Learning U.S. makes it possible to deal with the nation

16:04, August 26, 2010      

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To study the United States, we should primarily learn from the nation and particularly its strategic studies, and the ways and main characteristics of the American strategic studies deserve much consideration for our reference.

First of all, the scope of effectiveness for American strategic studies should be set for the duration of over a decade and the scope of parameter space should be made continental and even global.

For instance, During World War II, President Franklin Roosevelt asked an ace historian then to design the framework of the United Nations based a regional framework theory in U.S. history and, to date, the effectiveness of its fundamental points still holds true and is not outdated.

Another case in point is the "Regional Assessment Report with Focus on Asia", released by a California-based company in 1959, which made long-term forecasts on the U.S.-China relations. The report mentioned that Taiwan natives will assume leadership and wield power, and China and Russia (then called the Soviet Union) would be in confrontation, and the U.S. president was likely to visit China secretly, etc.; and most of these judgments were taken subsequently as the basis for amending or adjusting the US' China policy.

Of late, American strategists made four-decade-plus-long predictions and simulations between 2005 and 2049, and the range of time and space has once again surpass other nations with their relevant forecasts or studies.

Second is to study the solid grounding and reliability of strategic studies. The U.S. strategy of containment in the 80s of the 20th century prompted the disintegration of the former Soviet Union. In fact, the United States came to see the former Soviet Union's huge grain deficiency in the mid 1980s and, along with the plight from its Afghanistan war, the U.S. predicted the collapse of Russian economy, which would trigger a civil war and the eventual breaking-up of the former Soviet bloc. These judgments were derived from American scholars' prolonged study on the Soviet Union, and resulted in the U.S. great operational strategy.

Another source of U.S. strategic studies derives from an in-depth analysis on foresights into global science and technology trends and their implication for the world in the years ahead. From the "Star Wars", Patriot, THAAD, and NMD program, triggered by the "High Frontier" Concept to the "missile shield" program and to the "space-web and sheet-web spiders", all these underlying principles have formed the core of the U.S. military strategy and overall political-military strategy.

Third is to study the innovative spirit and continuity of American strategic concepts. The United States has set forth a series of concepts such as "conflict between civilizations" and the "soft power", which enable it to have a greater voice in the international relations. There is a greater continuity however on the part of successive U.S. administrations, from President Bill Clinton's "engagement strategy" to incumbent President Barack Obama's "strategic re-engagement", all having embodied or exhibited the continuity of the relevant strategic concepts.

Finally, we want to avert the limitations of U.S. strategic studies. Having such a powerful and matchless power for strategic studies, why has the United States committed so many errors in strategy? There are ensuring reasons involved: A. The rule of political parties and maneuvering of interest groups have negatively impacted the correct strategic thinking. B. Owing to the influence of ideological factors, the U.S. always cited the fight against Communism as a precondition to the influence of judgments. C. Spheres with some taboos including the "hegemony stability" theory and the theory that "weapons alone decide the outcome of war" have become the classically forbidden area to penetrate into. D. Individual researchers often have a bigger or stronger "colorful" role to pay than an entire team in U.S. strategic studies, and strategic studies based on the information analysis far exceeds the importance of specialized researches.

Out of the above considerations, we should observe the following factors in our studies: That is to make numerous vital judgments and predictions based on the strategic longer-term and greater space and more vital plans and, there would be non-strategic studies, if without judgments and predictions; we should also raise the reliability of our researches on the U.S. strategic studies in compliance with China's concrete interests and current specific conditions and, finally, to avoid the limitations and subjectivity in our American studies.

In a nutshell, only through our arduous, earnest efforts to learn the U.S., can we do researches in this regard well and to engage or deal with the nation in a better and more successful way. So, we should set up our strategic researches concerning the nation based on our assiduous study of the American grand strategy.

By People's Daily Online and its author is Dr. Huang Renwei, an ace Researcher and vice-president of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences

(Editor:张心意)

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