The annual report to Congress has just been submitted by the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, highlighting such technological advancements that in 10 years the US will no longer be able to dominate China militarily. Defence News reported with alarm that this “will allow China to coerce the US and others into not interfering with China.” Would their readers still be alarmed if we replaced China in that sentence with something closer to home? For example, “this self defence-course will allow our teenage daughters to coerce others into not interfering with them physically.”

In a review of cyber-espionage, the US Special Operations Forces Command commented that: “Recent Chinese doctrine articulates the use of a wide spectrum of warfare against its adversaries, including the United States.” Would any sensible country do differently today. Do citizens not expect their government to to employ as wide a variety of means as possible to protect them against their adversaries? The most alarming thing about the comment, surely, is that the US sees itself as an adversary of China.