Archive for the ‘international’ Category

North Korea, China, U.S., Japan: Missiles, Missile Defense, Naval Power At Sea

March 15, 2009

Kim Jong Il is obviously uncomfortable. As tens of thousands of U.S. and South Korean troops staged an annual war-games exercise last week, he put North Korea’s military on alert. The real pea under his mattress, though, could be four battle cruisers that ply the Sea of Japan, just over the horizon from the Dear Leader’s beaches. These ships—two American, two Japanese—carry missiles capable of reaching North Korean nuclear-tipped rockets on their way to Japan, or even the satellite Kim has promised to put up any day now. U.S. Admiral Timothy Keating may have had these same missiles in mind when he threatened in late February to shoot down anything Kim felt emboldened to launch.

Related:
 US deploys warships as North Korea prepares to launch missile

By Fred Guterl
Newsweek
March 14, 2009
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The Aegis cruiser USS Lake Erie launches a Standard Missile III off Kaua’i, Hawaii, 25 January 2001. The RIM-161 Standard missile 3 (SM-3) provides Lake Erie with the capability to shoot down ballistic missiles.

These four cruisers aren’t the only ships that act as a de facto antimissile defense. The U.S. Navy has 73 Aegis ships around the world equipped with missiles that can reach space targets—whether the intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that carry nuclear warheads or satellites that fly in low earth orbit. As the Obama administration shows signs of backing away from plans to put missile defenses in Poland and the Czech Republic, this fleet of “Aegis” cruisers, as they’re called, may be called upon to take up the slack. U.S. Representative Ellen Tauscher, head of the House strategic forces subcommittee, praised recent progress on Aegis in hearings last month. “This was a major accomplishment that we should all take pride in,” she said. “The same cannot be said of the long-range” ground-based missile defense. However, there are reasons to doubt that relying on Aegis will be an effective military strategy in the long run.

Compared with land-based missile defense, Aegis has the advantage of proximity. Ships can go, with minimal diplomatic hassle, wherever the threat is greatest. Kim’s saber rattling, in fact, led the United States to supply Japan with Aegis equipment and know-how. Aegis, a combination of radars and interceptor missiles, was originally designed to defend battle cruisers against fighter jets. Technological improvements over the years gradually extended its range. The Bush administration funded a new interceptor—SM-3, for “standard missile”—capable of reaching the ICBMs Russia and China have and North Korea and Iran want. Tests suggest that it can fly fast and far enough to catch an ICBM shortly after leaving the atmosphere. That’s an impressive feat, but experts caution that these tests were “scripted” and didn’t take into account countermeasures an enemy might invoke. By the time a rocket leaves the atmosphere, it’s almost impossible for an interceptor missile to tell the difference between the warhead and a decoy balloon. “If I were to throw a rock at you, but warn you ahead of time, you’d probably be able to deflect it,” says Philip Coyle, former assistant deputy of defense in the Clinton administration and now an adviser to the Center for Defense Information in Washington, D.C. “But that’s not to say you could get every rock thrown in the room, or in the whole country.”

CNN:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORL
D/asiapcf/03/12/nkorea.launch/in
dex.html#cnnSTCText

File:USSLeyteGulfCG-55.jpg
Aegis cruiser USS Leyte Gulf

Tokyo is now developing a lighter, faster and more nimble version of the SM-3 that would come closer to hitting an ICBM at the end of its “boost phase,” before it had time to throw up decoys. The new version, expected to be ready in a few years, will travel twice as fast as the current one, but still too slow by half, says MIT missile expert Theodore Postol. The Navy has an Aegis missile on the drawing board designed to attain such speeds, though funding has yet to be approved.

This missile wouldn’t be a silver bullet either, says Postol. Even if the new interceptors hit their targets 100 percent of the time, they would still allow some warheads through. That’s because the warhead occupies a small volume of the missile, usually at the tip, and interceptors aren’t close to being able to sniff them out and make a direct hit. An airtight defense would require layers of redundancy—throwing lots of missiles at each ICBM—and could be countered easily by launching more ICBMs. “Missile defense encourages the enemy to do exactly what you don’t what them to do—build more missiles,” says Coyle. “I don’t know if Kim is worried, but he shouldn’t be.” Postol argues that putting missiles on drone planes, which could shoot down on ICBMs while they’re still rising off the launchpad, would work better than firing missiles from ships.

In one respect, Aegis is a completely effective weapon: it could easily take out low-flying military intelligence satellites. Does that confer a significant military advantage? Shooting down a nation’s satellite would be so provocative it’s hard to envision a scenario in which it would be a smart move. Besides, a hit on a 15-ton spy satellite would more than double the amount of space debris currently in orbit. That would make everybody uncomfortable.

http://www.newsweek.com/id/189255

 Sun Setting On American Superpower?

File:DDG-178MakingAshigara.jpg
A Japan Navt Aegis ship of the Kongo class

Related:
Obama Backs Off, Japan Ready To Shoot Down North Korean Missile

China:
China’s Love/Hate Relationship With The U.S

Obama Wasting America’s Strategic World Power; China Surges Despite Economy
.
Era of Obama, American Weakness Emboldens Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Terrorists

Stimulus: China Will Fund U.S. Debt But “We Hate You Guys”

Behind the U.S. and China At Sea Incident

China Buying Oil, Uranium, Gold, Other Products At Bargain Prices

Russia, “Desperate For Cash,” Sells Oil to China In “Very Bad Deal”

What’s China’s Long Term Global Strategy?

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Obama Backs Off, Japan Ready To Shoot Down North Korean Missile

March 13, 2009

Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton said today that “North Korea poses a continuing threat that should trouble us a great deal.”

North Korea is threatening to launch a ballisic missile over Japan and toward the United States.

Today Japan said it could shoot down any missile or object that looked to be a threat to Japan.
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“Japan is legally able to shoot down the object to secure safety if it looks like it will fall on to Japan,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura said during a news conference.

Sun Setting On American Superpower?

North Korea, China, U.S., Japan: Missiles, Missile Defense, Naval Power At Sea

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura says it has the right to shoot down the satellite.

Above: Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura says it has the right to shoot down the satellite.

Bolton said “Japan is sending a signal to Washington not to go soft on North Korea.”

The White House has already said it will not authorize a shoot down of the North Korean missile but could change its mind.  Hillary Clinton said there were “a lot of options.”

“Japan is certainly threatened by North Korea.  North Korea, with its nuclear weapons, is a regional and global threat,” Bolton said.

Even though the U.S. Navy has already demonstrated the ability to destroy an orbiting satellite, the White House says the U.S. will not interfere with North Korea’s missile test.

“Obama’s outreach and engagement with many [including Syria, Iran and the Taliban] is in contrast to Japan’s relationship with North Korea,” Bolton said.

Bolton was interviewed by the Fox News Channel on Friday morning, March 13, 2009.

North Korea remains a trouble spot in the world today only because China allows them to play that role.
.
This week North Korea threatened war with the United States — a war that would certainly involve Japan and South Korea.  North Korea could not be making such threats and could not even think about testing a long range strategic missile just now unless China consented to this brazen move or at least looked the other way. 
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China supplies North Korea with almost all of its food, oil, luxury goods and currency. 
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Without China, North Korea would be impotent and meaningless.


One of Japan’s missile defense ships, KONGO

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Reuters

Japan said on Friday it could shoot down any threatening object falling toward its territory, after North Korea said a planned rocket launch would send it across Japanese territory.

North Korea has given notice to global agencies that it plans to launch a satellite between April 4 and 8, presenting a challenge to new U.S. President Barack Obama and allies who see it as a disguised missile test.

“Under our law, we can intercept any object if it is falling toward Japan, including any attacks on Japan, for our safety,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura told a news conference.

South Korea’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement any such launch would be in violation of Security Council Resolution 1718.

“If North Korea goes ahead with the launch, we believe there will be discussions and a response by the Security Council on the violation of the resolution.”

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/2009
0313/ts_nm/us_korea_north_19

CNN:
http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD
/asiapcf/03/13/nkorea.launch.japan
/index.html

Related:
 Obama Wasting America’s Strategic World Power; China Surges Despite Economy

 White House: U.S. Will Not Shoot North Korean Missile

 China Provoked Obama; Now Works To Smooth Situation: Why?
.
Era of Obama, American Weakness Emboldens Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Terrorists

Japan Warns North Korea
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/20
09/mar/13/north-korea-japan-nucle
ar-missile


A U.S. Navy ship launches ballistic missile defense interceptors like those that could be used to counter North Korea’s long range missile launch….Japan also has AEGIS ships with ballistic missile defense systems….

http://michellemalkin.com/20
09/03/13/52-days-52-mistakes/

Obama, Geithner: recession requires global action

March 11, 2009

The emphasis on economic stimulus has already been met coolly by many European nations, raising questions whether a gathering of finance chiefs from the Group of 20 rich and developing economies near London this weekend will make much headway battling a deepening downturn.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/
nm/us_financial_g20

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Warning that the global recession is deepening, the Obama administration on Wednesday called on major U.S. allies to do their part and support strong stimulus programs to fight the downturn.

The administration said decisive action was needed by all countries to complement what is being done in the United States. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner outlined an ambitious agenda, including a tenfold increase in the size of an emergency fund the International Monetary Fund uses to help countries in trouble to as much as $500 billion.

“We can do a really good job here at home, with a whole host of policies, but if you continue to see deterioration in the world economy, that’s going to set us back,” President Barack Obama said in the Oval Office following a briefing by Geithner.

By JENNIFER LOVEN and MARTIN CRUTSINGER, Associated Press Writers

It’s essential for other major countries to commit to substantial and sustained efforts to bolster their economies in the face of a deepening recession, Geithner later told reporters.

The U.S. challenge highlighted a rift with European nations who are balking at U.S. calls for more stimulus spending, arguing they do not want to pile up huge levels of debt. Some European critics have charged that the U.S. demand for increased stimulus spending was an effort to divert a European call for a major overhaul of regulations governing the financial system to curb the types of excesses in the U.S. that spawned the crisis.

Obama said the U.S. has two goals for the G-20 summit in April: to make sure there is “concerted action around the globe to jump-start the economy” and to achieve consensus on regulatory reform to take place in each country.

However, many European nations have been critical of U.S. calls for increased stimulus spending. At a meeting this week of finance ministers of the 27-nation European Union, officials said they were doing enough already to support the world economy.

Geithner sought to play down any disagreement between the U.S. and Europe.

“I think you will find very broad support to address these objectives,” he said. Geithner will attend talks Friday and Saturday in London with finance officials from the Group of 20 nations.

Those meetings are designed to develop a common agenda for a summit April 2 in London to be attended by Obama and the other leaders of G-20 countries, a group that includes not only the world’s wealthiest nations but also major developing countries such as China, India and Brazil.

Geithner said the U.S. will seek approval to expand a $50 billion fund the IMF maintains to support countries in trouble to as much as $500 billion. The IMF needs much greater resources to be able to provide emergency loans to countries during the current crisis, he said.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090
311/ap_on_bi_ge/obama_geithner

U.S. Rebukes U.N. Official for Sharp Words

March 11, 2009

Barack Obama told supporters last October:  “I promise you. We won’t just win New Hampshire. We will win this election and, you and I together, we’re going to change the country and change the world.”

Key to that Messianic world changing goal for Obams has always been a full embrace of the U.N. and internationalism.  Obama’s Ambassador to the U.N. is one of his most liberal advisors and a firm believer in the U.N. as an arbiter of what’s best for the world.

 Obama, The U.N. and Susan Rice

But now maybe some new perspective is being applied at the Obama White House…..

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By Colum Lynch
The Washington Post

The Obama administration scolded the president of the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday, saying that his frequent public attacks against the United States and Israel are undercutting the standing of the world’s most representative body.

The rebuke comes one day after Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann lashed out at the United States during a visit to Tehran, where he met with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other senior Iranian officials. The leftist Nicaraguan priest and diplomat defended Iran’s nuclear program as peaceful and said the United States has not cooperated with other countries at the United Nations, according to Iranian news reports.

Last week, d’Escoto also criticized the U.S. imprisonment of five Cuban agents convicted on espionage charges in 2001, and he urged the United Nations’ Geneva-based Human Rights Council to look into alleged human rights abuses by U.S.-led forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, charging that “there are over 1 million civilian deaths in Iraq as a direct result of the U.S.-led aggression and occupation.”

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/cont
ent/article/2009/03/10/AR2009031003364
.html?hpid=artslot

China Provoked Obama; Now Works To Smooth Situation: Why?

March 11, 2009

China probably provoked the U.S. at sea last weekend in an effort to gain an edge over new President Barack Obama.

China did just that, analysts now say, in the early months of George W. Bush’s presidency.

On April 1, 2001 , two Chinese J-8 fighter jets intercepted a U.S. Navy EP-3 surveillance aircraft that was 70 miles off Hainan Island , resulting in a collision with one of them, forcing it into the sea. The EP-3 made an emergency landing on Hainan , where China kept it captive for three months, long after the 24 crew members were released.

File:Orion.usnavy.750pix.jpg
U.S. Navy P-3 aircraft

At that time, China used this approach: the U.S. violated intenational law, China was within its rights, the U.S. needs to back off.

China is fairly predictable and formulaic, sometimes.

When China was found to have a deadly disease called SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) spreading a few years ago (November 2002 to July 2003; over 700 people died)China used this media strategy: denial, discovery, immense response, media explosion of good news, return to normal.

China used this same play-book when accused of exporting all kinds of poisoned food products from toothpaste to dog and cat food, cough medicine, cookies, candy and seafood. 

Denial, discovery, immense response, media explosion of good news, return to normal.

When China was accused of building shoddy schools which quickly collapsed killing tens of thousands of school children in the recent earthquakes, the Chinese public response included denial, discovery, immense response, media explosion of good news, return to normal.

In 2006, Senator John McCain called China “immature” over its lack of effort in helping the U.S. and the world to address North Korea’s nuclear program. 

Laugh at McCain now — but North Korea remains a trouble spot in the world today only because China allows them to play that role.
Just this week, North Korea threatened war with the United States — a war that would certainly involve Japan and South Korea.  North Korea could not be making such threats and could not even think about testing a long range strategic missile just now unless China consented to this brazen move or at least looked the other way.  China supplies North Korea with almost all of its food, oil, luxury goods and currency.  Without China, North Korea would be impotent and meaningless.

China’s at sea provocation of international law and Barack Obama seems remarkably similar to previous Chinese forays into the mind of at least one previous President of the United States sending the unmistakable message: the U.S. violated intenational law, China was within its rights, the U.S. needs to back off.

John E. Carey
Wakefield Chapel, Virginia

An excellent report on the international law:
http://fredtopeka.wordpress.com/2009/03/
10/us-or-china-provoke-naval-incident/

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By FOSTER KLUG, Associated Press Writer

The top U.S. and Chinese diplomats have work to do to keep a confrontation between American and Chinese naval vessels from damaging a relationship that President Barack Obama deems crucial to confronting the world’s toughest crises.

Even if diplomatic efforts by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi are successful in toning down the dispute — the two were scheduled to meet Wednesday in Washington — they may ease anger only temporarily over a larger military disagreement.

Beijing has long complained about U.S. surveillance operations around China’s borders. Without better communications between the two militaries as they operate in the South China Sea, the possibility for future conflict will remain.

Clinton and Yang “can have a productive exchange to keep this bounded, but the real bureaucracies that need to be there aren’t going to be at the meeting,” said Jonathan Pollack, professor of Asian studies at the U.S. Naval War College.

This US Navy file photo shows the military Sealift Command ocean ... 
This US Navy file photo shows the military Sealift Command ocean surveillance ship USNS Impeccable (T-AGOS-23). Five Chinese vessels maneuvered dangerously close to a US Navy ship in the South China Sea on Sunday, March 8, 2009, approaching within 25 feet of the unarmed surveillance ship, the Pentagon said.(AFP/NVNS)

He suggested that without stronger military-to-military links, the potential for “something ugly” happening “should not be minimized.”

China says a U.S. Navy mapping ship confronted by Chinese vessels Sunday was operating illegally in China’s exclusive economic zone. The United States says Chinese ships surrounded and harassed the Navy vessel in international waters in the South China Sea.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090311
/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/us_china

Related:
CNN:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asia
pcf/03/10/us.navy.china/index.html

Era of Obama, American Weakness Emboldens Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Terrorists

China Wants U.S. Out of Asia’s International Waters
.
Era of Obama, American Weakness Emboldens Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Terrorists
.
 Pentagon: Chinese Ships Harassed Unarmed U.S. Navy Craft in International Waters

What’s China’s Long Term Global Strategy?

China uses naval showdown with U.S. to flex muscle

China Says U.S. Ship Was Breaking Law

Philippines Enacts Law Claiming Islands also Claimed by China, Others

China’s Naval Officers Join Anti-American Voices
http://defencedebates.wordpress.com/2009
/03/11/china-navy-officers-harangue-us-ov
er-sea-spat/

 China’s Love/Hate Relationship With The U.S.

Behind the U.S. and China At Sea Incident

Losing Terror War? Al Qaeda, Afghanistan, Iran

March 11, 2009
Defense Intelligence Agency chief Army Lt. Gen. Michael Maples tells senators during a Capitol Hill hearing that Al Qaeda has resurfaced in a country it was forced to flee seven years ago.
By Greg Miller
Los Angeles Times
March 11, 2009
Reporting from Washington — Al Qaeda has expanded its presence in Afghanistan, taking advantage of the sinking security situation to resurface in the country it was forced to flee seven years ago, the top U.S. military intelligence official testified Tuesday.

Army Lt. Gen. Michael D. Maples, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, described Al Qaeda’s efforts as one of the reasons for the Obama administration’s decision last month to order additional troops to Afghanistan.

Afghanistan is no longer the haven for Al Qaeda that it was before the Sept. 11 attacks in the United States. But in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Maples said, “I believe Al Qaeda’s presence in Afghanistan is more significant, although still at a relatively minor scale, than we have seen in the past.”

Maples also cited intelligence indicating that Iran is playing a more active role in supporting a militant group based in Pakistan that is launching attacks against U.S. and Afghan forces.

Read the rest:
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworl
d/world/la-fg-intel11-2009mar11,0,421
8559.story

Intelligence Officials Testify On National Security Threats 
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Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair, left, and Defense Intelligence Agency chief Army Lt. Gen. Michael D. Maples testify on Capitol Hill at a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Maples said Al Qaeda has resurfaced in Afghanistan in a way not seen since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion. Blair said the U.S. intelligence assessment is that Iran does not have any highly enriched uranium.  Alex Wong / Getty Images

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A progressive Presidency is a terrible thing to waste. It only comes around once every so often. Wouldn’t it be a shame if Americans’ hopes for the Obama Administration were squandered in Afghanistan?

See:
http://nasir-khan.blogspot.com/2009/03/c
an-congress-save-obama-from-afghan.html

China Wants U.S. Out of Asia’s International Waters

March 10, 2009

The incident at sea between China and the U.S. Navy this last weekend indicates a growing truth among Chinese military officers: the seas adjacent to China wherever they extend are de facto Chinese terrirtory and the U.S. needs to leave.

This is in violation of international law which grants free passage to all who operate in international waters.

China is complaining saying the U.S. ship, while not in their territorial waters was in their “economic zone,” a claim that also pits the Chinese directly at odds with 5 countries (Taiwan, Philippines, Brunei, Vietnam and Malaysia) who would like to have their own territorial waters.

But China now has repeatedly expressed and demonstrated distain for international law — a a certain ability to push people around.

“They seem to be more militarily aggressive,” National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

“I think the debate is still on in China whether as their military power increases they will be used for good or for pushing people around.”

But the Chinese say all the fault for this weekend’s incident belongs to the U.S. 

“Go and ask the Americans, ask their embassy,” China’s Vice Admiral Jin Mao, former PLA Navy vice commander in chief, told Reuters on the sidelines of parliament when asked about the incident. “Ask their officials what their ship was doing in Chinese waters.”

The fact is, the American ship operating in international waters is protected by international law — even if it is searching for submarines.

Related:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/2009031
0/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/us_china_incident

Beijing will take a tougher stand against other nations as its naval ambitions grow, said analyst Shi Yinhong.

“The United States is present everywhere on the world’s seas, but these kinds of incidents may grow as China’s naval activities expand,” Shi, an expert on regional security at Renmin University in Beijing, said.

Analyst Shi said the seas off Hainan were important to China’s projection of its influence with a modern naval fleet.

“The change is in China’s attitude. This reflects the hardening line in Chinese foreign policy and the importance we attach to the strategic value of the South China Sea.”

See a report from Reuters:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20
090310/pl_nm/us_usa_china

See also:
http://wok3.wordpress.com/2009/03/10/chin
a-the-dragon-stirs-and-strips-down-to-its-underwear/

Chong-pin Lin, Professor at the Graduate Institute of International Affairs and Strategic Studies at Tamkang University in Taiwan says, “I think the objective of the grand strategy of China is to squeeze out, very slowly and very gradually, the influence of the United States in East Asia, without war.”

A budget analyst at the U.S. Navy in the Pentagon told Peace and Freedom, “Our futue problem is this: with our current and projected budget deficits and debt, the U.S. will not be able to afford the navy it has now — while China will grow and improve its navy and take whatever it wants in the world.  That is the trend we see.”

Related:
 Era of Obama, American Weakness Emboldens Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Terrorists
.
 Pentagon: Chinese Ships Harassed Unarmed U.S. Navy Craft in International Waters

What’s China’s Long Term Global Strategy?

China uses naval showdown with U.S. to flex muscle

China Says U.S. Ship Was Breaking Law

http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORL
D/asiapcf/03/10/us.navy.china/ind
ex.html

China Says U.S. Ship Was Breaking Law

Various Views On Obama Foreign Policy: “Just Like Bush” Or Radical Change?

March 10, 2009

Opinions vary on the initial reading of Barack Obama’s foreign policy.  I tend to view it as misguided, weak and inept.  Robert Kagan wrote in the Washington Post March 9, 2009, that Obama’s foreign policy was “Bushian” because it has changed so little from George W’s time.  Anthony Faiola writes in the Washington Post on March 10 that Obama’s trade policy will emphasize global warming and displacement of American workers  — using social issues as a reason to promote or slow trade during a global economy Obama has called a “catastrophe”….

Related:
Era of Obama, American Weakness Emboldens Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Terrorists

Obama Throws Britain Under the Bus: Relationship “Reset” and “Regime Change”

Obama’s First Major Foreign Crisis Brewing?
.
Protocol: Brit Media Furious At Obama

Czech President Says Obama Views “Unknown” On Key Foreign Policy Issues

White House: U.S. Will Not Shoot North Korean Missile

Obama, State Department, White House Staff, Hillary “Unaware,” “Overwhelmed” by Expectations
.
Hillary: One-Time Health Care Failure Now American’s Chief Diplomat, Fouls Up First Time Out

 Obama Forges New Path in Protocol

 Hillary: One-Time Health Care Failure Now American’s Chief Diplomat, Fouls Up First Time Out

Russia Sees Obama, U.S., Others As “Weak,” “Naive”
(Now we can add stupid….)

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03/
09/photoshop-flashback-of-the-day/

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President Obama’s foreign policy team has been working hard to present its policies to the world as constituting a radical break from the Bush years. In the broadest sense, this has been absurdly easy: Obama had the world at hello.

By Robert Kagen
Washington Post
.
When it comes to actual policies, however, selling the pretense of radical change has required some sleight of hand — and a helpful press corps. Thus the New York Times reports a dramatic “shift” in China policy to “rigorous and persistent engagement,” as if the previous two administrations had been doing something else for the past decade and a half. Another Times headline trumpeted a new “softer tone on North Korea,” based on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s suggestion that the United States would have a “great openness to working with” Pyongyang — as soon as it agrees to “verifiable and complete dismantling and denuclearization.” Startling.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content
/article/2009/03/08/AR2009030801493.html?h
pid=opinionsbox1

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The Obama administration is aggressively reworking U.S. trade policy to more strongly emphasize domestic and social issues, from the displacement of American workers to climate change.

By Anthony Faiola 
Washington Post

Even as world trade takes its steepest drop in 80 years amid the gobal economic crisis, the administration is preparing to take a harder line with America’s trading partners. It will seek new benchmarks before supporting already-written trade agreements with Colombia and South Korea and is suggesting that it will dig in its heels on global trade talks, demanding that other countries make broader concessions first.

“I believe in trade and will work to expand it, but I also know that not all Americans are winning from it and that our trading partners are not always playing by the rules,” Ron Kirk, President Obama’s nominee as U.S. trade representative, said in confirmation testimony last night before the Senate Finance Committee.

The shift underscores the mounting pressures confronting any effort to expand trade during the economic crisis. Even before the global economy went code red late last year, talks aimed at expanding global trade stalled as Western countries warred with emerging giants like China and India over how to further open markets.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-d
yn/content/article/2009/03/09/AR2
009030903157.html

China Says U.S. Ship Was Breaking Law

March 10, 2009

Following is a statement from the Chinese embassy in Washington in response to an incident involving Chinese ships and a U.S. naval vessel in the South China Sea on Sunday. The statement was carried by the website of Hong Kong-based Phoenix Television (news.ifeng.com).

“In response to U.S. claims that a naval ship was harassed by the Chinese side, the concerned official in China’s embassy to the United States stated: The U.S. navy vessel concerned has been consistently conducting illegal surveying in China’s special economic zone. China believes this contravenes international laws of the sea and China’s relevant laws. China has repeatedly used diplomatic channels to demand the U.S. side cease unlawful activities in China’s special economic zone. China’s law enforcement authorities have also sent vessels to carry out law enforcement activities. The U.S. claim about operating in high seas is out of step with the facts. This official stressed that China cannot accept the baseless U.S. accusations, that China demands the U.S. cease this kind of illegal surveying activity and do more things beneficial to the stable development of China-U.S. relations. This official also stated that the Chinese government will make a formal statement about this incident.”

Reuters

Some say Obama planned on provoking China, which seems out of character to us at Peace and Freedom:
http://moinansari.wordpress.com/2009/03/
11/hainan-naval-incident-beijing-to-usa-ca
nt-you-read-the-sign-sea-of-china-is-chine
se-territory/

This US Navy file photo shows the military Sealift Command ocean ... 
This US Navy file photo shows the military Sealift Command ocean surveillance ship USNS Impeccable (T-AGOS-23). Five Chinese vessels maneuvered dangerously close to a US Navy ship in the South China Sea on Sunday, March 8, 2009, approaching within 25 feet of the unarmed surveillance ship, the Pentagon said.(AFP/NVNS)

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Related:
 Era of Obama, American Weakness Emboldens Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Terrorists
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 Pentagon: Chinese Ships Harassed Unarmed U.S. Navy Craft in International Waters

What’s China’s Long Term Global Strategy?

China Wants U.S. Out of International Waters It Consides a “China Lake”

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CNN Reported that the U.S. diplomatic protest to China was equally adament that the U.S. ship, USNS Impeccable, was the vessel being harassed by China which was the lawbreaker….

http://edition.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/0
3/09/us.navy.china/index.html

The Navy says this photo shows two Chinese trawlers forcing the Impeccable to make an emergency "all stop."

The Navy says this photo shows two Chinese trawlers forcing the USNS Impeccable to make an emergency “all stop.”

China Extends Navy’s Anti-Piracy Mission Near Somalia

March 9, 2009

he Chinese naval fleet joining the international anti-piracy campaign in Somali waters is likely to be replaced by new ships late April or early May, according to the deputy chief of staff of the People’s Liberation Army Navy.

In an exclusive interview with China Daily, Major General Zhang Deshun disclosed for the first time that the current mission for the naval fleet lasts about four months and the fleet will be replaced near the end of its mission.

The current fleet left the coastal resort city of Sanya in Hainan province on Dec 26, 2008, and began patrolling and guiding Chinese and overseas civilian vessels since its arrival in Somali waters this January.

Citing the mission so far as a great success, the major general said the navy has prepared for a prolonged endeavor in which China joins forces with international naval forces to combat piracy.

“We feel this is not a short mission. The length of the mission depends on the Somali political situation and whether Somali pirates can be eventually kept away,” he said.

The major general said substitute warships and personnel were ready to take charge, but he was not privileged to disclose either the number of warships replaced or the names of the new warships that would sail towards the Gulf of Aden next, just yet.

But he did say that some officers and soldiers with the current fleet would stay longer to ensure the “consistency and effectiveness of the mission”.

“Some key members will be staying for the second phase,” the general said, adding the navy has drawn up multiple plans for the replacement, to be carried out once approved.

The plans also include emergency cases, such as the failure of a warship and the impact of the monsoon due next month on the Indian Ocean.

Zhang said a welcome ceremony would be held at the naval base when the current fleet returns.

The current naval fleet includes flagship Wuhan, destroyer Haikou and supplier ship Weishanhu.

By March 7, the fleet has completed over 110 patrolling missions in Somali waters.

The officer said not a single vessel, including three foreign ships, were attacked under the Chinese navy’s protection.

The general said the destroyer Haikou also escorted Tianyu 8, a fishing vessel from Tianjin released by Somali pirates on Feb 8.

The warship guided the vessel to safe water territory, providing food and medical aid to the 24 crew members aboard.

Source: China Daily

Related:
 Pentagon: Chinese Ships Harassed Unarmed Navy Craft in International Waters

China Says Its Navy Expansion “No threat to others”


Above: Missile Destroyer Haikou 171 of the PLA Navy’s South China Sea Fleet.  She departed with two other Chinese warships on a mission to the Gulf of Aden near Somali on anti-pirate patrol in December.  Many in the West see this as a sign of renewed cooperation between China and other military powers.  Haikou and the other ships of China’s anti-pirate patrol near Somalia will be replaced by similar ships next month.