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BawliBooch
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Korea "decoupling effect" - Is it time for Japan to revisit military options?

Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:46 am

In the past 5 years, North Korea has made tremendous progress in its nuclear & missile programmes and has managed in a short space of less than a decade come within striking distance of a ICBM capable of hitting the US eastern seaboard - some analysts say as early as May 2018.

This capability brings up the decoupling question - America's relationship with its East Asian is built on the framework of mutual defense guarantees. It was one thing for America to guarantee Japan or South Korea's security when the US mainland was not within reach of the North Korean regime. But with that now happening, can America really be expected to wade in to rescue South Korea considering the real possibility of its own homeland being within range of North Korean missiles? Ditto for Japan.

The Japanese constitution expressly disavowed a forward military policy and preferred adoption of a defensive stance. Their Airforce is called Japan Air Self-Defense Force and so on. With the US guarantees placed in doubt, is it time for Japan to re-evaluate its security doctrine and pass necessary amendments to its constitution to return to the 1930's era offensive abilities?

Perhaps Japanese planners could envision a "string of pearls" approach with Japanese bases overseas on Islands in the Pacific and South China Sea along with a revamped and expanded Military-Industrial complex to support it. This would also serve to effectively counter-balance Chinese expansionism & aggression which the American's have failed to counter.
L' Esprit de Mai 68
 
CH47A
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Re: Korea "decoupling effect" - Is it time for Japan to revisit military options?

Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:57 am

I don't have the links you would need to fully understand what I know to be true and possibly you would doubt that I do understand this political situation in Japan, but PM Abe was going to do some messing about with the constitution and many thought he would get away with it, but then things started going sour for him.

And it wasn't specifically that he wanted to amend the constitution that caused him trouble. He has made some other political errors, as well.

By the way, you don't seem to have a very high opinion of Americans -- like the Americans not wanting to honor our commitments to our allies.

Oh yes, where exactly have the Americans failed to counter Chinese moves? I'd appreciate some learning on that point. I'm a bit dense in some areas of life. Okay, not "some" -- most.
 
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BawliBooch
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Re: Korea "decoupling effect" - Is it time for Japan to revisit military options?

Fri Aug 11, 2017 5:35 am

CH47A wrote:
By the way, you don't seem to have a very high opinion of Americans -- like the Americans not wanting to honor our commitments to our allies.

au-contraire monsieur! I have a lot of regard for the American people and the strength of US democratic institutions and the willingness and ability shown by average american's to resist Trump. But you must agree the rise of Trump is deeply worrying for many in the rest of the world.

He has just in the past few weeks asked South Korea to foot the bill for the THAAD system and increase support for stationing US troops in that country. I also remember seeing an interview on Fox of a senior Trump administration official who specifically said something to the effect of "focus on preventing American casualties" in the event of war. Realistic comment yes, but wonder how that comment was read in Seoul & Tokyo.

CH47A wrote:
Oh yes, where exactly have the Americans failed to counter Chinese moves? I'd appreciate some learning on that point. I'm a bit dense in some areas of life. Okay, not "some" -- most.

South China sea. Surely, Chinese strategic moves in the region could have been countered better. Not Trump's fault.

The entire 2006-2016 period is one of decline of US influence.
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rfields5421
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Re: Korea "decoupling effect" - Is it time for Japan to revisit military options?

Fri Aug 11, 2017 5:15 pm

BawliBooch wrote:
can America really be expected to wade in to rescue South Korea considering the real possibility of its own homeland being within range of North Korean missiles?


Yes.

The leadership of the US will enforce those treaties. Some in the US will disagree. The difference is that the US will not be content with holding the battle below the DMZ. Any conflict involving North Korea will require strikes in NK to destroy their long range ballistic missile capability.

I've seen many social media posts that question why the US should care about Guam. That we should move our troops/ bases back to Hawaii - i.e. the US.

Guam is part of the United States. Just many to most US citizens don't know enough about history or geography. I lived on Guam for 2 years in the early 70s. I can't tell you how many of my family, hometown friends, high school classmates ask me questions like "What language do they speak?" "What kind of money do they use?"

BawliBooch wrote:
The Japanese constitution expressly disavowed a forward military policy and preferred adoption of a defensive stance. Their Airforce is called Japan Air Self-Defense Force and so on. With the US guarantees placed in doubt, is it time for Japan to re-evaluate its security doctrine and pass necessary amendments to its constitution to return to the 1930's era offensive abilities?


I will defer to those with more direct recent experience in Japan, but my understanding is that the JMSDF, JASDF, JSDF military forces in Japan have the capability, the equipment, the planning and the targeting to attack North Korea. The government has expressly said several times that weapons (missiles) with warhead overflights of Japan toward US targets fulfill the constitutional requirement for an offensive attack on Japan and allow full defensive response.

A defensive response could include air strikes, cruise missile attacks and possibly an invasion force of North Korea.

(Do remember that Korea, both North and South, have no love for the Japanese. Officially from 1910, but practically from 1871, until 1945 - Korea was a vassal of Japan. Nobody in any part of Korea wants Japanese troops on the peninsula.)
 
VSMUT
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Re: Korea "decoupling effect" - Is it time for Japan to revisit military options?

Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:04 pm

CH47A wrote:
Oh yes, where exactly have the Americans failed to counter Chinese moves? I'd appreciate some learning on that point. I'm a bit dense in some areas of life. Okay, not "some" -- most.


All of Africa and Central Asia, significant parts of South Asia and South America. China has been making massive moves into those regions completely unopposed by the US (and almost completely unnoticed by the majority of the west, media and governments alike).
 
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BobPatterson
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Re: Korea "decoupling effect" - Is it time for Japan to revisit military options?

Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:33 pm

VSMUT wrote:
CH47A wrote:
Oh yes, where exactly have the Americans failed to counter Chinese moves? I'd appreciate some learning on that point. I'm a bit dense in some areas of life. Okay, not "some" -- most.


All of Africa and Central Asia, significant parts of South Asia and South America. China has been making massive moves into those regions completely unopposed by the US (and almost completely unnoticed by the majority of the west, media and governments alike).

What kind of "moves" other than trade and the financing of development projects?
Facts are fragile things. Treat them with care. Sources are important. Alternative facts do not exist.
 
VSMUT
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Re: Korea "decoupling effect" - Is it time for Japan to revisit military options?

Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:57 pm

BobPatterson wrote:
What kind of "moves" other than trade and the financing of development projects?


Trade and economic development aren't factors to be sneezed at. The contributions made by China are massive, probably bigger than any other economic development program ever, the Marshall plan included. The Marshall plan succeeded in making most of western Europe unwavering allies of the US for 60 years.

Apart from trade and economic development, China has moved massive amounts of Chinese workers to these regions, officially over 250.000 at the moment, with no signs of China being willing to reduce the growth. They prop up local governments (*cough*regimes*cough*) and are busy establishing military bases all over. They recently opened their new base in Djibouti, but they have been active with minor deployments and bases since the 1990s at least, and gained lots of trust and allies from supporting certain sides in various wars. The entire carrier building program, as well as assault ships and transport aircraft are arguably also aimed at asserting Chinese influence in these regions, undoubtedly under the excuse of protecting their migrant work force and investments.
 
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BobPatterson
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Re: Korea "decoupling effect" - Is it time for Japan to revisit military options?

Sat Aug 12, 2017 12:19 am

VSMUT wrote:
BobPatterson wrote:
What kind of "moves" other than trade and the financing of development projects?


Trade and economic development aren't factors to be sneezed at. The contributions made by China are massive, probably bigger than any other economic development program ever, the Marshall plan included. The Marshall plan succeeded in making most of western Europe unwavering allies of the US for 60 years.

Apart from trade and economic development, China has moved massive amounts of Chinese workers to these regions, officially over 250.000 at the moment, with no signs of China being willing to reduce the growth. They prop up local governments (*cough*regimes*cough*) and are busy establishing military bases all over. They recently opened their new base in Djibouti, but they have been active with minor deployments and bases since the 1990s at least, and gained lots of trust and allies from supporting certain sides in various wars. The entire carrier building program, as well as assault ships and transport aircraft are arguably also aimed at asserting Chinese influence in these regions, undoubtedly under the excuse of protecting their migrant work force and investments.

"China....... are busy establishing military bases all over".

Do you have a list of these "military" bases other than the one in Djibouti?

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-china ... SKBN19X049
Facts are fragile things. Treat them with care. Sources are important. Alternative facts do not exist.
 
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BawliBooch
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Re: Korea "decoupling effect" - Is it time for Japan to revisit military options?

Sat Aug 12, 2017 3:00 am

BobPatterson wrote:
Do you have a list of these "military" bases other than the one in Djibouti?

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-china ... SKBN19X049


Djibouti is a major first step. But China has smaller listening posts and other naval facilities strung around the Indian Ocean area.

String of Pearls

They are also poised to take control of Hambantota, a major port in Sri Lanka.

China is also supplying submarines to 2 countries in the Bay of Bengal: Bangladesh & Myanmar.

Myanmar is building a large submarine base with Chinese "assistance". A country like Myanmar without a single submarine or much maritime history building a huge submarine base? It is being seen in some circles as a proxy move for a Chinese base in the future.
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VSMUT
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Re: Korea "decoupling effect" - Is it time for Japan to revisit military options?

Sat Aug 12, 2017 3:37 pm

BawliBooch wrote:
BobPatterson wrote:
Do you have a list of these "military" bases other than the one in Djibouti?

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-china ... SKBN19X049


Djibouti is a major first step. But China has smaller listening posts and other naval facilities strung around the Indian Ocean area.

String of Pearls

They are also poised to take control of Hambantota, a major port in Sri Lanka.

China is also supplying submarines to 2 countries in the Bay of Bengal: Bangladesh & Myanmar.

Myanmar is building a large submarine base with Chinese "assistance". A country like Myanmar without a single submarine or much maritime history building a huge submarine base? It is being seen in some circles as a proxy move for a Chinese base in the future.


Those are just some of the more high-profile bases. Lesser known are all sorts of UN deployments (China is the biggest contributor of peacekeeping troops to the UN), embassy "guards", small detachments dotted across Africa to train local forces or protect Chinese interests etc. It wouldn't surprise me the slightest if many of the security people protecting Chinese construction projects in Africa are in fact little green men. When I lived in Africa some 15-20 years ago, some Chinese operated commercial ports received an astounding number of visits from PLAN ships.

China isn't stupid, they didn't march in with flags waving for the entire world to see. It's just so much easier to mask your military expansion as infrastructure development and peacekeeping missions for the UN, and avoiding the wrath of the western world for doing so.
 
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scbriml
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Re: Korea "decoupling effect" - Is it time for Japan to revisit military options?

Sat Aug 12, 2017 6:39 pm

VSMUT wrote:
China isn't stupid, they didn't march in with flags waving for the entire world to see. It's just so much easier to mask your military expansion as infrastructure development and peacekeeping missions for the UN, and avoiding the wrath of the western world for doing so.


Yep, it's imperialism by stealth.

Just try flying or sailing by one of their new islands to see how laid back they are about their expansion.
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WIederling
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Re: Korea "decoupling effect" - Is it time for Japan to revisit military options?

Sun Aug 13, 2017 3:01 pm

scbriml wrote:
Just try flying or sailing by one of their new islands to see how laid back they are about their expansion.


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