web analytics
July 5, 2015 / 18 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


J.E. Dyer: Tumultus Post-Americanus

Anti-American and anti-Israel demonstration

Photo Credit: Issam Rimawi/Flash90

US and China

Alliances of convenience have become the order of the day in the Tumultus Post-Americanus.  With China laboring to intimidate her neighbors in the South China Sea, the US and still-socialist Vietnam have rediscovered each other.  A busy Defense Secretary Leon Panetta also “signaled” in late June that the road was perhaps being paved for a strategically obvious US military relationship with Myanmar (formerly Burma, back when we disapproved of the ruling military junta).

If the path to reform in Myanmar continues under President Thein Sein, and the US obtains new engagement opportunities there, the Obama administration will have an important success.  Its significance should not be overstated – Myanmar will remain a client of China, and we should be extremely wary of shipping arms to Myanmar under any circumstances – but having the entrée with this long-closed regime is a positive change for the US position in the region.

It is also a move China considers provocative.  And the momentum from unified strategic purpose is with China at the moment.  The US is all over the place:  instead of stating clear interests and objectives and tending our relations with our longstanding allies on that basis, we are proclaiming the region “important,” rooting around for new allies, and effectively shifting our strategic position by abruptly but vaguely signaling new decisions on where to put forces and conduct military operations.

It’s by no means a bad thing for our military posture in the Far East to undergo changes.  But the jerky, impolitic manner in which the changes have been insinuated (or blurted out) has been detrimental, overall.  Rather than trying to promote a set of positive conditions in the region, we are mainly maneuvering against China – and it shows.  If our desired end-state is merely a cowed China, we have chosen a narrow and negative goal, one it will be impossible to achieve.  This approach is as unsustainable as the approach of the Kennedy and Johnson administrations in Vietnam.

China, meanwhile, is acting on positive – if undesirable – goals.  Recent reporting confirms the establishment of a new strategic missile brigade in Guangdong province, overlooking the South China Sea (SCS).   Heroic claims about the capabilities of the “carrier-killer” DF-21D missile need not be given credibility for the geographic reality to be obvious: China can rain missiles down on the entire SCS and much of the archipelagic littoral surrounding it, including the Philippines, China’s rival for seabed resources off of the Philippines’ north coast.

The most basic American interest in the SCS is as a vital seaway for global commerce from the Pacific to the Strait of Malacca.  Wielding influence over a sea as island- and shoal-infested as the SCS is as much a matter of influencing the adjacent coasts – i.e., the decisions of their political owners – as it is of navy-versus-navy confrontations.  China’s intentions go beyond protecting her maritime claims; Beijing wants to establish a veto over anyone else’s activities in the SCS, and to that end has pursued a coordinated effort to claim mastery.

Navies leading the charge

The tactics have been modified with time, however.  As recently as a year ago, the Chinese navy reportedly “harassed” an Indian warship heading through the SCS for a port visit in Vietnam.  In May 2012, however, an Indian naval task group heading from the Philippines to South Korea was given an unsolicited “escort” from the Chinese navy as it transited international waters in the SCS:

[W]hen the Indian naval squadron led by ‘INS Shivalik’ was on its way to South Korea from the Philippines, the People’s Liberation Army Navy provided an unwanted escort.

Although the Indian ships were in international waters, a Chinese frigate sent a message “welcoming” the contingent to the South China Sea and sailed along for the next 12 hours.

Airborne reconnaissance patrols are one thing; we would expect China to conduct those, as we do off of our coast.  An exchange of naval signals when warships encounter one another is normal.  But the Chinese “escort” goes well beyond the formalities that are appropriate in international waters.  It is a gesture of ownership, implying that foreign navies are in the SCS at China’s sufferance.  Such a signal is not sent because China wants to start a conflict or necessarily force other navies out, but rather to create a pattern of “enforcement” and de facto governance.  This Chinese initiative could clearly tip over into a posture that would become unbearable for other nations, including all those whose ships and goods move through the area.

About the Author: J.E. Dyer is a retired US Naval intelligence officer who served around the world, afloat and ashore, from 1983 to 2004.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “J.E. Dyer: Tumultus Post-Americanus”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Iranian FM Javad Zarif and US Secy of State Kerry on the Fourth of July.
Report: Iran Deal Reached — on Sanctions Relief
Latest Indepth Stories
Obama was all smiles for Israel's Ambassador Oren when they met in the White House.

US Jews prefer to be like their non-Jewish liberal friends complaining about “settlements” and Bibi

New Israel Fund and the UN

New Israel Fund & its supporters must be countered; Israel’s in the midst of an unprecedented storm

An ISIS Gaza rocket launcher.

PM Netanyahu this week identified ISIS and Iran as Israel’s primary threat. It is a planetary threat that carries the promise of peace.

U.S. postage stamp honoring Haym Solomon.

Haym Solomon, overlooked hero of the Revolutionary War, was America’s “Funding Father.”

Latvia, July 4, 1941 they forced many Jews in the shul putting it on fire; everyone was burned alive

There’s blood on the reporters’ hands AND New Israel Fund for funding groups feeding lies to the UN

Respect & appreciation for our country is not only a civic value but an essential Jewish one as well

When words lose meaning, the world becomes an Orwellian dystopia; a veritable Tower of Babel

Israel, like the non-radical Islamic world. will be happy see the ISIS beheaded for once.

Kids shouldn’t have “uninstructed” Internet access, better to train them how to use it responsibly

What if years from now, IS were to control substantial territory? What world havoc would that wreak?

Rambam writes the verse’s double term refers to 2 messiahs: first King David; 2nd the final Mashiach

The Gaza flotilla has been rightfully and legally blocked by Israel’s Navy, with greetings from Bibi

The president described the attack as “an act that drew on a long history of bombs and arson and shots fired at churches, not random, but as a means of control, a way to terrorize and oppress…”

“The only [candidate] that’s going to give real support to Israel is me,” said the 69-year-old Trump.

More Articles from J. E. Dyer
Iran Shahed, with stern decked out in Yemeni flags. Iranian flag flies from traditional position on center fantail.

Activists from US, France, Germany & from Iran’s media are aboard because the ship’s a cause célèbre

Pope Francis in Jerusalem on May 26. 2014.

“…the Pope did the exact opposite of what the media reported: he urged Abbas to change his ways.”

The world’s more vulnerable to predation, eruption, and chaos than it has been in at least 600 years

Iran stands unopposed by the “international community” and is racing to assert regional dominance.

The S-300 poses a major problem; Israel will have to get creative as to if, when & where it strikes

In the last weeks of the talks the US excluded every other delegation from negotiations with Iran.

Israel has never invoked the agreement, but Israel sources say that its importance lies in its very existence.

The Senate formed a bipartisan panel investigating money from the Obama adm. to an anti-Bibi group

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/j-e-dyer/j-e-dyer-tumultus-post-americanus/2012/07/10/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: