WASHINGTON - Political correctness and micromanagement from the White House National Security Council have reached new heights in a shocking Navy Times story entitled, “White House tells the Pentagon to quit talking about competition with China.”
According to the story, “[t]he White House has barred Pentagon leaders” from calling China a competitor or from describing the American relationship with the Chinese as “great power competition."
Pentagon officials, including Secretary Ashton Carter, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson, and other top military officials up until recently often cited the central themes of a “rising China” and a “great power competition” when discussing the country. In fact, when pressed at a recent Senate hearing, General Dunford was emphatic in his assertion that the U.S. is in a great power competition with China, responding, “We are. Absolutely right.” The National Security Staff appear to disagree with the nation’s top military leaders, preferring to stress cooperation and flexibility, while pointing to areas of progress on climate change and global health.
The Navy Times report comes on the heels of increasingly aggressive behavior by China, including increased militarization and territorial expansion in the East China and South China Seas. In July, an international tribunal at The Hague delivered an unanimous decision rebuking China for its behavior in the South China Sea and denied its claims of sovereignty there. China has ignored the international outrage, stayed put, and even threatened to expand its building activities close to the Philippines.
Chairman Mac Thornberry responded to the story by saying:
“Protecting our national security starts with the truth. China is not our enemy, but they are our competitors in many areas. Ordering the military to use politically-correct language does not change the reality we face. Failing to face the facts in our language and in our actions discourages our allies, emboldens our enemies, and further denigrates our standing as an unique force for good in the world. If only those NSC staffers put as much effort into addressing the real problems we face as they do in micromanaging the politics, the country would be better off."