Everything happening in Washington news right now means absolutely nothing.
Gun legislation means nothing—bills will get passed, but the public hasn’t heard about those bills yet. There just hasn’t been enough time to draft and debate them.
Security clearances get adjusted all the time. Politicians meet and talk all the time—a president who has actual negotiation experience, however, might seem a little surprising to people who don’t understand Trump. But, none of it is news and none of it will go anywhere. It’s all one big, giant distraction for what is actually developing, which we should see in the coming weeks and months.
The only thing that happened of significance was the US Senate’s unanimous passage of the “Taiwan Travel Act”, which would basically allow Trump to visit Taiwan and vice versa, as well as many other officials, and, of course, irritate the Chinese. Unanimous passage of a Senate bill? Why didn’t that make headlines from a press obsessed with “bipartisan cooperation”?
It didn’t make headlines because everything happening, this week anyway, is just a distraction from what’s really going on, whatever “else” that may be, in addition to Asia.
China and the US rattled sabers over Taiwan. Arguably, they smacked sheathed sabers. A US Navy ship, USS William P. Lawrence, sailed past one of China’s military-stocked man-made islands with two Chinese jet escorts chasing it away. Chinese and Washington generals want to increase freedom of navigation and communication. Washington wants Taiwan to spend more on asymmetric military defense against China.
The US is concerned about China’s missiles preventing it from intervening should China invade Taiwan. Guam and Okinawa are supposedly at risk and could be denied access to Taiwan’s defense. This concern has activated a strong response from the US and Taiwan to prepare responses. The new US electromagnetic railgun is approaching its days of early deployment and already has active prototypes. It can travel 7 times the speed of sound, uses no explosive propellants, costs less money, allows transporters to carry more ammunition, can penetrate steel “like a hot knife through butter”, receives satellite and other guidance, and can be used as both an assault and anti-missile defense system.
So it would seem, just as China claims freedom of navigation in the South China Sea has given Beijing reason to erect islands, China has given the US the excuse it needs to deploy technology that blurs the lines between science and science fiction.