Reagan appointee (and now conservative Dem and occasional screenwriter whose ‘Rules of Engagement’ was described as “probably the most racist film ever made against Arabs by Hollywood“) the former Marine has gotten Yettaw out, but really the US agenda is …democracy…China.
He is a critic of US sanctions on Burma, Webb in his opening remarks at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing on Maritime & Sovereignty Disputes in Asia said-
At the pinnacle of this issue is China’s growing military, diplomatic and economic power, not only in the region but world-wide. China’s evolution has changed the regional economic balance, and has enabled China to expand its political influence. Across the East Asian mainland, from Burma to Vietnam, we have heard statements of concern about the impact of China’s reach.
As the United States continues its attempt to isolate Burma due to the human rights policies of its military regime, China’s influence has grown exponentially, including the recent announcement of a multi-billion dollar oil pipeline project that would enable the Chinese to offload oil obtained in the Persian Gulf and pump it to Yunnan Province, without having to transit the choke point of the Strait of Malacca.
As a maritime nation, the United States should maintain the quality and strength of its seapower—if not improve it. The recent trajectory of American seapower is not encouraging. When I first joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1968, there were 931 combatants in the U.S. Navy. When I served as Secretary of the Navy in 1988, this battle force numbered 569 ships. At present, the U.S. Navy has 284 deployable battle force ships, with 42 percent of them underway today. Although the quality of China’s 241 ships cannot match that of the United States’, that quality gap is closing.
If the United States is to remain an Asian nation, and a maritime nation, our nation’s leaders have a choice to make. Our diplomatic corps and our military—and especially our Navy—must have the resources necessary to protect U.S. interests and the interests of our allies. Smart power must be reinforced by military might.
The US is an Asian nation? Imperial entitlement much? I would like to hear Aung San Suu Kyi’s side of the meeting with Webb, but y’know she’s a prisoner of a military dictatorship so that’s not so easy. That’s kind of the point, Jimbo.