We have a two ocean, “Blue Water” Navy.Good thing because while the nation has its eyes on the Middle East, China is nibbling away at our lunch!
There is a huge debate going on in the White House about how to respond to two SERIOUS Chinese threats, and so far the answer — just like the answer to so many problems — is “Let me think about this.”
Meanwhile two problems do not simmer, they boil, demonstrating that this administration cannot walk and chew gum simultaneously, and it makes the administration appear incompetent.
They ARE incompetent.
The cyber attacks on our industry and the very government are going on daily. The attack on the Office of Personnel Management was by far the worse because it compromised millions of U.S. documents regarding such mundane things as medical records and such vital things as the names of our spies in China!
The president has said that we must retaliate, and that we will, but he does not say how. It may be necessary to retaliate covertly, so that our fingerprints are not politically visible.
The next and equally important problem is the Chinese building airports and military facilities on man-made “islands” in the South Pacific, and claiming that those “islands” constitute the new basis for a 12 mile sovereignty.
Of course that is hog-wash, but if not challenged it can become reality. Those are not natural islands at all, but massive deposits of soil upon coral reefs and underwater barriers. The 12 mile limit, if so acknowledged, cuts off tens of thousands of square miles of blue water between those “islands” and the Chinese mainland to both commercial and military traffic.
There are many islands in the area…real islands that are claimed by other nations, such as Japan and the Philippines, and this sort of expansion could encompass many, or all of these.
Once again the White House is debating what to do. The Navy has always believed that their primary job is to keep the commerce flowing around the world, by protecting the sea lanes — and the White House knows it must do something but in this case it is difficult to do something quietly.
The Navy wishes to sail the Fleet into the waters of those Chinese, it’s as simple as that. It cannot be done quietly, and that is what bothers the primary resident in the White House. One or two Aircraft Carriers, under AWACS and accompanied by a couple of Cruisers and all the usual Frigates is a force to be reckoned with.
The Chinese may bluster, but nothing short of several nuclear weapons will deter such a force, and I doubt the Chinese are ready yet to take on the U.S. Navy, or open a nuclear war over those islands.
Meanwhile, undeterred, the Chinese continue to both breach our computers and build their “Islands”, claiming that those constitute a new site for their 12 mile limit.