While Mr. Obama makes diplomatic visitation to Afghanistan to help perpetuate his legacy as a wartime president, a far more dangerous situation is developing in Asia. No surprise, Americans are not hearing about any of this from the state-run media. Here are a few examples:
· China is claiming island territory within fifty miles of the Philippines.
· Chinese frigates regularly intruded Philippine territorial waters.
· Chinese ships fired upon Philippine fishing boats.
· Chinese naval vessels rammed Vietnamese fishing boats (See Note 1)
· Chinese accost Indian naval vessels operating off the coast of Vietnam, demanding to know why they are operating in Chinese waters.
· Chinese military aircraft intrude into Taiwanese air space.
· China intruded Japanese mainland territorial waters on 14 occasions.
· China intruded Okinawa territorial waters on 10 occasions.
· China created six major incidents with the US Navy at sea.
· Raise your hand if you aren’t aware that North Korea is China’s redheaded stepchild.
Note 1: Vietnam possesses one of the world’s largest armies: (China: 4.5 million, Vietnam: 5.9 million).
Secretary of State Clinton warned China about its aggressive behavior in 2010. She said, “… the United States has a national interest in freedom of navigation, open access to Asia’s maritime commons, and respect for international law in the South China Sea.” China was not very pleased with Clinton, but her warning has not deterred them. The Chinese realize our president is a nincompoop, plus, they own the deed to the farm.
Danger of a regional conflict is real. The consequence to China’s arrogance has been a dramatic increase in military spending among Southeast Asian countries. Australia, Japan, India, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Taiwan have all dedicated billions of dollars on new or upgraded military hardware. The United States is upgrading naval facilities in Guam —so much so that Representative Hank Johnson (D-GA) worries the island may capsize. Nevertheless, all of these countries recognize the wisdom of pooling their resources to keep China in check; Japan has taken the lead in establishing mutual defense cooperatives with Australia, South Korea, India, and the United States. Singapore has offered to provide bases for the US Navy.
Obama finally did turn his attention toward the Pacific Rim, but not everyone has confidence in America’s chief executive. Owing to the fact that we don’t know what motivates Chinese behavior, the Australian General Staff worries that a mistake could lead to disastrous consequences —particularly when it is likely that China will attempt to use its military to enforce a Chinese Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
The problem is that while demanding that other nations treat Chinese EEZs as its sovereign territory, China routinely refuses to acknowledge the EEZs of other nations. From the standpoint of international law, EEZs are not sovereign territory. We can therefore see how China might regard the US Navy’s mission to safeguard open sea-lanes as an intolerable trespass —a situation that could lead to deadly confrontation.
Some politicians argue that given China’s dependence on global trade, a deadly confrontation is unlikely. They may have forgotten that economic ties did not hinder German aggression at the beginning of the 20th Century —a costly mistake for France. Obama’s plan to decrease the defense budget should concern us. He would rather allocate taxpayer dollars to Government Motors and rewarding unionists for their votes, but here is where we find the real and present danger. Defense cuts may encourage China to challenge allied nations within the region of Southeast Asia —they are that arrogant.
Danger lurks from further West, too. Russia has noted Obama’s weaknesses and his desperation for reelection. From Russia’s perspective, there couldn’t be a better time to threaten the United States and NATO with pre-emptive strikes unless we agree to cancel the so-called Missile Defense Shield, designed as a safeguard from Iranian ICBMs.
The reader may recall that in March, Mr. Obama gave a wink and a nod to outgoing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, informing him that he would have more “flexibility” to make a deal after the November elections. A live microphone captured Obama’s treason, but apparently, Russia believes there is no reason to wait until November.
If one understands international relations, Russia’s timing couldn’t be better. We should anticipate this sort of behavior by an adversary whenever they perceive American leadership as weak, incompetent, ineffective, or confused. And that is exactly where Mr. Obama has taken the once-great United States of America —a likely consequence of electing a community organizer to an office for which he is singularly unqualified.
This situation should once again remind us that American politicians and diplomats seldom learn important lessons of history. America cannot afford another war right now. Neither can we afford the perception of weakness, incompetence, or abject stupidity. We continue to live in a dangerous world; there is no need for Obama and his puerile cabinet to make things worse.
Rather than facing a deadly and costly regional conflict in Southeast Asia, it would be far less expensive to deter Chinese aggression vis-à-vis a strong military presence along the Pacific Rim. As for the Russian Bear, they understand but one thing: force or its promise. I have no confidence that Obama will make the proper decision on behalf of the American people or our NATO allies.