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Member since: Wed Aug 13, 2003, 08:17 PM
Number of posts: 8,973

Journal Archives

The Europeans may have to make at least some economic

sacrifices with respect to Russia, we may be in their situation with respect to China and our treaty allies in east Asia.

There are increasing territorial dispute between Japan and China over control of some small islands and air and maritime rights in the East China Sea. There have been no shots fired, but a small miscue on the part of either party could change that in an instant. We are obligated by treaty to defend Japan, and Japan has asked for assurances that we will come to their aid in the event that they are attacked by China. We've made comforting noises, but not much else.

A similar situation pertains in the South China Sea. China claims almost the entire surface area of that body of water except for 12 mile boundaries off the beaches of the other nations surrounding that sea. These include Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei and our treaty ally, the Philippines. The Chinese and the Vietnamese recently engaged in some hostile, but non-shooting activity when China towed an oil drilling rig into place in waters also claimed by the Vietnamese. Vietnam, of course, wants our help against their historical enemy, China. A couple of years ago, the Vietnamese asked the US Navy to make a port call at our old Navy base, Da Nang. We obliged them, and sent a carrier and smaller ships. We entertained the local Vietnamese dignitaries on the carrier. They loved the take off and land show, apparently. Closure of the South China Sea would cut off our increasing imports from Vietnam and other places. Check the labels on any garments that you have purchased recently--more and more are coming from SE Asia.

Everyone here understands just how dependent we are on China for every conceivable type of manufactured product. Our dependency is not unlike that of the Europeans' dependence on Russian oil and gas and investment opportunities.

If fighting breaks out in the East or South China Seas, the container ship pipeline between us and China will not be able to sail in a combat zone. Indeed, commercial ship traffic in and out of East Asia would be severely hampered by any shooting on the part of any nation. Walmart will not be the only store with few items on the shelves.

How willing will we be to defend our treaty allies Japan, South Korea and the Philippines as well as other friendly countries if it cuts off our supplies of iPhones and auto parts?

Russia is doing what its somewhat paranoid (IMHO) leader wants to do and the Europeans are essentially cowering.

But if China flexes its muscles, what will we do and are we willing to make some preparations now?

Current Israeli/Palestinian/Lebanese conflict escalation

Things seem to be getting extremely hot in LBN. At what point may posts concerning the most recent escalation of the continuing conflict be returned to the I/P forum?

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