Pentagon Asks for Chinese Cooperation

Things in the South China Sea are getting more and more tense every day. The area is rich in natural resources and because of it, many countries hold competing claims over the region, all of which are tied to their own respective histories. While all of the countries involved (China, Taiwan, Brunei, Malaysia, The Philippines, and Vietnam) are guilty of stoking tensions and staking claims, China has easily been the guiltiest party in this regard. They have embarked on a massive construction campaign and are currently building artificial islands in the middle of the ocean and on reefs that will eventually house air bases and other military installations, furthering their claims on the area and increasing their ability to defend it with force if needed.

The current tensions in the South China Sea are one of the major reasons the US military is reorienting attention away from Europe and the Middle East and towards supporting our allies in Asia, especially Japan and Taiwan. However, China has noticed our change in regional priorities and they have responded as anyone would expect them to, with slight hostility and micro aggressive acts that are meant to both test US preparedness as well as warn US forces to not interfere in what they see as a regional issue. Sterns words have been matched by shows of force as Chinese warplanes have threatened US spy planes and patrols in the area.

Now, in an attempt to stop things from becoming fatal in any way, the Pentagon has asked for Chinese cooperation in restoring some semblance of stability to the region. The Pentagon has both requested that the Chinese stop building artificial islands (which probably isn’t going to happen) as well as thinking about the bigger picture in terms of regional and world issues. With the US and Chinese economy both rivaling each other while also being intertwined to a heavy extent, the prerogative for all sides is to avoid any sort of actual conflict because of how ruinous it would be for both countries. What this is truly showing though is that the US military is finally realizing that spending all of our time and efforts chasing terrorists around the Middle East has distracted us from a true threat to national security. China is strong and getting stronger, it is far better for us to work together than it is to work against each other.

If you’d like to read more, the link is here.

New Defense Rules Would Give Japanese Military More Power

As the Japanese military gets more and more popular amongst citizens, the government has continued to push for more flexibility in regards to its military capabilities. Last time I wrote about how the Japanese military was gaining in popularity throughout the country as tensions rose in the South China sea. Now, the Japanese government is in discussions with the US government to come up with new defense rules that would give the Japanese more flexibility when it comes to using their military forces (called the Self-Defence Force), especially when it comes to helping US forces in the region. While this is controversial to many, the new rules would strengthen the US-Japanese alliance and make defenses in the region stronger and more stable.sgt hack, sgt david hack, japan, japanese self defence force

The Japanese military was gutted after World War II due to Japan’s many war crimes throughout the conflict. The Self-Defence Force that arose after WW2 was severely limited in its scope and could only function when defending Japan or direct Japanese interests; it could never attack, only defend. Now, the South China sea and East China sea are becoming more and more tense with every passing week. There are a number of conflicting claims on islands and natural resources in the region between different countries and Japan is included. The various territorial claims are coming from Japan, China, Vietnam, South Korea, Taiwan, and other countries as they argue over exclusive claims to land, resources, and economic exclusivity zones. The kicker is that all of these countries have fully functioning and prepared militaries, except Japan.

The new rules being discussed would be a big change in the way that Japan’s Self-Defence Force is run and equipped. It not only would allow Japan to have a more fully fleshed-out and functioning military, but it would also allow the country to be more proactive about defending itself and its interests. The new rules are meant to shift the current policy from the US defending Japan to the US and Japan defending each other. It will also give Japan extra leverage when it comes to negotiating with countries who might not have taken it as seriously due to its lack of a full military. While this isn’t a full unshackling of Japan’s military potential, it’s definitely the first step towards Japan having an unfettered military with which to pursue it and the US’ mutual goals in the region.

If you’d like to read more, the link is here.