Lessons from Paracels XV: Umpire in the Game of Screaming Eagle Vs Panda

China's military maneurvres affecting neighbouring nations and region the past 40 years are centred on hydro-carbon deposits

China’s military maneurvres affecting neighbouring nations and region the past 40 years are centred on hydro-carbon deposits

United States President Barack H. Obama reiterates its commitment to resolve international issues more aggressively which include commitment armed forces, “Military adventures”. Speaking aloud at US Army premier West Point Academy is designed for China and Russia which started to be rogue nations, starting to impose themselves into neighbours territories.

Fox News story:

Obama signals reset in US foreign policy, urges against ‘military adventures’

Published May 28, 2014 FoxNews.com May 28, 2014:

President Obama delivers the commencement address to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in New York.AP President Obama, in a commencement address at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, signaled a significant shift in U.S. foreign policy — one that pulls back from what he described as “military adventures” while wielding American power in other ways.

The president described the new American foreign policy as one of “collective action” and restraint, deploying unilateral U.S. military force only when the American people are threatened. He outlined the approach a day after announcing his plan for gradually drawing down the U.S. force in Afghanistan once the war formally ends later this year. “The landscape has changed,” Obama told the graduating class at West Point on Wednesday, citing the end of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

The president took on what he described as “interventionists” from both parties, and said that while “isolationism” is not an option, “U.S. military action cannot be the only — or even primary — component of our leadership in every instance.”

The president advised that crises around the world that don’t directly threaten Americans be met first with non-military options: diplomacy, sanctions and “collective action.” The president pointed to Syria as one battlefield where allies could work together to ease the crisis. He pledged to work with Congress to “ramp up support” for certain elements in the Syrian opposition who “offer the best alternative to terrorists and a brutal dictator.”

Separately, administration officials told The Associated Press that Obama and his team are weighing sending a limited number of U.S. troops to Jordan as part of a mission to train and equip certain moderate members of the Free Syrian Army. Republicans treated the president’s remarks Wednesday with skepticism. Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, welcomed the “new focus” on Syria, but voiced concern that the administration has been “weak” and squandered U.S. credibility abroad. “Since President Obama took office, a series of foreign policy plans and visions have been put forward; assurances have been made. But too often, strong words have been followed by weak actions, or no actions,” he said in a statement.

“The result has been a general loss of U.S. credibility, making successful foreign policy nearly impossible. President Obama’s diplomatic efforts cannot work if our allies lack confidence in U.S. commitments, and our opponents do not fear U.S. warnings.” The president’s address on Wednesday comes against a backdrop of numerous political and humanitarian crises around the world.

His administration, as it draws down troops from Afghanistan, is grappling with how to address violence and upheaval in eastern Ukraine, Syria, Nigeria, Libya and beyond. His address strongly suggests that Obama, in his final term, would be very reluctant to use military force for anything short of a direct threat on the homeland.

The president said the most direct threat continues to be terrorism, but called for partnering better with countries where those networks thrive. As part of that, he called for a fund of up to $5 billion to help governments in the Middle East and North Africa fight terrorism. “We must not create more enemies than we take off the battlefield,” he said, describing that as the test for intervention. Saying he is “haunted” by the deaths of U.S. troops, Obama said: “I would betray my duty to you, and to the country we love, if I sent you into harm’s way simply because I saw a problem somewhere in the world that needed to be fixed.”

If Obama signs off on the Syria program, it would mark a significant boost in U.S. support to the rebels, who have repeatedly asked the U.S. for military help in their four-year-long war against the forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Administration officials said there is still internal discussion at the White House about the merits and potential risks of the program, which would involved instructing carefully vetted members of the Free Syrian Army on tactics, including counterterrorism operations.

However, the State Department, Pentagon and U.S. intelligence community, along with many in Congress who back the move, have concluded Assad will not budge without a change in the military situation on the ground, according to the officials. At the same time, there are growing fears about the threat posed by Al Qaeda-linked and -inspired extremists fighting in Syria, the officials said.

The Senate Armed Services Committee last week passed a defense bill that authorizes the Defense Department to provide training and equipment to vetted elements of the Syrian opposition. The U.S. already has covert support operations in place for the Syrian opposition, and it is not yet clear how the new program would work. The United States has spent $287 million so far in nonlethal aid on the civil war, now in its fourth year.

Rebel commanders for three years have been asking the U.S. for lethal assistance as they’ve seen gains wiped out one after another, but the U.S. has been reluctant to move to that kind of aid for fear weapons could end up in the hands of extremist rebels who might then turn on neighboring Israel or against U.S. interests.

The proposed mission would be coordinated by the U.S. but involve many of the regional players that are already active in assisting the rebels, including Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, the officials said. Saudi cooperation is critical and has been a main topic of conversation between Washington and Riyadh, including Obama and Saudi King Abdullah, in recent weeks, the officials said. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

***************

China Peoples’ Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) has been very aggressive in disputed territories around the region, in imaginary and unsubstantiated borders which they call as ‘Nine-Dash-Line’.

China PLAN has had military stand off in very aggressive nature with Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Malaysia and now, soon to be expected a skirmish would erupt with Vietname for CNOPC USD1 billion deepwater gas platform being towed into what clearly is under Veitnam’s EEZ, as defined by the United Nations Convention Law of the Seas (UNCLOS).

On the other hand, Washington Post report that Obama wanted more ‘Non Military’ approach to resolves these issues and even contention.

 

Obama lays out new postwar foreign policy, stresses nonmilitary options

Video: During his commencement address at West Point, President Obama declared that the U.S. remains the world’s most indispensable nation, even after a “long season of war,” but argued for restraint before embarking on more military adventures. 1123 Sh Obama lays out new postwar foreign policy, stresses nonmilitary options

Video: During his commencement address at West Point, President Obama declared that the U.S. remains the world’s most indispensable nation, even after a “long season of war,” but argued for restraint before embarking on more military adventures.

By David Nakamura, Published: May 28 | Updated: Thursday, May 29, 1:10 AM E-mail the writers

WEST POINT, N.Y. — President Obama on Wednesday laid out a new, postwar foreign policy after more than a decade of combat overseas, outlining a global counterterrorism initiative and arguing for a balance between interventionism and “foreign entanglements.” In a commencement address at the U.S. Military Academy, he stressed the importance of nonmilitary options in addressing the world’s foreign policy challenges, as well as collective international action.

Video In a statement on Tuesday, President Obama marks 2014 as the year that combat operations in Afghanistan conclude and offers a preview of what the U.S.-Afghan relationship will look like in the future.

Read more: In Afghanistan, Obama’s troop withdrawal plan stirs fear Kevin Sieff MAY 28 Financial and security concerns are paramount, with one Afghan saying that “we will be in full crisis.” Transcript: Obama’s West Point commencement speech MAY 28 The president delivered the following remarks Wednesday at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. P

resident Obama’s West Point speech explained in 13 tweets Aaron Blake MAY 28 The Post’s chief White House correspondent, Scott Wilson, owns Twitter. Coming more than six years into a presidency that has been devoted to winding down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Obama’s announcement of his new foreign policy approach also featured a defense of his administration’s handling of foreign crises and a suggestion that some critics are out of step with a nation weary after 13 years of war.

He sought to strike a balance between those who want to avoid involvement in foreign conflicts and “interventionists on the left and right” who want to apply U.S. power to solve various world problems. “Each side can point to history to support its claims,” Obama said. “But I believe neither view fully speaks to the demands of this moment. It is absolutely true that in the 21st century, American isolationism is not an option. . . . But to say that we have an interest in pursuing peace and freedom beyond our borders is not to say that every problem has a military solution.”

[Read the text of Obama’s commencement speech.]

With the United States drawing down its forces in Afghanistan, Obama called on Congress to support a new $5 billion “Counterterrorism Partnerships Fund” to respond to evolving terrorist threats around the world. The White House said the program “will provide the flexibility and resources required to respond to emerging needs as terrorist threats around the world continue to evolve.”

Obama also defended his decision during his first term to surge forces in Afghanistan. “America’s security demanded those deployments,” he said. “But I am haunted by those deaths. I am haunted by those wounds. And I would betray my duty to you, and to the country we love, if I sent you into harm’s way simply because I saw a problem somewhere in the world that needed to be fixed, or because I was worried about critics who think military intervention is the only way for America to avoid looking weak.”

He said that “for the foreseeable future, the most direct threat to America at home and abroad remains terrorism.” However, he added, “a strategy that involves invading every country that harbors terrorist networks is naive and unsustainable. I believe we must shift our counterterrorism strategy — drawing on the successes and shortcomings of our experience in Iraq and Afghanistan — to more effectively partner with countries where terrorist networks seek a foothold.”

As the United States transitions to a military training and advisory mission in Afghanistan, Obama said, “our reduced presence allows us to more effectively address emerging threats in the Middle East and North Africa.”

He said he asked his national security team earlier this year to “develop a plan for a network of partnerships” from South Asia to northern Africa. “Today, as part of this effort, I am calling on Congress to support a new Counterterrorism Partnerships Fund of up to $5 billion, which will allow us to train, build capacity and facilitate partner countries on the front lines,” Obama said. “These resources will give us flexibility to fulfill different missions, including training security forces in Yemen who’ve gone on the offensive against al-Qaeda, supporting a multinational force to keep the peace in Somalia, working with European allies to train a functioning security force and border patrol in Libya, and facilitating French operations in Mali.”

He said one critical focus of the effort would be the ongoing crisis in Syria, where three years of civil war have left more than 150,000 people dead and much of the country in ruins. He said the additional resources would allow the United States to step up efforts to support countries bordering Syria, which have had to host refugees and confront terrorists.

“The partnerships I’ve described do not eliminate the need to take direct action when necessary to protect ourselves,” Obama warned. “When we have actionable intelligence, that’s what we do.” But he said direct actions must conform with U.S. values. “That means taking strikes only when we face a continuing, imminent threat, and only where . . . there is near certainty of no civilian casualties,” he said. “For our actions should meet a simple test: We must not create more enemies than we take off the battlefield.”

Obama added that he would increasingly ask the U.S. military “to take the lead and provide information to the public about our efforts.” While the intelligence community “has done outstanding work,” the need to protect sources and methods means that “when we cannot explain our efforts clearly and publicly, we face terrorist propaganda and international suspicion, we erode legitimacy with our partners and our people, and we reduce accountability in our own government.” In concluding his 40-minute address, Obama paid tribute to Gavin White, a 2011 West Point graduate who lost a leg in Afghanistan and whom Obama met last year at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Now White is watching his sister, Morgan, graduate from the academy, Obama said. “We have been through a long season of war,” the president said. “We have faced trials that were not foreseen, and we’ve seen divisions about how to move forward. But there is something in Gavin’s character, there is something in the American character that will always triumph.”

Obama’s speech appeared aimed less at changing the terms of the national foreign policy debate in Washington than appealing to a war-weary electorate. It echoed Obama’s earlier defenses of his foreign policy — stressing such themes as multilateralism, Muslim outreach and ending torture — as a corrective to the approach of the George W. Bush administration.

Obama also aimed to use the images this week of him visiting troops and addressing the new Army officers to reaffirm his commitment to the Armed Forces after new reports emerged this month of falsified wait times at veteran hospitals, a problem the administration has struggled to respond to. Obama has long since moved past his initial skepticism about the United States’ role as an “indispensable nation.” He said Wednesday: “I believe in American exceptionalism with every fiber of my being. But what makes us exceptional is not our ability to flout international norms and the rule of law; it’s our willingness to affirm them through our actions.”

The administration’s request for $5 billion for the new counterterrorism partnerships in fiscal 2015 would also cover expanded or enhanced Defense Department efforts, including intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and Special Operations activities, the White House said in a fact sheet. Secretary of State John F. Kerry previewed the announcement early Wednesday in appearances on morning television programs. He also defended Obama’s decision to terminate the U.S. combat role in Afghanistan by the end of 2014 while keeping a residual force of 9,800 for another year and gradually reducing it to a small presence at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul by the end of 2016. Kerry said on NBC’s “Today” show that Obama is telling the Afghans “by a specific time they have to take over management of their own security and military.” He said the Afghans must realize that they do not have “all the time in the world.” He added, however, “This is not an abandonment of Afghanistan. . . . This is an empowerment of Afghanistan.” Interviewed on “CBS This Morning,” Kerry said the pullout would allow the United States to put resources into fighting terrorism in other parts of the world. In announcing the new counterterrorism fund, the White House said it was finalizing the Defense Department portion of the fiscal 2015 Overseas Contingency Operations consistent with Obama’s decision on troop levels in Afghanistan. It said the request would “reflect a continued downward trajectory of war-related spending.” The new Counterterrorism Partnerships Fund would “build on existing tools and authorities to allow the administration to respond to evolving terrorist threats,” the White House said. “It will allow us to pursue a more sustainable and effective approach to combating terrorism that focuses on empowering and enabling our partners around the globe.“ Branigin reported from Washington. Scott Wilson in Washington contributed to this report. ************ are to Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Add to PersonalPost Share via Email Print Article More By David Nakamura, Published: May 28 | Updated: Thursday, May 29, 1:10 AM E-mail the writers WEST POINT, N.Y. — President Obama on Wednesday laid out a new, postwar foreign policy after more than a decade of combat overseas, outlining a global counterterrorism initiative and arguing for a balance between interventionism and “foreign entanglements.” In a commencement address at the U.S. Military Academy, he stressed the importance of nonmilitary options in addressing the world’s foreign policy challenges, as well as collective international action. Video In a statement on Tuesday, President Obama marks 2014 as the year that combat operations in Afghanistan conclude and offers a preview of what the U.S.-Afghan relationship will look like in the future. Read more: In Afghanistan, Obama’s troop withdrawal plan stirs fear Kevin Sieff MAY 28 Financial and security concerns are paramount, with one Afghan saying that “we will be in full crisis.” Transcript: Obama’s West Point commencement speech MAY 28 The president delivered the following remarks Wednesday at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. President Obama’s West Point speech explained in 13 tweets Aaron Blake MAY 28 The Post’s chief White House correspondent, Scott Wilson, owns Twitter. Coming more than six years into a presidency that has been devoted to winding down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Obama’s announcement of his new foreign policy approach also featured a defense of his administration’s handling of foreign crises and a suggestion that some critics are out of step with a nation weary after 13 years of war. He sought to strike a balance between those who want to avoid involvement in foreign conflicts and “interventionists on the left and right” who want to apply U.S. power to solve various world problems. “Each side can point to history to support its claims,” Obama said. “But I believe neither view fully speaks to the demands of this moment. It is absolutely true that in the 21st century, American isolationism is not an option. . . . But to say that we have an interest in pursuing peace and freedom beyond our borders is not to say that every problem has a military solution.” [Read the text of Obama’s commencement speech.] With the United States drawing down its forces in Afghanistan, Obama called on Congress to support a new $5 billion “Counterterrorism Partnerships Fund” to respond to evolving terrorist threats around the world. The White House said the program “will provide the flexibility and resources required to respond to emerging needs as terrorist threats around the world continue to evolve.” Obama also defended his decision during his first term to surge forces in Afghanistan. “America’s security demanded those deployments,” he said. “But I am haunted by those deaths. I am haunted by those wounds. And I would betray my duty to you, and to the country we love, if I sent you into harm’s way simply because I saw a problem somewhere in the world that needed to be fixed, or because I was worried about critics who think military intervention is the only way for America to avoid looking weak.” He said that “for the foreseeable future, the most direct threat to America at home and abroad remains terrorism.” However, he added, “a strategy that involves invading every country that harbors terrorist networks is naive and unsustainable. I believe we must shift our counterterrorism strategy — drawing on the successes and shortcomings of our experience in Iraq and Afghanistan — to more effectively partner with countries where terrorist networks seek a foothold.” As the United States transitions to a military training and advisory mission in Afghanistan, Obama said, “our reduced presence allows us to more effectively address emerging threats in the Middle East and North Africa.” He said he asked his national security team earlier this year to “develop a plan for a network of partnerships” from South Asia to northern Africa. “Today, as part of this effort, I am calling on Congress to support a new Counterterrorism Partnerships Fund of up to $5 billion, which will allow us to train, build capacity and facilitate partner countries on the front lines,” Obama said. “These resources will give us flexibility to fulfill different missions, including training security forces in Yemen who’ve gone on the offensive against al-Qaeda, supporting a multinational force to keep the peace in Somalia, working with European allies to train a functioning security force and border patrol in Libya, and facilitating French operations in Mali.” He said one critical focus of the effort would be the ongoing crisis in Syria, where three years of civil war have left more than 150,000 people dead and much of the country in ruins. He said the additional resources would allow the United States to step up efforts to support countries bordering Syria, which have had to host refugees and confront terrorists. “The partnerships I’ve described do not eliminate the need to take direct action when necessary to protect ourselves,” Obama warned. “When we have actionable intelligence, that’s what we do.” But he said direct actions must conform with U.S. values. “That means taking strikes only when we face a continuing, imminent threat, and only where . . . there is near certainty of no civilian casualties,” he said. “For our actions should meet a simple test: We must not create more enemies than we take off the battlefield.” Obama added that he would increasingly ask the U.S. military “to take the lead and provide information to the public about our efforts.” While the intelligence community “has done outstanding work,” the need to protect sources and methods means that “when we cannot explain our efforts clearly and publicly, we face terrorist propaganda and international suspicion, we erode legitimacy with our partners and our people, and we reduce accountability in our own government.” In concluding his 40-minute address, Obama paid tribute to Gavin White, a 2011 West Point graduate who lost a leg in Afghanistan and whom Obama met last year at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Now White is watching his sister, Morgan, graduate from the academy, Obama said. “We have been through a long season of war,” the president said. “We have faced trials that were not foreseen, and we’ve seen divisions about how to move forward. But there is something in Gavin’s character, there is something in the American character that will always triumph.” Obama’s speech appeared aimed less at changing the terms of the national foreign policy debate in Washington than appealing to a war-weary electorate. It echoed Obama’s earlier defenses of his foreign policy — stressing such themes as multilateralism, Muslim outreach and ending torture — as a corrective to the approach of the George W. Bush administration. Obama also aimed to use the images this week of him visiting troops and addressing the new Army officers to reaffirm his commitment to the Armed Forces after new reports emerged this month of falsified wait times at veteran hospitals, a problem the administration has struggled to respond to. Obama has long since moved past his initial skepticism about the United States’ role as an “indispensable nation.” He said Wednesday: “I believe in American exceptionalism with every fiber of my being. But what makes us exceptional is not our ability to flout international norms and the rule of law; it’s our willingness to affirm them through our actions.” The administration’s request for $5 billion for the new counterterrorism partnerships in fiscal 2015 would also cover expanded or enhanced Defense Department efforts, including intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and Special Operations activities, the White House said in a fact sheet. Secretary of State John F. Kerry previewed the announcement early Wednesday in appearances on morning television programs. He also defended Obama’s decision to terminate the U.S. combat role in Afghanistan by the end of 2014 while keeping a residual force of 9,800 for another year and gradually reducing it to a small presence at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul by the end of 2016. Kerry said on NBC’s “Today” show that Obama is telling the Afghans “by a specific time they have to take over management of their own security and military.” He said the Afghans must realize that they do not have “all the time in the world.” He added, however, “This is not an abandonment of Afghanistan. . . . This is an empowerment of Afghanistan.” Interviewed on “CBS This Morning,” Kerry said the pullout would allow the United States to put resources into fighting terrorism in other parts of the world. In announcing the new counterterrorism fund, the White House said it was finalizing the Defense Department portion of the fiscal 2015 Overseas Contingency Operations consistent with Obama’s decision on troop levels in Afghanistan. It said the request would “reflect a continued downward trajectory of war-related spending.” The new Counterterrorism Partnerships Fund would “build on existing tools and authorities to allow the administration to respond to evolving terrorist threats,” the White House said. “It will allow us to pursue a more sustainable and effective approach to combating terrorism that focuses on empowering and enabling our partners around the globe.“   Branigin reported from Washington. Scott Wilson in Washington contributed to this report.

************

United States is a strong ally with Japan, South Korea and the Philippines, which have border or multi-claimant issues and contention against China’s imaginary and unsubstantiated ‘Nine-Dash-Line’. United States is also a strong ally of Singapore and issues the Changi Naval Base as the region staging and technical support base even though Singapore is not in loggerheads with China.

Recently, Malaysia is also trying to be getting ‘chummy-chummy’ with the US Armed Forces, reflective in Defense Minister Dato’ Sri Hishammuddin Hussein’s commitment when he visited US Navy Pacific Command HQ in Pearl Harbour and Pentagon.

Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak is making a unscheduled brief return home, to pay respects at Almarhum Paduka Seri Sultan Perak Tuanku Sultan Azlan Muhibuddin Shah Ibni Almarhum Sultan Yusuff Izzuddin Ghafarullahu Shah. HRH Almarhum Paduka Seri Sultan Perak’s  remains would be laid for the lie-in-state at Balai Rong Seri Iskandariah Palace in Bukit Chandan Kuala Kangsar for dignitaries and public to play respects.

Then a quick dash back to China, to continue his visit to commemorate the anniverasy of 40th year friendship with China, pioneered by his late father Second Prime Minister Tun Hj Abdul Razak Hussein on 30 May 1974 and made friends then with China Communist Party Chairman Mao Zedong.

As part of the itinerary in this China visit, Malaysia would request a ‘softer’ approach to resolve border and multi claimant issues through dialogues and consultations, which has been outlined in the Document of Conduct (DOC) inked in November 2002 by ASEAN and China. In DOC, it was agreed to use UNCLOS as the reference basis, as a precursor to the Code of Conduct, which is the basis to resolve international and border disputes.

Probably the offer would be in the form of holding a regional summit hosted by Malaysia under the ASEAN sanction, where issues are brought to be resolved through consultations.

In reciprocity, it is expected that China would want Prime Minister Najib and Malaysia to play more extensive and effective roles in unwinding tensions build up so far with China PLAN’s arrogance and foreign policy attitude, by bridging diplomatic channels with ASEAN states such Veitnam and the Philippines and Japan.

President Barack H Obama and Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak making a joint media conference after a four-eyed meeting in Perdana Putra

Malaysia is also expected to slowly bridge the same message to the United States, United Kingdom and Australia. This is in tandem with Prime Minister Najib’s growing capacity and role as a promising regional leader within ASEAN and, effective role and visibility and popularity in the international arena of Global Moderate Muslim.

There are very interesting developments to watch, especially when issues pertaining to China PLAN maneuvres all over South and East China Sea off late have been nothing but aggressive if not hostile in nature.

After all if it is hydrocarbon is the prize, then the best route to resolve this stand off is to move towards a win-win situation such as joint development programs.

 

Published in: on May 29, 2014 at 07:00  Comments (7)  

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  1. Joint development programs may be attractive if it covers all aspects, including the fish and other resources in the disputed areas.

    But there are lingering doubts on the honesty and sincerity of the Chinese that may affect the joint development and management of the resources. Clearly they have been irresponsible and seen as a bully so far. The Vietnamese have reported four more ships damaged by the Chinese naval forces that have appeared as a band of pirates or international terrorists.

    The top hierarchy in China should have controlled those buggers and any claim that they are renegades acting on their own has absolutely no validity.

    But one may have to wait for more details on the package that Najib brings back.

  2. The following catches my attention on a quick read of the lengthy press reports:

    – (policy shift to) one that pulls back from what he described as “military adventures” while wielding American power in other ways.

    – the new American foreign policy as one of “collective action” and restraint, deploying unilateral U.S. military force only when the American people are threatened – that military force deployment bit refers to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

    – crises around the world that don’t directly threaten Americans be met first with non-military options: diplomacy, sanctions and “collective action.” Yes, his policy towards Syria appears to have worked, up to now at least.

    Of course events in South East Asia may not “directly threaten Americans” and the Chinese may continue their bullying with impunity. But I note that

    – The US House Foreign Affairs Cttee Chairman said: President Obama’s diplomatic efforts cannot work if our allies lack confidence in U.S. commitments, and our opponents do not fear U.S. warnings.”

    I’ll bank on this – people like the Cttee Chirman will do the necessary, if and when necessary, post-Obama. And Obama ends his term as President not too long from now. Obama has at least signed an agreement with the Philippines on US use of Clark Air Base and Subic Naval Base in the Philippines.

    My wish is no more stupid George W Bush type becoming President, so that there’ll be no more US “military adventures”.

  3. Much as we question and suspicious of China move in the SEA , we should careful with the American too .
    What we look, are their smiles ,but what are hidden behind their smiles that we should be aware.

    • Yes, the spying, CIA, FBI, covert action, secret agents, double agents, open and silent propaganda, misinformation, disinformation,you name it in the James Bond game, they have it, they do it.

      But then, who doesn’t? Maybe the Republic of Micronesia doesn’t. Still, watch out when you laze on the open sandy beaches or wade in idle fashion in the clear waters of the blue lagoon there – a damn strikingly beautiful, half naked damsel may be lurking with naughty and inviting smiles nearby.

      But the US has not shot dead their young punk of an American spy traitor Edward Snowden, like the Russians rubbed highly toxic poison on their chap who quickly lost his hair and went dead in London, or like the Chinese would have their firing squad pump bullets willy nally into anyone doing such things against them.

      I’d have more faith in the Yanks than the Russians or the Chinese.

      • US Presidents can opine (a favourite word of Bill O’Reilly) for all they are worth, but, in reality, they are severely limited by domestic agendas and priorities and the politicking in Washington, DC.

        I don’t think that the US public, after Iraq and Afghanistan, has much stomach for American military interventions overseas, except where the US is directly threatened.

        And in the US playbook, that means targetting terrorism and militant Islam.

        Note that the US has been noticeably circumspect about criticising China for it’s treatment of Uighurs and Russia for the treatment of Chechens.

        With Al-Qaeda and it’s proxies running around in the Horn of Africa and the Gulf, with the containment of Shi’ite Iran and with the Taliban making a comeback in Afghanistan, it’s easy to see where the US focus will be directed to.

        This would mean, that in Asia, it will be everyone for himself. Which is exactly what China is hoping for.

      • Yes, you too can opine, but I disagree with you.

        Like Obama said, if and when Americans are threatened, any President will reacting accordingly. They are, after all, political animals.

        It hinges on what constitutes “being threatened”. The hawks and the defence industries people will interpret it very broadly. They have quite pervasive and sophisticated tools for harnessing mass opinion in the US. CNN played the Republican Presidential candidate’s shrieking at one election primary on tv so often in a day that the fellow had to ran out of the race in no time.

        Imagine, they got the whole of the United States to support George W Bush to bomb Iraq and, when other big powers disagreed, they got Tony Blair to organize a “Coalition of the Willing”.

        It’s too simplistic to think that in Asia, it will be everyone for himself. That thinking will embolden China and that is not what we are hoping for.

      • Maybe so, Wan – but between supporting Israel in it’s activities in the Middle East and “confronting” China in the East Asian and South China Seas – where do you think domestic sympathies in the US will swing to?

        Ok, maybe that’s not good grammar, but you get the gist of my argument.

        Big business in the US is pushing for the TPP to be signed asap. Big business in the US wants to do business with China. US defence technology companies want S-E Asia to be in a permanent arms race and dependent on US weaponry. The US “soft skills” businesses and industries want to use the TPP to further penetrate markets in the region.

        Given all of the above, do you think that the US’s first priority would be to confront China militarily in Asia?

        I would opine that it is not.

        Which is why Asean has to decide whether it should hang together or hang separately.

        On a related note, Singapore has, by far, the biggest stock of US FDI in Asean. So, if push really comes to shove, where would US support and sympathies gravitate to?


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