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US seeking to intimidate China with psychological warfare: Analyst

This photo released on June 19, 2016 by the US Navy shows a flight formation of Boeing F/A-18E and F Super Hornets above the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis in the Philippine Sea. (AFP photo)

Press TV has interviewed Scott Bennett, a former US army psychological warfare officer in San Francisco, to discuss the deployment of two US aircraft carriers along with their accompanying ships in the Philippine Sea to conduct training drills near the disputed waters of the South China Sea.

A rough transcription of the interview appears below.


Press TV: What is going on? We continually see the US having exercises all over the world. This particular one, tell me what do you think the goal is?

Bennett: Well I think the goal is to try and intimidate China with a psychological warfare, demonstration of American firepower, American planes. There is nothing more intimidating than an aircraft carrier, two does the job double as well.

So they are obviously trying to intimidate the Chinese by showing that the Americans are going to pursue a military action eventually. That is their game; that is the card they are trying to convince the Chinese they hold.

I do not think it is rational. I do not think the US would do something like that. I do not think direct military engagement is an option at least not before the elections and I do not think it would be pursued after the elections unless Hillary Clinton was elected president. I think she represents the dangerous war hawk regime in the United States. I do not think Donald Trump would.

However, China has an interesting play. It is the only country that has developed these islands, the South Spratly Sea Islands and no other country has. So they have taken the initiative to develop this in response to some of the American aggressive military and missile operations that it has been doing with South Korea and we have seen also against Russia with Romania and Poland.

So China is one ahead and developed that as a countermeasure. Now it does have an opportunity to extend an olive branch, if you will, to the other Asiatic nations which are represented on the Chinese flag incidentally. Let’s never forget that. The Chinese flag, a one large star surrounded by four smaller stars is China in relation to the other Asian nations. So it should possibly reach out to the other nations and invite them to share the utility of the island.

They may not take them up on that option but it gives China sort of a softening approach to balance its appearance of a world power rising for imperial ambitions which is the psyop that is trying to be used to paint China, it is trying to be defined as a warring empire that is going to try and rise up and enslave the other Asiatic nations.

I think that is completely false but I think China needs to counteract that with positive public relations and outrage to its neighbors like the Philippines, like Japan.   

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