The article from the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security that this post considers below is monstrously long and in its own way preposterous. In making its recommendations it ignores key international realities, now no longer obtaining, that favoured the US when George Kennan sent his famous, signed “Long Telegram” from the US embassy in Moscow in 1946 (subsequently revised and published with authorization in 1947 as “The Sources of Soviet Conduct” in Foreign Affairs and signed by “X”, not “Anonymous” as in the case of the current piece):
a) the US then completely dominated the world economy;
b) large parts of its main adversary, the USSR, were in ruins and it had just suffered some 20 million dead in World War II; and
c) the US was the sole nuclear weapons power.
Now for “The Longer Telegram: Toward a new American China Policy“, draw your own conclusions. From the “Foreward” by Frederick Kempe, President and CEO of the Atlantic Council (p. 5 PDF):’
Written by a former senior government official with deep expertise and experience dealing with China, the strategy sets out a comprehensive approach, and details the ways to execute it, in terms that will invite comparison with George Kennan’s historic 1946 “long telegram” on Soviet grand strategy. We have maintained the author’s preferred title for the work, The Longer Telegram [it’s over 70 pages long!], given the author’s aspiration to provide a similarly durable and actionable approach to China…
The author of this work has requested to remain anonymous, and the Atlantic Council has honored this for reasons we consider legitimate but that will remain confidential. The Council has not taken such a measure before, but it made the decision to do so given the extraordinary significance of the author’s insights and recommendations as the United States confronts the signature geopolitical challenge of the era…
From the eleven-page “Executive Summary”, all I could read. Will they never learn?
P. 7 PDF:
There were, of course, many challenges to US interests during Hu’s second term [2008-12 as head of the CCP], but they were manageable and did not represent a serious violation of the US-led international order.
p. 9 PDF:
The overriding political objective should be to cause China’s elite leadership to collectively conclude that it is in the country’s best interests to continue to operate within the existing US-led liberal international order rather than build a rival order, and that it is in the party’s best interests, if it wishes to remain in power at home, not to attempt to expand China’s borders or export its political model beyond China’s shores.
Bit of realistic humility at p. 10 PDF:
…the United States’ China strategy also must address the wider political and economic needs of its principal allies and partners rather than assuming that they will choose to adopt a common, coordinated strategic position on China out of the goodness of their hearts. Unless the United States also deals with the fact that China has become the principal trading partner for most, if not all, of its major allies, this underlying economic reality alone will have growing influence over the willingness of traditional allies to challenge China’s increasingly assertive international behavior.
Pp. 11-12 PDF, good luck:
The list of core domestic tasks…
*resolving or at least reducing the severe divisions now endemic in the political system, institutions, and culture…
*addressing the critical question of future national political resolve to safe-guard, build, and even expand the liberal international order, rather than accept or embrace a new wave of isolationism that will inevitably drag the United States inward rather than outward—and proving China wrong in its calculation that this US resolve is waning.
Pp. 13-14 PDF, cloud cuckoo land, need a Super Metternich/Bismarck plus:
These areas of strategic competition against China should include the following…
*stabilizing relations with Russia and encouraging the same between Russia and Japan
*concluding a fully operationalized Quad with India, Japan, and Australia by inducing India to abandon its final political and strategic reservations against such an arrangement
*facilitating the normalization of Japan-South Korea relations to prevent Korea from continuing to drift strategically in China’s direction…
*enforcing China’s pledges on trade and investment liberalization, state subsidies, dumping, and intellectual-property protection, in partner-ship with friends and allies, through a reformed multilateral trade dispute-resolution mechanism…
US Foreign Policy Elite Failed the (generally white) Middle Class Masses in the Middle of the Country [the author of the piece on which the post is based, a former senior State Dept. official, is President Biden’s nominee to head the CIA–maybe some thinking outside the blob? one can hope]