Trump responds to USyd report encouraging US military increase in the Pacific
US President Donald Trump has brushed off a report from USyd’s United State Studies Centre that said China would win a military conflict in the Pacific “before America can even respond”.
On Monday, the United States Studies Centre (USSC) released a report, titled, “Averting Crisis: American strategy, military spending and collective defence in the Indo-Pacific”.
The report says the US is “ill-prepared for great power competition in the Indo-Pacific” for the first time since the second World War.
Filling the bingo-card of current buzzwords - China, US military uncertainty and defense funding, US political polarisation - the report made its way from the Institute Building across the pacific. Activating the pleasure centres of the US media, it created a media storm, being picked up by Newsweek, Fox News, and CNN.
When asked if the report kept him up at night, Pres. Trump said “nothing keeps me up at night."
"We have the strongest military in the world right now. There's nobody even close to us, militarily-not even close."
Meanwhile, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said: “China unswervingly follows the path of peaceful development and a national defense policy that is defensive in nature.”
The publication of the USSC report comes after it entered an agreement with the US State Department to conduct general political lobbying at USyd, which centred on the proposed publication of policy recommendations for the Indo-Pacific.
A conference founded under the same agreement was aimed to ‘build support for the rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific through increased public dialogue among states connected by shared interests, democratic values and a commitment to countering malign influence.”
Among the USSC’s partners listed in their 2018 annual report are arms manufacturer Northrop Grumman, and the Australian branch of US military think-tank RAND. The “Averting Crisis” report relies partly on previous RAND research.
Recommendations of the report include to “acquire robust land-based strike and denial capabilities” and “Increase stockpiles and create sovereign capabilities in the storage and production of precision munitions, fuel and other materiel necessary for sustained high-end conflict.”
Trump was asked about @USSC report Averting Crisis:— United States Studies Centre (@USSC) August 21, 2019
Q: Does Chinese military posture in the Indo-Pacific keep you up at night?
A: Nothing keeps me up at night. We got $700b, then $716b and then $738b– we have the strongest military in the world
Report: https://t.co/YEKIjl7Tk0 pic.twitter.com/QALXAM0xtF