Gen. Mike Minihan, commander of the U.S. Air Force Mobility Command, and Michael McCaul, head of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, both made predictions that a war with China would break out by 2025 over the previous few days. I have previously stated that such a confrontation is unlikely given China’s economic and political vulnerabilities, but I feel obliged to reconsider my position after hearing a four-star general and one of the few leaders I genuinely respect make such a bold statement. Furthermore, the fact that both of them are expressing the same opinion leads me to believe that someone in Washington has briefed them on the situation. Briefings are not the topic of idle chit chat.
I’m still dubious because the Pentagon has distanced itself from the general’s comments and because McCaul is still a politician—albeit a respectable one. But there are still certain issues that need to be resolved when reassessing the risk of conflict. Who will declare war first? It seems unlikely that the United States would start a war. Although possible, defeating the Chinese navy wouldn’t end the conflict. Beijing is free to reassemble its armed forces as long as the Chinese country is unharmed. Attacking the U.S. Navy would be a risky move for China, and it would need to determine the financial costs of failure at sea, especially at home.
Why wouldn’t they launch the fight right away? It’s possible that American intelligence learned of a planned attack and let Beijing know that it should reconsider its strategy. However, the United States would have plenty of time to get ready if those plans were in fact for 2025. The concept that China is planning that far in advance is difficult to accept because time and danger are synonymous in battle. Nobody wants to give the opposition a leg up. What does the attacker want to achieve, and is the danger worth it? China wants to protect its eastern ports and maintain access to Pacific Ocean trade lanes.
Will there be a land battle, an air battle, a sea battle, or a combination of the three? Given its size and population, China is too large for the U.S. to wage a ground battle there. China is capable of waging an air and naval battle, but it would be up against a formidable foe. Beijing has the benefit of a safe country. The U.S. has the same advantage, of course, but it also has the advantage of being able to combat China far from home and draw far into the Pacific. In other words, the United States has some control on the location of the war. Are both countries’ economies strong enough to withstand a war? Although both economies are in fragile situations, there is evidence
Why would either side leak its intentions? The aggressor must have secrecy. The defender should advertise its preparations to deter the aggressor. So if China is the aggressor, leaking the news would be disastrous. But one of the reasons that the war can’t be planned very far out is that the longer the windup, the more likely there will be a leak. If there was a real war being planned, it would be on a very short timeline. I respect the general and the congressman, and obviously they have access to better intelligence than I do. But I find it hard to believe that China would plan a war so carelessly. Given the leak, a war could still be in the offing, but for China it would likely be short.
Maybe I’m going back to my old bad behaviors. It is undoubtedly stupid of me to respond to my own queries with my outdated viewpoints. Please feel free to point out any gaps in my queries or inadequate responses. I’ll answer with a happy pout. An arc of US alliances can be seen on an East Asian map, extending from South Korea and Japan in the north to Australia in the south.
The Philippines, which borders two of the largest possible flashpoints, Taiwan and the South China Sea, or the West Philippine Sea as Manila insists on calling it, is the missing piece right in the heart of all of this. When Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin meets Philippine President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. in Manila on Thursday, the United States expects to finally close that gap.
According to Philippine sources, the agreement would provide the US more access to military outposts there, which are a crucial piece of ground from which to watch the Chinese in the South China Sea and the area around Taiwan. If you exclude China, Luzon, an island on the northern tip of the Philippines, is the only significant piece of territory close to Taiwan and could house three of the sites the US is attempting to access. A deal with the Philippines is significant since it partially undoes the US’s exit from its former colony more than 30 years ago.
Gregory B. Poling, director of the Southeast Asia program at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, claims that “there is no scenario in the South China Sea that does not involve access to the Philippines.”
“The United States does not seek out permanent bases. Places, not bases, are the focus.”
That is, rather than bases where more troops will be stationed, it wants access to locations where “light and flexible” operations involving supplies and surveillance can be carried out as and when necessary.
In other words, this is not the 1980s again, when the Philippines was the location of two of the biggest US military facilities in Asia, at Clark Field and nearby Subic Bay, and 15,000 US personnel. The Philippine government finally declared an end in 1991. Sending the former colonial rulers home would strengthen democracy and independence in the Philippines, which had just defeated the despised dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos. The Cold War was coming to an end, the Vietnam War was long past, and China was 온라인카지노 still a military underdog. The Americans returned home in 1992, or at least most of them did. After around 30 years have passed, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., sometimes known as Bong Bong, is back in power.
More importantly, China is no longer a military weakness, and it’s knocking on the Philippines’ front door. Manila has watched – horrified but powerless to intervene – as Beijing has set about redrawing the map of the South China Sea. Since 2014 China has built 10 artificial island bases, including one at Mischief Reef, deep inside the Philippines’ own exclusive economic zone or EEZ. Up to then relations between Manila and Beijing had been free of major problems, says Herman Kraft, a political science professor at University of the Philippines.
“The South China Sea was a live and let live scenario. However, they made an attempt to grab control of Scarborough Shoal in 2012. Then, in 2014, work on the islands started. The relationship was altered by China’s land grabbing.”
Jose Cuisia Jr., a former Philippine ambassador to the United States, claims that “we have very limited competence against the challenge from China.”
He claims that China has consistently disregarded its word not to militarize its new bases in the South China Sea. “These features have been militarized by the Chinese, which puts more of our area under danger. The only country that can stop them is the US. The Philippines can’t handle it by themselves.” But this time, there won’t be tens of thousands of US marines and airmen swarming Olongapo or Angeles City’s brothels once more.
The legacy of US military abuse and violence in the Philippines continues to be a touchy subject. After their American fathers returned home, an estimated 15,000 children were left with their Filipino mothers.
Renato Reyes, secretary general of the left-leaning New Patriotic Alliance, asserts that there has been inequality in their connection for a very long time. “The social consequences have been imposed on the Philippines. There has been rape, child abuse, and toxic waste in the past.”
The legacy of abuse and brutality committed by US military personnel in the Philippines is still a sensitive subject. An estimated 15,000 children were left with their Filipino mothers after their American fathers went home.
The New Patriotic Alliance’s left-leaning secretary general, Renato Reyes, claims that there has been inequality in their relationship for a very long time. “The Philippines now has to deal with the societal repercussions. Rape, child abuse, and toxic waste have all occurred in the past.”
According to Mr. Poling, the objective is to prevent China from extending its territory in the South China Sea while simultaneously giving the US a location to monitor Chinese military activity near Taiwan. Outside of this partnership, he claims, “The Philippines has no means to deter China.” “From India, it is purchasing BrahMos missiles. The United States wants to use Tomahawk cruise missiles. They can support Chinese boats when combined.”
The Philippines might provide a “rear access region” for US military operations or even a location to evacuate refugees in light of growing concerns of a clash over Taiwan. People frequently overlook the 150,000–200,000 Filipinos that reside in Taiwan, according to Poling. Professor Kraft warns that Manila is not about to fully join an American coalition to oppose or confront China’s ascent.
“In contrast to Australia and Japan, the Philippines is not directly opposing Chinese interests in the South or East China Sea. The US and President Marcos want excellent relations. But he also seeks favorable relations with China for his own economic benefit.”
Beijing has also stated that it will not permit its relations with its neighbor to be harmed by a new base arrangement between Manila and Washington. China’s state-run Global Times charged the US with “creating a trap for the Philippines” and “seeking to force the Philippines to the frontline of confrontation with China” in an editorial released in time for the US defense secretary’s arrival in Manila. Like the US, it is an imperialist capitalist power. The Philippines still adheres to a colonial mindset and views the US as its big brother.