Friday, May 31, 2013

Has The Pentagon Made A Mistake In Inviting China To The 2014 Rim Of The Pacific Naval Exercise?

Ships and submarines participating in the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2012 exercise are seen underway in close formation during the exercise on July 27. (Chief MCS Keith Devinney / Navy)

America's China Mistake -- L.A. Times Editorial

As Beijing becomes more bellicose, Washington clings to the hope that military-to-military relations will somehow relieve tensions. They won't.

This spring, China's navy accepted the Pentagon's invitation to participate in the 2014 Rim of the Pacific — RIMPAC — naval exercise to be held off Hawaii. This will be the first time China takes part in the biennial event.

Our allies should signal their intent to withdraw from the exercise if China participates. Failing that, the invitation should be withdrawn. RIMPAC is for allies and friends, not nations planning to eventually wage war on the United States. Russia sent ships in 2012, but while its senior officers may occasionally utter unfriendly words, they are not actively planning to fight the United States. Analyst Robert Sutter was surely correct when he wrote in 2005 that "China is the only large power in the world preparing to shoot Americans."

That assessment, unfortunately, remains true today. Beijing is configuring its forces — especially its navy — to fight ours. For instance, China has deployed along its southern coast its DF-21D, a two-stage solid-fuel missile that can be guided by satellite signals. The missile is dubbed the "carrier killer" because it can be configured to explode in midair, raining down sharp metal on a deck crowded with planes, ordinance, fuel and sailors. Its apparent intent is to drive U.S. forces out of East Asia.

Read more ....

My Comment: China's naval doctrine is focused on countering and defeating U.S. Pacific forces. Why the U.S. has decided to invite the Chinese to such an exercise with no quid pro quo is beyond me .... it is like inviting the fox into the hen house and hoping that it would behave.

Update: In the L.A. Times poll on this subject .... over 83% are of the opinion that this is a bad idea.

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