Bill Gertz had two pieces of interesting news this week in the Wash Times. First, he wrote about the Romney advisors and their strange views. After stating that right-wingers are worried that Romney's advisors are too liberal, Gertz wrote:
Of particular concern were statements by Richard Williamson, a former ambassador who was introduced as the top adviser on foreign policy, and former Sen. Jim Talent, the senior defense adviser who in several meetings asserted that Russia is the United States’ “main geopolitical foe.”If true, it's quite interesting. One of the silver linings to a Romney Presidency, I had thought, would be greater support for Taiwan. But if this is the kind of advice that Romney is getting... it seems rather strange, however, like an April Fool's joke or some kind of bizarre move to pressure Romney. For example, I find it difficult to believe that a Romney priority will be HIV in Africa and foreign aid.
By contrast, the advisers described the strategic threat from China as a less-threatening, manageable trade, currency and intellectual-property challenge. Both advisers spoke about Mr. Romney’s Asia policy and were critical of the Obama administration’s new, tougher China policy, called the Asia “pivot,” which seeks to bolster U.S. military forces and build up alliances in the region to counter China’s growing military power and regional aggressiveness.
The advisers said the rebalancing toward Asia is a mistake and that Mr. Romney will not agree to support it as president. Mr. Talent, in one meeting, described the Asia pivot as a “fig leaf” with no substance.
Mr. Williamson in two separate talks in Tampa revealed his admiration for Clinton administration China hand Kenneth Lieberthal, one of the most pro-China national security officials of an administration that produced a China influence-peddling scandal and the loss of nuclear-warhead secrets to Beijing through espionage. Mr. Williamson quoted his China expert “friend” Mr. Lieberthal during one briefing.
Readers of Inside the Ring will recall how Mr. Lieberthal was taken to task by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher at a congressional hearing in 2008, when the California Republican questioned Mr. Lieberthal’s credibility as a China expert because Mr. Lieberthal acknowledged working for a major Washington consultancy that had received money from China.
Mr. Williamson at one point quoted Mr. Lieberthal’s book that praised President Obama for his role in improving U.S. relations with China.
Another off-the-record GOP foreign aid session in Tampa hosted by the International Republican Institute included Mr. Williamson, Mr. Talent, and former State Department officials Paula Dobriansky and Mitchell Reiss, who all spoke about Mr. Romney’s strategic priorities.
“All of them said that foreign aid and the war on HIV/AIDs in Africa would be Romney’s highest priorities,” said one surprised participant. “No one listed China among the future priorities for a Romney presidency.”
The rise of liberal foreign-policy advisers comes as more hawkish advisers, including those liberals have labeled neoconservatives, appear to be on the decline within the campaign.
While Mr. Williamson said he will be traveling full time with Mr. Romney on the campaign and leaving his consulting business Salisbury Strategies, former U.N. Ambassador John R. Bolton, once called a special adviser to Mr. Romney, has more recently been described in appearances as an “informal adviser” to the candidate, an apparent demotion.
Gertz also announced that the Chinese had been conducting missile tests that they didn't tell anyone about.
Gertz said US intelligence agencies had monitored a fourth flight test last week of the Dong Feng-31A (DF-31A) intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). It was fired from China’s Wuzhai Space and Missile Test Center in Shanxi Province to an impact range in western China.Could affect Taiwan. The Taipei Times reported that China now had 1,600 missiles facing Taiwan -- the number has become a kind of atomic clock, signifying Taiwan's ultimate end.....
“Thursday’s DF-31A test came ten days after the flight test at Wuzhai of a silo-based CSS-4 Mod 2 long-range missile, and several weeks after flight tests of a new road-mobile DF-41 ICBM, on July 24, and a submarine-launched JL-2 missile on August 16,” Gertz wrote.
“China’s secretive military made no mention of any of the tests,” he said. According to Gertz, US intelligence officials believe the DF-41 will eventually be outfitted with between three and 10 warheads.
Richard Fisher, a specialist on China’s military with the International Assessment and Strategy Center, told the Taipei Times that the testing represents a new level of capability for China’s nuclear forces.
“It may mark the beginning of a new era in which China fields multiple ICBM types armed with multiple warheads,” Fisher said.
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