The Washington Times did a series of features on Chinese buildups during the summer--I had the chance to glimpse a friend's copy. Condi Rice has recently been critical of continued Beijing military buildups.
Now, it seems those closer to the giant have an acute sense of insecurity--no surprise. Allies such as Japan plainly don't think U.S. support is enough to secure their safety in a crisis, according an article from Insight Magazine...
The overwhelming assessment by Asian officials, diplomats and analysts is that the U.S. military simply cannot defeat China. It has been an assessment relayed to U.S. government officials over the past few months by countries such as Australia, Japan and South Korea....Most Asian officials have expressed their views privately. Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara has gone public, warning that the United States would lose any war with China.The upside is that it may motivate our allies in the region to be a little more enterprising with their own military budgeting. I believe a limited but solid presence in the region is essential. But we should only be there to maintain a threat and foot in the door--not the primary defenders of a dozen sleepy at-risk countries.
Perception of U.S. weakness seems a little exaggerated.
Mr. Ishihara said U.S. ground forces, with the exception of the Marines, are "extremely incompetent" and would be unable to stem a Chinese conventional attack. Indeed, he asserted that China would not hesitate to use nuclear weapons against Asian and American cities—even at the risk of a massive U.S. retaliation.Yes, we can always improve. Let the Japanese think we are weaker than we are, though, if it means they will be more assertive in securing themselves.
As a result, Asian allies of the United States are quietly preparing to bolster their militaries independent of Washington.Go for it.