Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Naval Tensions Between US and China Nothing New

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Bryan has the video discussing the November incident between Chinese ships and the Kitty Hawk battle group.

A few thoughts on what happened here: The US Navy, as a silent policy (or what used to be) has always pushed the limit with territorial water claims. While in the Navy on a WestPac in 1992, my ship transited the strait between Taiwan and China as a show of force but always outside globally accepted territorial water distances. Remember, this not the first time that the Kitty Hawk had a run-in with the Chinese Navy. It is international waters and the US has the task of ensuring that international waters remain open to all navigation.

The Chinese are getting a little full of themselves as they've spent the last two decades building their military as a whole and Navy in particular into a formidable force. But procuring expensive weapons doesn't mean that you have the ability to expertly utilize them--Syria, Iraq and Iran are examples of that truth.

The Chinese will make a move on Taiwan in the not-to-distant future and my guess is it will be an amphibious operation in conjunction with a strategic missile strike hitting military and key industrial targets. The Chinese know that we must respond (unless a Democrat is in the White House) and they are feeling us out on the issue. As with the incident with the sub, I think we had to make the 28-hour stand and show that we will not back down to any navy. They are testing us to get a feel for our response, at the same time, we are gathering excellent intel and believe me, there were several US subs in close proximity getting snapshots on the Chinese ships noise signatures.

This is all normal and the Chinese are puffing out their chest like the Iranian's did last week. Naval CO's have long had experience in dealing with such incidents and it seems like this was handled correctly.

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