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Rock Fight: Japan could win a war for the Senkaku islands, but not without U.S. help.
Foreign Policy ^ | 09/29/2012 | James Holmes

Posted on 09/29/2012 6:31:21 PM PDT by SeekAndFind

In recent weeks, Japan and China have squared off over who owns a minor group of islands in the East China Sea. The unthinkable -- a perilous maritime war for seemingly trivial stakes -- no longer appears unthinkable. So how do you defend a group of uninhabited rocks and islets like the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands?

Mainly by positioning yourself to win the air and sea battle around the disputed archipelago. The obvious way to ward off attack -- stationing garrisons and artillery on the tiny, resource-poor islands -- should be a secondary measure. And it would likely prove a losing one, absent superiority in nearby seas and skies. Forces left ashore without external support would find themselves stranded and outgunned, not to mention hungry and thirsty.

To be sure, heavily armed ground detachments can convert islands with rugged terrain into virtual "porcupines," prickly to the touch. For instance, Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF) troops equipped with truck-launched anti-ship cruise missiles could give any naval assault force fits. They could dig in, hardening their positions against air and missile bombardment. Despite their small numbers, GSDF defenders would be exceedingly tough to dislodge.

But only for a time. Whoever controls the sea and sky will ultimately determine the islands' fate. If U.S.-Japanese naval, air, and ground forces can hold open access to the islands while fending off Chinese assailants, the allies would stand to win a limited clash.

(Excerpt) Read more at foreignpolicy.com ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Japan; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: china; japan; senkakuislands

1 posted on 09/29/2012 6:31:29 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind; TigerLikesRooster; Pan_Yan

China should back off the Senkaku and Japan should leave Dokdo alone in Korea.


2 posted on 09/29/2012 6:33:25 PM PDT by GeronL (http://asspos.blogspot.com)
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To: SeekAndFind

We’re not helping! Enough!


3 posted on 09/29/2012 6:34:10 PM PDT by jtal (Runnin' a World in Need with White Folks' Greed - since 1492)
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To: SeekAndFind

Japan could reach military superpower status very quickly.

They are masters at tech such as cruise missiles and have an enormous stockpile of plutonium.


4 posted on 09/29/2012 6:36:50 PM PDT by Bobalu (It is not obama we are fighting, it is the media.)
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To: SeekAndFind
China strikes me as something like czarist Russia, or the Austro-Hungarian empire. Big. Strong. Grand. And then a war comes along and they are shown to be a house of cards and they tear themselves apart from within.

If there is a fight, and if Japan comes out on top, I don't think China could handle that. It would be shattering.

5 posted on 09/29/2012 6:37:00 PM PDT by ClearCase_guy (ua)
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To: SeekAndFind

Ruh roh, Flee Tlade bump.


6 posted on 09/29/2012 6:37:10 PM PDT by central_va ( I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: SeekAndFind
The CHICOMS will calculate to the US election results. If Obama wins they have a little more time to change the correlation of forces in their favor.

If he loses their window for action shrinks.

7 posted on 09/29/2012 6:37:10 PM PDT by AU72
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To: jtal

If I was Red China—I would attack now while the USA is distracted by the election. I would get with my allies like Iran, North Korea, etc... and have each one move at the same time. A quick move, sink a few ships and the island would be chinese.


8 posted on 09/29/2012 6:39:17 PM PDT by Forward the Light Brigade (Into the Jaws of H*ll)
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To: Forward the Light Brigade

I feel fairly sure that Japan could sink 25% of the Chinese navy in a couple of hours! China wouldn’t have sir cover and would be sitting ducks.


9 posted on 09/29/2012 6:43:33 PM PDT by WellyP (question!)
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To: Forward the Light Brigade

I feel fairly sure that Japan could sink 25% of the Chinese navy in a couple of hours! China wouldn’t have air cover and would be sitting ducks.


10 posted on 09/29/2012 6:43:43 PM PDT by WellyP (question!)
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To: ClearCase_guy

Despite our huge military we can’t afford to offend either of the two biggest supporters of our welfare debt.

I wonder what past nation that makes us like?


11 posted on 09/29/2012 6:54:46 PM PDT by mrsmith (Dumb sluts: Lifeblood of the Media, Backbone of the Democrat Party!)
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To: ClearCase_guy

If they lost, the Chinese government would be overthrown, just like the Argentine junta after the Falklands War. It would also add to the list of Chinese humiliations at the hands of their island cousins.


12 posted on 09/29/2012 6:58:53 PM PDT by Viennacon
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To: SeekAndFind
In WW II when the Germans decided they wanted to take Crete, the island was surrounded by the British Navy and held by a land garrison. The German invasion was by air alone--troops, supplies, fuel, vehicles--all brought in by air while punishing the surface ships of Britain from the air. Air superiority has pretty well trumped the Navy for such operations. So it all would depend on whose Air Force has the edge.
13 posted on 09/29/2012 7:17:04 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: Viennacon
If they lost, the Chinese government would be overthrown, just like the Argentine junta after the Falklands War. It would also add to the list of Chinese humiliations at the hands of their island cousins.

I'm sure the Chinese remember their humiliating loss to Japan in the 1894 war. They thought they were superior to the Japanese, but Japan quickly overran their defenses and humiliated them. If not for the intervention of western powers, Japan would own a large chunk of China. The humiliation the Chinese leaders faced after defeats in 1894-1895 led to rebellions against the Chinese leaders. China is itching for payback after that and WWII, but may get trounced a third time in recent history.

14 posted on 09/29/2012 7:34:50 PM PDT by roadcat
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To: WellyP

Interesting factoid of a changing world. The Japanese Navy is roughly twice the size of the Uk’s Royal Navy. 18 RN surface combatants -vs- 44 in the JMSDF. Three times the number of attack submarines (though the RN is nuclear)
And the British have one Helicopter carrier. The Japanese have 4. And the Japanese ships are ready for an STOVL, or VTOL jet.

Look at a photo of a Japanese “Helicopter Destroyer” and be ready for a surprise. And you can bet the thing is built with Toyota/Honda quality, and not some rebuilt Russian job.


15 posted on 09/29/2012 7:45:12 PM PDT by DesertRhino (I was standing with a rifle, waiting for soviet paratroopers, but communists just ran for office.)
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To: jtal

We’re not going to help Japan because China owns us. They hold our debt. We’re basically their bitch now.


16 posted on 09/29/2012 7:51:47 PM PDT by vladimir998
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To: SeekAndFind
....but not without U.S. help.

Don't count on it, Nippon-chama.(unless there are campaign funds available).

17 posted on 09/29/2012 7:51:47 PM PDT by llevrok (By comparison to Obama, at least Nero could play a fiddle.)
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To: SeekAndFind

China and Japan don’t have neocons. They’re not going to fight.


18 posted on 09/29/2012 8:27:09 PM PDT by Forgotten Amendments (Democracy = Communism on the installment plan.)
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To: mrsmith

“I wonder what past nation that makes us like?”

Britain and France, with Israel (`57?) invading Egypt over the Suez canal.
A real US president (Eisenhower) said, “Back off!” and because we owned them, they did.
See Mark Steyn, `America Alone’: “Who owns your bonds, owns your souls.”


19 posted on 09/29/2012 9:02:43 PM PDT by tumblindice (America's founding fathers: all armed conservatives)
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To: SeekAndFind

Maybe its time for Japan to change it’s constitution. China is the new 1930s Japan. If China invades its a disaster for O. Japan should tell them to f off.


20 posted on 09/29/2012 10:22:59 PM PDT by sickoflibs (Romney is still a liberal. Just watch him. (Obama-ney Care ))
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To: DesertRhino

Their new class is extremely small, though it does look well built. I would agree it probably runs well.

I think the Japanese subs, though non-nuclear, are much more dangerous to all Chinese vessels including their subs. I don’t view their non-nuclear status as being much of a handicap, given the job their sub fleet was likely built for.

Also, even though they have emasculated their warships to a degree, they have a history of seafaring far more robust than the Chinese. More experience of all kinds.


21 posted on 09/30/2012 5:34:11 AM PDT by rlmorel ("It is dangerous to be right in matters where established men are wrong." Voltaire)
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