The Obama Administration has used tough words in response to the Chinese Communist Party’s military buildup in the South China Sea, particularly the highly disputed Spratly Islands (Washington Examiner):
“I want to be clear about our position on the South China Sea,” (Defense Secretary Ashton) Carter said. “First, we want a peaceful resolution of all disputes, and an immediate and lasting halt to land reclamation by any claimant. We also oppose any further militarization of disputed features. Second — and there should … be no mistake about this — the United States will fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows, as we do all around the world.”
Of course, we’ve heard tough words from the Administration regarding a number of foreign policy matters, only to see them float away in the winds of time.
This time, however, the tough talk followed new military deals with our Pacific allies to boost the anti-CCP alliance.
Lat month, the president scored a deal with the Philippines to bring troops back onto the island archipelago for the first time in over 20 years (AP via Yahoo):
The U.S. military will get greater access to bases across the Philippines under a 10-year agreement signed Monday in conjunction with President Barack Obama’s visit in a deal seen as an effort by Washington to counter Chinese aggression in the region.
U.S. Ambassador Philip Goldberg and Philippine Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin signed the agreement at the main military camp in the capital, Manila, ahead of Obama’s stop and portrayed it is as a central part of his weeklong Asia swing.
The Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement will give American forces temporary access to selected military camps and allow them to preposition fighter jets and ships.
This came mere hours after a deal with Japan that “renewed the US security pledge over the islets known as the Senkakus” (BBC) – an island chain Japan controls but the CCP claims.
The Japanese responded by volunteering to join an ANZUS (Australia, New Zealand, and US) military drill in July (Channel News Asia).
How much has the CCP frightened its neighbors? Washington offered $18 million in military equipment to…Vietnam, who snatched it up and are asking for more (Today, Singapore).
Truth be told, if this Administration had used anything remotely similar in diplomatic effort and geopolitical action in the rest of the world, it would have far fewer critics…and the country would likely have far fewer problems.