The Chop-Stick Wars: America’s Impending Stomach Ache - Japanese Sushi; Chinese Fried-Rice; Korean Kimchee.
As most of you know by now, the China Sea abounds with a variety of military equipment honing in on an assortment of targets ranging from ships, planes, submarines and even volcanic islands. The apparent reasons for this bouillabaisse of nationalities, animosities and rationales ranges from old WWII festering wounds; rising nationalism; and the most consistent variable of all--- forging for gas and oil!
Santayana, the venerable chef of ancient hostilities, once revealed the secret recipe of conflict: history must repeat itself! The antecedents of WWII appear in full force. Once again, Japan reasserts its expansionist ambitions through a rationale that redefines their past aggressions during WWII, as an ‘Act of Liberation From American/ European Imperialism’. Not to be out done by China and Japan, South Korea, the buttress of bilateral hostilities, claims territorial and psychological demands from both Japan and China. However, this South China Sea bouillabaisse is still without the piquant flavor of Vietnamese pho; Phillipine sisig; and Indonesian mei beef. China believes that it is entitled to assert its Middle Kingdom prerogatives as a matter of historical imperatives, combined with perceived ancient wounds, such as the Communist/Nationalist army “failure” to prevent The Rape of Nanjing [by Japan].
Where is America in all of this?
As expected, CINPAC, the primary military and judicial arbiter of East Asian conflicts is busily trying to lower the temperature of the overheated cauldron of conflicting demands, entitlements and provocations. These demands placed on CINPAC at a time of sequestration, Navy scandals and continuing Middle East military entanglements makes their job far more complicated. The requirements for CINPAC are primarily strong negotiation abilities across a spectra of different cultures and psychological profiles; as well as a projection of force that co-opts, rather than confronts, the different military provocations that will inevitably arise.
America has to be able to delineate the boundaries of navigation and trade acceptable to all parties concerned while appealing to the higher moral court of neutrality. At the same time, CINPAC must enforce its long-standing state operational code of ‘denial of access’.
In Hollywood parlance, one would say that CINCPAC would have to become a cross between “Clarence Darrow”, the lawyer, and “Dirty Harry”, the enforcer.
Is it possible?
I hope so.
I hope so.
That's asking a lot from a group of wary sailors. The US Navy has had to defend the Straits of Hormuz in an undeclared war for thirty years. And then the US Navy was by ordered by the White House to “assist” during the unnecessary conflagrations of Libya, Egypt, Somalia, Sudan , Yemen and Syria.
Can we depend on our Navy? We have no other choice.