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Old 01-23-2013   #21
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Default Allies Offer US Strong Advantages, And Some Risk, In China Rivalry

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Allies Offer US Strong Advantages, And Some Risk, In China Rivalry

America counts heavily on a cordon of allies stretching from Japan to the north down to Thailand, and across to India, in the highly unlikely event of war with China. But these same allies could draw the U.S. into strictly local disputes in which America does not always have a clear security interest and which could destabilize the region.

Asian powers including India and Japan possess large, sophisticated navies and air arms which, combined with U.S. Pacific forces, could outgun the rapidly-modernizing People's Liberation Army in wartime. And in peacetime, these same regional powers can help as counters to Beijing's growing influence.

In most conflicts short of war in Indo-Pacific Asia, however, Washington must be careful not to take sides, for backing allies in even minor spats could come at the cost of regional stability, experts say......
http://defense.aol.com/2012/09/11/al...n-china-rivar/
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Old 01-23-2013   #22
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Default Coast guard activity could build confidence

From an observer and edited:
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As you astutely observe, the North Pacific Coast Guard Forum is an excellent example of how otherwise militarily mistrustful countries can develop confidence-building measures through paramilitary agencies. As such, it does indeed, as you suggest, pose a potential template for the South China Sea.

There are, though, various barriers to the creation of a South China Sea Coast Guard Forum, primarily owing to the actors involved: China perceives a much greater benefit to be gained through coordination with the advanced and substantial coast guards of the North Pacific. By contrast, there are relatively few practical gains to be had from China engaging with the coast guards of most South-east Asian countries.

Nonetheless, as a confidence building measures (CBM), and one that could be driven by non-disputants such as Singapore, it is certainly a worthwhile suggestion and idea to pursue.
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Old 01-23-2013   #23
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Good sober article, nice to see people write on the subject without hysteria or paranoia.

Of course the US wants allies that will help out if we get in a mess but doesn't want to commit to helping out if they get in a mess. The allies, of course, want the same thing. Calls for a bit of compromise along the way.
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Old 08-12-2013   #24
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Default U.S. Geopolitics: Afghanistan and the Containment of China

U.S. Geopolitics: Afghanistan and the Containment of China

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Old 12-12-2013   #25
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Default Sino-US relations: roles reversed, think about it

About pivot! A thought provoking article id'd by The Lowy Institute blog on Sino-US relations, which reverses the two nations positions:
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Historically, it is somewhat unusual for one great power to have a tight set of alliances in the immediate neighborhood of another great power and to maintain a lot of military force in its vicinity, without the other power having a compensating presence in close proximity to its rival.
Which goes on:
Quote:
What if we lived in a geopolitical bizarre world, in which, instead of the US having two treaty allies on China's doorstep with accompanying naval and air force bases and tens of thousands of troops, it was China which held the strategic upper hand in the Americas? A naval base in Cuba, perhaps. An alliance with Canada which included the permanent basing of 100,000 Chinese troops. Near-constant surveillance flights and regular submarine patrols off the California coast.

I'm not saying this is China's ambition, merely that the idea of it exposes how unusual the current Asian balance of power arrangement is, and how understandable it would be for the US to chafe at such treatment, particularly if, in this bizarre world scenario, the US was just blossoming into an economic giant which wanted to take its proper place as a world power.
Link:http://www.lowyinterpreter.org/post/...e-in-Asia.aspx

The original article which led to the Lowy piece was by Stephen Walt on FP, which is slightly longer, is called 'How long will China tolerate America's role in Asia':http://www.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2...e_us_and_china

There is a long-running thread 'China's Emergence as a Superpower', with 712 posts and nearly 83k views since February 2006. Maybe this thread will be merged there one day:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ead.php?t=4366
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Old 12-13-2013   #26
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Default Sailing close to danger

Not that such incidents have not happened before in the 'Cold War', indeed the super-powers had an agreement to prevent such incidents. IIRC there is no such Sino-US agreement, although there is a military-to-military "hot-line".

Quote:
The guided missile cruiser USS Cowpens...was confronted by Chinese warships in the South China Sea near Beijing’s new aircraft carrier Liaoning....

“On December 5th, while lawfully operating in international waters in the South China Sea, USS Cowpens and a PLA Navy vessel had an encounter that required maneuvering to avoid a collision,” a Navy official said.
Link:http://freebeacon.com/chinese-naval-...tional-waters/
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Old 12-13-2013   #27
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Default Flying close to danger

An IISS Strategic Comment on the newly declared ADIZ into the East China Sea, beyond internationally recognised boundaries and so affecting Japan, RoK and PRC let alone others. Being published today it is als behind a pay-wall:http://www.iiss.org/en/publications/...nal-fears-9a92

So far restraint has been exercised.
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Old 02-25-2014   #28
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Default What Happens When a Navy Officer Gets Real on China?

What Happens When a Navy Officer Gets Real on China?

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Old 04-18-2014   #29
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Default China Boast: U.S. Marines Would be Like ‘Marching Band’ in All Out Fight

China Boast: U.S. Marines Would be Like ‘Marching Band’ in All Out Fight

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Old 01-17-2015   #30
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Default Navy: China has not attacked U.S. aircraft carrier

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The aircraft carrier George Washington has not been attacked, and World War III has not begun, despite what tweets from United Press International say, the Navy has confirmed.

The carrier is in port, not in the South China Sea, the Navy told Military Times on Friday.

UPI issued a statement on Friday saying its Twitter account and website had been hacked on Friday afternoon.
http://www.navytimes.com/story/milit...-upi/21868543/
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Old 04-10-2015   #31
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Default Is a U.S. war with China Unthinkable?

http://theweek.com/articles/548388/u...may-inevitable

A U.S.-China war is unthinkable. It also may be inevitable.

Quote:
First, the economic tension: "Beijing's plans for a new multilateral Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank have put Washington on edge," notes Johns Hopkins China expert Ho-fung Hung. "More than 40 countries, including major United States allies in Europe, have signed up to join it despite the Obama administration's objections and warnings."
Quote:
Then, the militarization and geopolitics: Obama's new Defense secretary, Ash Carter, is telegraphing a response to China's aggressive militarization of the South China Sea. "We and many other countries are deeply concerned about some of the activities China is undertaking,"
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Old 04-11-2015   #32
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Bill,

Is this public ONI document a factor in your thoughts?

I found a reference via a Bill Gertz article (via Twitter) which starts with:
Quote:
China has deployed a new high-speed anti-ship cruise missile and is sharply expanding an armada of advanced guided-missile warships and submarines, according to a naval intelligence report made public Thursday. The Office of Naval Intelligence, in its first unclassified assessment of the Chinese navy in six years, revealed deployment of the new YJ-18 supersonic anti-ship cruise missile on warships and submarines that analysts say poses a major threat to U.S. and allied vessels.
China’s current naval force of 300 surface ships, submarines, amphibious ships, and missile-armed patrol craft is rapidly expanding, the report says.
Link:http://freebeacon.com/national-secur...naval-buildup/

The ONI report (45 pg PDF):http://www.oni.navy.mil/Intelligence...nteractive.pdf
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Old 04-11-2015   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
Bill,

Is this public ONI document a factor in your thoughts?

I found a reference via a Bill Gertz article (via Twitter) which starts with:
Link:http://freebeacon.com/national-secur...naval-buildup/

The ONI report (45 pg PDF):http://www.oni.navy.mil/Intelligence...nteractive.pdf
If I understand your question, my answer would be no. What the ONI report put in the public domain was fairly well known by national security specialists and military planners. I'm curious why the ONI report was published in an unclassified document. I suspect that one reason is to send a wake up call to the American people and Congress that we can't afford to under invest in our navy in these dangerous times. China's aggressive behavior well outside of international norms is already well known by other countries in East Asia, and many are asking if the U.S. will honor its security commitments. This is one region where traditional deterrence still matters.

China's use of its paramilitary fishing fleets, coast guard and then its Navy is one way it can achieve its goals without crossing red lines. The fact that China is expanding select atolls in the South China Sea, and then building military bases is clearly an aggressive move. China doesn't want diplomatic international intervention, they just want to threaten countries in the region one on one. The so-called cabbage strategy is appropriate.

To get a view of how some Chinese military leaders view the situation read the somewhat dated article below. It is a battle of the narrative, but China's territorial claims have no legal basis whatsoever in the South China Sea.

http://chinadailymail.com/2013/05/28...y-philippines/

China boasts of strategy to “recover” islands occupied by Philippines

Quote:
“What one has stolen has to be returned. No matter how long the Philippines have illegally occupied those Chinese islands and reefs, I believe that it cannot change the fact that those islands and reefs are inherent Chinese territories. However, what shall we do to counter those rude and barbarian acts of the Philippines?”

Zhang Zhaozhong: What should we do about those islands and reefs? I think that in the main we have done some things relatively successfully in dealing with the Philippines. Since the 1990s, the Philippines has done quite a few illegal and irrational things in its attempt to turn the Huangyan Island into its territory by means of presidential order, domestic legislation, and so on.
A more recent article in Foreign Affairs that worth the read.

http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articl...sland-builders

China’s Island Builders
The People’s War At Sea


Quote:
Recent satellite images show that the Spratly islands, a series of features in the South China Sea, are growing at a staggering pace. Tons of sand, rocks, coral cuttings, and concrete are transforming miniscule Chinese-occupied outcroppings into sizeable islands with harbors, large multi-story buildings, airstrips, and other government facilities. The parties behind the construction and defense of these islands remain a thinly veiled secret. As China builds up its presence in the South China Sea, it is also greatly increasing its ability to monitor, bully, and even project force against its neighbors. In Machiavelli’s words, Beijing has decided that it is more important to be feared than loved—and that making progress before a new U.S. president pushes back is crucial to its regional aspirations.
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Old 04-12-2015   #34
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http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articl...sland-builders

A couple of interesting points made in the Foreign Affairs article.

- China believes President Obama is weak, so they have considerable freedom of movement in the South China Sea.

- China's fishing fleet is already a paramilitary asset (you can see attached video in the article on how they harass), but now there is discussion on arming the fishermen.

Quote:
“putting on camouflage they qualify as soldiers, taking off the camouflage they become law abiding fishermen.” Maritime militia units are charged with making both peacetime and wartime contributions to Maritime Rights Protection under the rubric of People’s War at Sea.
Also a Chinese company doing construction work in the South China Sea (building artificial islands and then building military bases on top of them) has received numerous awards for their support to national security. It should be apparent to most level headed people that China's economic competition is tied hand-in-hand with its military competition, it is all part of one coherent strategy.

Another form of economic competition (if you will), is backing up paramilitary military fishing ships with their Coast Guard equivalent (white hulls) to make it look like a law enforcement issue, that way staying in the gray zone below traditional war, but it is warfare by most people's definition of using force to impose their will upon others.

Quote:
On March 26, 2013, China’s most advanced fishery patrol ship, Yuzheng 310, confronted an Indonesian Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries vessel in the Exclusive Economic Zone off Natuna Island (claimed by Indonesia), apparently jamming its communications with headquarters in order to coerce the Indonesian vessel to release Chinese fishermen detained for illegal fishing. Chinese MLE vessels have bullied Vietnamese and Philippine ships as well, attacking fishing ships in international waters.
Overall the trend lines for long term peace in East Asia are not positive. We are far from the point where all is lost, but more deterrence (both capacity and the demonstrated will to use it) is required to start with, because unfortunately pure diplomacy doesn't seem to work the PRC government. It is greatly disappointing, almost unbelievable, that China would risk falling off the path to greatness with their immature foreign policies. Of course this is why so many in the West are in a state of denial, because their actions seem illogical.
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Old 05-08-2015   #35
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How the United States Lost the Naval War of 2015

James Kraska
Stockton Center for the Study of International Law; University of Virginia School of Law, Center for Oceans Law & Policy; University of Virginia School of Law, Center for National Security Law; Duke University Marine Laboratory; University of California Berkeley School of Law, Law of the Sea Institute; Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI)

2010

Orbis (Foreign Policy Research Institute), pp. 35-46, Winter 2001

Quote:
Abstract:
Years of strategic missteps in oceans policy, naval strategy and a force structure in decline set the stage for U.S. defeat at sea in 2015. After decades of double-digit budget increases, the People’s Liberation Army (Navy) was operating some of the most impressive systems in the world, including a medium-range ballistic missile that could hit a moving aircraft carrier and a super-quiet diesel electric submarine that was stealthier than U.S. nuclear submarines. Coupling this new asymmetric naval force to visionary maritime strategy and oceans policy, China ensured that all elements of national power promoted its goal of dominating the East China Sea. The United States, in contrast, had a declining naval force structured around 10 aircraft carriers spread thinly throughout the globe. With a maritime strategy focused on lower order partnerships,and a national oceans policy that devalued strategic interests in freedom of navigation, the stage was set for defeat at sea. This article recounts how China destroyed the USS George Washington in the East China Sea in 2015. The political fallout from the disaster ended 75 years of U.S. dominance in the Pacific Ocean and cemented China’s position as the Asian hegemon.
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.c...act_id=1648631
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Old 05-08-2015   #36
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Nations do not expand their sovereignty based on legal merit (particularly when what is legal or illegal is largely established by their opponents). Nations expand their sovereignty when they believe it to be in their interest to do so, and believe they have the power to do so.

China has built a navy designed to seriously hurt the US Navy, and thereby deter the US from employing it to curb their long-stated ambitions. The US Navy keeps buying ever bigger, more vulnerable, more expensive carriers of aircraft too few and too expensive to put at risk. Where is our asymmetric counter to China's??

So far, phase 0 goes to the Chinese...as our Navy is stuck in WWII, and our Air Force is stuck in the Cold War. We must first change the way we think, not blame our competitors for refusing to play our game indefinitely.

Our carrier-centered navy may well be as obsolete as our battleship-centered navy was in 1940. Do we really have to wait for a more agile opponent to sink half of it to refocus for the world we live in today?
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Old 05-12-2015   #37
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Default The Improbable War - a book

Just spotted this on a HJS mailing for an event a month ago in London:
Quote:
With Professor Christopher Coker, Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and author of The Improbable War: China, the United States and the Logic of Great Power Conflict.

Professor Coker expanded upon the arguments set forth in his book, arguing that the next global conflict is likely to be played out in cyberspace and outer space and like all previous wars it will have devastating consequences. He made a case for why such a war between the United States and China may seem improbable, but is actually all too possible.
Transcript of event:http://henryjacksonsociety.org/2015/...ower-conflict/
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Old 05-13-2015   #38
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If we bump with China, I would be very surprised indeed if there was not significant action in both space and cyber. These are domains we both compete within and build capabilities either designed for the other, or that are a threat to the other and therefore a target.

No surprise there. Cyber and space may be similar to how great powers have prodded at each other in small 3rd party conflicts, like we did with the Soviets in Vietnam and Afghanistan and elsewhere. A space where one can impose costs with low risk of direct warfare on one's home turf.
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Old 05-22-2015   #39
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Quote:
China declared victory on Friday over an encounter with a US surveillance aircraft overflying the contested South China Sea, saying its military "drove away" the intruder with radio warnings.
http://news.yahoo.com/china-declares...114402363.html
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Old 05-27-2015   #40
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US-China war 'inevitable' unless Washington drops demands over South China Sea
Quote:
Warning from state-run China newspaper as Beijing reveals plans for development of disputed South China Sea islands

China’s armed forces are to extend their operations and its air force will become an offensive as well as defensive force for the first time, in a major shift in policy that will strengthen fears of accidental conflict.

A policy document by the state council, or cabinet, said China faced a “grave and complex array of security threats”, justifying the change.

The People’s Liberation Army, including its navy and air force, will be allowed to “project power” further beyond its borders at sea and more assertively in the air in order to safeguard its maritime possessions, the white paper stated.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...China-Sea.html
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