US Strategy Illiterate Admiral Ready to Have His Fleet Sunk by ChinaPosted: December 15, 2016
Reuters gives a report today titled “U.S. ready to confront Beijing on South China Sea: admiral” on US Pacific fleet commander Adm. Harris’ speech that the US is ready to confront China in the South China Sea with the pretext that China is overreaching maritime claims there.
China has deployed defensive military facilities on the land it has reclaimed from sea, so have Vietnam and the Philippines, but Adm. Harris only wants to confront China instead of Vietnam and the Philippines for that. That obviously shows that Adm. Harris wants to confront China in order to contain it. His allegation about China’s threat of freedom of navigation is but a pretext. However, he does not have the power to make the decision on confronting China. He has to wait for US President’s order. Obviously, Obama has not given him such an order; therefore, he has only been able to say his is ready to confront.
I have pointed out that the US has no geographic advantages in a war in the South China Sea because if China deploys its advanced fighter jets in the three new large air bases it has built on its artificial islands, it will have air supremacy there. US F-35s are inferior to China’s J-20 while F-22 in US bases in Japan are vulnerable as it has to refuel in the air to reach the South China Sea. Moreover, US bases may be destroyed by China’s intermediate missiles so that F-22s have nowhere to land after its air combat near China.
The number of fighter jets on Adm. Harris’s aircraft carriers is much smaller than those on the three unsinkable Chinese air bases in the South China Sea.
One has to calculate whether he has enough factors to win a war before entering it. The US obviously lacks the factors to win in a war in the South China Sea. If Adm. Harris has got the order to fight in the South China Sea, he will have his entire fleet sunk by Chinese military there. Harris’ speech shows he is a strategy illiterate.
Do Trump’s military advisors lack the wisdom to see that the US has no geographic advantages in a war there? Are they as strategy illiterate as Adm. Harris?
I have pointed out that if the US helps Taiwan defend Chinese attack, it has some geographic advantages but it has no geographic advantages at all in a war in the South China Sea. Therefore, Trump is wiser than Obama in using Taiwan instead the South China Sea as his bargaining chip.
If Trump is wise, there will not be any war between China and the US as neither of them will be benefited by the war.
True if the US loses the war in the South China Sea, it will lose its world hegemony and no one will want its protection let alone pay for its protection. Some people believe China will be benefited from its victory over the US as it will gain world hegemony. Replacing the US as world hegemon will only hurt China instead of benefiting it. China will be stupid to take over US burdens as world police and begin its decline like the US.
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Reuter’s report, full text of which is reblogged below:
U.S. ready to confront Beijing on South China Sea: admiral
By Colin Packham | SYDNEY Wed Dec 14, 2016 | 3:38pm EST
The United States is ready to confront China should it continue its overreaching maritime claims in the South China Sea, the head of the U.S. Pacific fleet said on Wednesday, comments that threaten to escalate tensions between the two global rivals.
China claims most of the resource-rich South China Sea through which about $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year. Neighbors Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims.
The United States has called on China to respect the findings of the arbitration court in The Hague earlier this year which invalidated its vast territorial claims in the strategic waterway.
But Beijing continues to act in an “aggressive” manner, to which the United States stands ready to respond, Admiral Harry Harris, head of the U.S. Pacific Command, said in a speech in Sydney.
“We will not allow a shared domain to be closed down unilaterally no matter how many bases are built on artificial features in the South China Sea,” he said. “We will cooperate when we can but we will be ready to confront when we must.”
The comments threaten to stoke tensions between the United States and China, already heightened by President-elect Donald Trump’s decision to accept a telephone call from Taiwan’s president on Dec. 2 that prompted a diplomatic protest from Beijing.
Asked about Harris’s remarks, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said the situation in the South China Sea was currently stable, thanks to the hard work of China and others in the region.
“We hope the United States can abide by its promises on not taking sides on the sovereignty dispute in the South China Sea, respect the efforts of countries in the region to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea region and do more to promote peace and stability there,” he told a daily news briefing.
The United States estimates Beijing has added more than 3,200 acres (1,300 hectares) of land on seven features in the South China Sea over the past three years, building runways, ports, aircraft hangars and communications equipment.
In response, the United States has conducted a series of freedom-of-navigation operations in the South China Sea, the latest of which came in October.
The patrols have angered Beijing, with a senior Chinese official in July warning the practice may end in “disaster”.
Harris said it was a decision for the Australian government whether the U.S. ally should undertake its own freedom-of-navigation operations, but said the United States would continue with the practice.
“The U.S. fought its first war following our independence to ensure freedom of navigation,” said Harris. “This is an enduring principle and one of the reasons our forces stand ready to fight tonight.”
(Additional reporting by Ben Blanchard in Beijing; Editing by Lincoln Feast and Jacqueline Wong)
Note: This is Reuters report I reblog here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.