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CIA veteran calls for US war on China and Russia, threatening nuclear strikes, in elite Foreign Policy magazine

Source: Multipolarista by Benjamin Norton

A CIA and Pentagon veteran who helps run NATO’s powerful think tank the Atlantic Council, Matthew Kroenig, published an article in elite Foreign Policy magazine calling for US war on both China and Russia, including “threatening nonstrategic nuclear strikes” and a new arms race. He has also advocated military attacks on Iran.

A veteran of the CIA and Pentagon who now helps to run one of the most powerful think tanks in Washington, Matthew Kroenig, has published an article in highly influential Foreign Policy magazine calling for the United States to prepare to wage war on China and Russia.

Kroenig served in important national security state roles in the George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump administrations, and has significant sway in DC foreign-policy circles.

Kroenig insisted that the US military should “threaten nonstrategic nuclear strikes” on China over Taiwan and Russia over Europe.

Referring to Washington’s conflict with Beijing and Moscow as a “new cold war,” he also called for boosting the $768 billion annual US military budget even further, maintaining that “the United States can afford to outspend Russia and China at the same time.”

The CIA and Pentagon veteran emphasized that Washington must take on both Eurasian superpowers, simultaneously, in order to maintain US unipolar hegemony, which he acknowledged is in decline.

Kroenig made these arguments in a widely circulated February 18 article in the elite Foreign Policy magazine, titled “Washington Must Prepare for War With Both Russia and China.”

Matthew Kroenig currently serves as deputy director of the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council, the de facto think tank of the US-led NATO military alliance.

The Atlantic Council, which is funded by the US government, other Western governments, NATO, and the weapons industry, has massive influence in Washington, helping to craft foreign policy for every administration.

In addition to his work for the CIA and Defense Department in the Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations, Kroenig was a national security adviser for the presidential campaigns of Republicans Mitt Romney, in 2012, and Marco Rubio, in 2016.

He is also a life member of the elite Council on Foreign Relations, and a tenured professor of government and foreign service at Washington’s prestigious Georgetown University.

In short, Kroenig is a highly influential figure in US foreign-policy circles with impeccable credentials, and his extremely hawkish views calling for simultaneous US war on China and Russia reflect the opinions of many of his colleagues in Washington.

Blueprint for simultaneous US war on China and Russia

Matthew Kroenig encapsulated the view of many Washington foreign-policy elites that the United States must wage war in order to maintain its unchallenged hegemonic control over the planet, writing:

The United States remains the world’s leading power with global interests, and it cannot afford to choose between Europe and the Indo-Pacific. Instead, Washington and its allies should develop a defense strategy capable of deterring and, if necessary, defeating Russia and China at the same time.

One of the tactics the United States could use to maintain its unipolar hegemony, Kroenig argued, is the threat of nuclear war:

Finally, if necessary, Washington could always take a page from its Cold War playbook and rely more heavily on nuclear weapons to offset the local, conventional advantages of its rivals. The presence of U.S. tactical nuclear weapons in Europe helped deter the massive Soviet Red Army for decades. Similarly, the United States could rely on threatening nonstrategic nuclear strikes to deter and, as a last resort, thwart a Chinese amphibious invasion of Taiwan or a Russian tank incursion into Europe.

To be sure, there are risks associated with nuclear deterrence, but nuclear weapons have played a foundational role in U.S. defense strategy for three-quarters of a century—and will likely continue to do so for decades to come.

Warning that “Moscow and Beijing are forging a closer strategic partnership, including on military matters,” Kroenig insisted that the United States must drastically increase military spending, to “outspend Russia and China at the same time”:

First, Washington should increase defense spending. Contrary to those who claim that constrained resources will force tough choices, the United States can afford to outspend Russia and China at the same time. The United States possesses 24 percent of global GDP compared to a combined 19 percent in China and Russia. This year, the United States will spend $778 billion on defense compared to only $310 billion in Russia and China.

Moreover, the United States could go so far as to double defense spending (currently 2.8 percent of GDP) and still remain below its Cold War average (close to 7 percent of GDP). Indeed, given that this new Cold War is every bit as dangerous as the last one, a meaningful increase in defense spending, focused on the 21st century’s emerging defense technologies, is in order.

In short, even if this new strategic competition becomes a two-versus-one arms race, Washington is likely to prevail.

He called for US allies to significantly increase their military spending as well, writing, “European allies should invest in armor and artillery while Asian allies buy naval mines, harpoon missiles, and submarines.”

Kroenig noted that the Joe Biden administration is soon expected to publish a new US National Defense Strategy, which will essentially call for Washington to focus exclusively on containing China, not Russia. But this strategy was allegedly delayed because of the Ukraine crisis.

Some US policymakers have called for easing tensions with Moscow and trying to form an alliance with Russia against China, but Kroenig argued this is “not realistic.”

Matthew Kroenig called for US military strikes on Iran

This is by no means the first time Matthew Kroenig has advocated for a US war.

In 2012, he published an article in Foreign Affairs, the official journal of the elite Council on Foreign Relations, calling for the US military to launch attacks on Iran.

In 2021, Kroenig spoke at an anti-Iran conference organized by the extremist Mujahadeen-e-Khalq (MEK) cult, which many hawkish figures in Washington have supported to try to bring about regime change in Tehran.

He praised MEK front the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) for supposed intelligence it has gathered on Tehran’s alleged nuclear program.

Other CIA veterans propose US war on China

Matthew Kroenig is certainly not the only US intelligence official calling for war on China.

In November 2021, another CIA veteran, David Sauer, published an op-ed in The Hill titled “America must prepare for war with China over Taiwan.”

“To deter China, the United States must rapidly build up its forces in the Pacific, continue to strengthen military alliances in the region to ensure access to bases in time of conflict, and accelerate deliveries of purchased military equipment to Taiwan,” Sauer wrote.