War is in the Air
It’s no secret that things are heating up in the Asia-Pacific region. After more than a decade of focus on the Middle East, including two disastrous wars fought by the US against helpless foes in the region, the US has decided that its hegemony in the Pacific region is being threatened by an ascendant China, and changing balances of power. The USA Today newspaper reported back in June that the US is planning on shifting 60% of its warships to the Pacific by 2020. The report came as a result of remarks by Secretary of Defense Panetta on the “re-balancing” of the US military towards the Asian region. The US has announced greater presence in Australia, building new bases there just recently, in addition to restructuring of other Asian partnerships in the region. Just today however, it was announced that the US is planning on moving more and more troop activity to the Philippines, claiming that it is aimed at helping victims of natural disasters. This is widely seen as a convenient excuse for increased US pressure on the region. Tempers have been flaring over territorial disputes, such as China’s dispute with the Philippines over the Scarborough Shoals, or their dispute with Japan over the Senkaku Islands. Those are just two examples of many territorial disputes that are threatening to endanger the peace in Asia, and the actors that are maneuvering are not backing down in the slightest. China is a growing regional power that is increasingly rubbing shoulders with its neighbors, claiming that it has to protect its territorial integrity. Meanwhile, Japan, China’s old arch-nemesis is electing politicians who are promising to revise Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution, allowing Japan to throw away the peace part of their so called “Peace Constitution”. Such moves towards militarism should be viewed with great caution and reserve, as what happens in the coming months could forever change the course of history.
Now you might be thinking that I am being a bit too alarmist. I don’t think that I am, at all. Tempers are really heating up. The newly re-empowered Liberal Democratic Party of Japan has not only set their sights on revision of the pacifist constitution, but are also have said that they will not back down or compromise on the issue of the Senkaku Islands. Japan refuses to even admit there is a dispute. Japan is also at loggerheads over the issue of the Dokdo Islands, claimed as well by Korea, and with Russia over islands the Russians seized at the end of WW2. China has a large military, and recently announced their first operational aircraft carrier, a huge leap for a growing military force. China is a force to be reckoned with, and they are not afraid to assert their new found strength. In an article in the news site “RT”, a Russian news organization, they reported on the coming growth in the US military presence in the Philippines. In case you are thinking I am overstating the threat to the region from different directions,read what RT reported at the end of the article
“Chinese Communist Party Chief Xi Jinping urged his military to prepare for a struggle, without mentioning the potential aggressor.
“Push forward preparations for a military struggle,” he told the People’s Liberation Army, which consists of 2.3 million servicemen.”
It is my hope that things calm down in the area. A blow up in Asia could, and probably would start another world war.
What do you think of the current situation in Asia? Leave me a comment with your thoughts.