In a war of elephants, the ants get squeezed - EDITORIAL

10 June 2019 12:03 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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ver since Donald Trump became the US President, as well as during his presidential campaign, he raised the spectre of an aggressive China building its military, naval and air power and the threat China pose to both US interests and the interests of neighbouring states in the region.   
Today we see US naval forces ‘patrolling’ the South China Sea and on many occasions coming into confrontation with the Chinese Navy in what China claims are its territorial waters and the US claims are international waters... a war of words and threats of dire consequences have ensued.  
Trump also complained of uneven trade practices employed by China and is demanding the opening up of Chinese markets to US companies. China’s refusal to back down has now resulted in the imposition of billions of dollars of taxes on Chinese goods imported into the US market -a China-US trade war has resulted.  
At another level we are seeing growing military confrontation in the South China Sea region. The western controlled media have hyped China’s construction of artificial islands in the South China Sea and claim the same are being militarised posing a threat to countries like Japan, Vietnam, the Philippines etc. Based on these claims US warships constantly patrol the seas off China, claiming they are protecting international waterways and protecting Japanese, Vietnamese and Filipino interests from Chinese aggression.  


The US may have forgotten the atrocities it committed in Japan (by its nuclear bombing of that country) or the use of chemical weapons in Vietnam (during the Vietnam war) and its support of the dictator Marcos in the Philippines. But the people of these countries have not forgotten, and they recognise the hypocrisy of the US actions and its attempts to use them as cats’ paws in the US search for worldwide hegemony. Unfortunately this big power confrontation is now spilling into our part of the world - the South Asia region.   
The US is spawning a possible confrontation in the South Asian region. Using a theory of a Chinese ‘String of Pearls’, friendly or controlled naval ports controlled by China, stretching from Pakistan to Bangladesh to Sri Lanka to the Maldives which are encircling and posing a a threat to India. The thinking goes, that through its string of ports, China ensures, its needs in energy resources (petroleum oil and gas) which keep its factories running and are ensured of continuous interrupted supply of the precious resource. At the same time these ports encircle its regional rival India in a ring of steel so-to-say.  


Today Japan and India are now being encouraged to join forces to challenge China in the South Asia region, thereby diverting the attention of these countries away from their country specific goals, to goals of how to bring down a perceived economic or military foe. The question is, does China, India Japan or even Russia actually pose a threat to the US either militarily or economically?  
The US Military has bases in 63 countries. Brand new military bases have been built since September 11, 2001 in seven countries. In total, there are 255,065 US military personnel deployed worldwide, and the land occupied by US forces both within the US and outside of the US covers around 30 million acres. In addition the US also maintains 7 ‘Sea bases’ and supremacy in the oceans via its seven different fleets stationed in the oceans around the world:   
The United States First Fleet was in operation from as early as 1946 to February 1, 1973 in the western Pacific Ocean as part of the Pacific Fleet. In 1973, it was disestablished and its duties assumed by the Third Fleet. The United States Second Fleet is responsible for the East Coast and North Atlantic Ocean. The Second Fleet oversaw approximately 126 ships, 4,500 aircraft, and 90,000 personnel home-ported at U.S. Navy installations along the United States East Coast.  


The United States sea-going force includes five aircraft carrier strike groups, each consisting of a combination of cruisers, destroyers, and frigates. They also have more than 30 submarines and a dozen supply ships to support the strike groups. Third Fleet’s air forces comprise more than 400 Navy aircraft, including F/A-18 Super Hornets, E-2C Hawkeyes, AV-8B Harriers, AH-1Z Super Cobras, and SH-60 Seahawks. The US Fourth Fleet is responsible for US naval ships aircraft and submarines operating in the Caribbean, the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans around Central and South America  
In all oceans of the world the US maintains its fleets, he US military strength is unmatched worldwide. Through its media hype it is merely using regional powers to fight each other to enable it to maintain its superiority worldwide   

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