Home » Aviation » Document: McCain, Reed Letter to SECDEF Carter On Chinese Actions in South China Sea


Document: McCain, Reed Letter to SECDEF Carter On Chinese Actions in South China Sea

The following is a May 21, 2015 letter from Senate Armed Services Committee chairman Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and ranking member Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) to Secretary of Defense Ash Carter asking the Pentagon not to invite the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy to the international Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercises in 2016 due primarily to China’s extensive reclamation efforts in contested areas in the South China Sea.

  • sferrin

    I guess pointing out the obvious is not allowed. Shocking. Don’t want the Emperor to hear bad things about his new clothes eh?

    • Beomoose

      “Point out the obvious is not allowed.” wait, what? Isn’t that what they are doing with this letter? Whatever your feelings on either Senator or POTUS, this is exactly how this sort of communication works.

      • sferrin

        I wrote a post that was a bit blunt. It was deleted.

        • Secundius

          @ sferrin.

          Welcome to The Redditment Club, New Member. I written quite a few myself…

  • Marie Riley

    Kudos to Mccain and Reed.

  • RedZaku Char

    Good move.

  • Don Bacon

    OMG, revoke China’s invitation to this “prestigious US-led military exercise in 2016.”
    This will not enhance the interoperability of US and China naval forces. But China may attend anyhow, tuning up their intelligence files, and then what.

  • FedUpWithWelfareStates

    Whatever happened to diplomatic engagement (Hold your friends close, but hold your enemies even closer)? This arrogance on the part of the U.S. is just plain wrong…

  • vincedc

    You would think that these Senators would have more important thing to do than worry about this exercise. Considering all of the higher priority tasks that are piling up, McCain and Reed should spend their martini lunches working on tax reform.

  • redgriffin

    All that will happen now is China will send their cute little intelligence collection ships to watch and take pictures and recordings of the exercise
    As they were always planning to do anyway

    • sferrin

      Pretty sure they won’t be given a front row seat like last time. Even better, maybe we should take a page from their playbook and warn them away when they get within 50 km of the exercise under threat of being rammed. For safety.

      • redgriffin

        Your new at this aren’t you. We will just do what we did with the Russians during the Cold War. Play Chicken of the Sea.

  • Elvis

    What a waste of time, an empty gesture to show our disapproval. Its my understanding the US Navy wants the PLAN at the RIMPAC event. They have consistently pushed for increasing & expanding the level of contacts, interactions, and relationships with the PLAN. Yet politicians always ignore the USN when it comes to this point. The Chinese are still going to be present the only difference is it will be in the form of their intelligence gathering ships and just as the fly by of our intelligence aircraft over the artificial islands, it is in no shape or form going to stop the Chinese in their reclamation activities.

    • sferrin

      Inviting your enemies to dinner is not the wisest of moves. And yes, China is an enemy. Their greatest accomplishment (aside from getting us to give them all our money) is to convince us that we are friends. We are not.

      • Elvis

        Our politicians always bring out the canard that we should listen to our generals, admirals, and spymasters. Well our admirals want the Chinese at RIMPAC, want increased exchanges with the PLAN, and so on. So do we listen to the professionals or not? GOP kind of picking and choosing when should we listen to the professionals.

        • sferrin

          Maybe the good admirals could explain to the politicians how showing a potential enemy how you fight, and giving them access to your latest weaponry, is such a brilliant idea.

      • Don Bacon

        Why is China an enemy? Because you say so?
        General Motors doesn’t agree with you, for one.
        Added: Also WalMart, the world’s largest company.

  • PlsGetReal

    China will say … “big deal…”

    • Secundius

      @ PlsGetReal.

      It is a BIG Deal if your one of the Countries, that the PRC is claiming Squatter’s Right’s Too…

      • Curtis Conway

        Reminds you of the old Westerns like John Wayne’s CHISUM. The Chinese are Murphy and his henchmen.

      • Phak Ov

        err… it’s more about sovereignty then anything else.
        accusation without proof is what americans do i guess

    • Curtis Conway

      They have already said big deal with their actions, and they are trying to shoo away Philippine and US MPA overflights and chasing LCSs around the South China Sea.

  • Olesalt1

    BZ – Well Done Senators. Only right to show a potential adversary that try to bull-doze its way, and not adhere to UNCLOS rulings that the US means business.

  • Tim Dolan

    Generally I am always in favor of joint exercises with foreign nations as it tends to promote understanding of/on both sides. Thus lowers chance of war breaking out from mis-understandings. Exception is if war is imminent anyway, which I sure hope it isn’t with China. It also has the added benefit of some open collection. Given how open the USA is, letting the Chinese play with us is more of a benefit to us than them.

  • GMG

    The Admirals are right. PLAN should
    definitely be invited as they (at least their intelligence ships) will attend
    anyway. I expect China will be delighted not to be invited as they can then
    claim the U.S. is unfriendly. Forums such as this do not exist in China. It is
    much easier for China to gather intelligence on the USN than vice versa. If the
    Chinese are invited, they will have to attend, thereby offering a chance to observe
    the PLAN’s ships, ship handling, operational procedures, electronic activity,
    etc. Not an intelligence windfall, but certainly very valuable. If we don’t
    invite them they still get info about the USN while we learn little about the PLAN.
    This letter is just political posturing

  • Lloyd

    More silliness from a graduate of the Naval Academy!

  • publius_maximus_III

    How about sending them an engraved invitation by holding the RIMPAC 2016 exercises in the South China Sea?

  • Curtis Conway

    After having noticed how China was only conducting unilateral negotiations with their neighbors, would not go to international arbitration, and China was treating their weaker neighbors like a bully . . . I got this back, to which I added the title:

    CHINESE INTENTIONS IN THE SOUTH CHINA SEA

    America is the one who had upset the status quo by declaring that it would “pivot” 60% of its naval assets to the West Pacific. America is obviously taking sides against China by inciting false claims by its Filipino and Japanese client states on historical Chinese sovereign territories. America is now unhappy because China has risen up to the challenge and began to exercise its big economic muscle by manufacturing more ships, planes, missiles, etc. China has also started the process of creating islands in the S. China Sea which will ultimately be turned into powerful military bases that will give China the edge in terms of proximity over the aggressors. So the US is now attempting to get China to unilaterally back down in militarization. With Hu-Wen rabbits gone from the Chinese government, hopefully the new Xi government will have a little stiffer backbone and continue the rightful defense of the Chinese sovereignty over the South Sea.

    China’s sovereignty over the South Sea is indisputable. China must now declare that it withdraws the offer of joint development. Henceforth China will defend its sovereignty with military power and not with bribes.

    ASEAN was created by America during the Vietnam War era to contain China. But times has changed. ASEAN is now just a relic of the past. America certainly does not control ASEAN. Of the 10 ASEAN members, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand are good friends with China and understand that their future lies with China. Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia understand they cannot challenge China with impunity. They are also Muslim countries who do not like America. As China’s power and wealth increases and as America’s technologies and economy falls further back relative to China, they will lean toward China. They understand that America can leave South Sea but they cannot leave and so must seek accommodation with China. Singapore is mostly ethnic Chinese. Singapore is now pro-America because it needs the protection of the US against its biggest threats who are Malaysia and Indonesia. But once China can control Malaysia and Indonesia, then Singapore will naturally pivot toward China for its own survival. Burma is now falling apart and cannot be of any use to the US militarily or economically. The Burma government and people think they can get limitless help from America like decades ago. But they are only being ignorant not realizing that America now relies on Chinese trade and Chinese purchase of American national debt to survive. After a few more years these ignorant Burmese will wake up to the realization that they will not be getting any help from America. Then they will crawl meekly back to China begging for help. So that leaves only Vietnam and Philippines. But who cares about these deadbeats? They are the poorest of the ASEAN countries. If China ignored them they will simply sink and disappear. China can leave them to America who will quickly turn them into the equivalent of Haiti and Liberia.

    The article of this thread is about the American Secdef haranguing the Chinese not to militarize the South Sea. But Conway here is voicing the opposite of wanting the US to militarize the South Sea. This exposes the real “dog in the fight” to be the US.

    All territories in the South Sea within the 9-Dotted Line are China’s sovereign territories. No aggressors can give any of these islands or atolls to anybody. Therefore, even if Vietnam or Philippines gave any islands to the US it is baseless. Such an act will only accelerate the militarization of the South Sea. China’s island building has already progressed to a significant extent with Yongshu Island now reaching an area of some 3 square kilometers and big enough for a powerful airbase. A runway of some 3 km in length is already under construction and could be expected to be completed within a year. Several other islands already have permanent housings, factories, etc. constructed and will begin production to manufacture materials for the construction of bases on the principle islands. Within 3 years by the end of 2017, China will have several indestructible military bases with hundreds of 4th and even 5th generation fighters, bombers, missiles, etc. Not
    even if America deployed all its 11 carrier battle groups against these island bases can it succeed in establishing control of the South Sea.

    Lastly, America simply does not have the money to build very expensive island bases in the South Sea. American economy is still very fragile and ironically relies on the Chinese purchase of American national debts to get by. Rand Paul has proposed cutting the education, food stamp and many other things. So obviously America does not have the money to build very expensive military bases in the South Sea against China. All it will do is initiate an arms race that the US cannot win. And ultimately, America will go down like the USSR. Times has changed. America’s day of unchallenged military power is now gone. Those Americans who still think of America only needs to send in its carrier battle groups to dominate a region is now out of touch with reality.

    China has indeed become very powerful compared to its puny neighbors. But it is not China who has aggressed against its puny neighbors. On the contrary, it is the puny neighbors of China who have been emboldened by America to commit aggressions against China’s sovereign territories. China has not expanded its territories into the sovereign territories of its puny neighbors. Therefore, it is a lie to say China has “intrusively” “intimidated” its neighbors. It is the puny neighbors who had erroneously underestimated China’s military power thinking it is still weak like it was decades ago and can be invaded with impunity.

    ——————–
    Well, there you go . . . these folks mean business. China is choosing to be an aggressor thinking they have the stronger hand . . . ‘Rule by Conquest’ . . . not by law (UNCLOS).

    • Secundius

      @ Curtis Conway.

      Checkout the Yakovlev Yak-141 Freestyle, and tell me what you think it looks a lot of like…

      • Frank Langham

        More interested in the power-plants. … Where is China going to get “how many” jet engines for their various front-line aircraft ?? … I see this as an Achilles heel (potentially) because, even if Russia is willing to sell them (or even if china starts to improve their own production), I view the supply of USEFUL jet turbines as being a strategic bottleneck that CAN be easily “targeted” (or retarded).

        • Curtis Conway

          I read an article this weekend about how the Chinese were probably going to have to buy fighters from the Russians because of the shortfall.

        • Secundius

          @ Frank Langham.

          I suspect the Ukraine. Just because the ChiCom’s are Flexing Their Muscles in our Direction, doesn’t mean the Ukraine are not being frieldly with the ChiCom’s…

          • Curtis Conway

            A lot of Russian High Tech took place in the Ukraine. Large transports for example. Putin wants 70 An-70s and they are made in Kiev.

          • Secundius

            @ Curtis Conway.

            SO WHAT! Antonov is a Ukrainian Company. Zorya-Mashproekt Marine Gas-Turbine Manufacturing is a UKRANIAN COMPANY, WHAT’S YOUR POINT…

          • Curtis Conway

            Putin is hamstrung for his medium transports, although the Chinese may benefit with engine related items.

          • Secundius

            @ @ Curtis Conway.

            The ONLY ONE that Hamstrung Putin, was PUTIN…

      • Curtis Conway

        The Russians did it first(Yak-38 (Harrier equivalent), and Yak-141 (F-35B almost equivalent, very roughly). Didn’t work to well, in that many technical issues had to be worked out, and a robust T&E Program is required to do that. They didn’t want to spend the money, so they shot the first messenger who came in with bad news, and the rest is HiStory. After one accident the Russians just shut down the program. Most of us thinking about the future, were contemplating what that future would look like with Russian supersonic jump jets on small carriers (Kuznetosv and perhaps Moskva [Helo Cruiser]) around the world. Now they have to think about that.

        • Secundius

          @ Curtis Conway.

          The Russian’s cancelled the Yakolev Yak. 141 Freestyle project in 1991, and Lockheed-Martin bought the design in 1991 for ~$385-Million USD.

          • Curtis Conway

            there were actually some Russians who participated in some engineering at the beginning.

          • Secundius

            @ Curtis Conway.

            Still doesn’t Alter the Facts…

          • Curtis Conway

            Didn’t say it did, you just neglected to mention it.

    • Frank Langham

      My recommendation is to engage, now, with whatever force is necessary. It is not going to get any easier or any less costly, moving forward, on this current (passive) track. … There is a strategic critical mass and strategic strongholds and capabilities that (everyone knows) is less than a few years away. … The PRC plans to just steam-roll their way to absolute dominance and NOW is our best, last chance to “manage” the threat. … I am not sure about the international and maritime legalities but, since China has never followed international law or rules or regulations, on ANY front, there is no reason to worry too much about meeting them on their own terms. … Time to take out that radar and deny access to the Spratly (and other contested zones) until proper, legal agreements can be reached (maybe never?).

      • Secundius

        @ Frank Langham.

        I Agree with you 100%, But that being said. Don’t expect any help from Europe, with the possible exception of the UK. Their more afraid of Russia, then the PRC. And I have 50/50 doubt’s on Canada…

        • Frank Langham

          We do not need the EU/UK AT ALL (for PacRim engagement).
          Australia and Japan are more than enough backup and we may get some help in the littorals that we did not even count upon. … We cannot afford to counter-punch on this Spratly base. … Gotta nip this now and DECISIVELY.

      • Curtis Conway

        Our best time was two years ago, but this administration is Reactive in nature, not Proactive. I don’t even think the administration hacks know what COCOM is, how it works, or even care, except that they fundamentally disagree with its existence in the first place. For those who know their scripture, and always wondered how the “End Days” could possibly begin (?), well here is your answer. The Bear is playing the critical mass game hoping they can reach it, and win, before going broke becomes a reality . . . and the Dragon is playing the same game, only they have the cash to support the effort (e.g., all of their robber Barron [conquest] coordination efforts around the globe). The attitude of the current administration is Lase-fair, while they state otherwise publicly. The ASEAN organization must stand up (with our help) or this is not going to go well. it is almost too late.

        • Frank Langham

          Considering that there is a high likelihood that the PRC and Russia will coordinate their STRATEGIC TIMING and RESOURCES, towards that critical, strategic mass and since we may not have the opportunity to initiate strategic “events” (but may be forced to react to coordinated and synchronized strategic actions), this current U.S. Admin had BETTER start delegating command (and especially planning) immediately. … For all intents and purposes, all parties are already committed and it is strictly a matter of SITUATIONAL CONVERGENCE … Planning and delegation are everything … There is no way for a centralized command structure to flex and adapt as will be required … The situational awareness and reflexes must be far more rapid than what time it takes for ISR to filter all the way up and for “committees” to ponder a response. … As a matter of fact, we should view command and control more like ELECTRONIC STOCK TRADING … We know WHY the largest trading houses locate their mainframes right across the street from THE EXCHANGES and why they employ OPTICAL DATA LINKS to the “trading floor” … And we all know why the SMALL (i.e. SLOW) traders cannot stay abreast of the curve, on fast issues. … The little guys who are not across the street with fast data links cannot compete. … COCOM is not even enough … We need to set up scenarios and contingencies like a chess computer and align all of our assets like dominos. It is likely too late for that but we should have our best think tanks “up all night”, 7 days a week, sorting contingencies and commensurate battle-plans. … I could go on but you get the gist … I am preaching to the choir but the pastor is asleep at the switch (it would seem).

          • Curtis Conway

            We in the Navy were mostly ‘Command by Negation’. One has his Orders (goals and timelines) and you do what you must to accomplish the mission within the bounds of ‘lawful orders’ and ‘standards of conduct’ for conducting war. The other mindset is to maintain ‘Positive Control’ over all activities. This is why most of our deaths in the field is due to ROE. In my mindset, to tell a combatant, during time of war, that he cannot do this or that, is un-lawful, for the authority causes the death, and that authority cannot be everywhere at once, witness and know the myriad of variables that transpire, sometimes faster than they can be reported, and must be dealt with even faster than that. Command by Negation was almost always the way Americans conducted warfare until the Nuclear Age. No one seems to remember HiStory, or trust G-d’s servants on the planet anymore, . . oh, I forgot, we can’t say we work for the Creator of the Ethics by which we are supposed to live.

          • Frank Langham

            I am going to try to limit my conversation to STRATEGICALLY COGENT “contributions”, rather than to opine on every nuance of doctrine and procedure. … I wish for my “contributions” and recommendations to be as thoughtful and as pertinent and as vital as possible, so as not to become diluted and mired in minutia or other petty disputes. …
            … That said, the USA and it’s allies have a very unique and unprecedented opportunity, which is inherent to the nature of Distributed Global ISR (& sensor) Fusion and Distributed Virtual Battle-Space. … And, although it is difficult to convey in a concise manner, it has to do with dynamic “VENN” datasets and a “best relational hierarchy” of command response. … Assuming a fully scalable and appropriately compartmentalized DYNAMIC TOTAL GLOBAL MODEL (Tomographic Compilation of global/theater ISR & Node Reporting) >>> *AS* the network becomes fragmented (or breaks down), command is passed off to a sort of COOP topology with COOP-like procedures. … We ALL KNOW the decisions that an SSBN Commander (Capt.) must make during “mop-up” … there MUST be a modicum of functional autonomy, despite the consequences of the USE of multi-mega-ton ordnance. …
            When the entire network is fully intact and functional, then, more centralized C2 is possible but, WE KNOW that the networked C2 will be a very high priority target. … **IF** our ROE include C2 autonomy at the “Highest Integral (networked) Level”, then, it may be the case that having the network fragmented could actually allow the REFLEXIVITY that is required to WIN a theater strategic engagement. … MOST IMPORTANTLY (please do note), the network C2-Battle-Compute AI-Algorithms should PASS-OFF higher access of global (or theater) ISR when higher authorized (central command) nodes have been compromised (thus providing relevant, needed, useful ISR to field commanders that would not otherwise have access to higher level ISR. … The DANGER, of course, is that a LOWER COMMANDER could be compromised (captured or corrupted) … There must also be a command-code lockout for commanders and XOs (alternates) at every level … The security and procedures for dynamic “casualty” ISR access (to higher-level, centralized ISR & Reporting) is at least as critical as Nuclear WMD Launch Codes, etc. because, as with the WWII Enigma “Crack”, compromise could lose the entire theater. … Access and authorization and dissemination, under various conditions of network “decay” is a very serious and complex matter that must be solved in advance of any major strategic fur-ball (to include COOP and Mop-Up). … But a CERTAIN (less limited) level of access to available ISR (within secure reason) should be considered a major advantage in the latter-stages of a “protracted” strategic conflict (hours or months after the balloon goes up).

          • Curtis Conway

            Access to information and Intel is one thing, and I agree with you. However, having ones hands tied by ROE and Doctrine, in an every increasingly less access environment, in this ever increasing dependency thereof to act, must be dealt with on a doctrinal level, at as low a level as possible.

            Is this what you were saying?

          • Frank Langham

            Essentially, it is a matter of efficient parsing. … Obviously, if the strategic decision comes too late, more than “just” lives will be lost and, in a full-on strategic conflict, time (command reflex) is paramount. … AS the network degrades and becomes fractured, central command will be lost, anyway. … When the battlespace is full of hundreds or thousands of targets and clutter, and when hypersonic swarms become reality (VERY soon), then, a combination of Semi Autonomous battle AI and LOCALIZED COMMAND AUTHORITY will be the ONLY way to survive, much less than to win. … After the first few minutes (or hours), we may find ourselves with a de-centralized group of disparate networked cells (battle-groups and other “local area” field command networks) … Since this centralized control may be very quickly degraded (high likelihood) then, it is crucial that Network Control AI incorporates autonomous algorithms for parsing and “handing off” higher levels of command access and authority to lower-level (theater and group) commanders, as securely as possible. … And, just as a side note, hacking access to C2 authorization will be a highest priority of enemy cyber-ops SO … A mirrored “honey-pot” network should be employed as a decoy target, which may be used to feed the enemy with misleading information, as with some of the more famous (and successful) ploys with false plans and data prior to D-DAY and MIDWAY.

          • Frank Langham

            Another way to explain this “parsing” challenge is to compare commandISR parsing to AEGIS BEST AVAILABLE SHOOTER Battle-compute algorithms. … What we need is to have the Semi-Autonomous Network Intelligence be capable of discerning, selecting and disseminating the BEST AVAILABLE (and most appropriate) ISR+Reporting information to the BEST AVAILABLE COMMAND STAFF, and to do this dynamically. … There are many considerations but the algorithms are not any more complex than matching a “highest priority target” with a best shooter and ordnance”. … As one example, what happens when central C2 has been handed off to a theater commander OR, when Theater C2 (authority) has been handed off to a Group Commander WHEN, SUDDENLY, in the midst of an active hypersonic swarm attack, the HIGHER command nodes are re-established (i.e. dynamic recovery of a more central authority) ?? … While control should be handed to lower-level commanders automatically, there should be a mirrored, “over-the-shoulder” hand-off to higher authority, WHEN central connectivity has been restored. … Having that command passed back to a central commander in the heat of a battle-swarm would almost surely result in a loss of situational coordination (unless and until central command is fully synched, informed and “up-to-speed”, in terms of functional awareness). So, just as when the HELM WATCH is “relieved” … The relieving Helmsman stands beside the active Helmsman for several minutes while situational orientation is fully established and, only then is the active Helmsman relieved of duty (and authority).

          • Curtis Conway

            One of our first and best examples was the Barbary Pirates. Two presidents had to deal with them by paying ransom gold to get our people back. Washington lamented. John Adams built the ships, and Thomas Jefferson sent them to deal with the problem, inspiring the lines in the Marine Corps Hymn “to the shores of Tripoli”. We no longer teach the HiStory or the context in school any more. I had it in Jr. High and High School. today its as if ‘no one knows’ why the precedent exist so we can just disregard it, and they forget that we ‘forget at our own peril’.

        • Secundius

          @ Curtis Conway.

          Yeah, the Last Time we had a Proactive President. We wound up going from a 3-month war to a 13-year war…

          • Curtis Conway

            And . . . after expending all that sweat, blood and expense . . . what did we do? The current activity insults and invalidates the sacrifice, and those who died trying to provide an opportunity to make others live better, was squandered . . . to the point of insult today. The Evidence? Watch the six o’clock news. The guys who like to blow themselves up, and teach others to do it, will have a nuke sooner . . . than never.

          • Secundius

            @ Curtis Conway.

            Yes Sir, and That EVIDENCE was created by a Proactive President, a Super Egotistical Vice President and his Stooge Secretary of Defense. It’s funny that the three of them Created the Problem, but None even Tried too Solve the Problem. They just decided to Kick-the-Can Down the Road and Let Someone else Solve it for Them. That way, they ABSOLVE THEMSELVES OF ANY BLAME, Isn’t it Sir…

          • Curtis Conway

            There is a distinct difference between losing an election, and deliberately giving the problem to the next administration. THERE WAS A PLAN. This administration tore it up, threw it out, shagged Alpha Sierra Sierra, and we are suffering the consequences.

            Even after WWI & WWII the solutions to the problems in the region/country/government were addressed and modified/ solved over generations. Did you think that once Evil was engaged, we would win overnight? This is the ‘last battle’. We don’t win this battle until Evil is vanquished, and since that will not happen quickly (Until “That Day”), careful calculated persistence is required. This administration cut and run, and is in denial about the results. In fact the architect of the failure is who the administration negotiates with in Iran. We are going to have to just throw in with the Kurds, and salvage what we can.

            I’m afraid it’s too late. The Bear and the Dragon are in cahoots, and we are playing right along in a Reactive way. Complete madness.

          • Secundius

            @ Curtis Conway.

            WHAT PLAN, Sir. Bush and Cheney Lost Interest in the war after the First Year. Bush even made that claim on National Television…

          • Curtis Conway

            Well sir, where was the Proactive presence to usher in this fragile new Republic, that had a strong and intrusive Iran right next door, and built in problems like sectarian divisions? How long was MacArthur in Japan before he got called away (early)? How long did the US maintain a presence in Germany after WWII? Both of those governments were very Pro-American and has cooperated tremendously over the years. Both have strong economies. We didn’t give the same treatment to Iraq, and played into Iran’s hands. What was it Davy Crockett said ? “you don’t get lard unless you boil the hog”. Things take time. The more important it is (like the location for prophesied Armageddon) requires a little patience. Now the administration wants to give them (Iran) $ Billions, and provide a path to a nuke (centrifuges). Centrifuges have nothing to do with a nuclear power program, just weapons development. So the administration is disingenuous (or think the American public is stupid) to talk about “we will not let them develop a nuke” as they negotiate how many centrifuges they get to keep. There is a context here and it is long lasting and world shattering, and this administration treats it like tiddlywinks.

          • Curtis Conway

            The war we are engaged in today, is the last battle against Evil. It will not be won, or go away, ‘until that day’. However, we will be judged based upon how we dealt (reacted to the attrocities) with it.

      • Phak Ov

        grow up dude

        • Frank Langham

          Do you know how silly that sounds, coming from a nameless, faceless troll ? … Grow a face and get a name and then we can talk all about maturity.

      • Aaron GrandeCorazón Clark

        You elequently articulated what I’ve been thinking for some time now.

        I honestly believe that as overt as they are acting now, their speed is reduced by an order of magnitude because of how closely our economies are interconnected.

    • cjakobsson

      Another reason that the USA should embark on a practice that every year we make the attempt to take delivery on at least one or two more Navy ships than the number we retire. Also that we keep up good working relationships with our Pacific allies.
      We also need to keep our eyes and ears open. The guy who wrote that article that you quoted seems to be someone who likes to talk a lot, and therefore he – and others like him – could be quite valuable to us. We should be looking for the opportunity to meet those employees of Beijing who like to talk a lot.

      • Curtis Conway

        I was hoping someone would track him down, and if they aren’t “tracking him down” I’m highly disappointed . . . and ashamed of what the US Military, and intelligence services have become. The ‘order of the day’ seems to be dealing with unruly citizens in this “Land of the Free and Home of the Brave”, than tracking down our adversaries overseas. These are dangerous times for These United States of America.

        • cjakobsson

          It might be a thought to keep on posting wherever you posted that you got the reply from that guy. If he wants to talk – and if others like him want to talk – we should be eager to listen. The more we listen, the more we learn. Plus we should be taking delivery – if at all possible – on at least one or two more ships every year than the number we retire. More ships at sea also means more eyes and ears out in the world. Even when our ships pull into liberty ports around the world, that also adds up to more eyes and ears around the world.

          • Curtis Conway

            It was on USNI and haven’t seen or heard of him since. Maybe the PLAN shot him following Sadam’s example of Zero Defect Control.

          • cjakobsson

            It may be that an international investigation is in order on the subject of how the Beijing regime is treating its own employees. If Beijing’s treatment of its own employees appears to be in violation of the norms set down in the International Declaration of Human Rights, that is something for the international community to look into.

      • Secundius

        @ cjakobsson.

        There not allowing me to contact him directly, so only indirect communications is possible, maybe. If your not receiving this, then there not allowing me to communicated with you either…

        • cjakobsson

          I received your reply to me. There is no reason for anybody to prevent people from contacting me. I am just a private citizen. I don’t have any power to make any decisions for anybody except myself. But I do think we should be building up our Navy a little bit at a time, and I do think that – as a nation – we need to have our eyes and ears a little more wide open than they currently are. The more we know what is going on, the less likely we are to make the wrong mistake.

          • Secundius

            @ cjakobsson & Curtis Conway.

            I’m sorry if inappropriate words were said to one another, this is not my first or even tenth redittment. Most likely thirtieth or fortieth redittment. There are curtain subject’s that are Off-Limit’s in the USNI News Website’s, and the PRC seems to be one of them. Also certain Politicians are Off-Limits, as well. USNI, is afraid of something, and what that something is. Is unclear, but it center’s around the Chinese Question. Most of my redittment’s were on the Chinese question, other have also being reditted on this topic as well. Watch out what you say and to whom you say it about…

  • Frank Langham

    WE need to take out that radar and any major infrastructure and equipment, despite AAW surface platforms. … I think we should use random waves of drones and smart cruise ordnance to accomplish this objective. … Every day that we allow the fortification of the Spratly base defenses and every month that we allow The PRC to become entrenched in their doctrine and rhetoric will just make the cost to all parties all the greater. … IMO ? … Now or never. … Just move into the best possible positions and posture and apprise our allies and just do it. ASAP … If it goes HOT, then so be it. … We just need to get our contingencies outlined (quickly) had have a proper plan for all eventualities. … Another year of this and we might as well pack up and turn tail, with apologies to our regional allies.

    • Secundius

      @ Frank Langham.

      Realistically, I think our Western Allies see the “Glass As Being Half Empty”. Wait and See, Until it’s too Late”…

      • Frank Langham

        Well … I can only hope that someone goes rogue and forces the issue, then.

        • Curtis Conway

          An LCS is playing tag with their destroyers. Every ASEAN member should perform MPA overflights of the contested islands.

          • Frank Langham

            Dandy but that is “kindergarten” …
            We should give five minutes notice and send in some knock-knock ordnance, followed by a swarm of HARM missiles and a flock of squawking decoys. … If they opt for an immediate military response, we start sinking subs and destroyers.
            If they start citing international law, we can start a two-week filibuster by citing their countless violations of every international norm. … We have spoiled them by allowing them to peg to the dollar and giving them the launch-turbulence equations that allowed them to finally achieve orbit. … A little humility will be good for the soul and if they double-down, it’s gonna double-hurt. JMO.

          • Curtis Conway

            Frank . . . you’re some kind of warmonger, not that I disapprove so much . . . sorta.

  • cjakobsson

    The more contact we have with the Chinese Navy, the more opportunities we will have to learn about that navy. The Navy can serve as a strong arm of US policy, and it can also serve as extra eyes and ears of US policy. There is no such thing as having too many eyes and ears out there.

    • Curtis Conway

      Did I read justification for Proactive Presence between the lines of those comments?

      • cjakobsson

        Proactive presence, but smart proactive presence with eyes and ears open. The Lord gave us eyes to see, and ears to hear. The way the Beijing regime does things, it is reasonable to suppose that they have many disgruntled employees.

        • Curtis Conway

          What a thought. I wonder if the Spooks have thought of that.

  • Curtis Conway

    I look forward to the reception of other ASEAN coalition MPA assets over all contested islands under construction in the region, while they fly in International Airspace. That total Intel picture would be interesting to see.

  • Secundius

    Thank’s USNI, Another one of your FANCY REDITTMENT’S…

  • Secundius

    @ Curtis Conway.

    Can’t answer your Question, USNI News decided to Reditt It and REDITTED my Redittment, TOO…

  • Secundius

    @ Curtis Conway.

    If you want to talk, talk. But for me, there not letting me communicate directly too you. This, as far as I know is the only way I can communicate with you…

  • Imre A. Szabo

    The problem with the McCain Reed letter is that it denies the complete dependency of the US Military, including all major and most minor weapons system, all smart munitions, etc., on heavy Rare Earth Elements from China. We have no Navy, no Army, and no Air Force without China. Every single major defense contractor has many exemptions from US Law for importing components that include heavy Rare Earth Elements that are made in China. What little heavy Rare Earth Element mining that is done in the US, is irrelevant, because the ore is all shipped to China for processing.

    And it just gets worse from there. We have little technological advantage over China because of China’s complete disregard for Intellectual Property (IP) rights. Almost of our civilian technology is manufactured in China, which means they have they are effectively sole manufacture, and they are transitioning to becoming the research and design center.

    And than there is China’s Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor (LFTR) research and development program. They have THOUSANDS of physicist, chemists, material scientists, and engineers working on it. This is a US technology that is one order of magnitude more efficient than solid fueled Pressurized Water Reactors (PWR’s), and if designed and build correctly, at least one order of magnitude safer than PWR’s. China just moved the target date for the first commercial LFTR going on online from 2034 to 2024. There is more wealth in what China is doing in LFTR than there is in oil in the middle east.

    This letter by McCain and Reed does NOTHING to address the very quickly diminishing super power status of the US. It is smoke obscuring coming replacement of the US by China as the sole super power on Earth.

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