After COVID-19, U.S. and Top Allies Want Change in Their Political Systems, Poll Shows
BY TOM O’CONNOR ON 3/31/21 AT 10:00 AM EDT
Majorities in the United States and top allies France, Germany and the United Kingdom want changes to their political systems after all four were consumed by the COVID-19 pandemic, a new survey has shown.
The survey, published Wednesday by the Pew Research Center and obtained in advance by Newsweek, showed that some 93% in France and the U.S., and 88% in the U.K. and Germany want some degree of change in their political systems, according to data gathered in November and December of last year.
Majorities among those in France and the U.S. sought dramatic action, with 47% in each calling for “major changes.” An additional 21% in France and 18% in the U.S. said their respective system “needs to be totally reformed.” Nearly half in the U.K. also chose one of the two more radical options as opposed to “minor changes” or “no change at all,” which was by far the least popular choice among the four countries polled.
“As they continue to struggle with a public health crisis and ongoing economic challenges, many people in the United States and Western Europe are also frustrated with politics,” an accompanying report began.
The authors went on to note there were “important differences across these countries’ political systems,” but they also noted that “the four nations also share some important democratic principles, and all have recently experienced political upheaval in different ways, as rising populist leaders and movements and emerging new forces across the ideological spectrum have challenged traditional parties and leaders.”
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Protestors demonstrate outside the French Senate against the Global Security Law authoring the use of cameras, video surveillance, and drones by the police, whilst also restricting the filming of the police during their operations, on March 16. More than a fifth of French people think their political system “needs to be totally reformed,” nearly half say it “needs major changes” and almost a third believe it at least “needs minor changes.”
KIRAN RIDLEY/GETTY IMAGES
The U.S, which was surveyed at a particularly tumultuous time for national politics, immediately after major media outlets declared Democratic candidate Joe Biden the winner of the disputed 2020 presidential election, expressed particularly cynical views of the political system.
Those in the U.S. were the only population among those polled in which most, just over two-thirds, agreed that “most politicians are corrupt” in their country. Asked if “elected officials care what ordinary people think” did not apply to their nation, 56% in the U.S. agreed, second only to France at 58%, and above the U.K. at 52% and Germany at 32%.
The U.S. was the only one of the four countries polled in which a majority of the respondents were unhappy with their democracy. When asked if they were “satisfied with the way democracy is working in their country,” just under a third said “not too” satisfied and just under a quarter said “not at all.”
Among the three European countries, there was a significant difference in views toward democracy among those who were critical of or impressed by their country’s response to COVID-19.
Each group that felt their respective nation did a “bad” job throughout the coronavirus experience in France, Germany or the U.K. was mostly unsatisfied with democracy, and the opposite was true for those who believed their respective government did a “good” job handling the pandemic.
In the U.S., there was little difference. Both those who felt the country handled the pandemic well and those who thought the country did poorly fell under the halfway mark with respect to their satisfaction with democracy in the U.S.
U.S. respondents also stood out as the most eager to support the creation of “citizen assemblies where citizens debate issues and make recommendations about national laws” and to allow “citizens, not members of the national legislature, to vote directly to decide what becomes law for some key issues.”
These two ideas were popular among sizable majorities in all four countries, but the U.S. scored the highest in both at 79% in favor of assemblies and 73% in favor of referendums.
Nearly four months into 2021, the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in France, Germany, the U.K. and the U.S. has offered prospects of a return to relative normalcy. But economic woes, social ills and political unrest remain serious threats to the stability of all four countries as their governments attempt to placate populations still reeling from a year of turmoil.
Source: Newsweek “US, top allies want change in political systems”
Note: This is Newsweek’s report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean whether I agree or disagree with the report’ views.
Marxism is usually regarded as a revolutionary theory but does it remain so when the first Represent of China’s Three Represents makes Marxist communist revolution unnecessary.
Reform and Opening-up Also a Revolution
The first generation of the communists in CCP, risked their lives to fight and win their revolution to take over state power. That was CCP’s first revolution. However, as after winning the revolution CCP conducted orthodox socialism at first and later went to the extreme in conducting it during Mao’s Cultural Revolution. As a result China failed to attain its goal to make China rich and strong. How could China develop its advanced productive force since orthodox socialism did not meet the requirement of the development of advanced productive force?
The second and later generations of communists led by Deng Xiaoping and other reformist leaders conducted the reform and opening-up. That was also a revolution as it went against the orthodox socialism that upheld monolithic public ownership and planned economy. The reformists had to overcome fierce opposition from dogmatists to replace orthodox socialism with their socialism with Chinese characteristics that allowed and even encouraged the development of private sector. What the reformists did was a revolution as it brought radical change to China’s economic system. In that revolution, they also took great risks as the first generation of Chinese communist revolutionaries as they would be denounced and persecuted as capitalist roaders by conservatives. Moreover, no one had ever tried to carry out such a revolution so that no one could be absolutely sure of its success.
That was the first stage of the revolution for socialism with Chinese characteristics. It has been proved an unqualified success in making China prosperous, rich and strong through China’s first stage of reform and opening-up. Socialism with Chinese characteristics has thus been checked by practice as truth
Dead End of China’s Economy
Chinese President Xi Jinping’s predecessor Hu Jintao saw that in spite of the success, China encountered the serious problem in its old model of economic development in pursuing of economic growth through increase in investment for producing more goods for export.
As the economy of developed countries has failed to grow due to 2007-2008 financial crisis caused by US subprime mortgage bubble and European sovereign debt crisis started in 2009 and as developing countries remained poor, China’s export market saturated. Local governments and lots of enterprises, however, kept on borrowing loans from banks to invest in excessive production capacity for export.
Guided by Marxist General Rule of Political Economy on Meeting the Requirement of the Development of Advanced Prouctive Force China Finds A New Way of Economic Growth
Obviously according the general rule of Marxist Political Economy, China’s problems in its economic development were caused by its failure to meet the requirement of the development of advanced productive force.
What did the development of advanced productive force require at that time in China? Practice had proved that it no longer required increase in investment and export. Based on the Marxist rule, Chinese leaders realized that science, technology and market were essential for advanced productive force; therefore, the development of the advanced productive force required innovation and creation and the expansion of domestic consumption.
Difficulties in Carrying out the Transformation
Worried by the problems of overcapacity and excessive debts resulting from pursuit of export- and investment-geared economic growth rate, Xi Jinping’s predecessor Hu Jintao initiated the transformation from such pursuit of export- and investment-geared economic growth to innovation-, creation- and consumption-led economic growth.
Moreover, Hu’s Scientific Outlook on Development puts the people first so that his government encourages and helps workers to get higher wages, resulting in increase in labor costs and reduction of the competitive edge of China’s labor-intensive industries. Most of China’s exports are products of those industries.
China’s current leader Xi Jinping applies Marxist theory on identifying and resolving the principal contradiction in the society in Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. According to that thought, the principal contradiction in socialism with Chinese characteristics now is the contradiction between unbalanced and inadequate development and the people’s ever-growing needs for a better life.
In resolving that principal contradiction, workers wages have to be further increased in order to satisfy people’s needs for a better life. That will further reduce the competitive edge of China’s labor-intensive industries; therefore, the transformation to innovation-, creation- and consumption-led economic growth is indispensable for CCP to resolve the principal contradiction. The transformation is, in fact, a revolution too as it will bring about revolutionary change in China’s mode of economic development.
A revolution needs revolutionaries to carry out it. CCP old generation fought bravely and made great sacrifice to carry out their revolution to take over state power. The younger ones of the old generation fought hard to carry out the reform and opening-up also revolutionary in nature. Those old revolutionaries have mostly passed away. The very few remaining alive are very old and unable to work for the CCP.
China needs a new generation of revolutionaries to conduct the transformation and attain its two-stage development goals. At the first stage China shall basically achieve modernization by 2035 while at the second stage China shall be built into a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious, and beautiful by 2050.
Therefore, CCP shall ensure all its members are revolutionaries working hard to achieve CCP’s revolution.
Communist Revolution against Capitalism Is But a Specific Rule of Marxism
The general rule of Marxist political economy is: Production relations shall meet the requirement of the development of advanced production force.
From that general rule, Marx found that capitalism did not meet the requirement of the development of the advanced production force because production is for the society but means of production are owned privately by capitalists. Capitalists pursue profit. They plan their production to maximize their profits in disregard of the needs of the society, which always resulting in excessive production and capacities that cause economic crises. That certainly proves that capitalism fails to meet the requirements of the development of advanced productive force.
From the above general rule, Marx concluded that in order to meet the requirement of the development of advance productive force, communists as proletariat’s vanguards shall lead people to conduct a communist revolution to replace private ownership of means of production with public ownership and free economy with planned economy. As the new system of public ownership and planned economy meets the requirement of the development of advanced productive force. The economy will take off. There will be abundant supply of all kinds of industrial products to meet people’s demand. Everybody will be benefited including the capitalists that have been deprived of their enterprises by Marx’ communist revolution; therefore, Marx says that the proletariat will emancipate the entire human race.
There is the basic rules of Marxist philosophy of dialectic materialism, which are the basis of the above general rule of Marxist political economy. One of the basic rule is that practice is the only criterion to check truth. Soviet Union, socialist camp and China’s practices prove that Marxist specific rule of political economy on public ownership and planned economy is not truth. Monolithic public ownership and planned economy have been proved inefficient and unable to compete with capitalist system. Obviously, private ownership still to some extent meet the requirement of the development of advanced productive force.
Proletariat by definition has no means of production. Why they do not have means of production? In a rich free capitalist society, a worker’s income may enable the worker to have some savings to start the worker’s own small business if the worker has the ability to do so. One cannot do so as one does not have the ability to make money as an entrepreneur.
Proletariat may have a leader with military gift to lead them to win communist revolution in some countries. Still they, even their leaders, have no entrepreneur’s skill to make money so that their countries lag behind capitalist ones in economic growth and creation of wealth.
The monolithic public ownership make those who have skill to make money unable to and even dare not give play to their skill.
Managers of state-owned enterprises are unable to or dare not give play to their skill to make money due to the restriction state plan.
China Follows Marxist General Rules to Prosper
China has a tradition of respecting and giving play to people’s talent but unfortunately for a long time in Chinese history, that was restricted to the political talent of scholars. The failures of Marxist public ownership and planned economy in socialist countries and the initial success of township and town enterprises soon after the beginning of China’s reform made CCP leaders realize they should give play to people’s skill to make money by allowing them to set up their private enterprises.
Market economy will make adjustment of private enterprises as those unable to produce the goods the society’s needs or in excess of such needs will suffer losses and finally close down if they fail to improve. The government will guide private enterprises to produce the goods people need. Since the beginning of China’s reform, China has followed the Marxist general rule on production relations meeting the requirement of the development of productive force. It has also applied the general rule of Marxist philosophy to see what they have done is good as checked by practice.
Guided by the general rule of Marxist political economy, Chinese leaders always adjust their policies to meet the requirement of the development of advanced productive force. They saw utilization of China’s vast cheap labor resources, attraction of foreign capital and introduction of foreign technology were required by the development of advanced productive force in China. They opened up to draw in foreign capital and technology to utilize China’s vast cheap labor resources through the establishment of Sino-foreign joint ventures. They also opened up Chinese market to foreign enterprises to force Chinese enterprises to improve so as to be able to survive in their competition with foreign enterprises and Sino-foreign joint ventures.
Due to the application of the above mentioned Marxist rules instead of the Marxist specific rule of communist revolution, Chinese economy has taken off for decades. That has made Chinese leaders understand that they have to follow Marxist rules to constantly carry out reform to make its production relations meet the requirements of the development of advanced productive force and check their reform policies by practice. That is why China regards Marxism as its guarding ideology and itself as a socialist country.
Moreover, China’s leading Party CCP puts the people first and regards satisfying people’s wish for better life as the target of its struggle. That is certainly a socialist instead of capitalist way.
Summing up decades of China practice in applying Marxist general rules, China has developed its revised and updated Marxism called Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. As Marxist specific rule on monolithic public ownership and planned economy has been proved inefficient by practice and as under government guide private enterprises can play their role in developing economy, provide jobs and products that China needs, Xi Jinping thought advocate unswervingly encourage, support and guide non-public ownership. China’s new Marxism Xi Jinping thought to some extent has the characteristics of capitalism including capital accumulation, competitive markets, prices mostly determined by market demand, private property and the recognition of property rights, voluntary exchange, wage labor, etc.
However, as a whole Xi Jinping thought is Marxism and China is a socialist instead of capitalist country. As it does not oppose private economy capitalist in nature, it has no conflict with Western capitalist countries. That is why China upholds its relations of no conflict, no confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation with the US, the leading capitalist nation.
In a year marked by plague and protest, Americans are reckoning with long-overdue questions about racial justice, economic inequality, and disparities in health care. The current crisis should also prompt a reckoning about the United States’ national security priorities. The country is dangerously unprepared for a range of threats, not just future pandemics but also an escalating climate crisis and multidimensional challenges from China and Russia. Its industrial and technological strength has atrophied, its vital supply chains are vulnerable, its alliances are frayed, and its government is hollowed out. In the past, it sometimes has taken a dramatic shock—Pearl Harbor, Sputnik, 9/11—to wake up the United States to a new threat and prompt a major pivot. The COVID-19 crisis should be a big enough jolt to rouse the country from its sleep, so that it can summon its strength and meet the challenges ahead.
Among the highest priorities must be to modernize the United States’ defense capabilities—in particular, moving away from costly legacy weapons systems built for a world that no longer exists. Another is to renew the domestic foundations of its national power—supporting American innovation and bolstering strategically important industries and supply chains. These twin projects are mutually reinforcing. Modernizing the military would free up billions of dollars that could be invested at home in advanced manufacturing and R & D. That would not only help the United States compete with its rivals and prepare for nontraditional threats such as climate change and future pandemics; it would also blunt some of the economic pain caused by budget cuts at the Pentagon. Integrating foreign and domestic policy in this way would make both more effective. And it would help the United States regain its footing in an uncertain world.
For decades, policymakers have thought too narrowly about national security and failed to internalize—or fund—a broader approach that encompasses threats not just from intercontinental ballistic missiles and insurgencies but also from cyberattacks, viruses, carbon emissions, online propaganda, and shifting supply chains. There is no more poignant example than the current administration’s failure to grasp that a tourist carrying home a virus can be as dangerous as a terrorist planting a pathogen. President Barack Obama’s national security staff left a 69-page playbook for responding to pandemics, but President Donald Trump’s team ignored it, focusing instead on the threat of bioterrorism. They dismantled the National Security Council’s pandemic directorate, folding it into the office responsible for weapons of mass destruction, and filled a national medical stockpile with drugs for anthrax and smallpox while neglecting the personal protective equipment needed for a pandemic. The Trump administration also shut down the U.S. Agency for International Development program created during my time as secretary of state to detect viral threats around the world, and it has repeatedly tried to slash funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The costs of this misjudgment have been astronomical.
The Trump administration has taken a similarly misguided approach to other nontraditional threats. It omitted any reference to climate change in its 2017 National Security Strategy and attempted to block Rod Schoonover, a senior intelligence official, from briefing Congress about it. The administration also deprioritized cyber-espionage in its trade negotiations with China and failed to confront Russia over its interference in U.S. elections. Unsurprisingly, both countries are at it again.
The problem runs much deeper than Trump, however. Administrations of both parties have long underappreciated the security implications of economic policies that weakened strategically important industries and sent vital supply chains overseas. The foreign policy community understandably focused on how new trade agreements would cement alliances and extend American influence in developing countries. Democrats should have been more willing to hit the brakes on new trade agreements when Republicans obstructed efforts to support workers, create jobs, and invest in hard-hit communities at home. When Republicans failed to use trade-enforcement tools to protect American workers—such as the safeguards against unfair surges of Chinese imports that my husband, President Bill Clinton, negotiated but the Bush administration refused to invoke even a single time—and blocked domestic investments in basic research, infrastructure, and clean energy, Democrats should have more forcefully called their intransigence what it was: not just bad economic policy but a national security liability.
The COVID-19 crisis should be a big enough jolt to rouse the country from its sleep.
Myopia about national security also manifests in the simplistic frames applied to complex challenges, such as insisting on seeing competition with China through the lens of the Cold War. In a speech in July, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo offered this pearl of wisdom: “I grew up and served my time in the army during the Cold War. And if there is one thing I learned, Communists almost always lie.” That’s a remarkably unhelpful way of approaching the challenge. Huffing and puffing about Communists may rile up the Fox News audience, but it obscures the fact that China—along with Russia—poses an altogether different threat from the one the Soviet Union did. Today’s competition is not a traditional global military contest of force and firepower. Dusting off the Cold War playbook will do little to prepare the United States for adversaries that use new tools to fight in the gray zone between war and peace, exploit its open Internet and economy to undermine American democracy, and expose the vulnerability of many of its legacy weapons systems. Nor will such an anachronistic approach build the global cooperation needed to take on shared challenges such as climate change and pandemics.
Meanwhile, the United States’ deep domestic fractures have hamstrung its ability to protect itself and its allies. Consider what happened after the Obama administration painstakingly built an international coalition to force Iran to the negotiating table, including winning the reluctant participation of China and Russia, and then secured a historic agreement to stop Iran’s nuclear program. Trump abruptly renounced the agreement. Now, predictably, Iranian centrifuges are spinning, Tehran is exploring a new alliance with Beijing, and the international sanctions regime is shattered. It’s a frustrating, self-inflicted wound and a reminder of the costs of inconstancy.
The problem is not always too much change; in some areas, it’s too little. The overmilitarization of U.S. foreign policy is a bad habit that goes all the way back to the days when President Dwight Eisenhower warned of “the military-industrial complex.” Many generals understand what James Mattis told Congress when he led U.S. Central Command: “If you don’t fund the State Department fully, then I need to buy more ammunition ultimately.” But many politicians are too afraid of being attacked as soft on defense to listen. So they pile mission after mission on the Pentagon and authorize ballooning military budgets while starving civilian agencies. And, it’s important to emphasize, for decades, right-wing ideological resistance has blocked crucial investments in American diplomacy and development abroad and American innovation at home—from foreign aid budgets to domestic infrastructure and R & D spending.
THE OBSTACLES TO MODERNIZATION
Like the broader government, the military itself can be slow to adapt to new threats. After the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, there were fatal delays in getting up-armored Humvees and lifesaving body armor to troops in the field. Now, the Pentagon is again at risk of being caught unprepared for the very different demands of competing with China. I saw how hard it can be to move a bureaucracy as sprawling as the Pentagon when, in 2004, I was asked to be the only U.S. senator on the Joint Forces Command’s Transformation Advisory Group, which was charged with helping the military re-imagine itself for the twenty-first century. The Defense Department had assembled an impressive team of military and civilian experts from a range of disciplines and told them to think as big and boldly as possible, yet our efforts to recommend reforms ran into some of the same obstacles that remain today. Powerful players in the Pentagon, Congress, and the private sector have built careers—and, in some cases, fortunes—doing things a certain way. They have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo.
To be sure, when lives are on the line, it can be more prudent to rely on proven practices than untested innovations. And decisions about military posture and procurement have profound economic and political implications that should not be overlooked. As a senator, I represented many New York communities dependent on defense jobs, and I did everything I could to keep bases open and factories humming, whether it was funding the production of new howitzer tubes at the Watervliet Arsenal and the development of advanced radar systems on Long Island or bolstering the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum. I knew how much the jobs meant for my constituents, and I was convinced that each of the appropriations had national security merit. Yet multiply that dynamic across 50 states and 435 congressional districts, and it becomes clear why it’s so hard to retire aging weapons systems or close bases that have outlived their usefulness.
Today, the poster child for this political reality is the F-35 fighter. Development of the plane ran way behind schedule and over budget, and it is estimated to cost $1 trillion over its lifespan, yet it is considered untouchable. The air force sank so much time and money into the project that turning back became unthinkable, especially since the F-35 is the only fifth-generation aircraft currently being manufactured in the United States. And because the plane directly and indirectly supports hundreds of thousands of jobs across hundreds of congressional districts in nearly every state, it has legions of defenders in Congress.
A SMARTER DEFENSE BUDGET
These obstacles to reforming the military are not new, but they are newly urgent. The Pentagon must adapt to a strategic landscape far different from the one it faced during the Cold War or the war on terrorism. New technologies such as artificial intelligence are rendering old systems obsolete and creating opportunities that no country has yet mastered but many are seeking. Then there are the particularly thorny challenges in East Asia. While the American military was fighting costly land wars in the Middle East, China was investing in relatively cheap anti-access/area-denial weapons, such as antiship ballistic missiles, which pose credible threats to the United States’ expensive aircraft carriers.
No one should make the mistake of believing that the People’s Liberation Army is ten feet tall or that the competition with China is primarily a military contest. China has relied on financial coercion and economic statecraft to gain influence as it builds infrastructure around the world. In recent years, while the Trump administration was gutting the State Department and undermining U.S. alliances in Asia and Europe, China was doubling its diplomacy budget and pouring untold billions into developing countries, now outstripping American aid. China today has more diplomatic posts around the world than the United States does.
That said, the military challenge from China is real. The United States should not be lulled into a false sense of security by its continuing firepower advantage or the fact that its defense budget remains orders of magnitude larger than Beijing’s. China’s advances mean that the United States’ air and sea superiority in the region is no longer ensured. This isn’t competition from a military equal but a new kind of asymmetric threat. Americans learned in the sands of Afghanistan and Iraq that asymmetry can be deadly, and the same is true in the skies and seas of East Asia. To make matters worse, the United States must meet this challenge with a military that has been damaged by Trump’s mismanagement. He has degraded civilian oversight of the Pentagon by leaving scores of key posts vacant. At the same time, he has attempted to turn the military into part of his political machine—pardoning war criminals over the objections of military leaders and deploying National Guard troops in Lafayette Square so that he could stage a photo op.
Modernizing and refocusing the military will take both vision and backbone. A big part of the effort will have to involve overhauling the defense budget. Deep savings—potentially hundreds of billions of dollars over the next decade—can and should be found by retiring legacy weapons systems. But choices about where to cut and where to spend must be driven by a clear-eyed analysis of national security needs, not politics. The United States can’t afford to repeat the mistakes of the 2013 budget sequestration, when Congress forced the Pentagon to slash budgets indiscriminately, with no overarching strategy. This work is going to require a president and a secretary of defense who are rigorous in their analysis and comfortable consulting with Congress and the military brass but prepared to make difficult decisions about which missions to prioritize and which to de-emphasize or eliminate. To insulate these decisions from political pressure, Congress should agree to take an up-or-down vote on a comprehensive package of defense reforms—a process that has been used in the past for closing military bases—rather than haggling over each adjustment.
Changes to the budget should aim to prepare the United States for asymmetric conflict with technologically advanced adversaries. For example, aircraft carriers still play an important role in U.S. power projection around the world but are vulnerable to Chinese antiship missiles, which cost a fraction of the price. In addition, only a handful of the U.S. Navy’s 11 aircraft carriers are usually operational and at sea at any given time, with onerous maintenance keeping others in port. Instead of continuing to expand the fleet of vulnerable surface ships, the navy should invest in accelerated maintenance and next-generation submarines. Similarly, as anti-access/area-denial weapons force U.S. aircraft carriers and guided-missile cruisers to stay farther away from potential targets, the U.S. Air Force will have to focus less on short-range tactical fighter planes and more on long-range capabilities. That means it won’t need nearly as many F-35s as planned, but it should welcome the arrival of the B-21 Raider, a long-range bomber under development that is designed to thwart advanced air defenses. These capabilities must be accompanied by mechanisms that allow for consultation with China and Russia to reduce the chances that a long-range conventional attack is mistaken for a nuclear strike, which could lead to disastrous escalation.
As the United States leaves behind a period dominated by land wars and looks ahead to potential air, sea, and space conflicts, the army should accept the risks that come with a smaller active-duty ground force. A force with fewer soldiers and heavy tanks would match the strategic moment and cost far less. Maintaining fewer active-component armored brigade combat teams, for example, could save tens of billions of dollars over the next decade. Instead of heavy tanks, the military should be investing in tools that will give troops an edge in the conflicts of the future, including upgraded communications and intelligence systems.
Modernizing and refocusing the military will take both vision and backbone.
Perhaps most important, the United States needs a new approach to nuclear weapons. For starters, it should not be deploying low-yield nuclear warheads on submarines or nuclear-armed cruise missiles, which expand the range of scenarios for the use of nuclear weapons and increase the risk of a misunderstanding escalating quickly into a full-blown nuclear exchange. Nor should the United States spend $1 trillion over the next 30 years on its nuclear arsenal, as is currently planned. Instead, it should significantly reduce its reliance on old intercontinental ballistic missiles, pursue a “newer and fewer” approach to modernization, and revive the arms control diplomacy that the Trump administration scrapped. A top priority should be to extend the New START treaty with Russia, which Ellen Tauscher, the State Department’s top arms control official, and I helped negotiate at the beginning of the Obama administration. It will also be important to persuade China to join nuclear negotiations.
A renewed commitment to diplomacy would strengthen the United States’ military position. U.S. alliances are an asset that neither China nor Russia can match, allowing Washington to project force around the world. When I was secretary of state, for example, we secured an agreement to base 2,500 U.S. marines in northern Australia, near the contested sea-lanes of the South China Sea. Yet Trump treats the U.S. alliance system as nothing more than a protection racket—for example, warning NATO partners that they must “either pay the United States for its great military protection, or protect themselves.” Although it’s appropriate to emphasize the need for burden sharing, it is more constructive to think of a division of labor. As the United States focuses on modernizing its air and sea capabilities, it will make sense for other NATO members to concentrate on strengthening their conventional ground forces so that they can deter incursions in eastern Europe or lead counterterrorism missions in Africa.
That is how the United States should modernize its approach to defense—one of the three Ds, along with diplomacy and development, that for more than a decade I have said should be integrated as part of a “smart power” strategy. Now, it’s time to add a fourth D: domestic renewal, the rebuilding of the country’s industrial and technological strength.
The United States’ dwindling industrial capacity and inadequate investment in scientific research leave the country dangerously dependent on China and unprepared for future crises. The problem goes back decades. When the USS Cole was bombed in 2000, I was shocked to learn that there was only one American company left that manufactured the specialized steel needed to repair the ship’s hull. Twenty years later, the pandemic has underscored how much the United States relies on China and other countries for vital imports—not just lifesaving medical supplies but also raw materials such as rare-earth minerals and electronic equipment that powers everything from telecommunications to weapons systems.
The United States should pursue a plan like the one proposed by former Vice President Joe Biden to invest $700 billion in innovation and manufacturing and impose stronger “Buy American” provisions, with the goal of jump-starting domestic production in key sectors—from steel to robotics to biotechnology—reshoring sensitive supply chains, and expanding strategic stockpiles of essential goods. It’s time for ambitious industrial policies. China does whatever it can to gain an advantage, including conducting industrial espionage on a massive scale, pursuing a range of unfair trade practices, and providing virtually unlimited resources to state-owned and state-backed enterprises. The United States doesn’t need to cheat or steal, but it can’t afford to compete with one hand tied behind its back.
The United States can’t afford to compete with one hand tied behind its back.
Although it is a mistake to use national security as a catchall justification for blanket protectionist trade policies, as Trump has done, policymakers should widen the range of industries and resources deemed vital to it. It’s not enough anymore to prioritize materials and technologies used for weapons systems and semiconductors; the United States’ security also depends on the control of pharmaceuticals, clean energy, 5G networks, and artificial intelligence. That’s one reason it’s crucial to reverse the long-term decline in the federal share of spending on R & D. Another reason is that investments in basic science and medical research can yield huge economic gains: economists at MIT have estimated that increasing federal funding for research in the United States by 0.5 percent of GDP, or about $100 billion per year, would create some four million jobs.
Massive new investments in advanced manufacturing and R & D will be expensive, but they are necessary for the United States’ long-term economic and security interests and will pay off for years to come. Critics will no doubt warn that running up the national debt is itself a national security risk. But at a time of historically low real interest rates and historically high unemployment, the country should not shy away from bold investments. There is a growing consensus among economists that Washington need not be paralyzed by fears of debt and that it can afford to spend heavily on critical national investments that bring high returns, especially during a crisis. Indeed, what the United States cannot afford is to defer these investments any longer.
AN INTEGRATED APPROACH
These two agendas—military modernization and domestic renewal—should be integrated. Moving away from outdated weapons systems will cause economic disruption and real hardship. That’s why it should be done in tandem with targeted investments in economically struggling communities, bringing advanced manufacturing and R & D to the places most affected by defense cuts. In fact, as a study by economists at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, has found, $1 billion spent on clean energy, health care, or education creates, on average, far more jobs than the same amount of military spending.
I’m not suggesting telling laid-off factory workers to reinvent themselves as coders; that’s fanciful and condescending. Previous pledges to support workers who lost their jobs because of defense cuts or trade policies have often fallen abysmally short. But the U.S. government can do more to help displaced workers and those leaving the military transition to the millions of new jobs that could be created through major new domestic investments. In 2008, when the U.S. Air Force retired the F-16s based at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base, in Syracuse, New York, I helped secure funding to turn the base into one of the military’s first major drone bases, saving hundreds of jobs. American history is full of examples of factories, communities, and entire industries pivoting when they had to. During World War II, the auto industry shifted gears with incredible speed to make tanks and bombers. At the beginning of the pandemic, it shifted swiftly again, to produce desperately needed ventilators and personal protective equipment. With the right long-term investments, communities can reinvent themselves successfully. Pittsburgh, once a center of steel production, has become a hub for health care, robotics, and research on autonomous vehicles.
Many legacy weapons systems are built or based in communities with skilled workforces that can and should be the backbone of the country’s renewed self-sufficiency. Think of Syracuse, which has long been a center of defense manufacturing, a bright spot in an otherwise difficult economic picture. In 2017, the Brookings Institution ranked Syracuse dead last for economic growth out of 100 U.S. metro areas, so it could ill afford to lose any of the defense jobs keeping the region afloat. Yet a 2019 ranking by a pair of MIT economists put the city as the third most promising technology hub in the country, thanks to its skilled workers and low cost of living. It’s exactly the kind of place where significant public investments in advanced manufacturing, clean energy, and R & D could create good jobs and help the United States outcompete China.
Washington need not be paralyzed by fears of debt.
So is Lima, Ohio. Hundreds of people work at the city’s Abrams tank factory. Even though General Ray Odierno, then chief of staff of the U.S. Army, told legislators in 2012, “We don’t need the tanks,” Congress kept the factory open. It’s true that the plant’s workers and their community have devoted themselves to protecting the United States, and the country absolutely must keep faith with them. It’s also true that the military still doesn’t need the tanks. But if the United States is to get serious about climate change, what it does need are more factories to churn out clean electric vehicles. The Pentagon alone should replace most of its fleet of 200,000 nontactical vehicles with electric. Some of those new vehicles could be built in Lima, which is already home to a large Ford engine factory. And that’s just one possibility. If Washington decides to boost domestic production of next-generation electric batteries, wind turbines, and other strategically significant products, Northwest Ohio is a natural place to do it.
No one should pretend that every defense job can be saved or replaced. Cutting hundreds of billions of dollars in military spending over the next decade will inevitably inflict a painful toll on families and communities across the country. But if the government can pair these cuts with major new investments in affected communities, it can minimize the economic damage and maximize the United States’ ability to compete with China and prepare for future challenges.
All of this requires leadership from the top. Having a commander in chief with no experience—and no empathy or vision—has been a disaster. But it’s hard to imagine a man better suited to lead the work ahead than Biden, a former chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who has deep expertise in national security policy, a military father who knows how much the country owes its men and women in uniform and their families, and a champion of working people who fought to save the auto industry when others would have let it go bankrupt.
In the throes of a crisis as dire as any the United States has seen in many decades, it can be difficult to imagine what the world will look like in four months, let alone four years. But the country needs to be thinking now about the threats it will face in a post-pandemic future, as well as the opportunities it must seize. As former Secretary of State Dean Acheson recounted in his memoirs, when George Marshall led the State Department, he urged his team to look ahead, “not into the distant future, but beyond the vision of the operating officers caught in the smoke and crises of current battle; far enough ahead to see the emerging form of things to come.” The United States should endeavor to do the same today. To look beyond the current battle and prepare to lead the post-COVID world, it must broaden its approach to national security and renew the foundations of its national power.
Source: Foreign Affairs “A National Security Reckoning”
Note: This is Foreign Affairs’ article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.
‘Domestic market first’ approach has self-reliance at core
China faces sluggish consumption, behind on tech goals
In a series of remarks over the past few weeks he’s touted the so-called “dual circulation” development model, in which a more self-reliant domestic economy serves as the main growth driver supplemented by certain foreign technologies and investment. Following a Politburo meeting Thursday, Xi said China should speed up this approach in the face of an economic situation that “remains complicated and challenging with unstable and uncertain factors.”
Within China a big concern is unemployment, as growth continues to be sluggish due to weak consumer spending and lackluster private-sector investment. At the same time, Western governments are becoming more vocal in calling out Chinese behavior everywhere from Hong Kong to Xinjiang to the South China Sea, while urging their companies to find alternative supply chains and cut off the likes of Huawei Technologies Co.
For Xi, the strategy is to effectively reduce reliance on the West just as other nations seek to become less dependent on China for economic growth. While the world’s biggest economies still need each other for the moment, rising U.S.-China tension fueled by the pandemic looks set to persist even if President Donald Trump loses an election in November, as both major American political parties increasingly see Beijing as an ideological threat.
“China’s leadership doesn’t want to leave an impression that the country would just close its doors in the face of external challenges,” said Wang Huiyao, an adviser to China’s cabinet and founder of the Center for China and Globalization. “However, if the U.S. initiates a hard decoupling, such efforts could help boost China’s immunity from possible fallout.”
Xi has been out front driving the point home over the past month. In a letter to global chief executives in mid-July, he urged them to stay in China and pledged to improve the business climate. A week later he called on foreign and domestic companies to step up innovation and help stabilize employment, telling them to fully tap the potential of China’s market.
“The world today is undergoing major changes unseen in a century, and the internal conditions and external environment of our country’s development are undergoing profound and complex changes,” Xi said during an “inspection” visit to the northeastern province of Jilin last week.
What Bloomberg’s Economists Say…
A subtle but important policy shift is underway in China. The government has highlighted ‘dual circulation’ in recent policy statements — a reference to the domestic economy and external trade. This suggests an official shift away from an export-led growth model toward a sharper focus on building an economy with stronger domestic drivers.
On that trip, Xi called for boosting national auto brands, developing key technologies and stepping up research into drone warfare and training. And just on Friday, Xi announced that Beidou-3 navigation satellite system, China’s alternative to the U.S.-run Global Positioning System, had started operation.
“China’s self-reliance history goes back to well before Trump,” said Jude Blanchette, Freeman Chair in China Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. “There’s greater urgency now that the U.S. not only controls the choke points, but has shown they are prepared to exert pressure on them, as we have seen with Huawei and ZTE.”
China’s better-than-expected recovery in the second quarter demonstrated the kind of domestic resilience that the country’s leaders hoped will get its economy back on track. But that performance was bolstered by a splurge in government-led investment, a range of administrative orders aimed at spurring credit expansion and small exporters adaptive to the shifting global demand of protective gear.
The worrying figure remains weak consumption, which has raised concerns about the sustainability of the recovery. The country’s income distribution has worsened of late, with groups at the lower end of the income ladder seeing wages falling while millions of others who lost their jobs don’t show up as unemployed in the official data.
“China’s future growth will depend on domestic demand, domestic wealth re-distribution and internal circulation of materials,” said Liu Peiqian, a China economist at Natwest Markets in Singapore.
China also has a long way to go to master the core technologies it desperately needs for its development, from semiconductors and aircraft to new energy vehicles and artificial intelligence, despite a range of official programs from “Made in China 2025” to a push to build out 5G infrastructure.
Some experts say it could take more than a decade to catch the U.S. in terms of manufacturing computer chips, particularly after the Trump administration tightened supplies. Beijing is widely expected to miss a goal of domestic suppliers meeting around 70% of chip needs by 2025. That compares with about 16% now, according IC Insights, Inc., a semiconductor market research company headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Set Up to Fail
“I’m not sure why they set such aggressive targets, other than to try and encourage the industry to work harder,” said Stewart Randall, head of electronics at consultancy Intralink in Shanghai. “It feels like setting oneself up to fail.”
One sign of the inward shift was the exclusion of any mention of Xi’s Belt and Road Initiative — a major “turn outward” policy since 2013 — following Thursday’s Politburo meeting. That indicates a “clear digression from the previous national strategy,” Nomura’s Chief China Economist Lu Ting wrote in a research note Friday, adding that it likely stemmed from the wider U.S.-China clash. “A retreat might make sense for China, as it needs to adjust its role in the global arena,” he wrote.
Building a more self-reliant economy could also pay dividends over the long haul for the Communist Party, which faces pressure both to deliver economic gains to the country’s 1.4 billion people and to prevent them from pushing for any Western ideas of democracy that could threaten its rule.
“This whole onshoring is just a reflection of a withdrawal that might be politically needed in order to keep Xi or the party in power,” said Joerg Wuttke, president of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, who in the past has participated in discussions with senior government officials on economic policy.
Still, he said, Beijing’s leaders may struggle to pull it off: “Does China realize how difficult it is to make up the technology on which they built their success stories, and that it’s them against the world? Are they willing to pay the economic price?”
— With assistance by Colum Murphy, Yinan Zhao, Simon Flint, and Jing Li
Note: This is Bloomberg’s article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.
BEIJING (Reuters) – China will eliminate all restrictions on foreign investments not included in its self-styled “negative lists,” a vice commerce minister said on Tuesday, and also will “neither explicitly nor implicitly” force foreign investors and companies to transfer technologies.
FILE PHOTO: Chinese Vice Commerce Minister and Deputy China International Trade Representative Wang Shouwen attends a news conference ahead of the 70th founding anniversary of the People’s Republic of China, in Beijing, China September 29, 2019. REUTERS/Jason Lee
The statement to a news conference in Beijing by Wang Shouwen signalled possible upcoming directives.
Technology transfers have been a major source of tension between China and the United States, which have been embroiled in a trade war for over a year.
The ‘negative lists’ specify industries in which investors, foreign or domestic, are restricted or prohibited.
“We will move faster to open up the financial industry,” said Wang, eliminating all restrictions on the scope of business for foreign banks, securities companies and fund managers.
Policies will also be fine-tuned to ensure foreign and domestic players have equal market access to manufacturing new-energy vehicles, he said.
The new measures are intended to ensure stable foreign investment and create a transparent, predictable investment environment, Wang said.
The U.S.-China Business Council said forced technology transfer requirements and investment restrictions that required joint ventures were a concern for many of its more than 200 member companies.
“We are encouraged by the vice minister’s statement on eliminating forced technology transfer requirements in the China market,” said Jake Parker, the group’s senior vice president. “We look forward to these new liberalizations quickly resulting in transparent regulatory reviews that lead to licenses granted after narrowly defined review timelines.”
Chief U.S. and Chinese trade negotiators talked on the phone recently and will speak again soon, Geng Shuang, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, told a separate news conference. He did not give a timeframe.
U.S. President Donald Trump agreed this month to cancel an Oct. 15 hike in tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese goods as part of a tentative agreement on agricultural purchases, increased access to China’s financial services markets, better protections for intellectual property rights and a currency pact.
Leaders of the world’s two biggest economies are working to agree on the text for a “Phase one” trade agreement announced by Trump on Oct. 11.
Trump has said he hopes to sign the deal with China’s President Xi Jinping next month at a summit in Chile, but a U.S. administration official said on Tuesday the text of the deal might not be completed in time.
White House spokesman Judd Deere said both sides were still working to complete work on the interim deal.
Reporting by Huizhong Wu and Ben Blanchard; additional reporting by Andrea Shalal in Washington; Writing by Gabriel Crossley and Andrea Shalal; editing by John Stonestreet and Dan Grebler
Source: Reuters “China to ease foreign investments curbs, won’t force tech transfers -vice minister”
Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.
Socialism with Chinese Characteristics Consolidated
The preceding three posts titled “Xi Jinping Typhoon”, “Xi Jinping’s Education on Democracy” and “Xi Jinping’s Rectification of CCP” all described what Xi has done to have consolidated and been consolidating China’s socialism with Chinese characteristics. Jiang Zemin and Wu Bangguo’s establishment of the rule of law, Hu Jintao’s Scientific Outlook on Development for CCP to “put the people first” and Xi Jinping’s abolishment of the re-education through labor system, mass line democracy and rectification of CCP are all China’s major political reforms. Those reforms have improved CCP’s governance of China and made CCP and its leaders very popular in China. CCP owes its successes to Chinese people’s vigorous support.
Western politicians and media simply fail to understand or turn blind eyes to such political reforms so that they have time and again criticized China’s “lack of political reform” and urge it to conduct a “democratic reform” to establish messy Western multi-party democracy in China. Chinese people, however, will not do so as they are fully confident about their own wonderful political system of socialist democracy with Chinese characteristics.
China’s is a successful democracy where people are free to make suggestions and criticism and CCP welcomes their suggestions and criticism. China’s organs of letters and calls always listen to people suggestions and criticism after Xi’s reform of those organs.
The following simple facts prove which democracy is better: In China, new advanced infrastructures are being built daily but in spite of the huge wealth in the country, the US lacks funds to fix or rebuild thousands of its bridges in poor conditions.
Certainly, in order to achieve further economic growth, in addition to the above political reforms, China has to conduct further economic reform and opening up
Futher Economic Reform, Opening up Indispensable
Xi’s predecessor Hu Jintao has already realized the need of further reform to switch from export- and investment-geared economic growth to innovation-, creation- and consumption-geared economic growth. He had become especially aware of that after his premier Wen Jiabao’s injection of 4 trillion yuan to counter the recession caused by US subprime mortgage crisis in 2008. The injection had given rise to serious problems, including excessive production capacity, surplus of products without sufficient market, rocketing property prices, etc. though it had stopped the economic downturn caused by the crisis.
It has proved that their old tricks of seeking export- and investment-geared economic growth no longer worked. If China kept on adopting such old tricks, it would have to face dire consequences, but for quite a long time since China refused to adopt the old tricks, China’s economic growth rate has kept on dropping.
Xi’s Reform Efforts
Xi carries on Hu’s further reform and has made some progress but far from enough as the reform is a hard and even bitter transformation. Lots of export-oriented enterprises have either to move abroad to lower their labor cost or switch to products with higher technology through innovation and creation.
For those enterprises, Xi has put forth the Belt and Road initiative to build infrastructures in underdeveloped countries to facilitate transfer of export-oriented industries to countries with cheaper labor and the Made in China 2025 Plan to encourage and subsidize innovation and creation.
Xi has already begun to carry out the initiative and plan but it takes time to attain the goals. If Xi has already attained the above-mentioned goals, Trump’s trade war cannot hurt China. Now the trade war may give rise to quite serious hardship as the transformation needs more time. Quite a few enterprises focusing on export to the US may close down and lots of their employees may be unemployed.
Trade War Facilitates Xi’s Reform
As the hardship is caused by Trump’s trade war attacks, due to patriotism, Chinese people will stand the hardship courageously. Trade war will only facilitate Xi’s reform and opening-up and make Chinese people rally around Xi in fighting back.
On the other hand, Xi may make Trump happy by further opening up China,
On the surface, further opening-up may facilitate foreign enterprises’ entries into the Chinese market at the expense of Chinese ones. However, Xi knows well that protectionism can only protect backward enterprises. Foreign enterprises may bring into China products of more advanced technology than Chinese ones and thus stimulate Chinese enterprises to improve in order to win competition.
China’s achievements after its entry into the WTO have proved Chinese people’s talents and ability to compete with strong foreign competitors. Only economic liberalization can give full play to Chinese people’s potential and enable China to have a wonderful future and realize China Dream.
Moreover, China has abundant financial resources and gives priority to funding and subsidizing the research and development of science and technology. It has attracted lots of talent including talent from abroad with generous remuneration packages and made great efforts to implement its Made in China 2025 plan. Xi’s first priority is to realize his China Dream of national rejuvenation. How can he attain his goal if China cannot become the best in the world in science and technology?
Restration of Socialist Camp
The above is Xi’s domestic moves. Internationally, Xi as a communist will make efforts to restore the socialist camp. Due to the changes of times, the socialism in Xi’s camp will certainly be different from that of the socialism of the collapsed socialist camp of the Soviet Union. It will be the socialism adapted to the changes of times and the different national situation in various countries. Anyway, it certainly is not the socialism with monolithic public ownership. Like Xi’s socialism, countries in the camp will focus on lifting people from poverty, economic growth and improvement of people’s living standards. That will be discussed later.
BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s state planning agency has reduced the number of sectors subject to foreign investment restrictions, as Beijing moved to fulfill its promise to open major industries.
The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) on Saturday further eased foreign investment curbs on sectors including petroleum and gas exploration and widened access to agriculture, mining and manufacturing.
NDRC published on its website the new, shorter so-called negative list that sets out industries where foreign investment is limited or prohibited.
The number of items on the negative list was cut to 40 from 48 in the previous version, which was published in June last year. The new list takes effect on July 30.
The long-anticipated announcement comes after Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping met in Japan, rekindling hope of a deal after negotiations broke down last month.
Reporting by Yilei Sun and Norihiko Shirouzu; Writing by Yawen Chen in Beijing; Editing by Sam Holmes
Source: Reuters “China further eases foreign investment curbs on manufacturing”
Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.
What Trump Mainly Wants Is the Transformation China Has to Undergo
Initially, Trump only wants reduction of trade deficit, equal treatment for US enterprises in China, protection of technology and intellectual property and no significant devaluation of Chinese currency.
China has adopted a new foreign investment law for protection of foreign technology and equal treatment between foreign and domestic enterprises while should not devalue its currency as it wants its currency to become a major international currency.
As mentioned above, the transformation to innovation-, creation- and consumption-led economic growth is indispensable for China. Without that, China’s reformists will not be able to achieve further economic growth for the realization of their China Dream of the grand rejuvenation of China.
The Pains May Be Caused by China’s Economic Transformation
The economic slowdown and unemployment in the course of such transformation are the costs China has to incur. China will recover its fast economic growth when the transformation has been completed. However, due to the pains of the transformation, reformists cannot conduct their further reforms and opening-up as quickly as they want. They have to do so step by step in order to make people adapt to the changes.
Trump’s trade war attacks of tariff hikes, etc. enable China’s reformists to conduct the transformation at one stroke and thus greatly speed up the transformation. Trump believes that the hardship caused by his attacks will be the pressure heavy enough to bring China down to its knees. He is entirely ignorant that the hardship is what China has to suffer in the course of its economic transformation.
Trade War Enables Chinese People to Suffer the Pains Patiently
Without the trade war, it would be hard for Chinese people to suffer patiently the hardship caused by the transformation but it is now caused by a war, a trade war. The hardship is caused by a strong enemy’s attacks at China. It is now very easy for Chinese reformists to rouse people’s patriotism to endure the hardship and fight back with innovation, creation and domestic consumption.
All other countries in the world will be benefited by China’s transformation, i.e. China’s further reform and opening-up without any cost except the US. If the US had waited patiently for China to conduct its transformation gradually, it would also have been benefited without any effort or costs. Now, it helps China achieve the transformation but has caused its people to pay higher prices for their daily necessities due to its tariff hikes. Moreover, it is making a great people of 1.4 billion hostile to it.
From the above perspective, it is very clear that China is winning and the US, losing the trade war. China certainly has no urge to strike a deal soon with the US to end the trade war. It has to let the trade war fully play its role in facilitating China’s transformation to innovation-, creation- and consumption-led economic growth.
True such transformation may make China world leader in technology, but who can stop that?
China has a centralized system. When there is a wise leader like President Xi Jinping, it is able to conduct a thorough reform of its outdated military system and organization structure that dated back to mid 1950s.
The West especially the US criticizes the Chinese system and calls it autocracy. However, they do not understand that it is centralism with democratic discovery, employment and trust of talents with a wise leader able and powerful to do so.
In addition, China has a culture of constant reform that has developed in its four decades of reform and opening-up.
China is now switching to innovation- and creation-led economic growth. It is especially so in Chinese military so that China is able to catch up and surpass the US so quickly. The US may invent the lies that China can catch up so fast because China has stolen US technology, but now China has been developing what the US does not have such as quantum telecommunication, aerospace aircraft, etc. It forces the US to improve and attach importance to innovation.
However, as pointed out in Defense One’s article “All This ‘Innovation’ Won’t Save the Pentagon” that US military’s organization structure is outdated. It hinders innovation.
According to the article US Defense Department is a hierarchy never intended to innovate. On the contrary, it imposes conformity that precisely prevents innovation. Therefore, “actual innovation in the national security sector is typically either smothered by bureaucratic antibodies or so detached from actual governance processes that it produces little aside from good press.”
For example, US acquisition of weapons “is roughly the opposite of how modern products are developed”. The article says, “It enumerates numerous, often overlapping or contradictory ‘requirements’ before production is even thought about. The process takes years, as shown by albatrosses like the Air Force’s F-35 and the Army’s Distributed Common Ground System.” Due to the long process of development, the weapons finally acquired “are artifacts from a bygone era before they’re ever even delivered”.
The US does not lack talents, but the military is unable and its organization structure and culture make the military unable to give play to US talents.