Obama Ignores Chinese Provocation in Alaska
President Theodore Roosevelt in 1907, at the dawn of what would be called the “American Century,” sent the Great White Fleet on a 14-month-long world cruise, Consisting of four naval squadron including four battleships each accompanied by their escorts, it was a signal that America had arrived as a world power and was going to be a player.
By sending five warships into Alaskan territorial waters while President Obama visited the 49th state to eat bear-killed salmon, rename Mt. McKinley, and warn of non-existent climate change,, China has made a similar statement that it intends this to be the Chinese century, a message our commander-in-chief has studiously ignored.
The Obama administration contends that there is nothing to see in the Chinese action, so move on, and it was not in fact a threatening move but an innocent transit allowed under the Law of the Sea Treaty, one of those pacts that have put restraints on American sovereignty and security:
“This was a legal transit of U.S. territorial seas conducted in accordance with the Law of the Sea Convention,” said Pentagon spokesman Cmdr. Bill Urban. (snip)….
China’s Defense Ministry confirmed that its navy ships had sailed to the Bering Sea for training after joint exercises with Russia in late August, but said the activity was routine and not aimed at any particular country.
Right. We should not be concerned with Chinese warships coming with 12 nautical miles of the U.S. coast after conducting naval exercises with the Russians in the Northern Pacific as President Obama shrinks U.S. Navy levels to numbers lower than before World War I.
The Chinese naval move comes after a parade reminiscent of the old Soviet May Day parades through Red Square where Moscow showed off its latest military hardware as an annual warning to the West. The massive Chinese military parade through Tiananmen Square, where Chinese tanks crushed liberty-seeking protesters, also was meant
to convey a similar message. As the: Daily Signal reports
Hard to miss the in-your-face symbolism of China parading ballistic missiles -- with military designations written on the side in English -- that analysts have dubbed the “carrier killer” and the “Guam?killer.”
The “carrier killer” is the land-based and road mobile DF-21D, specifically designed to attack U.S. carrier battle groups as they would rush to the aid of Pacific allies such as South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. As Investor’s Business Daily reported:
The Dong Feng-21D is intended to give China "the capability to attack large ships, particularly aircraft carriers, in the western Pacific," the Pentagon's 2012 China report said. The report cites estimates that the missile's range exceeds 930 miles (1,500 kilometers).
The land-based missile is designed to target and track aircraft carrier groups with the help of satellites, unmanned aerial vehicles and over-the-horizon radar. Launched into space, the DF21D re-enters the atmosphere, maneuvering at 10 times the speed of sound towards its target.
China’s ambition is to drive the U.S. out of the Western Pacific and fulfill its territorial ambitions which includes the Paracel and Spratly Islands in the South China Sea and Japan’s Senkaku Islands in the East China. Sea. To this end it is building a blue water navy which includes its first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, is building artificial islands in disputed waters, and is testing hypersonic glide vehicles, also designed to attack U.S. carriers, dubbed the WU-14:
U.S. missile defenses are designed to deal with ballistic missile warheads that follow a suborbital trajectory. A hypersonic vehicle is different. Its trajectory does not enter space and can maneuver in the atmosphere. That makes it more difficult to detect, track and intercept with a missile defense system.
The testing and development of the WU-14 follows on the heels of China's deployment of a "carrier-killer," the DF-21D, a road-mobile anti-ship ballistic missile. This land-based weapon is designed to target and track aircraft carrier groups with the help of satellites, unmanned aerial vehicles and over-the-horizon radar. Launched into space, the DF-21D re-enters the atmosphere and maneuvers at 10 times the speed of sound toward its target.
All of this caused Adm. Samuel J. Locklear III, chief of U.S. Pacvific Command (PACCOM) to recently tell the annual Surface Navy Conference in Virginia that the U.S. was in grave danger of losing its Pacific naval dominance to the Chinese, making a mockery of our much-ballyhooed “Pacific pivot”:
If jaws didn't drop, they should have last week when Adm. Samuel J. Locklear III, chief of U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM), said: "Our historic dominance that most of us in this room have enjoyed is diminishing, no question."
U.S. naval and air superiority, particularly in the Pacific, has been taken for granted. But as Obama administration budget cuts and the effects of sequestration take their toll, our position is being severely challenged by a Chinese military benefiting from years of double-digit spending increases and a commitment from Beijing to push the U.S. out of the area.
So we have much more to worry about than the Chinese economy and currency or whether Beijing is robbing us blind in trade deals. And much more to worry about than endangered polar bears or how the salmon are running in Alaska.
Daniel John Sobieski is a free lance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.