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The reason why F22 is entirely useless in Western Pacific is because its combat range is too short 850 km. F15 is about 2000 km, still short.

From Guam, they got to turn back before reaching Taiwan.
 

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Is the U.S.-Japan Alliance Still the ‘Cornerstone’ of Stability in Asia

2015-10-18T120000Z_1112059862_GF10000249139_RTRMADP_3_JAPAN-DEFENCE.JPG_0.jpg


Japan is finally becoming an activist, sometimes ruthless defender of its interests—a “normal” nation, in other words. The United States needs to start treating it as such.

by Evan Sankey

TRIBUTES TO mark the sixtieth anniversary of the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty last January celebrated the vision of its creators and its modern indispensability. Certainly, the successes are real. The treaty has kept a former enemy and advanced industrial power aligned with the United States and served as the foundation of America’s geopolitical position in East Asia. Japan is America’s most important ally in the region. But it is also worth remembering that the U.S.-Japan relationship owes a large measure of its success to good fortune. Over sixty years it has never been tested in a great power crisis. And fortune has bred complacency, especially on the American side.
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The policy case for the U.S.-Japan alliance is little changed since the end of the Cold War. That view is of a “bases for protection” bargain in which Japanese military restraint and U.S. primacy keep the Asian peace, leavened by occasional American requests that its passive client support U.S. global strategy and improve interoperability with the U.S. military. The growth of Chinese power, the relative decline of America’s, and Japan’s response have undermined key aspects of this story.

Today, Japanese military power is sufficient to heighten Chinese insecurities but insufficient to help slow or arrest East Asia’s deteriorating military balance. The American bases at the core of the alliance bargain are vulnerable to new generations of Chinese precision weapons and a source of crisis instability. And Japan is no longer a reactive state. Alarm at Chinese power, concern about U.S. abandonment, and institutional reforms give the prime minister’s office the motivation and capacity to sustain a degree of foreign policy autonomy unthinkable in 1990. The United States risks overindulging Japanese policymakers’ appetite for security reassurance vis-à-vis China, to the detriment of regional stability.
The United States has two basic interests in East Asia: keeping the region free from hegemonic domination and preserving peace and stability among the major powers. The alliance with Japan has been our core tool for serving these purposes, but regional security developments should cast doubt on its ability to continue to do so in its current form. Asia’s security environment is more fragile than at any time since the Korean War, and America’s geopolitical margin for error is shrinking. Our most important alliance needs a critical look before its sixty-year run of good fortune comes to an end.

A CENTRAL rationale for U.S. alliances claims that they inhibit regional security competition by making it unnecessary for allies to build big militaries that could threaten their neighbors. This argument is particularly prominent in discussions of the U.S.-Japan alliance, which has been variously described as the “cork in the bottle” of resurgent Japanese militarism, the “cornerstone” of regional stability, and as an American “sword” paired with a Japanese “shield.” Henry Kissinger deployed it on his famous 1971 visit to China, assuring Premier Zhou Enlai that the alliance served Chinese interests by containing Japan. The cork metaphor is now passé, but it remains routine for alliance analysts to celebrate the stabilizing effects of Japan’s decision to forgo a military posture proportional to its economic power.
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Yet the evidence suggests that Japanese military restraint is overrated. Decades of low Japanese defense spending have not dissuaded China from embarking on a huge military buildup or forestalled a worsening regional security dilemma. The dominant view in Chinese policy circles is that the U.S.-Japan alliance is an increasingly offensive arrangement meant to contain China’s rise and restore Japanese military power. This is aggravated by persistent Sino-Japanese tensions over Japan’s twentieth-century aggression against China and the gradual expansion of the alliance ambit to cover Taiwan, a core sovereignty and legitimacy issue for Beijing. Western analyses commonly observe that China’s military modernization began in earnest after the 1996 Taiwan Strait Crisis. Neglected are further likely motivators: the 1997 expansion of the U.S.-Japan alliance guidelines to include “situations in areas surrounding Japan,” obscure phraseology widely interpreted to include Taiwan, and the 2005 inclusion of Taiwan in a U.S.-Japan joint statement as a “common strategic objective.”
Nor are the Chinese wrong to believe that the alliance has taken on offensive characteristics. Post-Cold War developments in Japan’s military posture have deviated from a reasonable standard of qualitative restraint. Japan has fielded an array of advanced systems—often with American encouragement and cooperation—including guided-missile destroyers, pocket aircraft carriers, and a fleet of fourth- and fifth-generation fighters, all while sticking to its informal one-percent-of-GDP defense budget cap. Richard Samuels and Eric Heginbotham observe that “[t]he overwhelming bulk of Japan’s defense budget remains committed to capabilities consistent with a forward defense strategy.” These are maneuver forces with inherently offensive characteristics. So too with ballistic missile defense, the flagship project of U.S.-Japan defense cooperation. According to arms control expert Theodore Postol, the missile defense features of the Aegis missile system are mechanically indistinguishable from its offensive cruise missile-launching capabilities. It is telling that the Japanese government’s decision last June to cancel the acquisition of land-based Aegis systems quickly led to a national debate over whether to acquire long-range strike missiles instead.
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The motivations behind China’s defense buildup are undoubtedly diverse, but it is hard to believe that having the combined potential of two of the world’s largest economies on its doorstep did not factor into its calculations. Japan has the right to defend itself from increasingly severe regional threats, but if the United States is sincere about preserving regional stability it must take Chinese perceptions seriously. Pretending that the alliance has not made its own contributions to the worsening regional security dilemma is a recipe for trouble.
Ironically, the extent of this worsening makes it imperative that Japan now abandon its commitment to quantitative restraint: the one-percent-of-GDP defense budget cap. Twenty-five years of Chinese military investment now significantly overshadow Japan’s capabilities. Where China’s defense budget roughly equaled Japan’s in the year 2000, it now spends five times as much in price-adjusted dollars, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. The most important result of this effort is a resilient, diversified stockpile of guided and ballistic missiles, a thousand of which can target allied surface ships and bases in Japan and several hundred as far as Guam. China now fields over eight hundred modern fighter aircraft against Japan’s three hundred, and the displaced tonnage of the Chinese navy is now almost doubleJapan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force. This fleet now includes cruisers which probably match the capabilities of Japan’s best Aegis ships. Forward-deployed U.S. forces alleviate but do not remedy Japan’s deteriorating position.

The U.S.-Japan alliance cannot “offset” China’s resources and proximity through budgetary brute force, and should not try. America’s basic regional security interests in hegemony prevention and military stability are inherently defensive and best secured by a denial strategy designed to convince China’s leaders that they cannot achieve a quick and easy victory. Such an approach would aim to avoid difficult, escalatory fleet-on-fleet battles near China’s frontier, where its natural advantages are the greatest. Instead, U.S. and allied forces would adopt a dispersed posture to reduce their vulnerability to a first strike, and field more missiles and submarines to jeopardize China’s own offensive potential. It would reassure Japan that its security does not depend on America’s declining capacity to win decisive battles in the First Island Chain. It would help convince China that U.S. goals are not offensive.
Though cheaper than a direct attempt to overcome China’s missile and proximity advantage, denial will require some Japanese heavy lifting. The U.S. government often claims to want a more equal alliance but is only ever willing to discuss burden-sharing in terms of host nation support payments and marginal tweaks to Japan’s junior role in a U.S.-led division of labor. It has never really sought a quantitative step change in Japan’s role. The likely growth path of Chinese military power makes this untenable. The United States needs Japan to accept serious resource tradeoffs, even if the result is a more militarily autonomous Japan. Last October, then-Secretary of Defense Mark Esper announced the United States expects every ally to adopt NATO’s two-percent-of-GDP defense spending target. That would be a good start, but there must also be pressure to meet it. In Japan’s case, the United States should make clear that it regards progress toward that goal as vital to a smooth alliance relationship.
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CHINA’S MILITARY challenge is also an unprecedented threat to U.S. bases in Japan, cutting at the central bargain of the 1960 Security Treaty. That document’s Article V security guarantee is followed by Article VI, granting America “the use by its land, air and naval forces of facilities and areas in Japan.” There are now fifty-four thousand American soldiers stationed at eighty-five sole-use U.S. bases across Japan, including roughly twenty-five thousand at thirty-three bases on Okinawa island in the southwest. Accounting for a quarter of peacetime U.S. overseas deployments, this force is the foundation of U.S. military power in Asia and the most visible symbol of America’s commitment to Japan’s security.
The facilities they occupy have long been a source of local political discontent, especially on Okinawa. Now they are also vulnerable to China’s missile force and a potential source of crisis instability. The most important—the air bases at Misawa, Yokota, and Kadena; the naval bases at Yokosuka and Sasebo; and the Marine Corps bases at Iwakuni and Futenma—were acquired and built into big main operating bases in an era of uncontested U.S. air and sea dominance. Today, their heavy concentrations of forces would be appealing targets for preemption in a Sino-American crisis. The RAND Corporation estimates that thirty-six ballistic missiles could disable the runways of the Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, the largest in the region, for four days. Planes stranded on the ground would be easy prey. The U.S. military is beginning to address this vulnerability with doctrinal changes emphasizing resilient, mobile platforms and dispersal of forces across greater numbers of small bases.
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Europe’s strategic long-shot: More warships in the Indo-Pacific
Naval ambitions come as part of EU’s strategy to extend its Asian reach and counter the rise of China.


U.S. Navy Conducts Carrier Qualification Training Aboard The USS Nimitz


The move — is an important diplomatic step for the bloc. | Mario Tama/Getty Images

BY STUART LAU AND JACOPO BARIGAZZI
April 18, 2021 2:01 pm
The EU is on Monday set to commit to a “meaningful” naval presence in the Indian and Pacific Oceans but it is still unclear whether many European countries would be willing (or even able) to send serious firepower to the region and risk antagonizing China.
The move — part of a new EU strategy for the Indo-Pacific region seen by POLITICO — is an important diplomatic step for the bloc. France is currently the only European country with significant naval forces in the region but the rest of the EU is coming under heightened pressure to step up because the U.S. military under President Joe Biden is increasingly identifying China as a leading global security threat.
At a Foreign Affairs Council meeting on Monday, EU countries represented by foreign ministers are expected to adopt a document that for the first time sets out a comprehensive European strategy toward the Indo-Pacific region. According to a draft, the strategy seeks to address Beijing’s rise and broaches topics ranging from reducing economic dependence on China to expanding Europe’s role in digitalization throughout Southeast Asia. Most contentiously, the plan will also acknowledge “the importance of a meaningful European naval presence in the Indo-Pacific.”

For most of the EU, with a chronic aversion to military adventurism half a world away, anything more than token naval missions would be a dramatic change of geostrategic direction, particularly since there are now intense fears about China’s military intimidation of Taiwan and the Philippines. The U.S. has long been the region’s naval policeman, seeking to counterbalance China and North Korea, while Europe has played a very small role to date.
Still, one EU diplomat described Monday’s draft as a “pivot.” Alessio Patalano, a specialist in East Asian warfare at the Department of War Studies at King’s College London also said it was a “striking expansion” for the EU.
Of course, that all depends on whether the EU can follow through, particularly without the muscle of the nuclear-armed British navy after Brexit. For most European countries, the South China Sea is not a prime destination. Germany has committed to sending a single frigate to Asia in August. When that ship returns, it will be the first German warship to cross the South China Sea since 2002.
Given its own weaknesses, Antoine Bondaz, an East Asia specialist with the Foundation for Strategic Research, a Paris-based think tank, said the EU would have to forge new partnerships in the region to extend its reach. “As long as EU capabilities are not addressed, the EU will not be a major stakeholder. At the moment, France is the only country to have a real security strategy in the Indo-Pacific,” Bondaz said. “Strategic autonomy in writing speeches is one thing, strategic autonomy in doing things and defending our interests is another.”
Indeed, the Indo-Pacific draft strategy suggests that Europe’s priority would be to seek partners, rather than rely on its own armadas. “The EU will further develop partnerships and strengthen synergies with likeminded partners and relevant organizations in security and defence,” the plan said.
All at sea
Diplomats argued that it had been difficult to forge unity among 27 EU nations on an Indo-Pacific strategy because many countries do not want to imperil vital trade interests with China. In completing the document, officials had to navigate “some fears that they could have been seen as anti-China, but at least in this case they have been agreed,” said a diplomatic source.

As a result, the final document focuses on cooperation rather than confrontation. Indeed, the title of the strategy is: “EU Strategy for cooperation in the Indo-Pacific.”
“To get all 27 member states on board, of course the focus will have to be on cooperation and inclusiveness. It is impossible for it to be as tough as the U.S. or Australia,” said one senior EU official.
The strategic document says the Indo-Pacific region is at risk from “increasing tensions on trade and supply chains as well as in technological, political and security areas.”
“The universality of human rights is also being challenged,” it adds. “These developments increasingly threaten the stability and security of the region and beyond, directly impacting on the EU’s interest.”
The document largely mirrors some of the U.S. strategic planning in the Indo-Pacific, especially on “free and open” maritime supply routes, security and trade diversification. Key countries in the Indo-Pacific region, including Japan, Vietnam, the Philippines and Australia, have frequently expressed concern over China’s aggressive maritime activities.
On this, the EU isn’t looking the other way.
 

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Is the U.S.-Japan Alliance Still the ‘Cornerstone’ of Stability in Asia

View attachment 739800


Japan is finally becoming an activist, sometimes ruthless defender of its interests—a “normal” nation, in other words. The United States needs to start treating it as such.

by Evan Sankey

TRIBUTES TO mark the sixtieth anniversary of the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty last January celebrated the vision of its creators and its modern indispensability. Certainly, the successes are real. The treaty has kept a former enemy and advanced industrial power aligned with the United States and served as the foundation of America’s geopolitical position in East Asia. Japan is America’s most important ally in the region. But it is also worth remembering that the U.S.-Japan relationship owes a large measure of its success to good fortune. Over sixty years it has never been tested in a great power crisis. And fortune has bred complacency, especially on the American side.
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The policy case for the U.S.-Japan alliance is little changed since the end of the Cold War. That view is of a “bases for protection” bargain in which Japanese military restraint and U.S. primacy keep the Asian peace, leavened by occasional American requests that its passive client support U.S. global strategy and improve interoperability with the U.S. military. The growth of Chinese power, the relative decline of America’s, and Japan’s response have undermined key aspects of this story.

Today, Japanese military power is sufficient to heighten Chinese insecurities but insufficient to help slow or arrest East Asia’s deteriorating military balance. The American bases at the core of the alliance bargain are vulnerable to new generations of Chinese precision weapons and a source of crisis instability. And Japan is no longer a reactive state. Alarm at Chinese power, concern about U.S. abandonment, and institutional reforms give the prime minister’s office the motivation and capacity to sustain a degree of foreign policy autonomy unthinkable in 1990. The United States risks overindulging Japanese policymakers’ appetite for security reassurance vis-à-vis China, to the detriment of regional stability.
The United States has two basic interests in East Asia: keeping the region free from hegemonic domination and preserving peace and stability among the major powers. The alliance with Japan has been our core tool for serving these purposes, but regional security developments should cast doubt on its ability to continue to do so in its current form. Asia’s security environment is more fragile than at any time since the Korean War, and America’s geopolitical margin for error is shrinking. Our most important alliance needs a critical look before its sixty-year run of good fortune comes to an end.

A CENTRAL rationale for U.S. alliances claims that they inhibit regional security competition by making it unnecessary for allies to build big militaries that could threaten their neighbors. This argument is particularly prominent in discussions of the U.S.-Japan alliance, which has been variously described as the “cork in the bottle” of resurgent Japanese militarism, the “cornerstone” of regional stability, and as an American “sword” paired with a Japanese “shield.” Henry Kissinger deployed it on his famous 1971 visit to China, assuring Premier Zhou Enlai that the alliance served Chinese interests by containing Japan. The cork metaphor is now passé, but it remains routine for alliance analysts to celebrate the stabilizing effects of Japan’s decision to forgo a military posture proportional to its economic power.
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Yet the evidence suggests that Japanese military restraint is overrated. Decades of low Japanese defense spending have not dissuaded China from embarking on a huge military buildup or forestalled a worsening regional security dilemma. The dominant view in Chinese policy circles is that the U.S.-Japan alliance is an increasingly offensive arrangement meant to contain China’s rise and restore Japanese military power. This is aggravated by persistent Sino-Japanese tensions over Japan’s twentieth-century aggression against China and the gradual expansion of the alliance ambit to cover Taiwan, a core sovereignty and legitimacy issue for Beijing. Western analyses commonly observe that China’s military modernization began in earnest after the 1996 Taiwan Strait Crisis. Neglected are further likely motivators: the 1997 expansion of the U.S.-Japan alliance guidelines to include “situations in areas surrounding Japan,” obscure phraseology widely interpreted to include Taiwan, and the 2005 inclusion of Taiwan in a U.S.-Japan joint statement as a “common strategic objective.”
Nor are the Chinese wrong to believe that the alliance has taken on offensive characteristics. Post-Cold War developments in Japan’s military posture have deviated from a reasonable standard of qualitative restraint. Japan has fielded an array of advanced systems—often with American encouragement and cooperation—including guided-missile destroyers, pocket aircraft carriers, and a fleet of fourth- and fifth-generation fighters, all while sticking to its informal one-percent-of-GDP defense budget cap. Richard Samuels and Eric Heginbotham observe that “[t]he overwhelming bulk of Japan’s defense budget remains committed to capabilities consistent with a forward defense strategy.” These are maneuver forces with inherently offensive characteristics. So too with ballistic missile defense, the flagship project of U.S.-Japan defense cooperation. According to arms control expert Theodore Postol, the missile defense features of the Aegis missile system are mechanically indistinguishable from its offensive cruise missile-launching capabilities. It is telling that the Japanese government’s decision last June to cancel the acquisition of land-based Aegis systems quickly led to a national debate over whether to acquire long-range strike missiles instead.
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The motivations behind China’s defense buildup are undoubtedly diverse, but it is hard to believe that having the combined potential of two of the world’s largest economies on its doorstep did not factor into its calculations. Japan has the right to defend itself from increasingly severe regional threats, but if the United States is sincere about preserving regional stability it must take Chinese perceptions seriously. Pretending that the alliance has not made its own contributions to the worsening regional security dilemma is a recipe for trouble.
Ironically, the extent of this worsening makes it imperative that Japan now abandon its commitment to quantitative restraint: the one-percent-of-GDP defense budget cap. Twenty-five years of Chinese military investment now significantly overshadow Japan’s capabilities. Where China’s defense budget roughly equaled Japan’s in the year 2000, it now spends five times as much in price-adjusted dollars, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. The most important result of this effort is a resilient, diversified stockpile of guided and ballistic missiles, a thousand of which can target allied surface ships and bases in Japan and several hundred as far as Guam. China now fields over eight hundred modern fighter aircraft against Japan’s three hundred, and the displaced tonnage of the Chinese navy is now almost doubleJapan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force. This fleet now includes cruisers which probably match the capabilities of Japan’s best Aegis ships. Forward-deployed U.S. forces alleviate but do not remedy Japan’s deteriorating position.

The U.S.-Japan alliance cannot “offset” China’s resources and proximity through budgetary brute force, and should not try. America’s basic regional security interests in hegemony prevention and military stability are inherently defensive and best secured by a denial strategy designed to convince China’s leaders that they cannot achieve a quick and easy victory. Such an approach would aim to avoid difficult, escalatory fleet-on-fleet battles near China’s frontier, where its natural advantages are the greatest. Instead, U.S. and allied forces would adopt a dispersed posture to reduce their vulnerability to a first strike, and field more missiles and submarines to jeopardize China’s own offensive potential. It would reassure Japan that its security does not depend on America’s declining capacity to win decisive battles in the First Island Chain. It would help convince China that U.S. goals are not offensive.
Though cheaper than a direct attempt to overcome China’s missile and proximity advantage, denial will require some Japanese heavy lifting. The U.S. government often claims to want a more equal alliance but is only ever willing to discuss burden-sharing in terms of host nation support payments and marginal tweaks to Japan’s junior role in a U.S.-led division of labor. It has never really sought a quantitative step change in Japan’s role. The likely growth path of Chinese military power makes this untenable. The United States needs Japan to accept serious resource tradeoffs, even if the result is a more militarily autonomous Japan. Last October, then-Secretary of Defense Mark Esper announced the United States expects every ally to adopt NATO’s two-percent-of-GDP defense spending target. That would be a good start, but there must also be pressure to meet it. In Japan’s case, the United States should make clear that it regards progress toward that goal as vital to a smooth alliance relationship.
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CHINA’S MILITARY challenge is also an unprecedented threat to U.S. bases in Japan, cutting at the central bargain of the 1960 Security Treaty. That document’s Article V security guarantee is followed by Article VI, granting America “the use by its land, air and naval forces of facilities and areas in Japan.” There are now fifty-four thousand American soldiers stationed at eighty-five sole-use U.S. bases across Japan, including roughly twenty-five thousand at thirty-three bases on Okinawa island in the southwest. Accounting for a quarter of peacetime U.S. overseas deployments, this force is the foundation of U.S. military power in Asia and the most visible symbol of America’s commitment to Japan’s security.
The facilities they occupy have long been a source of local political discontent, especially on Okinawa. Now they are also vulnerable to China’s missile force and a potential source of crisis instability. The most important—the air bases at Misawa, Yokota, and Kadena; the naval bases at Yokosuka and Sasebo; and the Marine Corps bases at Iwakuni and Futenma—were acquired and built into big main operating bases in an era of uncontested U.S. air and sea dominance. Today, their heavy concentrations of forces would be appealing targets for preemption in a Sino-American crisis. The RAND Corporation estimates that thirty-six ballistic missiles could disable the runways of the Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, the largest in the region, for four days. Planes stranded on the ground would be easy prey. The U.S. military is beginning to address this vulnerability with doctrinal changes emphasizing resilient, mobile platforms and dispersal of forces across greater numbers of small bases.
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US and stability doesnt work buddy!
 

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European navies hold stronger China deterrent than first appears
Long-term engagement in Indo-Pacific changes Beijing's military calculus

From left, the USS Curtis Wilbur, the JS Hamana and the FS Prairial conduct a joint training mission off the western coast of the Japanese island of Kyushu on Feb. 19 in a move seen as a message from the U.S., Japan and France to China. (Source photos by AP and Japan Maritime Self Defense Force/Kyodo)
HIROYUKI AKITA, Nikkei commentatorMarch 5, 2021 18:40 JST
TOKYO -- When a country flouts international rules, the world's powers respond with a particular pattern of escalation.
First, they condemn the actions with news conferences and statements. If this criticism does not bite, they impose economic sanctions to drive home their point. As a further step, they exert military pressure if needed, including dispatching warships.
When it comes to China, major European countries have begun to take the third option. In one example, France sent a frigate to the waters near Japan on Feb. 19 to conduct a joint military exercise with Japanese and U.S. forces.

Such moves come amid a growing backlash in Europe against China over Beijing's crackdown on human rights in Hong Kong and the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, as well as its heavy-handed actions in the South China Sea.
A survey by Pew Research Center released in October showed that more than 70% of respondents in the U.K., France and Germany have negative views of China. This public dissatisfaction and anxiety over China in Europe's three leading nations has now manifested itself in what could be seen a form of gunboat diplomacy.
This marks an intriguing shift for Europe, whose geopolitical energies have focused mainly on Russia since the end of World War II.
Particularly notable is the move of France, which has New Caledonia and other territories in the South Pacific. France also has several thousand troops, ships and aircraft stationed in the region.
Clockwise from top-left, Chinese President Xi Jinping, European Council President Charles Michel, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are seen on screen during a video conference on Dec. 30, 2020. © Reuters
Besides sending a frigate, France revealed on Feb. 8 that it had sent a nuclear-powered attack submarine in the South China Sea. "It is very unusual to go public with a nuclear submarine's highly confidential movements," said an Asian security official.
A "hunter-killer" submarine's primary mission is to find and sink enemy submarines. By dispatching one to the South China Sea, France is sending a clear warning to China, which is suspected by some analysts to have deployed nuclear-missile-equipped submarines there.
SEE ALSO

French nuclear sub prowls South China Sea
France is expected to also send an amphibious ship by this summer and hold its first-ever military exercise with Japan and the U.S. with an eye on defending remote islands for the first time.
Meanwhile, the U.K. plans to dispatch the state-of-the-art aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth to the Indo-Pacific by the end of this year. The ship is to stay in the region for several months, but a plan to deploy a British aircraft carrier to the Indo-Pacific on an almost full-year basis sometime in the future has emerged.
Germany, though less of a sea power than France or the U.K., is also expected to send a frigate to the Indo-Pacific this year.
A European diplomatic source said these moves reflect rising alarm over China in European capitals. Their already dim views on Beijing were further darkened by the crackdown in Hong Kong and Xinjiang, as well as by the coronavirus pandemic, the source said.
China's military buildup also looms as a risk to Europe's economic interests. The South China Sea is a crucial shipping lane carrying about 10% of trade for the U.K., France and Germany.
The Chinese military possesses about 350 ships, more than the U.S. Dispatching just a few European ships will not budge the military balance now favoring China in terms of material. Even so, security officials in Asia and Europe say the actions of the U.K., France and Germany can be expected to help counter China's military in at least two ways.
First, if the Europeans demonstrate their ability and willingness to project naval power in the Indo-Pacific, China will have no choice but to modify its operations plans with respect to Taiwan and the South China Sea. The Chinese military will have to assume that the U.K., France and Germany, as well as Japan and Australia, will provide some form of support to U.S. forces in the event of a conflict. This would set a higher bar for a Chinese decision on military action.
Even if the U.K., France and Germany do not join a battle directly, they could support U.S. forces indirectly, said Nicolas Regaud, who was deeply involved in Indo-Pacific strategy at the French Defense Ministry until 2019.
"If China takes military action in the Indo-Pacific involving the U.S., for instance in the Taiwan Strait, Europe is unlikely to just watch and do nothing," said Regaud, who now serves as a senior research fellow and director for international development at the Institute for Strategic Research of the Ministry of Armed Forces. "Politically, the Europeans would be obliged to take sides in order to preserve the trans-Atlantic relationship."
"Doing so, they would accept to pay a price, as China will retaliate in weaponizing trade, finance, cyberspace, etc. Militarily, France, Britain and Germany may fill in the gap left by the U.S. Navy in the Atlantic, the Mediterranean or the Gulf," he said.
Regaud said there are "several other options for Europe to support the U.S. military operations, such as providing intelligence and supporting civilians to evacuate."
The U.K. plans to dispatch the state-of-the-art aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth to the Indo-Pacific by the end of this year. © Reuters
Second, if the U.K. and France continue to send ships to the Indo-Pacific, it would lead to a new, U.S.-led naval cooperation framework in the region. The U.K. and France can strengthen their teamwork with the U.S., Japan, Australia and others by repeatedly holding joint maritime exercises in the region.
The HMS Queen Elizabeth is itself an example of hybrid operations of the U.K. and U.S. militaries. It carries U.S. Marine Corps aircraft as well as British planes. U.S. destroyers also join British ships in escorting the aircraft carrier.
The dispatch of warships by the U.K., France and Germany to the Indo-Pacific could draw a backlash from China and create new tension. But its positive effects -- in terms of deterring Chinese adventurism in the Taiwan Strait and the South China Sea -- arguably outweigh its negative ones.
European countries hardly present a united front toward China. Hungary and Poland distance themselves from France and Germany. The European Union reached a broad agreement on an investment pact with China late last year and has no intention to give up business in China.
But over the long term, Europe is likely to take a tougher stance on China. A NATO report released on Dec. 1 positioned China as a threat along with Russia.
If Europe deepens its military engagement with the Indo-Pacific, Japan's roles will also increase. Japan is the only Asian country that has a port where aircraft carriers can visit and receive full-scale maintenance.
Japan should assume that British, French and German ships will come regularly. It will be important for Japan to do its part to maintain this cooperation by boosting its ports' preparedness and planning joint exercises.
 

vi-va

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European navies hold stronger China deterrent than first appears
Long-term engagement in Indo-Pacific changes Beijing's military calculus

From left, the USS Curtis Wilbur, the JS Hamana and the FS Prairial conduct a joint training mission off the western coast of the Japanese island of Kyushu on Feb. 19 in a move seen as a message from the U.S., Japan and France to China. (Source photos by AP and Japan Maritime Self Defense Force/Kyodo)
HIROYUKI AKITA, Nikkei commentatorMarch 5, 2021 18:40 JST
TOKYO -- When a country flouts international rules, the world's powers respond with a particular pattern of escalation.
First, they condemn the actions with news conferences and statements. If this criticism does not bite, they impose economic sanctions to drive home their point. As a further step, they exert military pressure if needed, including dispatching warships.
When it comes to China, major European countries have begun to take the third option. In one example, France sent a frigate to the waters near Japan on Feb. 19 to conduct a joint military exercise with Japanese and U.S. forces.

Such moves come amid a growing backlash in Europe against China over Beijing's crackdown on human rights in Hong Kong and the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, as well as its heavy-handed actions in the South China Sea.
A survey by Pew Research Center released in October showed that more than 70% of respondents in the U.K., France and Germany have negative views of China. This public dissatisfaction and anxiety over China in Europe's three leading nations has now manifested itself in what could be seen a form of gunboat diplomacy.
This marks an intriguing shift for Europe, whose geopolitical energies have focused mainly on Russia since the end of World War II.
Particularly notable is the move of France, which has New Caledonia and other territories in the South Pacific. France also has several thousand troops, ships and aircraft stationed in the region.
Clockwise from top-left, Chinese President Xi Jinping, European Council President Charles Michel, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are seen on screen during a video conference on Dec. 30, 2020. © Reuters
Besides sending a frigate, France revealed on Feb. 8 that it had sent a nuclear-powered attack submarine in the South China Sea. "It is very unusual to go public with a nuclear submarine's highly confidential movements," said an Asian security official.
A "hunter-killer" submarine's primary mission is to find and sink enemy submarines. By dispatching one to the South China Sea, France is sending a clear warning to China, which is suspected by some analysts to have deployed nuclear-missile-equipped submarines there.
SEE ALSO

French nuclear sub prowls South China Sea
France is expected to also send an amphibious ship by this summer and hold its first-ever military exercise with Japan and the U.S. with an eye on defending remote islands for the first time.
Meanwhile, the U.K. plans to dispatch the state-of-the-art aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth to the Indo-Pacific by the end of this year. The ship is to stay in the region for several months, but a plan to deploy a British aircraft carrier to the Indo-Pacific on an almost full-year basis sometime in the future has emerged.
Germany, though less of a sea power than France or the U.K., is also expected to send a frigate to the Indo-Pacific this year.
A European diplomatic source said these moves reflect rising alarm over China in European capitals. Their already dim views on Beijing were further darkened by the crackdown in Hong Kong and Xinjiang, as well as by the coronavirus pandemic, the source said.
China's military buildup also looms as a risk to Europe's economic interests. The South China Sea is a crucial shipping lane carrying about 10% of trade for the U.K., France and Germany.
The Chinese military possesses about 350 ships, more than the U.S. Dispatching just a few European ships will not budge the military balance now favoring China in terms of material. Even so, security officials in Asia and Europe say the actions of the U.K., France and Germany can be expected to help counter China's military in at least two ways.
First, if the Europeans demonstrate their ability and willingness to project naval power in the Indo-Pacific, China will have no choice but to modify its operations plans with respect to Taiwan and the South China Sea. The Chinese military will have to assume that the U.K., France and Germany, as well as Japan and Australia, will provide some form of support to U.S. forces in the event of a conflict. This would set a higher bar for a Chinese decision on military action.
Even if the U.K., France and Germany do not join a battle directly, they could support U.S. forces indirectly, said Nicolas Regaud, who was deeply involved in Indo-Pacific strategy at the French Defense Ministry until 2019.
"If China takes military action in the Indo-Pacific involving the U.S., for instance in the Taiwan Strait, Europe is unlikely to just watch and do nothing," said Regaud, who now serves as a senior research fellow and director for international development at the Institute for Strategic Research of the Ministry of Armed Forces. "Politically, the Europeans would be obliged to take sides in order to preserve the trans-Atlantic relationship."
"Doing so, they would accept to pay a price, as China will retaliate in weaponizing trade, finance, cyberspace, etc. Militarily, France, Britain and Germany may fill in the gap left by the U.S. Navy in the Atlantic, the Mediterranean or the Gulf," he said.
Regaud said there are "several other options for Europe to support the U.S. military operations, such as providing intelligence and supporting civilians to evacuate."
The U.K. plans to dispatch the state-of-the-art aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth to the Indo-Pacific by the end of this year. © Reuters
Second, if the U.K. and France continue to send ships to the Indo-Pacific, it would lead to a new, U.S.-led naval cooperation framework in the region. The U.K. and France can strengthen their teamwork with the U.S., Japan, Australia and others by repeatedly holding joint maritime exercises in the region.
The HMS Queen Elizabeth is itself an example of hybrid operations of the U.K. and U.S. militaries. It carries U.S. Marine Corps aircraft as well as British planes. U.S. destroyers also join British ships in escorting the aircraft carrier.
The dispatch of warships by the U.K., France and Germany to the Indo-Pacific could draw a backlash from China and create new tension. But its positive effects -- in terms of deterring Chinese adventurism in the Taiwan Strait and the South China Sea -- arguably outweigh its negative ones.
European countries hardly present a united front toward China. Hungary and Poland distance themselves from France and Germany. The European Union reached a broad agreement on an investment pact with China late last year and has no intention to give up business in China.
But over the long term, Europe is likely to take a tougher stance on China. A NATO report released on Dec. 1 positioned China as a threat along with Russia.
If Europe deepens its military engagement with the Indo-Pacific, Japan's roles will also increase. Japan is the only Asian country that has a port where aircraft carriers can visit and receive full-scale maintenance.
Japan should assume that British, French and German ships will come regularly. It will be important for Japan to do its part to maintain this cooperation by boosting its ports' preparedness and planning joint exercises.
EU is not a threat against China. EU want to do business, it's the US pressure EU to do some show gesture.

Don't get yourself confused.

Pity you as think tank. Nowadays think tank is so cheap.
 

bshifter

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The comparisons need no further explanations. US is completely outmatched in the Western Pacific and all strategies have not worked in its favor. Quad or no Quad, it made no difference in the outcome which is why it had to ask Vietnam to join the gang with permission of setting up US base and hosting missiles. Eagle giving the monkey a knife to hold it close to the Tiger's neck? The monkey quickly threw the knife away was the response. Fact is no country has become crazy enough to even think of attacking China. Indians, Japanese, Vietnamese and Australians all want to live and not get their flesh melted, what a horrible death that would be if they think they are strong enough to take on the most powerful Asian country. F-22, B-2, B-21, whatever Americans think they have or are planning they will not achieve Air superiority or Naval superiority. Chinese missiles, Navy and Airforce are in control.
 

Mohamed Bin Tughlaq

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The comparisons need no further explanations. US is completely outmatched in the Western Pacific and all strategies have not worked in its favor. Quad or no Quad, it made no difference in the outcome which is why it had to ask Vietnam to join the gang with permission of setting up US base and hosting missiles. Eagle giving the monkey a knife to hold it close to the Tiger's neck? The monkey quickly threw the knife away was the response. Fact is no country has become crazy enough to even think of attacking China. Indians, Japanese, Vietnamese and Australians all want to live and not get their flesh melted, what a horrible death that would be if they think they are strong enough to take on the most powerful Asian country. F-22, B-2, B-21, whatever Americans think they have or are planning they will not achieve Air superiority or Naval superiority. Chinese missiles, Navy and Airforce are in control.
F-22 is proven but against much weaker airplanes which means it could very well be overrated compared to J-20s or 5th generation jets.. I honestly don't understand why F-22 is so overrated to begin with if it is not battle tested against these other stealth fighters.. You know what I mean? We don't have a hard proof but only speculations..

I like to have things to be without speculations We should test fighter jets against each other instead of them meeting on a fateful day without prior knowledge of who is actully superior
 

Viva_Viet

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EU is not a threat against China. EU want to do business, it's the US pressure EU to do some show gesture.

Don't get yourself confused.

Pity you as think tank. Nowadays think tank is so cheap.
EU is a ""threat" to CN 9 dash line, they just wanna make sure CN cant control SCS(east VN sea) .

0b2feea3a1ac9ef6f19190524b4f26de.jpg
 

Nan Yang

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The reason why F22 is entirely useless in Western Pacific is because its combat range is too short 850 km. F15 is about 2000 km, still short.

From Guam, they got to turn back before reaching Taiwan.
Majority of US weapons system are all designed for the European Theater against Soviet Union. Soviet Union was just next door and there are numerous harden airbases in Europe so there was no need for long range.

China on the other hand develop the strategy first which is the Anti Access and Area Denial and to complicate US intervention in a war with Taiwan.
They then design all their weapons system to fit that strategy.

Does United States even have a strategy against China. Maybe some Think Tank poster can enlightened us.
 
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Beast

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F-22 is proven but against much weaker airplanes which means it could very well be overrated compared to J-20s or 5th generation jets.. I honestly don't understand why F-22 is so overrated to begin with if it is not battle tested against these other stealth fighters.. You know what I mean? We don't have a hard proof but only speculations..

I like to have things to be without speculations We should test fighter jets against each other instead of them meeting on a fateful day without prior knowledge of who is actully superior
The F-22 cut the production already more or less tell us something about it. You will not stop production of something if it's really good. 187 F-22 is simply too little for USAF. I seriously doubt per cost is the factor for stopping the production line.
 

zectech

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China is going to need to diversify.

More SATs/ASATs
More Subs, have subs and warships equal in number - each surface ship can be knocked out by a hypersonic in the next decade, so subs are more protected.
Way More missiles - imitate Iran
More SAMs and Advanced SAMs (s-500s) - imitate Iran in number of SAMs per capita

And Something like a Roussen class fast attack craft
Hundreds of them, with a drone helicopter to use with AShM to extend range over horizon.
Inexpensive at under 200M yuan each.

You have to super-saturate your enemy with targets and make the cost so overwhelming and mission so difficult that your enemy does not want war with you.

Then you need to build up so much that even your worst nightmare of your enemies capabilities is easy to crush.

Subs and missiles are key to both points.
 

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