Joint Chiefs Chairman Mike Mullen on Relations with China With the important but challenging relationship between the Chinese and U.S. military, "dialogue is critical," writes Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs. Mullen invited Chinese Gen. Chen Bingde to the United States in May and visited Chen himself this month, he recounts in The New York Times. "We broke new ground by, among other things, showing him Predator drone capabilities in detail and a live-fire exercise; the Chinese reciprocated with a tour of their latest submarine, a close look at an SU-27 jet fighter and a complex counterterrorism exercise," Mullen writes. The two nations must recognize their common goals, including counter-terrorism, stability in Korea and Pakistan, and threats of drug and weapons trafficking, but also their differences, including conflicts over operating rights in the South China Sea. Mullen says bluntness about differences and openness in general is preferable to China's current policy of cutting off relations when they are displeased and the U.S. strategy of alternately engaging and overreacting. "We both believe that the younger generation of military officers is ready for closer contact, and that upon their shoulders rests the best hope for deeper, more meaningful trust," he writes.
Bret Stephens on Breivik's Philosophy Bret Stephens questions popular characterization of Oslo gunner Anders Behring Breivik as "Christian" or "right wing" in The Wall Street Journal. More important than Breivik's association with these groups is his "fetishisitic medeivalism" manifested in his association with the Knights Templar and his self-designed military uniform. "Like Osama bin Laden and his epigones, his worldview seems mainly defined by the politics of the 13th century," Stephens writes. "And that worldview is fundamentally geared toward hastening an apocalypse." Like the Islamists he hates, Breivik believed that a small, strategic chaos would set off a huge chain of events. He hopes that the media surrounding his trial will recruit followers to his cause, just as bin Laden hoped the 9/11 attacks would spark a movement. Breivik's philosophy "can hardly be called religious (what then would be the point of an afterlife?), or Christian (murdering children en masse is not a tenet of any Christian faith), or conservative (a political tendency that is fundamentally anti-utopian)," Stephens says. "What it is is millennarian: the belief that all manner of redemptive possibilities lie on just the other side of a crucible of unspeakable chaos and suffering."