U.S. airlines expected to comply with Chinese ADIZ rules

Weak.

According to the State Department, the United States expects our airline carriers will comply with the ADIZ rules laid out by China in the Notice to Airmen announcing enforcement of the ADIZ.

As with the distinction we are observing with respect to Iran’s right to enrich uranium, our acceptance of the ADIZ rules does not mean we agree with them, according to the State Department formulation.  It just means our civilian airliners are complying with them.

Japan and South Korea are taking a different tack. Continue reading “U.S. airlines expected to comply with Chinese ADIZ rules”

Bad tidings of sea and air space challenges

Memorial services for the Pax Americana will be held shortly.

“History teaches that war begins when governments believe the price of aggression is cheap.” — Ronald Reagan

It made the most news when China did it a few days ago.  But it’s been building for a while, and it’s not just off China.  As the holidays settle in on us, probes of other nations’ sea and air space are in the air.  Is war coming tomorrow?  No.  But whether it comes after tomorrow will depend on more than gestures from that shapeless blob of geopolitical potential that we may now, in a post-superpower world, call the “status quo powers.”  It will depend on the outcomes the status quo powers can secure.

The China Challenge Continue reading “Bad tidings of sea and air space challenges”

Strange but True in the Far East

Eating foot, triangulating in a region of bombastitude.

Now and then, it’s good to check in with the other side of the world.  U.S. cabinet secretaries John Kerry and Chuck Hagel have been doing that this past week – and you might think it would be hard to top the strange-but-true message their respective diplomatic displays have sent.

But you’d be underestimating the Far East if you did.  To set the stage, we note that U.S. and foreign analysts believe North Korea has restarted the plutonium reactor at Yongbyon in the last few weeks.  This is, of course, a move against which Pyongyang has been warned.  It comes on the heels of Continue reading “Strange but True in the Far East”

Just a reminder: Military readiness affects the viability of Syria operations too

Fading.

After U.S. officials agreed last week that the Assad regime has used chemical weapons on its people, politicians and pundits resumed making the case for a U.S. intervention in Syria.  And they speak as if the budget cuts affecting the Air Force and Navy won’t affect our ability to launch operations overseas.  Their heads apparently aren’t around that reality yet.

Senator John McCain (R-AZ) suggested that enforcing a no-fly zone could be required.  He expressed concern that the administration would maneuver to delay action – and he is no doubt right.  Charles Krauthammer pointed out on Fox News’s Special Report that the president’s credibility is on the line, given his clear identification of chemical weapons use as a “red line” for the U.S. on the Syria crisis.  But no one mentioned the core limitation of military readiness.

You may or may not think it’s advisable for the U.S. to intervene in Syria, even with an operation of minimal scope.  But Continue reading “Just a reminder: Military readiness affects the viability of Syria operations too”

Wrong, hackneyed, overworked: Beyond the usual analysis of “China and North Korea”

Is there any piece of received wisdom more universally invoked than the inane piety that China wants to calm North Korea down, and gets annoyed when the Kims act up?  It’s hard to think of many.  This hoary premise gets trotted out every time.  And every time, it comes up short on explanatory or operational value.  It’s never relevant to why the Kim went crazy.  Nor is China coming down on a Kim ever the key to settling the Kim’s hash.  If the snarling Kim stops yelping for a while, it’s always because the U.S. was induced to do something – intensify some negotiating stance, make some offer, fork over some “aid,” make a concession to China; or maybe just look alert enough to make it the wrong time for a showdown.

You’d think someone would figure this out. Continue reading “Wrong, hackneyed, overworked: Beyond the usual analysis of “China and North Korea””