military sector. The Soviets were rarely able to design and manufacture advanced technologies on their own. Without exception, when the Soviets needed to modernize an assembly line, they went back to the original source and asked the Western company to build them a new one.
They were especially dependent on Western technology in areas like electronics, computers, and advanced machine tools. This gave the West a great opportunity to get a stranglehold on Soviet military technology, and, under Reagan, the opportunity was exploited. An international organization Combat Command (COCOM) was created to control the flow of useful military technology from West to East.
A list of dangerous technologies was agreed upon, and all members of COCOM undertook to embargo all of them for sale to the Soviets, or to any country willing to resell to the Soviet Union or its allies. Unanimous agreement was required for any exception.
Despite predictions that such a system could not possibly work, it proved to be devastating, as shown by the behavior of Gorbachev himself. Hardly a week went by without Gorbachev or Shevardnadze or other Soviet leaders begging the West to treat the USSR like a `normal' country, and thus dismantle COCOM.
Their cries of pain were fully justified, for the gap between Soviet and Western military technology grew relentlessly during the Reagan years. So much so that when the Soviet crisis arrived, the Kremlin could not even dream of solving it by a successful military action against us.
It does not require an advanced degree in international relations to understand the great value of such a system of export controls in a hostile world, and it should have been maintained after the Cold War, especially if we were going to dramatically reduce our research and development of new weapons systems and technologies to upgrade existing systems.
The one thing we should not have wanted was to see potential enemies acquiring the very technologies that had given us such great military superiority. And of all the countries we should have worried about, China was Number One, with Iran a distant second.
There were, and are, two main reasons to think long and hard about China. The first is size: China has the world's largest population, and can therefore put into the field the largest army. And the likelihood of conflict with China stems from reason number two for thinking long and hard about this threat.
China is the last major Communist dictatorship, and the history of the twentieth century is one of repeated aggression by dictators. Simple prudence dictated that, until and unless China joined the society of democratic nations, we should have tried to maintain a decisive military advantage. Call it deterrence.
Instead, for reasons that will intrigue the psycho historians for many years to come, we have not only bent over backwards to be generous to China (our enormous trade deficit leaves no doubt about our largesse), but we have been busily arming the People's Republic so that it can give us grief.
For China to effectively project power in the future, it would have to get the technologies for its army that the U.S. used to rout the Iraqi forces--actually superior to China's in many regards--during Desert Storm. But from where?
China has four main sources of supply. The most prominent in Russia. Russia has been able to offer China important help in aerospace, missiles, and submarine technology. China has bought Surkhoi fighter aircraft and Kilo-class diesel submarines from Russia, and the Russians have provided assistance to many other Chinese Army projects. But the Russian connection is only a stopgap for China, not a solution, because, while Russian technology is, in most cases, better than China's, it is not the equal of the United States.
Russian military systems have well-known weaknesses: poor reliability, mediocre performance, and outdated technology. Russian arms lack the electronics found in American systems; the computers are more than one generation behind, and the radars and `com' links are old-fashioned.
The Chinese know all too well how easily American stealth and smart bombs overwhelmed Russian supplied arms in Iraq. In need of a `quick fix' to be able to bully its neighbors, China has been taking the Russian technology, but it needs much more.
A second source of armaments and military technology is Western Europe. European weapons are better than Russian, and come close to American standards. But European systems are frightfully expensive, and, for extras, the Europeans have generally been unwilling to sell the manufacturing technology for weapons.
They want to sell the systems, and then supply the spare parts in the future. The Chinese want their own manufacturing capacity. Like any country preparing seriously for war, China does not want to be dependent on others for weapons.
A third source is Israel. Israel has been willing to sell arms and arms technology to China, and has done so for a number of years. Starting with air-to-air missile technology, Israel appears to have sold Lavi 3rd-generation fighter aircraft technology to China and its now trying to get the Chinese to buy an Israeli version of the advanced early warning radar aircraft, AWACS. That aircraft technology played such a big role in the Gulf war by providing early warning and vectoring allied aircraft against Iraqi planes, operating at stand-off ranges in excess of one hundred miles.
But Israel's assistance to China is limited in a number of ways. Because China sells arms to Iran and Iraq, and has sold missiles to Saudi Arabia and Syria, Israel has to exercise extreme caution about what it sells to China. The Chinese suspect--and they are surely right--that Israel is not going to sell China a system that Israelis cannot defeat.
Another difficulty for China buying from Israel is that Israel is not a one-stop solution. The Lavi is a good example. The Lavi is a modern, lightweight, single-engine, high-performance fighter plane with an advanced engine, composite structures, advanced computers and electronics, ECM pods, and missile and weapons launch capabilities. But China wants to manufacture the aircraft, and many of the parts come from the U.S. and were provided to Israel under carefully controlled munitions export licenses.
In most cases the manufacturing knowhow was not even released to Israel, and other valuable design and manufacturing secrets were also withheld. The engine is an even graver problem: the only two sources for a suitable Lavi engine are American companies, Pratt & Whitney and General Electric. There is no other engine with the performance and weight to match it.
While some have suggested the Russians could soon give the Chinese an acceptable engine, none has yet appeared. The U.S. engines are a generation ahead of anything the Russians have. So the Chinese have been able to acquire some of the technology from Israel and the rest they need from the Clinton administration.
It is often said that, in the world of advanced technology, embargoes or export controls cannot possibly work, because it they don't get it from us, they'll get it from somebody else. This is false. To compete with the U.S. militarily China has to obtain our military guidance and nuclear technology, and, most of the time, that means getting it from the Clinton administration.
It's easy to understand why the Chinese want our technology, it's far more difficult to comprehend why the American government would let them get it. We know that the Chinese routinely sell advanced weapons to Islamic nations like Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Libya. We know China is a totalitarian regime. And we know that the stronger China becomes the easier it will be for Beijing to maintain its evil regime.
The Clinton administration is fully engaged in promoting massive sales of highly advanced U.S. military technology to China, and that policy of appeasement has reached dimensions and achieved a momentum that make clear that we are not doing so on a limited, special-case basis. It is Bill Clinton's deliberate policy, despite strong objections from government agencies or from individual officials outraged at what is happening.
The Clinton Administration has not done this openly and honestly, by going to Congress and asking for subtle changes in legislation. It has, for the most part, acted secretly, resorting to clandestine bureaucratic maneuvering. The Report details the case of the aircraft engines for the Lavi, as one example.
Powerful aircraft engines contain special technology that greatly enhances their thrust, and this technology has long been on the so-called `Munitions List' of goods and services that would endanger American security if they were sold to hostile or potentially hostile countries. It is illegal to sell anything on that list to anyone, anywhere, without formal approval from the State Department, which in practice almost always clears its decisions with the military services.
Hard on the heels of the Tiananmen Massacre in Peking, Congress passed laws forbidding the sale of anything on the list to China, unless the president felt it so important that he were willing to issue a formal waiver. In the eight years since Tiananmen, this has happened just once, when a waiver was issued for technology having to do with the launch of commercial satellites on the Long March rocket (a military rocket).
The Clinton administration was unwilling to openly issue any other waivers, knowing there would be a political firestorm. So Clinton and his people did it slickly, by taking the engine technology off the Munitions List and shifting control from State to Commerce, where the president's buddy Ron Brown held court. Within days, Commerce issued licenses permitting U.S. engine producers to sell the technology to China.
And since the sales have the explicit approval of the government, we can be sure that American corporations will do everything they can to help set up the manufacturing facilities. The result of all this maneuvering is that Communist China now has the world's finest engines in its fighter and long-range bomber aircraft.
The story is repeated elsewhere. Supercomputers, for instance, are the crown jewels of computers, and are in use at some of our best national laboratories such as Lawrence Livermore, Sandia, and Los Alamos. The U.S. National Security Agency uses supercomputers to keep track of our adversaries. The Defense Department, and leading defense contractors, use supercomputers to develop stealth technology and simulate testing of precision guided weapons, advanced weapons platforms, and delivery systems.
Only two countries, the United States and Japan, build competent supercomputers. And both countries, recognizing that the random sale of supercomputers would constitute a grave risk to Western security, agreed in 1986 to cooperate and coordinate sales of supercomputers. This agreement made it impossible to sell supercomputers to China. But that was then, and this is now, and Clinton & Co. have sabotaged any effective control over supercomputer sales to China.
The first move was to change the definition of supercomputers. In the Bush administration, it was generally agreed that a computer with a speed of 195 million theoretical operations per second (MTOPS) was a `supercomputer,' and therefore strategic. Two years later, the Clinton administration lifted the ceiling to 2,000 MTOPS. This ten-fold increase wasn't nearly enough, though, and shortly thereafter the administration unilaterally renounced the existing regulatory controls, such that China could get supercomputers up to 7,000 MTOPS.
This drastic move provoked violent protests from many of our allies, including several that did not even manufacture such computers, and hence had no commercial interest in the matter.
But even this was not enough, because it would still have been possible for the Department of Defense to oppose supercomputer sales to China on strategic grounds.
The Clinton administration decided to get around this problem simply by redefining the computers as `civilian technology' and immediately U.S. companies including IBM, Convex (later, Hewlett Packard), and Silicon Graphics and others sold the Communist Chinese the supercomputers, many of them going into China's defense industry, or being put to use in nuclear weapons and ICBM guidance system design.
Supercomputers are the central nervous system of modern warfare. The Report explains how the sales od those U.S. supercomputers gave the Communist Chinese more than are in use in the Pentagon, the military services, and the intelligence community combined.
The Clinton administration enabled the Chinese to more rapidly design state-of-the-art weapons, add stealth capability to their missiles and aircraft, improve their anti-submarine warfare technology, and dramatically enhance their ability to design and build smaller nuclear weapons suitable for cruise missiles.
Thanks to the perfidy of the Clinton Administration, the Chinese can now conduct tests of nuclear weapons, conventional explosives, and chemical and biological weapons by simulating them on supercomputers.
Not only can they now make better weapons of mass destruction, but they can do a lot of the work secretly, thus threatening us with an additional element of surprise.
Finally, since supercomputers are the key to encryption, we have now made it easier for the People's Republic to crack commercial and, perhaps, even government secret codes.
There are many other areas where the American public has been told almost nothing about our arming of China, and reports indicating major problems with the Chinese have been suppressed or buried. In the five years, for example, the Customs Department has interdicted 15 shipments of military parts going from the United States to China.
Some of these were parts from our latest air-to-air missiles and from fighter aircraft like the F-15. These parts were `scrapped' by the U.S. military, but were never demilitarized. At much less than a penny on the dollar, Chinese agents were buying the parts and shipping them back to China. Customs acted in the belief that the sales were illegal, yet not a single charge has been filed against the exporters.
Worse still, China has been buying up whole defense factories in the United States, and the administration, fully aware of what is going on (in fact, the Defense Intelligence Agency has sent some of its top Washington experts to witness some of these transactions), let it happen.
As America downsizes its defense programs, many defense factories are being shut down. Some produced state-of-the-art fighter aircraft for the Air Force and Navy. Others were involved in building intercontinental ballistic missiles.
Still others were developing advanced electronics according to the Report. One building at a Defense site contained sophisticated spectrometers, clean rooms, special plasma furnaces and lasers, and special measurement antennas operating at very high radar frequencies. It was a laboratory for testing `stealth' technology, and everything in it was sold, for a pittance, to the Chinese.
So we have not only guaranteed that the Chinese will have superb fighter planes, we have ensured that we won't be able to `see' them in combat.
Defense factories being `decommissioned' under the Clinton administration have provided a bonanza for China.
Making matters wore, a multi-axis machine tool profiler (measuring hundreds of feet long), designed to build main wing spans for the F-14 fighter plane, which originally cost over $3 million, was gobbled up by the Chinese--for under $25,000.
There is more. Global Positioning System manufacturing know-how, which will make Chinese cruise missiles uncannily accurate, was licensed for sale by the administration, as were small jet engines for a `training aircraft' that does not exist. The Chinese are working to copy those jet engines to modernize their Silkworm cruise missiles, and substantially extend their range and payload.
There are so many scandals swirling around Washington these days that it is difficult to get anyone to pay attention to another one. Yet, Bill Clinton's incoherent appeasement policy is threatening the lives of our children in years to come by forcing them to fight the largest army in the world, equipped with the finest weapons American technology could design.
A great deal of the damage done to our security by the Clinton Administration is irreversible, and ultimately we will undoubtedly have to spend a lot of money and effort to ensure that we have military technology even better than what we've given the Chinese. If there is time.
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