Skip to comments.Eyes on Crimea, China makes its move
Posted on 03/17/2014 3:16:02 PM PDT by nickcarraway
While much of the world was busy watching Russia swallow Crimea, few realized that an also dangerous territorial tit-for-tat had begun to unfold earlier this month more than 5,000 miles away in the South China Sea.
At Second Thomas Shoal, a handful of Philippine marines have long been stationed and re-provisioned on the rusting deck of the BRP Sierra Madre, a Philippine naval ship half-sunk into the reef in 1999. Ever since, the vessel and the marines have served to embody Manila's claim of sovereignty over the shoal. More recently, China has tried to raise the salience of its own claim by intensively patrolling the area.
On March 9, 2014, China made a move to end the status quo at the shoal. For the first time in 15 years, Beijing stopped Manila from delivering supplies to the Sierra Madre. The Chinese Coast Guard forced two Philippine ships to turn away. Manila answered the blockade by successfully dropping food and water to the marines by air. It was then up to Manila whether to send in another supply ship or plane, and up to Beijing whether to leave it alone, chase it away, sink it, or shoot it down.
China claims that the Philippine ships were "loaded with construction materials" to build up Manila's position. Manila says the ships were merely trying to re-provision the marines "to improve the conditions there," not "to expand or build permanent structures on the shoal."
A dozen years ago China and the 10 states in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), including the Philippines, signed a "2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea," or DoC. The signers undertook "to resolve their territorial and jurisdictional disputes by peaceful means, without resorting to the threat or use of force."
(Excerpt) Read more at atimes.com ...
the US is weak and the bad guys know it
The Crimean War, famed for the ‘Charge of the Light Brigade’, would fundamentally alter the balance of power in Europe and set the stage for World War One.
Taiwan, here we come.
If the Pinoys want US help, they need to make a stand. That means inflicting casualties and losing men. Until that happens, I don’t see Uncle Sam jumping in - at least under Obama. Once the Chinese start killing Filipino troops in large numbers, public opinion will shift towards the PI. Before that happens, most Americans are gonna be pretty blase about bloodless land grabs half the world away, mutual defense pact or not.
how about cutting the bureaucracy instead?
This one is dangerous to american interests and Obama will fold. Taiwan and Japan will be next to be pushed around, certainly before the great Hussein is out.
The US is spending 3% of GDP on defense, and that number is not only the largest in dollar terms - it is also almost 1/3 of the world's defense budgets combined. In 1938, it was spending 1% of GDP and was one of the lowest in the world in both absolute and relative terms.
What percentage of money the U.S. spends on defense is completely wasted?
Their weapons are cheaper and they will use theirs. So cost parity isn’t really much of an issue.
All that is needed now is a major distraction... like a big quake in California ... and both Russia and China will make their real moves.
His act of leaning over into the hot mic and MAKING LEAGUE with a dictator against the American people sent a VERRRRRY important message to all world baddies:
You know what they’re doing now? They’re simply RELYING on his bad behavior, making good on Obama’s own ILL WILL.
They’re TAKING HIM UP ON IT.
It’s pretty simple.
An act seen by ALL the baddies in the world.
Actually, they're not significantly cheaper, due to development costs and lack of overseas sales (Iraq paid $46m apiece for F-16's vs Pakistan's $38m each for J-10's), and they've been pretty reluctant to use force. For instance, they paid Somali pirates $4m rather than attempt a rescue. So far, they've been big on symbolic shows of force but no actual force.
It’s really not an issue of dollars, it is who can win on the ground, who has the will to fight and win.
And by not being overwhelmingly powerful, we invite a China or Russia to do something we thought they’d be afraid to try.
That’s why 3% isn’t enough, if it isn’t really enough in Taiwan, or Korea, or the South China Sea.
Yep, that'll do it. Kinda like in Benghazi.
What power can compete against our new gay and lesbian fighting force? (unless someone breaks a fingernail or something) It would be funny if not so tragic.
Actually, that would be Misrata.
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