One of the legacies of the Bush administration will be tensions it has created with Russia and now with China over creation of anti-missile defense systems. The United States is establishing an anti-missile defense system located in Poland and the Czech Republic which ostensibly is aimed at thwarting North Korean and Iranian missiles from attacking Europe. Of course, the United States is currently involved in discussions with North Korea which supposedly will result in an end to any nuclear missile threat. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates clashed with General Ma Xiaotian of the Chinese army over the issue of China’s “defensive” anti-missile system. Gates told reporters, “I don’t know what you use them for if it’s not for offensive capabilities.” He also dismissed China’s protests about American plans for an anti-missile defense system with Japan.
Gates expressed concern over China’s expanding military budget, which of course in no way compares to the American military budget. General Ma insisted “China’s defense expenditure is at a low level in contrast to some developed countries in the world.” There is no question China’s military budget is a fraction of that of the United States and is most probably proportional to its overall budget.
The Bush regime assumes the United States can build missile systems anywhere in the world and nations should accept the concept that America is merely in the business of defense, not offense. Of course, other nations which construct missile systems are in the business of offense, not defense. The arrogance of power is the only way to describe this attitude.