Adrift and Unready for War: Crisis in the U.S. Seventh Fleet

Photo credit: U.S. Navy Pacific Fleet/Aircrewman Tactical Helicopter 3rd Class Geoffrey Trudell

 

The United States Navy’s Seventh Fleet is entering a tough period of scrutiny following two high profile and deadly warship collisions, a vessel running aground, and a less publicized collision all within a year. Despite this unfortunate recent publicity, this is not a new state of affairs. WESTPAC has long served as the tip of the spear for the U.S’ warfighting readiness, and they have also been plagued with a history of avoidable errors. As the Asia-Pacific region remains a major center of geopolitical tension for the U.S, the Navy must solve these issues or find itself facing real crises with significantly degraded capacity.

While Seventh Fleet has found itself the focus of intense criticism in recent months, the reality is that the root causes for these incidents stem from three separate areas; Training, Operations, and Culture. Continue reading

Navy Does Not Rule Out Intentional Act in Latest Warship Collision

Lowe and behold, look who is the first to cast a stone in calling the U.S. Navy a hazard in the region. The aim is clearly to portray the military as incompetent in order to increase the likelihood of other nations pushing back, thus elevating regional resistance to an American presence with the end game being pushing America out of the Asia-Pacific.

 

USS McCain

 

China calls Navy ‘hazard’ in Asian waters

The Navy has not ruled out an intentional action behind the latest deadly collision between a Navy destroyer and a merchant ship, the chief of naval operations told reporters Monday.

“That’s is certainly something we are giving full consideration to but we have no indication that that’s the case—yet,” Adm. John Richardson, the CNO, said at the Pentagon.

“But we’re looking at every possibility, so we’re not leaving anything to chance,” he said. Continue reading

Congratulations, Beijing. The South China Sea Is Now Yours.

Chinese sailors march in a massive military parade in Beijing. (GETTY IMAGES)

 

China’s dominance of this strategic sea gate is effectively complete.

As recently as July 2016, it looked as if conflict could erupt between the United States, China, and possibly some smaller Asian nations over Beijing’s belligerent drive to transform the South China Sea into a “Chinese lake.” That month, the already fraught situation became far more volatile when the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague ruled against some of China’s territorial claims in the area, after which China vowed to use “all necessary measures” to safeguard its control of the region.

But now, despite the Trump administration’s decision on May 24 to conduct a naval action in the region, it is clear that China has emerged from this dispute victorious. The South China Sea—the vast, resource-rich region through which a third of global maritime commerce flows—is now the de facto territory of Beijing.

“It is, unfortunately, now game over,” said Mira Rapp-Hooper, a senior fellow at the Washington D.C.-based Center for a New American Security.

This “unfortunate” turn of the tides reveals America’s fading influence, China’s rising power (and increasing shrewdness about how to effectively use that power), and that the smaller Asian states are pragmatic and circumspect about these shifts.

Continue reading

China’s Latest Threat Is an Invisible Sub Built for “Research Purposes”

As noted in a previous article, China is ticking all the boxes on its path to war.

 

 

China has a new plan of attack in the South China Sea: espionage.

This morning, Beijing declared its new “invisible sub” primed and ready for its first official post-trial phase “research” mission. The sub is called the Jiaolong – named for a mythical sea creature – and its alleged purpose is to collect deep-sea samples of sediment, rock, and water for scientific research.

But the difficult-to-see, deep-water probe is now headed from the South China Sea to the East China Sea – a route that has raised some eyebrows among defense analysts and maritime law experts.

Here’s why they’re so skeptical about the Jiaolong’s deep-sea movements, with some even wondering if China’s true intent has less to do with scientific research and more to do with spying on its competition in nearby Pacific waters…

Continue reading

China Is Ticking All the Boxes on Its Path to War

The Chinese dream of hegemony in Asia has been a long time coming. The map following is from a Nationalist primary school textbook from 1938.

 

There are currently three communiques that have guided U.S.-China relations for the last 45 years. These joint statements by the U.S. and Chinese governments were signed in 1972, 1979, and 1982. Among other things, the second communique states that, “Neither should seek hegemony in the Asia-Pacific region or in any other region of the world”.

China has recently been attempting to have the U.S. sign onto a Fourth Communique under which the U.S. would no longer consider Taiwan as an ally or deal with it in any military or diplomatic terms. In effect, the U.S. would peacefully decline and leave the Western Pacific to China. The White House rejected it prior to the meeting of the U.S. and Chinese presidents on April 6-7 at Mar-a-Lago. It was raised again by Henry Kissinger, now in the pay of the Chinese government, at his meeting with President Trump on May 10. Continue reading

Pentagon report: China advances in taking military control of strategic Pacific sea lanes

People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers patrol Woody Island in the Paracel Archipelago. / Reuters

 

China is using non-military “coercion” in an effort to gain control of strategic waters in the Asian Pacific, the Pentagon said in its annual report to Congress released on June 6.

“China continues to exercise low-intensity coercion to advance its claims in the East and South China Seas,” the report said, adding that Beijing’s tactic involves the use of “timed progression of incremental but intensifying steps to attempt to increase effective control over disputed areas and avoid escalation to military conflict.” Continue reading

In first under Trump, U.S. warship challenges Beijing’s claims in South China Sea

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Dewey prepares for a replenishment-at-sea in the South China Sea May 19, 2017. Picture taken May 19, 2017. Kryzentia Weiermann/Courtesy U.S. Navy/Handout via REUTERS

 

A U.S. Navy warship sailed within 12 nautical miles of an artificial island built up by China in the South China Sea, U.S. officials said on Wednesday, the first such challenge to Beijing in the strategic waterway since U.S. President Donald Trump took office.

The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the USS Dewey traveled close to the Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands, among a string of islets, reefs and shoals over which China has territorial disputes with its neighbors.

The so-called freedom of navigation operation, which is sure to anger China, comes as Trump is seeking Beijing’s cooperation to rein in ally North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs. Continue reading

World War III nightmare scenario brewing in the East China Sea

Mounting threat: Japanese F-15 jets are intercepting Chinese military planes daily. (Toru Yamanaka | AFP | Getty Images)

 

OKINAWA-While the world watches mounting military tensions in the South China Sea, another, more ominous situation is brewing in the East China Sea that could be the trigger point for a major war between the superpowers. At the heart of tensions are eight uninhabited islands controlled by Japan that are close to important shipping lanes, rich fishing grounds and potential oil and gas reserves. China contests Japan’s claims and is escalating its military activity in Japan airspace. In response, Japan has been doubling its F-15 jet intercepts.

The situation increases the risk of an accidental confrontation — and could draw other countries, like the United States, into a conflict. It’s a topic President Trump will likely bring up with Chinese President Xi Jinping at his Mar-a-Lago estate this week. Continue reading

Saudis’ upcoming trip to China sends strong signal to US

© Getty Images

 

King Salman Bin Abdul-Aziz of Saudi Arabia is leading an entourage, including 25 senior princes and 10 ministers, to China later this month, part of a month-long tour of the Asia-Pacific, as the kingdom is seeking to hedge against an unpredictable and divided White House.

While it yearns for a renewed American role in the Middle East and reassurances from President Trump that Riyadh remains an ally, Saudi Arabia now faces a period of uncertainty due to the unpredictability of Trump’s foreign policy stance. That reason alone could explain why a trip to Beijing was planned before a trip to Washington.

Despite its efforts at economic diversification, Saudi Arabia will remain dependent on oil exports for a long time, and China provides the kingdom with a stable market for its energy exports for decades to come. Continue reading

WORLD WAR III? US fears China will win any conflict because strength of Red Army’s fleet

Eight-plus years of deterioration through the Obama years and previous administrations and the turning of a blind eye to China have allowed it to rise and put America in jeopardy. The Chinese military has been on par with American capability for at least half of Obama’s term and is now cemented. America is now having to play catch-up, which will buy the PLA at least another four to eight years of time to get ahead and become even more entrenched.

Let one thing be clear: China isn’t pushing America out of the Asia-Pacific… it already has. It won’t be regained without a bloodbath.

 

China’s military power should not be underestimated according to experts [Getty]

 

US COMMANDERS are in fear of conflict with China because of the likelihood the Asian powerhouse would win, it has been claimed.

Donald Trump’s heavy handed approach to the South China sea – a billion dollar trade route – has angered his counterpart in beijing.

While the White House insists it must have a say over the resource-rich stretch of sea, experts are warning he has bitten off more than he can chew with China.

A missile-packed military fortress surrounds China which has cleverly constructed islands which work as stationary aircraft carriers under the leadership of Xi Jinping.  Continue reading

China Boosting Nuclear Capabilities, Narrowing Gap With US, Russia

“The DF-5’s strengths are obvious. This is a powerful liquid-fuel missile which weighs 183 tons. Its energy potential is so great that it [led to China] creating a family of space launch vehicles based [upon this missile]. It is capable of delivering a powerful front section with ten warheads and the means of overcoming ballistic missile defenses to the US,” Vasily Kashin said.

 

China is likely to change the rules of the game in the Asian-Pacific region: in the coming years Beijing may narrow the gap with the US in terms of strategic nuclear capabilities, Russian military expert Vasily Kashin told Sputnik, referring to Beijing’s flight test of advanced DF-5C intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).

There appear to be more and more reasons to expect China to make a spectacular breakthrough in the field of nuclear weapons development, Russian military expert Vasily Kashin told Sputnik, adding that this could lead to radical changes in the ongoing geopolitical game over Asia-Pacific.

On January 31 Bill Gertz, a senior editor of the Washington Free Beacon, reported that Beijing had flight tested “a new variant of a long-range missile with 10 warheads,” dubbing it a “dramatic shift in Beijing’s strategic nuclear posture.” Continue reading

WARNING TO TRUMP: China to flex military muscle with FIVE HUNDRED warships

As we had learned from previous posts, the PLAN can expand its navy during war, weaponize and mobilize over 172,000 sea vessels.

You can read more about this in the following previous posts:

China using fishing fleets to expand maritime claims: US official

China Prepares Its 172,000 Civilian Ships for War

US Navy’s Challenge in South China Sea? Sheer Number of Chinese Ships

China practices Taiwan invasion with civilian ferries, bomber flights in Bashi Channel

A lot of naysayers would immediately dismiss the threat, however, 172,000 vessels loaded with anti-ship missiles, cruise missiles, ICBMs, or God forbid a nuclear weapon, would be a problem for the U.S. Navy. Shipping containers can easily disguise mobile nukes loaded on freighters. Even half or a quarter of the amount of ships loaded with weapons would keep anyone out that doesn’t want to lose an entire fleet… or more.

 

Donald Trump’s comments over the South China Sea have sparked powerful response from China [Getty]

 

HUNDREDS of warships, including aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines and a destroyer force, could soon be patrolling the Asia–Pacific as tensions between Beijing and Washington reach boiling point.

China is refusing to back down over President Donald Trump’s apparent interest in interfering with the ongoing turf war in the South China Sea.

With Xi Jinping’s nation being economically strong, it has the money and capability to massively expand its armed forces. Continue reading

War With US Becoming A “Practical Reality” Chinese Military Warns

 

In the harshest warning yet that China is actively contemplating a worst case scenario for its diplomatic relations with the US, a senior Chinese military official said that “a war within the president’s term’ or ‘war breaking out tonight’ are not just slogans, they are becoming a practical reality.The remarks, first reported by the SCMP, were published on the People’s Liberation Army website in response to the escalating rhetoric towards China from America’s new administration, and as Beijing braces itself for a possible deterioration in Sino-US ties, with a particular emphasis on maritime security.

The commentary written by an official at the national defence mobilisation department in the Central Military Commission – which has overall authority of China’s armed forces – also called for a US rebalancing of its strategy in Asia, military deployments in the East and South China Seas and the instillation of a missile defence system in South Korea were hot spots getting closer to ignition. Continue reading

China Flight-Tests 10 DF-21 Missiles

https://i0.wp.com/s2.freebeacon.com/up/2016/12/DF-21-salvo-launch.jpg

DF-21 salvo launch

Show of force comes amid transition to Trump

China’s military conducted a salvo of 10 missile flight tests late last month in a show of force during the transition to the Donald Trump administration.

Chinese state media reported Thursday that the simultaneous flight tests of 10 DF-21 intermediate-range ballistic missiles were carried out in China. Continue reading

China eyes ‘The Art of War’ as Trump signals battle on trade

There’s a Chinese saying that stems from the philosophy in Sun Tzu’s ancient text “The Art of War”: You can kill 1,000 enemies, but you would also lose 800 soldiers.

Centuries later, the proverb is suddenly apt again, being mentioned frequently in discussions around Beijing. Now, it highlights the potential damage U.S. President-elect Donald Trump could inflict if he makes good on his threat to start a trade war with China, the world’s second-biggest economy.

Having backed off some other campaign pledges, it’s unclear if Trump will end up slapping punitive tariffs on China — and Beijing has signaled some optimism he will be more pragmatic in office. Still, the message from China is that any move to tax Chinese imports would bring retaliation: The U.S. economy would take a hit and America would damage its long-standing ties with Asia. Continue reading