"There were people who warned me that you'd better get ready for the shoot 'em up here because sooner or later we're going be at war with China," retired Navy Admiral William J. Fallon recalled. "I don't think that's where we want to go. And so I set about challenging all the assumptions."
Hmm. That doesn't sound like the implication of the lead paragraph that hawks were pushing for war preparations.
In fact, it sounds like Fallon was told to prepare his command for war with China just in case.
Recall that Fallon was commander of Pacific Command. It was his duty to ensure that the forces under his command were prepared to fight and win. And China was and is the primary potential enemy in the theater. Connect the dots people. There are only three and certain conclusions can safely be drawn from them.
Far be it for me to challenge the assumptions of a former CINC (or whatever they're called now to avoid confusion with the CINC in the White House), but explain to me again why it was outrageous for the White House to remind him to be ready to fight China? And to expect him to keep his forces ready for such a fight. Our Pacific Command darned well be ready right now.
And excuse me for detecting just a little bit of superiority complex there. He didn't think we should "want to go" there in regard to war with China? Well, yeah. But Fallon wasn't Secretary of State for the Pacific region. He was commander of Pacific Command. If he didn't understand that his primary job was to prepare his command to fight and defeat potential enemies in his theater, how on Earth did he even get the job in the first place?
Look, the man was not ordered to prepare to launch World War III. He was told to be ready for war with China just in case. If he couldn't do that, why was he an admiral and not a member of Code Pink for Pete's sake?
I'm starting to wonder how Fallon became CENTCOM commander and not how he got fired from that position.