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Chasing ghosts 追逐战争幽灵

(2009-08-13 15:27:12)
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杂谈

Chasing ghosts
追逐战争幽灵

Jun 11th 2009
From The Economist print edition


The notion that geography is power is making an unwelcome comeback in Asia
地理就是权力的观念正在不受欢迎地回归亚洲。



A CENTURY ago the ideas of an American naval officer, Alfred Thayer Mahan—pal of Teddy Roosevelt, inventor of the term “the Middle East”, advocate of American expansionism in Asia and father of the modern American navy—were much in vogue among military strategists and great-power leaders. Now they are back in fashion again, this time among Asia’s rising powers.

一个世纪以前,阿尔弗雷德•赛耶•马汉的海权思想在军事战略家和大国领导人之间非常流行。马汉是罗斯福总统的好友,“中东”这个词的发明人,现代美国海军之父,他鼓吹美国在亚洲进行扩张。现在,他的思想再度风行,这一次是在亚洲正在崛起的强权之间。

Mahan was a founding father of geopolitics, in particular the notion that geography—poring over maps—should inform foreign policy more than any other consideration. It was the wine-dark sea that interested him most. His book, “The Influence of Sea Power Upon History”, was self-fulfilling, helping sea power shape history, though not for the better. Mahan concluded that command of seaborne commerce was the key to winning wars, and that what was needed was an “overbearing power on the sea which drives the enemy’s flag from it”. Wilhelm, the German Kaiser, loved the book, once saying he was trying to learn it by heart. The naval arms race between Germany and Britain that followed was both catastrophic and avoidable.

马汉是地缘政治学、尤其是地理观念的创始人,他认为研习地图是制定外交政策的精髓,应当超过任何其他考虑。他的书《海权对历史的影响》,已经自我应验,并 塑造了海上强国们的历史,虽然不是朝着更好的方向。马汉认为,对于海上贸易的控制是赢得战争的关键,因此需要“压倒性的海军力量使敌人的旗帜从大海上消 失”。德意志皇帝威廉喜欢这本书,他说他曾经用心地学习它。后来德国与英国之间悲惨的海上军备竞赛,原本是有可能避免的。

The understanding of sea power has since evolved, yet Mahan is now hugely admired in Asia’s two most populous powers. Banyan was recently in Singapore for the Shangri-La Dialogue, run by the International Institute for Strategic Studies, a London think-tank. It seems Britain’s former naval dominance of Asia has been forgiven or forgotten (or perhaps is recalled with admiration), for this forum is where defence types now get together with old friends and future foes. And whenever Banyan prodded a military man from India or China, out leapt a Mahanite.

对海权的理解随后不断演进。如今,马汉在亚洲人口最多的两个国家之间获得巨大认同。最近,笔者在新加坡参加了一个伦敦智库——国际战略研究所主办的香格里 拉对话。防务领袖们与新仇旧友共聚一堂,从前英国对亚洲的海上统治似乎已经被原谅或者遗忘了(或许是被羡慕的回忆起)。每当笔者刺激一个印度或者中国军 人,得到的回应总是马汉式的。

For China’s strategic planners, securing sea lanes against hostile powers has become perhaps the chief preoccupation. For India’s, it is the growth of China’s presence in its backyard, in and around the Indian Ocean. In both countries Mahan is pressed into service in one planning paper after the next. James Holmes and Toshi Yoshihara of the United States Naval War College have followed the uses and abuses of Mahan. He is often selectively quoted, suppressing his equal emphasis on peaceful commerce. There is also this dictum: “Whoever controls the Indian Ocean dominates Asia. This ocean is the key to the seven seas in the 21st century. The destiny of the world will be decided in these waters.” Both Chinese and Indian papers quote it. But it is a fabrication; Mahan never wrote it.

对于中国的战略规划者来说,防范怀有敌意的国家,保障海上通路的安全也许已经成为当务之急。而印度最关心的,是中国在印度后院——印度洋不断成长的军事存 在。这两个国家,把马汉的思想写进一本又一本的计划书。美国海军战争学院的詹姆斯•霍姆斯和古原俊井长期跟踪马汉思想的运用与滥用,发现他经常被选择性地 引用,他对于和平贸易同样程度的强调被压制了。中国和印度的报告都引用过他的格言——“得印度洋者得亚洲,在21世纪,印度洋是七大洋的中枢,世界的命运 将由海洋决定”。然而,这话是编造的,马汉从来没说过。

That Asia should be looking to the sea makes sense. Threats to the two biggest countries historically came from their Central Asian hinterlands. But in terms of the spread of commerce, culture, religion and empire, Asia’s is a largely maritime history, carried on the monsoon winds. Asia’s modern “miracle”—economies plugged into globalised networks of supply and demand—is essentially a littoral story too, even when it falters, as now. A remarkable sight in Singapore is possibly the largest fleet ever gathered: hundreds of supertankers and bulk carriers from around the world, lying idly at anchor.

亚洲需要合理地面对海洋。历史上,亚洲最大的两个国家的威胁来自中亚地区。但随着商业、文化、宗教与帝国的扩张,亚洲的威胁变成是随着季风而来的航海运 动。当前颇有些步履蹒跚的现代“亚洲奇迹”,其经济根植于全球供应链网络,从本质上说,亚洲奇迹也是一个沿海地区的故事。新加坡一个引人注目的景象是:从 世界各地来的几百艘超级油轮与货轮懒洋洋地停泊在这里,这也许是史上最大的船队集合。

Despite the global slump, Asian growth continues. More than four-fifths of crude oil bound for China crosses the Indian Ocean before passing through the narrow Malacca Strait. Vast ship-borne imports of iron ore, coal and bauxite make up other raw ingredients for Chinese growth. India imports four-fifths of its oil, mostly from the Persian Gulf, plus liquefied natural gas from Qatar and Indonesia. Writing in Foreign Affairs, Robert Kaplan, an American journalist, whose poring over maps also suggests Mahanite tendencies, describes the whole Indian Ocean seaboard as “a vast web of energy trade”. Global energy needs are expected roughly to double by 2030, with India and China accounting for nearly half of the new growth in demand. Maritime security concerns are inevitable and legitimate.

尽管全球衰退,亚洲的增长还在持续。超过五分之四的运往中国的原油,在通过狭窄的马六甲海峡之前,需要经过印度洋。除了石油以外,大量的铁矿石、煤和铝土 矿通过船运进口,提供中国经济增长所需的原材料。印度五分之四的石油需要进口,主要来自波斯湾,它还从卡塔尔和印尼进口液化天然气。在研习了地图之后,美 国记者罗伯特•卡普兰也倾向于马汉的观点,他在《外交》杂志上把印度洋海岸描述成“一个巨大的能源交易网络”。到2030年,预计全球能源需求差不多要翻 一番,而印度和中国占了新增需求的一半。它们对于海洋安全的顾虑是必然的,也是合理的。

The danger comes when concerns are amplified or imagined, and hitched to Mahanite prescriptions. The chief threats to peace in Asian waters come from non-state or pariah-state actors: Somali pirates, North Korean nuclear smugglers, water-borne jihadists, drug- and people-traffickers. For Chinese strategists, however, the threats are still America and India. In Singapore Robert Gates, America’s defence secretary, met his Japanese and South Korean counterparts, to reassure them in the face of North Korea’s nuclear bluster. Yet a Chinese general disapproved of the meeting and bluntly told Banyan that America’s alliances in North-East Asia were intended to threaten China.

然而,当各种顾虑被夸大或者想象出来,再辅之于马汉的办法来解决问题,危险就来临了。亚洲海域和平的主要威胁来自被边缘化国家的各色人等:索马里海盗、朝 鲜的核武器走私者、海上的圣战分子、毒贩子和人贩子等。然而,中国的战略家们仍然认为威胁来自美国和印度。在新加坡,美国国防部长罗伯特•盖茨会见了日本 防卫大臣和韩国国防部长,再次承诺美国将保护它们免于朝鲜的核威胁。但一位中国将军不喜欢这次会议,他坦率地告诉笔者,美国在东北亚的军事联盟意图威胁中 国。

Too much latitude
百家争鸣

Other strategists gaze at maps and conjure up evil shapes. For Japanese imperialists (also Mahan fans), the Korean peninsula was a dagger at Japan’s heart; for Chinese strategists it is a threatening “bridgehead”. As for the Indian subcontinent, it is, in this Chinese analysis, “akin to a massive triangle reaching into the heart of the Indian Ocean” or, like Japan and Taiwan, “a giant and never-sinking aircraft-carrier”. India, in turn, espouses its own “Monroe doctrine”, demanding that outsiders keep out of its backyard. So it decries China’s “string of pearls” (roads, pipelines and ports being built in friendly countries around the Indian Ocean) as a provocation. Rivalry is helping drive a build-up of naval arms: three new aircraft-carriers for India; new destroyers, submarines and hints of an aircraft-carrier programme for China.

其他战略家们盯着地图,脑子里浮现出各种有害的影像。日本的帝国主义者,也是马汉的粉丝,把朝鲜半岛看成日本心头的一把刀。中国的战略家,则把它看成是有 威胁的“桥头堡”。 在中国人的分析中,通过近乎大三角的印度次大陆,可以到达印度洋的中心,而日本和台湾则是“巨大的、永不沉没的航空母舰”。相反,印度信奉印度版的“门罗 宣言”,它要求外人从它家后院——印度洋离开。因此,印度谴责中国的“珍珠链战略”是一种挑衅。后者在印度洋沿岸的友好国家中修建了许多道路、管道和港 口。这种敌对态势促进了海军装备的建造:印度要新造3艘航母;中国建造新的驱逐舰、潜艇,并表示将开始建造航母。

Mercifully, it is not all preordained to end in a rerun of 1914. The task of economic development concentrates Chinese and Indian minds at home. Smaller Asian navies are expanding as a counterbalance to the big powers, and they have an interest in keeping hands off the choke-point of the Malacca Strait. And America remains the defining force in Asia, able for now to enforce the peace. But, even if history never repeats itself, the persistence of Mahan’s doctrines suggests the past likes to have a try.

幸好,1914再度上演并非命中注定。经济发展的任务仍然让中国和印度的注意力集中在国内。其他亚洲小型海军的扩张,只是为了保持与大国的军事平衡,它们 愿意把手从马六甲海峡的瓶颈处移开。而美国在亚洲保有决定性的军事力量,现在仍然能够维持亚洲的和平。虽说历史永远不会重演,马汉学说的持续发酵,也许会 给悲剧再来一次的机会。

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