There has been an interesting flood of news regarding military developments between east and west during the last several weeks. None of that news is good and has great implications for the United States and her territories including Puerto Rico.
Vladimir Putin has been testing the limits of his military with invasions of Crimea and ‘test’ nuclear bombing runs over U.S. territories including Guam. This week a Russian fighter jet nearly collided with a US spy plane over international airspace. Joint U.S. and NATO war games a have coincided with Russian war games near the Baltic states of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania.
On the other side of Asia, China is stepping up its military in a very fast and very determined manner with the primary intention being a conflict with the United States over Taiwan and with regional foes over access to and ownership of resources in the South China Sea. The military buildup has put the Chinese in the arena of the world’s top Navies with over 300 surface ships and submarines and new expensive and dangerous weapons.
It doesn’t help that china is also developing hyper-sonic long range missiles and supersonic anti-surface ship missiles and have already deployed an anti-aircraft carrier ballistic missile. China’s build up and Russia’s aggressiveness are for a decidedly specific purpose: to engage and take down the United States and all of her territories.
Yes, Puerto Rico; that includes you.
In many ways, the military cooperation between the two eastern superpowers is a shadow version of the Reagan cold war strategy. Rapid military build up aimed at forcing the other side to build up in such a way to destroy their economy. It is a thoughtful plan that can only be executed when the other country is already weakened as in the case of the former USSR.
While China may have other motives; the return of Taiwan and control of the region, it is still using good old fashioned American capitalism to get the job done. While China remains a communist country, their economic system is now state capitalism and it is working.
The U.S. meanwhile, burdened by a staggering 18 trillion dollar debt and 61 trillion dollar total debt (and major defense cut backs) cannot match the build up ship for ship or plane for plane against one of these superpowers, much less both. By engaging the US in eastern Europe, Russia is keeping America busy and worried enough to keep them off the focus of China’s next move.
The U.S. is further weakened by the inconsistencies of the Obama administrations foreign policy. The U.S. has alienated its most critical allies under Obama while setting up friendship ties with the world’s worst countries namely Iran and Cuba. Although one might wonder, if the Obama administrations decision to open up to Cuba and Iran may actually be a part of a Cold War type strategy to build relationships to offset the influence of Russia.
Either way, Puerto Rico as a territory or state of the United States risks becoming directly involved in any war that may develop. With no military installations of any significant size left on the island, Puerto Rico would have a very difficult time defending itself in the case of all out war.
While independence has been traditionally supported by communist forces, ( this author is a conservative/libertarian and proud capitalist) an independent and constitutionally declared neutral Puerto Rico would be the only way to save the lives of millions of Puerto Ricans who would otherwise be targets of opportunity in a war with the American republic.