On Wednesday, February 21st, the UK’s Minister of Defence, Conservative Gavin Williamson, announced that the United Kingdom is changing its fundamental defence strategy from one that’s targeted against non-state terrorists (Al Qaeda, etc.) to one that’s targeted instead against three countries: Russia, China, and North Korea. He acknowledged that a massive increase in military spending will be needed for this, and that “savings” will have to be found in other areas of government spending, such as the health services, and in military spending against terrorism.
The headline in the London Times on February 22nd was: “Russia ‘is a bigger threat to our security than terrorists’”. Their Defence Editor, Deborah Haynes. reported:
The threat to Britain from states such as Russia and North Korea is greater than that posed by terrorism, the defence secretary said yesterday, marking a significant shift in security policy.
Gavin Williamson suggested to MPs that more money and a change in the structure of the armed forces would be needed as part of a defence review to meet the challenge of a state-on-state conflict, something that Britain has not had to consider for a generation. …
It is a departure from the national security strategy published in 2015, which listed international terrorism first, and chimes with a decision by the United States last month to declare “strategic competition” from countries such as China and Russia as its top focus instead of counterterrorism. …
He described the Kremlin’s “increased assertiveness”, such as a ten-fold increase in submarine activity in the North Atlantic, a growing Russian presence in the Mediterranean region and their involvement in the war in Syria. “But then you are seeing new nations that are starting to play a greater role in the world, such as China. …
Asked whether Mr Williamson accepted that this would have a knock-on effect for how Britain’s military was structured and its readiness for war, “Yes it does,” Mr Williamson replied.
Just as happened when UK’s Prime Minister Tony Blair made his country the U.S. President George W. Bush’s lap-dog in the invasion of Iraq in 2003, UK’s Prime Minister Theresa May is making her country U.S. President Donald Trump’s lap-dog now in the invasions to come, of North Korea, Russia, and China.
The press in the U.S. and its allied countries (such as the UK) might have a difficult time persuading their populations that expanding military expenditures in order to conquer Russia, China, North Korea, and — as U.S. President Trump wants also to include — Iran (but he’ll probably use America’s ally Israel for that part of the operation) could be difficult because, for example, on the same day – February 22nd, Gallup reported that by a margin of 59% to 37% Americans disapprove of Trump on the issue of “Relations with Russia,” and back on 23 March 2017, Public Integrity headlined “The public favors cutting defense spending, not adding billions more, new survey finds” and reported:
President Trump’s proposed budget for 2018 isn’t following public sentiment, a new survey finds.
The survey, by the University of Maryland’s Program for Public Consultation (PPC), found that while Trump has proposed a $54 billion boost to federal spending for the military, a majority of Americans prefer a cut of $41 billion. While Trump has proposed a $2.8 billion increase for homeland security, a majority of Americans favor a $2 billion cut. …
Trump’s proposals were at odds with the preferences of both Republicans and Democrats. …
A majority of GOP respondents said they wished to keep the so-called “base” or main defense budget at the current level, although they favored cutting $5 billion in spending from a budget for “overseas contingency operations,” specifically in Afghanistan and Iraq. …
Those results, in turn, were strikingly similar to the conclusions of a 2012 survey by the Center for Public Integrity, PPC, and the Stimson Center, a nonprofit policy study group in Washington, D.C. When respondents were asked in that survey what they would do with Obama’s base defense budget, the majority favored cutting it by at least $65 billion, from $562 billion down to $497 billion. …
The situation is likely to be even more difficult in UK where, according to Gallup’s polling in 2017, as reported in their “Rating World Leaders: 2018”, residents in UK who were asked “Do you approve or disapprove of the job performance of the leadership of the United States?” answered 63% “Disapprove,” and 33% “Approve,” and the net approval (-30%) had declined 26% from the prior President Obama’s rating (-4%), in 2016.
Consequently, in order for the leaders to do this, there will need to be a total divorce from even the claim of being ‘democracies’ because, on such a momentous decision as to whether or not there should be a Third World War (and if so, whether Iran should be a target in it), going against the overwhelming public opinion wouldn’t be possible except in what is effectively a dictatorship (such as the U.S. has been scientifically proven to be). So: actually achieving this will be a stretch, but at least in the United States — a proven dictatorship — it’s possible.
Whereas the press both in the U.S. and UK willingly pumped up the lies of the Government, that according to the IAEA Saddam Hussein was only six months away from having nuclear weapons, they might not do it this time against actual nuclear armed nations because there probably aren’t yet, and won’t soon be, enough billionaires’ bunkers deep underground — such as here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here — to protect them from even the nuclear blasts, much less anything at all to protect anyone at all from the resulting nuclear winter and global famine. So, perhaps greed will finally meet its limit: sheer self-preservation. It’s one thing when a foreign country, such as Iraq — or Libya, or Syria, or Yemen — is destroyed, but quite another matter when the world itself will be. The degree of insanity that the military-industrial complex is now assuming to exist amongst the general public might simply not be there, at all. Finally, Western governments’ weapons-manufacturing firms might need to face the steep declines in their stock values that all of them so richly deserve, and that’s been held off already for decades too long — since at least 1991, when the Soviet Union with its communism and Warsaw Pact military alliance all ended, and all that’s left available as bogeymen who must be killed in order to ‘save the world’ is: Russia, China, North Korea — and maybe (if the Sauds and Israel are to have their way), Iran.
It’s not yet clear just when — if ever — the ‘democratic’ countries in The West (the U.S. and its allies, the billionaires there) will reach the limit of their imperial greed. But if the world is their limit, then there is no limit at all, because the world itself will end before this limit is reached. And, now, it’s not only Donald Trump who is leading the way there, but Theresa May has joined his luxurious march to global oblivion.
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Featured image of Trump, May courtesy of Reuters
Image of Gavin Williamson, UK Defence Secretary courtesy of Express & Star
Image of Blair, Bush courtesy of AP