Author Topic: The US "pivot" or "Grand Return" to Asia  (Read 6106 times)

Cain

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The US "pivot" or "Grand Return" to Asia
« on: January 11, 2012, 08:55:23 am »
Maybe it's just me and my antipathy to the Boy Prince, but this recent talk of a US "return" to the Pacific strikes me as so much hot air and the US in search of a narrative, masquerading as a grand strategy.

Now, don't get me wrong, I think the Pacific is going to be where all the important stuff is going to get decided over the next century, especially if Europe remains a basket case.  You've got China, Japan, Russia, India, the potentially very lucrative/dangerous Indonesia, the USA and an underpopulated/resource rich Australia sitting on the bottom of it all.  Throw in the religious interaction between Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism and a variety of national and indigenous practices, the vast flows of money through the region and the ever increasing influence of places like Singapore, Malaysia, Beijing and so on in the international markets and there is a very good case, rise of China aside, for a greater focus on the region as a whole.

So, what does the Administration do?  Chooses to focus on China as a military threat, seeking to deploy more forward-based assets in the region to deter potential Chinese aggression.  This makes perfect sense when you recall the USA frequently mistakes military action for a form of diplomacy, but it still does not bode well.  China is remarkably patient when it comes to US military posturing in the region, as I'm sure you could imagine the response in the US if China was undertaking frequent submarine patrols off the Californian coast and positioning aircraft carriers for naval exercises just north of the border, near Canada.

Furthermore, the Pacific produces more security than it consumes, North Korea aside.  Yes, there are tensions between China and Vietnam.  Yes, South Korea and Japan do not get on.  Yes, Taiwan is probably the most heavily armed island on the planet.  But mostly, what the Pacific doesn't do is actually go to war.  A greater US military presence in the region may lower the threshold for conflict though, especially by US allies who will then expect to be bailed out if things go bad (like Georgia did in 2008.  Vietnam would quite likely fill this role in any future conflict).  In addition to that, a greater US presence may help fire up the otherwise flagging jihadist insurgencies in Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand.

The strategic vision is fuzzy, as well.  Apparently the US will forsake a large, onshore force in return for an offshore balancer role.  This is not something that has been considered in detail, but given the Boy Prince's love of the covert, I would expect an escalation of drones and special forces operating in the region.  Problem: against anything more competent than local insurgents (like, lets say, China), the US littoral access will be contested.  Aircraft carriers are tempting targets, and not anywhere near as robust or defensively capable as most people think.  The right kind of missile attack only needs to get lucky to shit up a runway entirely, and then all you've got is a multi-billion dollar sitting duck.  Offshore balancing only works against people who cannot attack you offshore in the first place.

Finally, this makes very bad sense from an economic POV.  By putting the Pacific under the US security blanket and promising greater scrutiny in the region, what this essentially means is that MNCs will have more reasons to leave the US and move to places where the costs of R&D, production etc are lower, regulatory regimes and laws are less intrusive, but nevertheless is a place where the USA has its eyes on and will defend its interests.  In short, Americans are being taxed to provide the military muscle that will ensure extension of the same kind of investment-friendly stability that prevails in the United States to the Asia-Pacific region so that their jobs can be safely outsourced to less expensive Asian workers.

I give this overall strategy a C-.  It gets points for recognizing the Pacific is an area to be concentrated on, and pity points for being one of the less stupid grand strategic visions of the last two decades.  But that's about it.

Telarus

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Re: The US "pivot" or "Grand Return" to Asia
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2012, 09:09:56 am »
I hadn't even heard of this. Thanks Cain.
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Re: The US "pivot" or "Grand Return" to Asia
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2012, 09:14:26 am »
Hmmm. Cain, do have any insight about Russia's position on the future of the Pacific?  I'm almost certain an increase in U.S. military forces at their backdoor would pique their interest, but I'm not so clear on how they would be likely to respond. 

Cain

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Re: The US "pivot" or "Grand Return" to Asia
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2012, 09:24:20 am »
Russia already has ongoing territorial disputes with Japan over the status of the Kurile Islands, and has just this past year deployed its more modern naval forces to the region.  The idea of the Japanese storming the Kuriles is even more remote than the idea of the Japanese launching a first strike against North Korea, or not making seizure inducing advertisments, so no-one believed that excuse for a second.

At the time, most people believed it was to concentrate a greater naval presence to balance against China.  However, at a press conference, the First Deputy Defense Minister uttered a blatant lie about the islands being undefended.  The south is fortified, which would significantly slow any Japanese attempt at taking back the islands.

However, the central islands are less defended, and would provide for an attacker an excellent threat to the nuclear submarine fleet based on the Okhotsk Sea.  China would find it very difficult to sustain supply routes for such an invasion, especially with the Japanese fleet waiting to cut any lines of control in half, but the US could certainly carry out such an attack.

So, the Russians were preparing for a US return to Asia before the US even knew it was returning to Asia.  That, in and of itself, is very interesting.

hirley0

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Re: The US "pivot" or "Grand Return" to Asia
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2012, 09:27:05 am »
1:27
for a second.  date=1326273860 V Mili Second 1st?
Warning - while you were    06:20:16 AM
At the time,  R  date 1326273860?1326274660 ? .8k
Very in in Thanks for the in
12:52:00 AM
R
ring
12:57:00 AM
M
nine
I think you might have put that in the wrong thread there hirleyO
Unless Im missing somethingOrange? i think i am correct
althought what you say did occure to me prior to post time 1/4 hr till tomorrow


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« Last Edit: January 14, 2012, 07:46:22 am by hirley0 »

Phox

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Re: The US "pivot" or "Grand Return" to Asia
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2012, 09:37:40 am »
Russia already has ongoing territorial disputes with Japan over the status of the Kurile Islands, and has just this past year deployed its more modern naval forces to the region.  The idea of the Japanese storming the Kuriles is even more remote than the idea of the Japanese launching a first strike against North Korea, or not making seizure inducing advertisments, so no-one believed that excuse for a second.

At the time, most people believed it was to concentrate a greater naval presence to balance against China.  However, at a press conference, the First Deputy Defense Minister uttered a blatant lie about the islands being undefended.  The south is fortified, which would significantly slow any Japanese attempt at taking back the islands.

However, the central islands are less defended, and would provide for an attacker an excellent threat to the nuclear submarine fleet based on the Okhotsk Sea.  China would find it very difficult to sustain supply routes for such an invasion, especially with the Japanese fleet waiting to cut any lines of control in half, but the US could certainly carry out such an attack.

So, the Russians were preparing for a US return to Asia before the US even knew it was returning to Asia.  That, in and of itself, is very interesting.
Very interesting indeed. Thanks for the insight.

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Re: The US "pivot" or "Grand Return" to Asia
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2012, 03:26:26 pm »
Russia already has ongoing territorial disputes with Japan over the status of the Kurile Islands, and has just this past year deployed its more modern naval forces to the region.  The idea of the Japanese storming the Kuriles is even more remote than the idea of the Japanese launching a first strike against North Korea, or not making seizure inducing advertisments, so no-one believed that excuse for a second.

At the time, most people believed it was to concentrate a greater naval presence to balance against China.  However, at a press conference, the First Deputy Defense Minister uttered a blatant lie about the islands being undefended.  The south is fortified, which would significantly slow any Japanese attempt at taking back the islands.

However, the central islands are less defended, and would provide for an attacker an excellent threat to the nuclear submarine fleet based on the Okhotsk Sea.  China would find it very difficult to sustain supply routes for such an invasion, especially with the Japanese fleet waiting to cut any lines of control in half, but the US could certainly carry out such an attack.

So, the Russians were preparing for a US return to Asia before the US even knew it was returning to Asia.  That, in and of itself, is very interesting.

Do you imagine that's due to their intelligence gathering or is it that the US is kinda predictable?
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Re: The US "pivot" or "Grand Return" to Asia
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2012, 03:48:03 pm »
Maybe it's just me and my antipathy to the Boy Prince, but this recent talk of a US "return" to the Pacific strikes me as so much hot air and the US in search of a narrative, masquerading as a grand strategy.

clearly, nine dimensional zen chess!

thanks for the insight Cain

hirley0

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Re: The US "pivot" or "Grand Return" to Asia
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2012, 07:51:56 pm »
Time to mention the Tables on ANKENY, Tuesday 5 Sw 2to3rd
Wednesday Ankeny SE 2726 probably same Mfg date
&to there was the rock pile on E Burnside @ Broadway ( no Trilliums?

1:2
12?NoOn it is my #2 that those tables fall into the
OCCUPYi Portland, covert wing of the D mobile list it LiSt
&R not a part of the Overt Maids for prime time TV set setup
whitch i reaLLy dont watch but i guess is in the park BLOCK aid
OR maybe at Piorneer Square! Pictures later Maybe & maybe not
« Last Edit: January 12, 2012, 08:00:00 pm by hirley0 »

Cain

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Re: The US "pivot" or "Grand Return" to Asia
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2012, 08:04:36 pm »
Russia already has ongoing territorial disputes with Japan over the status of the Kurile Islands, and has just this past year deployed its more modern naval forces to the region.  The idea of the Japanese storming the Kuriles is even more remote than the idea of the Japanese launching a first strike against North Korea, or not making seizure inducing advertisments, so no-one believed that excuse for a second.

At the time, most people believed it was to concentrate a greater naval presence to balance against China.  However, at a press conference, the First Deputy Defense Minister uttered a blatant lie about the islands being undefended.  The south is fortified, which would significantly slow any Japanese attempt at taking back the islands.

However, the central islands are less defended, and would provide for an attacker an excellent threat to the nuclear submarine fleet based on the Okhotsk Sea.  China would find it very difficult to sustain supply routes for such an invasion, especially with the Japanese fleet waiting to cut any lines of control in half, but the US could certainly carry out such an attack.

So, the Russians were preparing for a US return to Asia before the US even knew it was returning to Asia.  That, in and of itself, is very interesting.

Do you imagine that's due to their intelligence gathering or is it that the US is kinda predictable?

I think a US "return to the pacific" was an inevitability.  Given the last outposts of resistance in the Middle East are Iran, Syria and the Taliban, and on the other hand, you have China, eventually someone would realise where the greater balance of threat actually lay.  Even if that threat is mostly one created of wishful thinking.

After all, China was the Neocon obsession de jour before the War on Terror ever started.  And Neoconism is now enshrined as one of the major American approaches to foreign policy.

hirley0

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Re: The US "pivot" or "Grand Return" to Asia
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2012, 11:41:20 pm »


Anders Behring Breivik, the man who admitted to carrying
out deadly twin bombing and shooting attacks in
Norway last year, is to receive a new assessment
as to whether he is mentally fit to stand trial.

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« Last Edit: January 14, 2012, 01:06:05 am by hirley0 »

Thurnez Isa

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Re: The US "pivot" or "Grand Return" to Asia
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2012, 02:49:40 am »
I think you might have put that in the wrong thread there hirleyO
Unless Im missing something
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Re: The US "pivot" or "Grand Return" to Asia
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2012, 07:00:23 am »
I think you might have put that in the wrong thread there hirleyO
Unless Im missing something

I cannot evaluate this post without my mind trying to hide from itself due to the implication that you usually understand his posts.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


hirley0

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Re: The US "pivot" or "Grand Return" to Asia without impunity?
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2012, 08:35:31 am »
6 (44) 1st grade East wall Cooper Mt grade (38+6 44}? wood stove ASH
wheN i was in the 1st grade ( i was told {by the older kids)) the ART
or was it a science}? of :" putting the teacher OUT | After that it
was rather easy (once i had been told} &i'poise it became an instinct
-
now the point i was to make has escaped | at least momentairily |
i think the point was Pivot ! with a subtitle of DW.de | don't wait:
Look there is no doubt in my mind whatsoever the EarthThings aRe in
for a period i call RIF (Reduction In Force} Not sure exactly why.
= =
Myself i place a lot of the blame on what i was terming the once
per 1000 year event. Events that i do think (i mean did think}

occur ? Just this month Jan 2012 i changed a line in my tune
: : :
thUS i am not as convinced as i once was. but ocasionaly return
to the pre 2012 LiNEs to check memory (whiTch is really going . }
? ? ? ?
the reason i pick Pivot, not return is because of theM Norse LiNEs
« Last Edit: January 14, 2012, 11:39:49 pm by hirley0 »

Thurnez Isa

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Re: The US "pivot" or "Grand Return" to Asia
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2012, 03:07:12 pm »
I think you might have put that in the wrong thread there hirleyO
Unless Im missing something

I cannot evaluate this post without my mind trying to hide from itself due to the implication that you usually understand his posts.

Ok now I understand.

Been away too long.
Through me the way to the city of woe, Through me the way to everlasting pain, Through me the way among the lost.
Justice moved my maker on high.
Divine power made me, Wisdom supreme, and Primal love.
Before me nothing was but things eternal, and eternal I endure.
Abandon all hope, you who enter here.

Dante