China-Taiwan: Notes on a war game

NBC’s Meet the Press Reports published a new online episode this past week in which the network sponsored a war game for a China-Taiwan scenario developing in 2027.  The episode, entitled “War Games: Battle for Taiwan,” and hosted by Chuck Todd, can be accessed here.

These are just a few notes on a topic that needs a much more in-depth treatment.  But it’s worth registering some top-level comments as this subject garners more and more attention in the coming days.

I would say at the outset that criticism here isn’t intended in any way to mock the effort made to hold the war game and put it together for presentation.  It’s a tough proposition for anyone, and summarizing the results is invariably a matter of choosing and framing priorities, regardless of who’s doing it. Continue reading “China-Taiwan: Notes on a war game”

Chinese power move in South China Sea: This is big

Breaching the peace.

Mariners and the specialty mariner press know it’s big.  But mariners can’t fix this.  It will take national policies to fix it, and non-specialist citizens therefore need to understand its importance.

So, I reiterate: this is big.  After several years of preparations for this day (see, for example, here, here, and here), China has issued a unilateral order that foreign fishing vessels will have to obtain permits from China to fish in two-thirds of the South China Sea (SCS), an area in which China has long made excessive territorial claims. Continue reading “Chinese power move in South China Sea: This is big”

Rollback down under

Oz takes a flier on the right.

tony-abbottTony Abbott may turn out to be the real deal.  The newly elected conservative (Liberal) prime minister of Australia is coming out of the starting gate at a gallop, dismaying entrenched political interests along the way.

Abbott’s new cabinet will have no separate ministry for “climate change,” rolling that function instead into the ministry for environment (h/t: WUWT).  Here’s Abbott on the role of the new minister for the environment, Greg Hunt (emphasis added): Continue reading “Rollback down under”

Australia and the missing Obama Doctrine

Off to see the Wizard?

I love Oz.  It’s a great place, and there’s no one I’d rather have watching my six in a military operation than the Aussies.  I still treasure the officer’s hat given to me by a visiting Australian maritime reconnaissance detachment, after I gave them a tour of USS Nimitz (CVN-68) when we were in port in Dubai years ago.  I was privileged to participate, in 1992, in the 50th anniversary commemoration of the Battle of the Coral Sea, an occasion between longstanding allies that I will never forget.  No one could have bad memories of either working with the Australian military or visiting Australia.

So the news that the US will be stationing a detachment of 2500 Marines in northeastern Australia, for what will apparently be six-month rotations, prompts a reaction along the lines of “You lucky devil dogs!”

It also raises some questions.  The first is a general but nagging one: Continue reading “Australia and the missing Obama Doctrine”