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Russia is quickly building up its military power. Troop
mobilizations, rocket tests, the introduction of revolutionary new
weapons, and Russia’s continuing augmentation of its strategic metals
stockpile tells a story of ongoing war preparations. But now we have
another red flag indicator. The war mobilization of Communist China has
reached a new level. Now Beijing’s leaders are making serious threats.
And this time Moscow is backing those threats.

Departing from its usual “head in the sand” stance, even the New York
Times has acknowledged that Russia is “remilitarizing” while China is
threatening war. Stories about Russia’s mobilization have appeared in
leading newspapers from around the world. The Russians are reverting to
a warrior type of mentality. The senior chief of Moscow’s Orthodox
Patriarchate, Metropolitan Pitirim, recently said that Russian children
should learn to love the smell of barracks and soldier’s boots. Last
month the Russians announced military training for Russian schoolboys, a
50 percent increase in arms spending, and a call up of 20,000 additional
reservists, even though the fighting in Chechnya is now little more than
a mop-up operation.

On Monday I interviewed Dr. Peter Vincent Pry, author of “War Scare:
Russia and America on the Nuclear Brink.” Pry is a former CIA analyst
who currently advises the U.S. House of Representatives on military
affairs. According to Pry, the Russians have perfected a new infantry
weapon. They have miniaturized a fuel-air bomb, also called a vacuum
bomb. This miniaturization has resulted in a grenade that can demolish a
three-story building, blow out a tank, or kill everyone in a bunker.
This new weapon requires nothing more than a single man, a rifle, and a
grenade launcher. “It means that a Russian soldier can now have the
firepower of a 155mm howitzer,” said Pry. And the Russians have
successfully tested this new weapon in Chechnya.

If this were not enough, the new Russian grenade is being mass
produced and shared with China. Imagine China’s infantry armies being
equipped with a weapon like that?

Now we see the danger in China’s new alliance with Russia. Despite
the propaganda about their extreme backwardness, Russian and Chinese
capabilities should not be underestimated, especially when we consider
the dilapidated state of the U.S. military. In fact, U.S. air and ground
strength has shrunk by two-thirds since 1985. Of course, Russian
conventional forces were also reduced, but recent mobilizations have
reversed this. Today Russian conventional forces are growing, although
the exact extent of the growth is yet unknown. The Chinese have also
been engaged in a military buildup. More alarming from the American
point of view, the Chinese have acquired control — through front
companies — of the Panama Canal’s ports of entry. In addition, Russian
and Chinese companies have bid to acquire a former U.S. Air Force base
in Panama.

If you think all these antics are harmless, you should think a second
time. Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan, speaking from Moscow last
Tuesday, said that China might easily use force to take over Taiwan.
Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov verbally backed this statement,
underlining the
fact that China is Russia’s strategic partner. Chinese and Russian
leaders often talk of countering the supposed global domination of the
United States. It is noteworthy that Russian and Chinese officials do
not refer to America as the world’s only superpower. They only admit
that America is “allegedly”
dominant.

The truth might be that Russia and China are approaching a position
of global dominance. That position, however, might depend on a number of
factors that Americans have yet to consider.

On Feb. 17 Chinese President Jiang Zemin told the Politburo to “get
ready to liberate Taiwan.” Jiang told the Communist Party leadership to
prepare the Chinese public for war. On Feb. 29 the Washington Times
published a story by Bill Gertz entitled, “China threatens U.S. with
missile strike.” According to Gertz, the Chinese openly threatened to
fire nuclear missiles at American cities if we sent military forces to
support Taiwan. Specifically, China’s leading military newspaper, the
Liberation Army Daily, stated that China might launch nuclear strikes on
the United States if the U.S. dared to intervene against a Chinese
attack on Taiwan.

The Liberation Army Daily also made a prediction. It foresees a day
when the United States will be forced to withdraw from East Asia, just
“as they were forced to withdraw from southern Vietnam.”

Does that sound incredible?

It is incredible if we assume that weapons of mass destruction will
never be used against the United States mainland. Consider the way power
is calculated in Washington, D.C. Policymakers count up America’s money,
they factor in America’s economic and technological advantages, and they
assume
that this can be converted quickly into military power. Therefore, even
if we lose the early battles of a conventional war, the economic power
of the United States will eventually result in a huge mobilization of
force. But if you factor in nuclear missile weapons, which are the
favored weapons of the Russian and Chinese generals, then you find a
different equation. Nuclear war is the great equalizer. With nuclear
missiles coming into play, the economic giant is not such a giant, and
the economic pygmy with millions of soldiers is no longer a pygmy.

Of course, Americans are indoctrinated with the notion that nuclear
war equals the end of the world, the destruction of the environment,
nuclear winter, radiation that kills all life, etc. These are myths that
Russian and Chinese military experts do not believe. With the best
scientific information available to them, knowing that today’s
environmental paranoia owes more to KGB disinformation than to reality,
the Russian and Chinese generals have no illusions that nuclear war is
“the end of the world.” However, it is highly useful that most Americans
think in this way. And therefore, it is all the better to talk about
nuking Los Angeles if a U.S. aircraft carrier dares to show up in
defense of Taiwan.

The Chinese have stated their goal for the whole world to read. They
seek to dominate all of East Asia. As it happens, the United States is
the only nation that stands in the way of that goal. If the United
States sunk into the ocean tomorrow, as Atlantis supposedly did, neither
Taiwan or any
other country in Asia could survive against the combined might of Russia
and China and North Korea and — don’t forget — Communist Vietnam. In
light of this, consider Communist North Korea’s extensive war
preparations, involving the mobilization of over one million troops,
which began over a year ago.

Is communism dead?

Two weeks ago I talked with Col. Stanislav Lunev, the highest-ranking
defector from the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Russian General
Staff (GRU). In that conversation Lunev called Russia’s acting
president, Vladimir Putin, a communist.

So what is going on? What have these mobilizations been all about?
Readers of this column will remember my earlier warnings. When hostile
countries begin to mobilize forces, whatever the pretext, then the
United States must match those mobilizations. But we have not done this.
Our
military forces have not been strengthened over the past year.

It is a strange thing, too, that Russia continues to withhold its
strategic metals from the world market. According to Russian military
doctrine, strategic metals must be stockpiled prior to a world war
because of expected shortages. For the past year Russia has stopped
exporting platinum and palladium. This has baffled many experts. In
December the Russian Duma passed a bill to allow the export of their
metals to foreign buyers. But the bill required the signature of
Vladimir Putin, Russia’s acting president. That signature was expected
around Jan. 11. But it never came and Russia
continues to withhold the metal. Even more suspicious, the Russian
Central Bank has refused to let auditors examine its precious metals
records. By some accounts Russia has a huge stockpile of palladium, the
price of which has soared to unheard of heights on the international
market.

Russian military theory has always maintained that any sudden or
untypical stockpiling of precious metals is an indicator of a possible
pre-war situation. In this context, what are we to make of so many
separate events — in Russia, in China and North Korea — which form a
very definite pattern?

Perhaps the situation goes something like this: As long as the United
States continues to conciliate and appease, to retreat from strategic
positions in places like Panama, then the Russians and Chinese will be
satisfied to bark at us from a distance while preparing for war.

But what happens when the appeasement finally ends?

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