The one thing you can say about Obama’s cabinet is that it consists of a uniformly high level of professionalism and competence without parallel since the Carter and Buchanan Administrations.
Cyber warfare is a key future battleground and strategic attacks can cripple nations, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said in Beijing on Wednesday.
“This is the potential battlefield for the future and the technology that’s developing in cyber has the potential to cripple a country, paralyze a country,” he said. “Computer networks are also being used for spying.”
So after over a decade of Chinese spying and cyber attacks, Panetta shows up in Beijing to tell the Chinese what they already know and have been doing all along, while announcing that their tactics have the potential to cripple and paralyze America.
I’ve heard of soft power, but this is getting ridiculous.
Panetta said he raised the issue of China’s growing cyber warfare capabilities during what he termed “candid” discussions with Chinese military leaders.
“I did raise the area of cyber,” Panetta told reporters.
Panetta said he told Chinese military leaders that the United States and China should engage in a dialogue on cyber warfare and intelligence gathering. He said the Chinese agreed.
Will that come before or after the dialogues with Russia on its new shield busting missile, with Libya, Egypt and Tunisia on the murder of Americans, with Afghanistan on the murder of American soldiers, with China on incursions in the South China Sea, with Iran on nuclear weapons and with everyone else who has been slapping around Obama like a Three Stooges short?
But what’s the worst that could happen?
Critics have said Panetta’s attempt to cooperate with China on cyber warfare through dialogue is risky, since China likely would use such cooperation to learn key strategic vulnerabilities of U.S. cyber security that could be exploited in a future conflict.
So business as usual, in other words.
Panetta, in his meeting with reporters, also said he urged the Chinese to seek a peaceful solution to disputes over islands.
“At each meeting that I had, I raised the issue of, you know, the maritime issues that have been raised and—not only in the South China Sea, but now in the China Sea, as well, with these islands, as I’ve been saying that while the United States does not take a position with regards to these territorial disputes, that we strongly urge the parties to exercise restraint and to work together to find a peaceful resolution to these issues,” he said.
The Chinese leaders responded by quaking in their boots, falling at Panetta’s feet and begging him for mercy.
While Panetta sought to put a positive spin on his meetings with Chinese military leaders, Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission Gen. Xu Caihou bluntly warned Panetta not to invoke the U.S.-Japan defense treaty over China’s claims to Japan’s Senkaku Islands.
According to the state-run Xinhua news agency, Xu told Panetta that “the Chinese side resolutely opposes the inclusion of Diaoyu islands in the US-Japan Security Treaty,” and hopes that “the U.S. side will truly deliver on its promise of not taking sides on the sovereignty belonging of Diaoyu Island so as to benefit the safeguarding of regional stability and world peace.”
And what will Obama do? We’ve got a good guess, because it’s hard out there for a wimp.
Panetta said he sought to reassure Chinese leaders that the U.S. military’s pivot to Asia as the wars in the Middle East and South Asia wind down is not targeted at China.
“We had very good and candid discussions about the rebalance issue,” he said.
“The one thing I was very pleased to hear from the leaders I talked to is that they acknowledge that the United States presence in the Pacific is not something they viewed as a threat,” he said.
Does Panetta really think that Chinese leaders are as dumb as his boss? Because they’re not. If the US isn’t pivoting to Asia over China then what possible enemy in the Pacific is it preparing to fight?