Pacific

(FILES) This file photo taken on Septemb

WASHINGTON: The Navy’s in a carrier crunch. US commanders around the world keep asking for carriers to cover trouble spots from Syria, Iran, and Afghanistan to the Western Pacific and the South China Sea, but the Navy doesn’t have enough to go around. And they may well lose another. In recent years, amazingly, the Navy has managed to increase the number of aircraft… Keep reading →

The US Navy cruiser Cowpens, which nearly collided Dec. 5 with a Chinese navy vessel trying to force it away from China's new aircraft carrier, the Liaoning.

WASHINGTON: China is hurtling headlong towards a major conflict in the Pacific – but that course can change, one of America’s most creative strategists says. Just four years ago, Beijing welcomed a delegation of 600 Japanese lawmakers and other influentials led by political kingmaker Ichiro Ozawa, and China-Japan relations were warming up so fast that some… Keep reading →

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WASHINGTON: As the crisis over China’s self-declared “air defense identification zone” hits its tenth day with no signs of de-escalation, leading Republican lawmaker Rep. Randy Forbes questioned an apparent concession by the administration over commercial flights. Meanwhile, South Korea is contemplating expanding its own long-standing ADIZ to challenge China’s — but it might do so in a… Keep reading →

A US Air Force B-52 flies over the Pacific on a flight out of Guam. Bombers like this one challenged the Chinese air defense one earlier today.

UPDATED: US Flies B-52 Bombers Through Chinese Zone; Japanese & South Koreans Follow; VP Biden To Ask Beijing For “Clarity” On Their Intentions China escalated tensions with Japan literally sky-high last weekend. After years of shadowboxing at sea around the Senkaku Islands, China’s Ministry of Defense announced a new “Air Defense Identification Zone” with authority… Keep reading →

HASC Seapower chairman Randy Forbes (R-VA), one of the chief architects of the meeting.

Last week, almost unnoticed amidst the coverage of Typhoon Haiyan, House Armed Services Committee leaders met quietly with the ambassadors of six Pacific nations — including the Philippines — an unprecedented gathering of top diplomats on Capitol Hill. HASC Seapower subcommittee chairman and occasional BreakingDefense contributor Randy Forbes (R-Va.) made clear in an interview that… Keep reading →

The US hospital ship Mercy gets resupplied at sea.

UPDATE: Aircraft carrier USS George Washington underway to disaster zone. It is more than a little ghoulish to look at a tragedy that may have killed 10,000 people and see a strategic opportunity. But that’s how strategists have to think. After all, what is war itself but human tragedy exploited for strategic advantage?  And that’s… Keep reading →

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PORTSMOUTH, VA: For decades, America’s Pacific strategy has focused on the northeast corner of that vast theater, with major forces and bases in Korea and Japan. But as economies boom and tensions rise in Southeast Asia, the Pentagon has played catch-up, deploying more forces to Australia, Singapore, and Guam. At a conference here last week, the… Keep reading →

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Sun Tzu said: Whoever is first in the field and awaits the coming of the enemy will be fresh for the fight; whoever is second in the field and has to hasten to battle will arrive exhausted. WASHINGTON: Because China believes it is much weaker than the United States, they are more likely to launch… Keep reading →

A People's Liberation Army soldier during a demonstration for visiting US officers.

WASHINGTON: From this city’s perspective, China looks like a rising giant, liable to dominate its smaller neighbors unless America stands firm. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will likely carry soothing words of reassurance on this very subject to Seoul and Tokyo when he travels there next week. From Beijing’s point of view, however, it is China… Keep reading →

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WASHINGTON: Why has China, after a decade of “good neighbor” policies, engaged in high-profile high-seas standoffs with the Philippines and Japan? What is Beijing’s strategic purpose? The most dovish analysts say that China is simply trying, albeit clumsily, to reassert what it considers its rights — its historical rights to territories China once controlled before… Keep reading →

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