Go Back   DefenceTalk Forum - Military & Defense Forums > Global Defense & Military > Geo-strategic Issues

Defense News
Land, Air & Naval Forces






Military Photos
Latest Military Pictures
Defense Reports
Aerospace & Defence


South China Sea thoughts?

This is a discussion on South China Sea thoughts? within the Geo-strategic Issues forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; First of all, OPSSG damn that was a impressive post you made earlier with some rock solid info cheers. Secondly ...


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old July 16th, 2013   #76
Defense Enthusiast
Lieutenant
Beatmaster's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 506
Threads:
First of all, OPSSG damn that was a impressive post you made earlier with some rock solid info cheers.

Secondly this might not be completely on topic but after reading all this is clear that re-balancing the US forces in Asia will make lots of people happy, but at the same time it will probably piss of just as many.
However regarding those claims by China on islands near Japan, and those islands which (now) belong to the Philippines and claims vice versa, does this not heat up the situation as it is?
My point is Asia is a very dangerous and BIG region to play with, regardless the motives in the past 100 years Asia has been a very complex region where some of the most horrible wars started over rather small things.

Today in this day and age and the revolution of all the media assets available to the world the whole region (And the rest of the world) did become smaller day by day, as more people have access to media and such.
Thus more people supporting each claim making side creating a even more complex situation which requires the full attention of all factions to bring this down to a good end without having to fight a conflict, regional war or worse.

Now some might see China as the emerging power and potential bully, and just as much people might claim the same about the US.
Fact is that the re-balancing of the US armed forces in the region will make a lot of people nervous in Beijng, and as history show, nervous people often suck at decision making And to add another twist is that one could say that the US is sort of closing in on China by building/upgrading or moving bases and to include themself (Either on request, or by offering it) into standing disputes in the region.

All in all together the motives and reasoning might be not as bad as i pictured here, but fact is that it might be a bit uncomfortable (to put it mild) for the brass in Beijng.
And this could set the stage for regional instability or even conflicts between factions over those claims, or any other "event" that might spark from the chain reaction that follows.

So my questions is:
How can China, Japan, Philippines make their claims valid?
How can a conflict in the region be avoided?
What can the US do to maintain their presents and re-balancing their armed forces in the region without setting off a red flag in Beijng?
And what if none of the factions can "legally" or in a international and political valid way claim the islands, what could be done in such situation assuming that none will drop their claims?
Because one faction might resort to force to secure their interests, now lets assume for a second that there would be a document of some sort "valid" and "rock-solid" validating (Beyond the reasonable doubt) the claims by China (As a example here)
Then both Japan and Philippines claims would be of the table right? and the "islands" should be returned to their parent nation correct?

What if this scenario would be true? and Japan or the Phillies would NOT give back the islands this might force China in their own right to capture them and use force?
What is the US then going to do?

Many questions and possible scenarios but the reason for it is simple, all the talks and rhetoric from all involved nations does only heat up the situation, while NONE of them has conclusive proof that their claims are valid, in the mean time the US is taking sides by openly supporting nations in their claims.
And taking into account that the region itself is pretty unstable it save to say that the "what if i am wrong" situation is lurking around the corner and with that agreements made will also have cons and pros.

So the grand question on top of all is: Did the US and its allies set them selfs up for a future conflict? by taking sides this early in the game?

And what is currently being done or is going to be done to make sure that the legal owner of those Island can keep them or see them returned to their rightful owner?

Because as has been said in previous posts some factions pledged to defend the islands. Now if for some reason China's claims proof to be valid and real (as i mentioned before) then it would put the other factions into a really bad situation as i can imagine that regardless if you are China, Japan, or Philippines ... if proven valid you want whats yours right? And Imo it would look pretty bad and stupid if the west is interfering in these regional disputes while risking to be drawn into a conflict that they participated in based on wrong or invalid claims.

So would it not be better for stability and political reasons to take a neutral stance and just advocate "validity" and "stability" while stopping both side from resorting to military options?

Because imo at this point the military build up in Asia is huge, China is building up at a sick making speed, NK and SK are both armed to the teeth, Japan and Taiwan both are doing their bit in terms of military development and now the US is also increasing its already great present in the region....

All in all this adds to many fuel to a already hot situation.

As i said maybe not completely on topic but i would like someone to explain me this, as you got to admit that with the stakes for each side at all time high that all this is action in Asia must start to worry people in Asia and obviously abroad.
Beatmaster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 17th, 2013   #77
Super Moderator
General
swerve's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Reading, Berkshire
Posts: 6,619
Threads:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beatmaster View Post
...
Because imo at this point the military build up in Asia is huge, China is building up at a sick making speed, NK and SK are both armed to the teeth, Japan and Taiwan both are doing their bit in terms of military development ....
What? Let's sit back & think about this.

Japan is replacing old ships with new ones at no more than 1:1 (albeit the new ones are more capable), & aircraft at less than 1:1. It's been replacing AFVs at less than 1:1 for years, & there's no sign of change.

North Korea is armed to the teeth - but build up? That was in the 1960s & 1970s. Its air force is sinking further into obsolescence, with no replacements for museum pieces that other air forces retired long ago. Where it is introducing new equipment, it's in small numbers, less than the numbers of old weapons wearing out.

South Korea is upgrading, but not expanding. It's buying high-end new systems in smaller numbers than what they're replacing.

Taiwan - what build up? Numbers are falling, again.


Don't confuse modernisation with a build up. Weapons wear out. Before that, they've probably become ineffective through obsolesence. If you don't replace them with something new, your capabilities decline.
swerve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 17th, 2013   #78
Defense Aficionado
Major General
No Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 2,346
Threads:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beatmaster View Post
China does consider its claims valid
China realises that adopting a policy that is too aggressive will send the wrong signals which will be counter produtive to her interests and will draw countries closer to Uncle Sam. As long as other claimants do not do something that is considered too provocative or has the potential to legally challenge China's claims, China is content to maintain the status quo. It goes without saying that a stick and carrot approach is also maintained, Chinese vessels [mostly non PLAN] enter disputed areas to remind claimants that the area is an indisputable part of China and China in the past has mentioned the possibility of joint oil and gas exploration.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beatmaster View Post
the Philippines walk away from their respective claims.
The Philippines has a major advantage that Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam doesn't have, she is linked to the U.S. by a defence treaty. Although the Philippines - of all the claimants - has the weakest military, she has something to fall back on. I remember reading somewhere during the 1990's a statement by a leading U.S. official that although there was a defence treaty in place - which obliged Unce Sam to provide immediate assistance in the event of an external threat on the Philippines - that the treaty did not cover any troubles arising over the Spratlys.

In more recent times however, although the U.S. [I could be wrong here] has not specifically stated that she would miltarily aid the Philippines if China resorts to military force in the Spratlys, the U.S. will in all certainty use all its diplomatic influence and if needed - some sabre rattling - to ensure the Philippines does not get into too much trouble with China. If the U.S. stayed on the sidelines, this would send a wrong message to other 'allies'' and partners'' around the world.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beatmaster View Post
Which eventually will draw in US response So what then?
With regards to the Spratlys, if a conflict or skirmish in the area threatens the international sea lanes or the right of free navigation, the U.S. will have no choice but to intervene.

Not sure if you've seen this but it's worth watching -

101 East - Standoff at Scarborough Shoal - YouTube

An interesting article about Malaysia and China -

http://www.aspistrategist.org.au/why...china-for-now/

The Spratlys and the Paracels even became an issue during Arsenal's tour to Vietnam -

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-22995631

Last edited by STURM; July 17th, 2013 at 05:03 PM.
STURM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 23rd, 2013   #79
Defense Enthusiast
Captain
No Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 784
Threads:
Quote:
Originally Posted by STURM View Post
The Philippines has a major advantage that Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam doesn't have, she is linked to the U.S. by a defence treaty. Although the Philippines - of all the claimants - has the weakest military, she has something to fall back on. I remember reading somewhere during the 1990's a statement by a leading U.S. official that although there was a defence treaty in place - which obliged Unce Sam to provide immediate assistance in the event of an external threat on the Philippines - that the treaty did not cover any troubles arising over the Spratlys.
AFAIK, the Philippine Constitution at the time the Mutual Defense Treaty was created did not include the Spratly's as being part of Philippines territory. Still, the expressions of support emanating from Washington would have to be taken into account by planners in Beijing so they would have some deterrent value, I suppose.
colay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 24th, 2013   #80
Super Moderator
General
OPSSG's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Singapore
Posts: 3,299
Threads:
Quote:
Originally Posted by colay View Post
the expressions of support... would have some deterrent value, I suppose.
My apologies, but this is such an emperor is naked discussion at so many levels from my subjective point of view. Correctly understood, deterrence is a strategy intended to dissuade an adversary from undertaking an action not yet started, or to prevent them from doing something that another state desires. The present Philippine lack of naval capability lacks of deterrence. Before, we continue this discussion, there are five other factors to consider in the current Sino-Philippine disputes:-

One, the Philippines does not have the political will to change its inadequate approach to defence and the so called funding increases given thus far will not result in the development of any significant Philippine naval capability (enough to have a deterrent effect on PRC or any other claimant) - a fact confirmed by the content of President Benigno Aquino III's state of the nation address in July 2013. I don't understand President Benigno Aquino III's desire to wash dirty laundry in public in the same speech where he said:
"Here is another example of the kind of thinking we’ve had to eradicate from government. Eight combat utility helicopters were bought for what they claimed to be “the more efficient deployment of our soldiers.” The problem: The guns the helicopters were equipped with were mounted at the door; requiring their removal in order to enable people to pass. If you are a soldier entering the fray at the height of battle, what use is a machine gun that is set aside and unable to fire? Did no one think about this before the contracts were signed? Why was this even approved in the first place?"
The above quote shows him crossing the line between honesty and stupidity. Why is the head of state dealing with such minor technical matters? IMO, if they were serious, why stop at acquiring LIFTS/SAA? If the Philippines was serious about urgently improving naval capabilities, quickly, they could have and should have bid for the three Nakhoda Ragam class vessels (which have been acquired by Indonesia) - but they did not (preferring to go the cheaper route, with former US Coast Guard Cutters and their endless delays on their MRV/SSV project).

Two, increased US naval patrols in Phillipine EEZ is visible, but useless from a Philippine sovereign point of view - in terms of Philippine enforcement of its EEZ. The weaker a country is, the more likely continued escalation or war becomes the choosing of its enemies. The current problem/dispute goes as far back as the Taiwanese claim (from November 1946) and occupation of Taiping Island (from June 1956), which ensures that Taiwan has grounds for claiming a EEZ around Taiping Island and its sister features. These Taiwanese acts pre-date the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention. Beginning in 1970, the Philippines occupies five features in the Spratlys, claiming the western portion of the island group. China is continuing a tradition of spanking the Philippines that was initiated by the Vietnamese (by establishing a permanent presence in disputed shoals viz-a-viz the Philippines). The Vietnamese now occupy more than 20 islands in the area, and they have built lighthouses on nine of them; and the Malaysians have stationed troops on a number of features in the Spratly Islands in 1983 and 1986, including Pulau Layang Layang (which ensures Malaysian ability to claim waters there too), with Malaysian Naval forces on five EEZ stations. In October 1999, two Malaysian fighters and two Philippine surveillance planes confront each other over a Malaysian-occupied reef in the Spratly Islands. The April 2012 stand-off between China and the Philippines at Scarborough Shoal is one incident in a long list of incidents between the two parties (or for that matter by either party with other claimants). Therefore, the current issues between China and Philippines in that area, is not a new trend.

Three, China's hard-line policy on Philippines will not change until a new and more pliable Philippine President comes to power after June 2016. President Benigno Aquino III has demonstrated a consistent inability to understand defence matters (see my prior three part post in this thread - part 1, part 2 and part 3) and will not be able to effectively lead his country in managing its disputes with a resurgent China (with all the measures taken by his administration - all too little, and all too late). IMO, the PRC Government is keen to further humiliate the administration of President Benigno Aquino III, as they have an adversarial relationship - as demonstration to other watchers. China's hostility is directed at the Philippines, specifically at this current administration - where the parties have had heated exchanges at international events; and the Philippines is trying to seek International Arbitration in relation to their bilateral South China Sea dispute (see this 9 page CNAS Bulletin #10 on the issues). I note that the last GMA administration did not have the same problems with China.

Four, Sino-US relations are on the mend and both countries do not want to go to war (with the US having just got-out of Iraq and planning to get-out of Afghanistan), much less go to war with China over disputed Sino-Philippine EEZ claims - which is a unilateral issue of Philippine fishery/economic interest. To be fair, let me list two examples where it demonstrates that both the US and China do not have the will to go to war with each other, as follows:
(i) on May 7, 1999, the US accidentally bombed China's embassy in Belgrade (no war resulted); and

(ii) on April 1, 2001, in the Hainan Island incident, where China detained 24 US Navy EP-3 crew members until a statement was delivered by US government regarding the incident. The exact phrasing of this document was intentionally ambiguous and allowed both countries to save face while simultaneously defusing a potentially volatile situation.
Five, given the degree of Philippine public ambivalence to the presence of US troops, one must question the degree of US resolve to support the Philippines and the coming austerity to the US defense budget has triggered anxiety in US partners and allies in Asia. As an example, the grounding of the USS Guardian, gave greater voice to Philippine activists who criticized the US Navy for damaging Tubbataha Reef. The question, I ask:
Is the bilateral American-Philippine relationship significantly better than another Major Non-NATO Ally, like Afghanistan or even Thailand?
This stands in direct contrast to the US support for Japan (where Japanese naval capability provides the first line of defence and US bases in Japan provide a strong backdrop).
________________
“Terrorism is the tactic of demanding the impossible, and demanding it at gunpoint.”
Christopher Hitchens

Last edited by OPSSG; July 27th, 2013 at 12:39 AM.
OPSSG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 24th, 2013   #81
Defense Aficionado
Major General
No Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 2,346
Threads:
Quote:
Originally Posted by colay View Post
AFAIK, the Philippine Constitution at the time the Mutual Defense Treaty was created did not include the Spratly's as being part of Philippines territory.
You're right it did not; and that is one reason why - in the 1990's - a U.S. official publicly stated that the Mutual Defence Treaty did not cover the Spratlys. I forgot who the U.S official was and in what context the statement was made [it could have been after the Mischief Reef Incident] but I remember reading it in a local paper.

Last edited by STURM; July 24th, 2013 at 07:27 AM.
STURM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 24th, 2013   #82
Defense Aficionado
Major General
No Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 2,346
Threads:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beatmaster View Post
Because honestly given the situation at hand the last thing Asia needs is another potential crisis.
Given current events in the Middle East and the potential for trouble there to spread elsewhere, the last thing the world needs is another conflict anywhere; not just in Asia.

China - like everyone else - has no desire to get involved in a conflict with anyone. As I mentioned in a previous post, I believe that unless someone does something to drastically alter the statu quo or does something that China pervceives to be very 'provocative', China is contend to let things remain as they are and offer other claimants the ''carrot and stick'' approach.
STURM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 25th, 2013   #83
Just Hatched
Private
No Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 4
Threads:
Quote:
Originally Posted by OPSSG View Post
1.]One, the Philippines does not have the political will to change its inadequate approach to defence and the so called funding increases given thus far will not result in the development of any significant Philippine naval capability (enough to have a deterrent effect on PRC or any other claimant). I don't understand President Benigno Aquino III's desire to wash dirty laundry in public in the same speech where he said:
"Here is another example of the kind of thinking we’ve had to eradicate from government. Eight combat utility helicopters were bought for what they claimed to be “the more efficient deployment of our soldiers.” The problem: The guns the helicopters were equipped with were mounted at the door; requiring their removal in order to enable people to pass. If you are a soldier entering the fray at the height of battle, what use is a machine gun that is set aside and unable to fire? Did no one think about this before the contracts were signed? Why was this even approved in the first place?"
The above quote shows him crossing the line between honesty and stupidity. Why is the head of state dealing with such minor technical matters? IMO, if they were serious, why stop at acquiring LIFTS/SAA?
1.) More like a lack of money rather than political will. Our politicians might like big ticket defense items because they could have something to parade come re-election time. There might be a lack of money, or lack of will to supply the money intended for other sectors, for supporting infrastructures or maintenance of these items. Some want the sharp pointy end of the spear without bothering to see if the handle is long or strong enough to be usable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OPSSG View Post
(2.)If the Philippines was serious about urgently improving naval capabilities, quickly, they could have and should have bid for the three Nakhoda Ragam class vessels (which have been acquired by Indonesia) but they did not (preferring to go the cheaper route, with former US Coast Guard Cutters and their endless delays on their MRV/SSV project).
2.) I don't know about the political wrangling or such so I might be wrong on this (Please feel free to correct me. It's not my cup of tea) but Brunei is a fellow claimant so there must be some political reasons involved.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OPSSG View Post
(3) I note that the last GMA administration did not have the same problems with China.
3.) The GMA administration didn't bicker much with China or cause intense rhetoric unlike the current admin. Nationalism, you see. The louder you shout, the more people will look up at you, neglecting to look at your efforts to solve the issue and judge whether it is fast enough or not.

Last edited by OPSSG; July 25th, 2013 at 10:57 PM. Reason: Fixed quote format for readability
klaXonn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 25th, 2013   #84
Defense Enthusiast
Corporal
No Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 130
Threads:
Quote:
Originally Posted by klaXonn View Post
1.) More like a lack of money rather than political will. Our politicians might like big ticket defense items because they could have something to parade come re-election time. There might be a lack of money, or lack of will to supply the money intended for other sectors, for supporting infrastructures or maintenance of these items. Some want the sharp pointy end of the spear without bothering to see if the handle is long or strong enough to be usable.

2.) I don't know about the political wrangling or such so I might be wrong on this (Please feel free to correct me. It's not my cup of tea) but Brunei is a fellow claimant so there must be some political reasons involved.

3.) The GMA administration didn't bicker much with China or cause intense rhetoric unlike the current admin. Nationalism, you see. The louder you shout, the more people will look up at you, neglecting to look at your efforts to solve the issue and judge whether it is fast enough or not.
1. If you look at the "Defence Economic Trends 2013" (use a search engine to look for it, I can't post links yet) prepared by the Australian Department of Defense, you will see that the Philippine defense budget, when viewed both as a percentage of the GDP and as a percentage of the national budget, is consistently less than most of its ASEAN neighbours up until 2011. From 2011 onward it is almost the same as its ASEAN neighbours, although still on the low side. Mind you, the numbers given by the document above isn't accurate (it usually fails to account for mid-year adjustments, for example), but it's close enough of government work. Again, this is the defense budget as a percentage. The obvious conclusion to take is that the Philippine, compared to its ASEAN neighbours, considers defense to be less a priority.

One caveat. The Philippine defense budget as a percentage is roughly similar to Indonesia's. However, Indonesia's economy is big. As a result, even a small percentage still means quite a bit of money. Indonesia also has no significant dispute with its neighbours and thus the situation isn't as urgent for them.

2. There's no way to know what is really going on, but the idea that since Brunei is a fellow claimant then it's somehow discouraged from selling the ships to Philippine is preposterous. Brunei's claim does not overlap the Philippine's. China has little leverage on Brunei. Brunei does not export anything in significant amount to China and while China exports a lot of consumer goods to Brunei, if China stops them other countries can step in. Brunei wants to liquidate those ships. I argue that the real reason why the Philippine did not bid on the Nakhoda Ragam ships was because it's hoping to get a better deal from the Italians with the Maestrale. Except then it backed out because the cost of maintenance and thus getting neither.

It really looks to me that the Philippine DND is looking around for the "perfect bargain". Top quality at dollar store prices. The problem is that such a thing does not exist. You get what you pay for. Thus the DND wastes time going from vendor to vendor, only to back down again at the last minute in the hope that the next guy will offer a better deal. This is not necessarily the DND's fault. After all, it looks to me like the DND is given only half the money it needs and thus it must try to find ways to stretch that.

No comment on point 3.

I am convinced that the money is actually there and it is the political will that is lacking. The generally accepted wisdom is that countries can afford to spend 2-3% of its GDP on defense without any ill-effect (the usual caveat of good planning applies) and possibly even 4-5% of its GDP on defense as many countries have done (see Singapore for example). And yet in 2012 the Philippine spent 1% of its GDP and in 2013 the defense budget is only 1.1% GDP.

One last thing. Politicians also love saying "I killed this big ticket defense item so I can spend the money on your education and health. Vote for me."

EDIT 1: To be fair, President Benigno Aquino III does a much better job on defense compared to the previous administration. The problem is that this attention to defense started in 2011 instead of 2001. That's 10 years of lost time.

EDIT 2: Link to "Defence Economic Trends 2013" provided.

Last edited by OPSSG; August 5th, 2013 at 10:29 PM. Reason: Link provided
tonnyc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 4th, 2013   #85
Super Moderator
General
OPSSG's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Singapore
Posts: 3,299
Threads:
The Mod Team is not a fan of a person who does not read the thread and does not provide sources for his claims. Further, we note that this is your second warning in just 6 posts, which means you are well on track to being a former member of the forum.

Quote:
Originally Posted by klaXonn View Post
Only the Philippines and Vietnam will claim its against China. That's what I read somewhere, maybe in an article.
You make the above claim - which I note is not true.

The Mod Team hereby issues a source challenge. Please provide the title, author and relevant section of the article you read. If you are unable to provide a source that demonstrate that the other claimants like Brunei and Malaysia (or for that matter Taiwan) are dropping their EEZ claims to the South China Sea, you will face sanctions for posting false information.

You have 24 hours to provide the source.


Quote:
Originally Posted by klaXonn View Post
Besides, the country is still putting some last touches in its COIN efforts.
Please provide the title, author and relevant section of the article that states that the Philippines is putting the last touches in its COIN efforts. We do not think your characterization of the scale of the insurgency problems in the Philippines is neither fair nor honest. Since the Mod Team has doubts about your claim, we hereby issue a second source challenge.

From my perspective, Philippines is a house divided with presence of internal insurgents. The southern Philippines lies along a strategic fault line, with its porous borders, weak rule of law, long-standing and unaddressed grievances of Muslim minorities, and high levels of poverty and corruption offering a fertile field for nurturing terrorist groups.

According to the Terrorism Risk Index (TRI) developed by Maplecroft, Philippines is ranked 8th (under the category of extreme risk) in their report dated 12 Dec 2012, whose ranking is unchanged from 2010 (however, it is worse that its 2011 ranking of 13th). TRI comprises of three separate sub-indices: incidence – which calculates the frequency of attacks over a 12-month period; intensity – a calculation of how lethal terrorist attacks are. The third sub-index includes historical aspects – the historical component looks at a country’s past experience of terrorism, whether it has a long-standing militant group that has operated in the country. Based on these parameters the TRI, released annually covers 196 countries.

Beyond the failure to address the issue of terrorism in the Philippines, let us start with few facts to begin your education on a system where incompetence and corruption is rewarded (read up on the scandal regarding military comptroller Carlos Garcia). Retired Philippine Army Gen. Ricardo C. Morales wrote in 2003, that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) suffered from widespread corruption and incompetence. This is why the various rebel groups are able to win battles, close roads, plant car bombs and impose additional local revolutionary taxes.

Despite some progress and US assistance, the Philippine Government, has not been able to deny terrorists, safe-havens within its own territory because of an inability to address structural and/or local grievances, stop the spread of powerful ideologies within disadvantaged communities and the inability to stop existing groups from mobilising these radicalised individuals from their respective disadvantaged communities.

As recently as October 2011, a special forces unit of 40 Philippines soldiers were overrun in Al-Barka, Basilan with 19 killed. More recently, in July 2013, a rebel group was able to close stretches of the Cotabato-General Santos Highway. On 5 August 2013, a car bomb was set off in in Cotabato. It was the second bombing to hit Mindanao in 10 days - a month after the United States, Australia and Canada warned its diplomatic staff against travelling to Cotabato and two other southern cities on Mindanao -- Zamboanga and Davao -- over fresh threats of terrorism. Despite reports of some AFP successes against the New Peoples Army (NPA), in August 2013, the NPA attacked the Japanese Sumitumo Fruits Co., in Bangbang, a village in North Cotabato province in Mindanao. It is believed that the attack was instigated by the Japanese firm's refusal to pay the NPA's 'revolutionary' tax. This means the various rebel groups are able to win battles, close roads, plant car bombs and impose additional local revolutionary taxes.

The Aquino administration has worked on the peace process and is interested in disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration insurgents in Mindanao and other areas, but it has no strategy that connects assistance to former rebels to making communities more peaceful and secure in the long run. Two recent examples illustrate the chronic piss poor performance at gathering actionable intelligence, and being pro-active at stopping organised terror attacks (instead of the curent reactive mode of whack-the-mole, when it appears):-
In September 2013, about 300 rebels of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) attacked and are holding four neighborhoods, with a number of hostages being used as human shields in Zamboanga City. For the last few days, normal life for Zamboanga City has ground to a halt during the standoff, with flights into the area canceled and schools and most offices closed (see NY Times report dated 10 September 2013 for details).

Two, local government officials and military officers reported that around 150 guerrillas from Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and the Abu Sayyaf Group joined forces and attacked the outskirts of the predominantly Christian town of Lamitan on Basilan island that resulted in 3 AFP soldiers being wounded. It is not clear if this latest Basilan battle is related or unrelated the Zamboanga City crisis, as Lamitan is a short boat ride from Zamboanga City (see NY Times report dated 12 September 2013 for details). The AFP also said a battalion of troops was deployed to Lamitan to augment the Army Scout Rangers on reports that some 200 armed men were spotted just outside the city.
The Muslim rebel groups are not the only terrorist threats in the Philippines. The New People's Army (NPA) continues to pose a security challenge to Philippine military and law enforcement agencies, despite having its capacity for action diminished. As recently as June 2013, the NPA was still able to kill civilians who refuse to pay extortion fees and kidnap soldiers. The NPA is strongest in areas where local big men and their families can operate above the law. There are big men with private armies (aka gangs of armed thugs) that co-opt local police through shared profits from illegal business. It is not just simply a case where the local government fails to deliver infrastructure and services. The NPA is still able to recruit members in the Philippines because their members see the government as a threat. What drives recruitment for the NPA is not just lack of development. Rather, it is the systematic and pervasive breakdown in the rule-of-law in many areas. Areas were the local government (who are controlled by big-men and their families) is at the core of the problem. Thankfully, the NPA suffers from a self-inflicted leadership crisis (see link to February 2013 SWJ article), which ensures that they are less effective.

As you may be aware, at the local level, there are numerous problems which include abuse of power, corruption and the absence of 'rule of law' in many provincial areas. The Ampatuan Massacre in Nov 2009 by the clan of then incumbent Maguindanao governor is an illustrative example. To make matters more complicated and as part of the COIN fight, the AFP and PNP have provided weapons and training to auxiliary units, which in some instances have become a law onto themselves. The AFP continues to use of Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Units (CAFGU), which it considers as very important force multipliers for local government units. Following from the Ampatuan Massacre, the PNP has suspended the recruitment of police auxiliary units. The CAFGUs are part of the solution for COIN but they can create an additional governance problem too. Anyone who has an interest in the Philippines would naturally question the Philippine capacity for effective and responsive governance at both the provincial and national level.
________________
“Terrorism is the tactic of demanding the impossible, and demanding it at gunpoint.”
Christopher Hitchens

Last edited by OPSSG; September 14th, 2013 at 09:59 AM.
OPSSG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 6th, 2013   #86
Super Moderator
General
OPSSG's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Singapore
Posts: 3,299
Threads:
@ klaXonn, please note that responses to point 1 and 4 are required (as it will affect the length of your ban).

The freedom to speak comes with some responsibility. You can't even string two sentences together without introducing factual errors. Your evasive response to a source challenge, shows that you are not willing to be a responsible member of this forum. This is your third warning in two different threads for either a failure to observe the Forum Rules or writing factually deficient posts that defy logic. You have been provided with detailed guidance on expectations in another thread, which you are ignoring again.

Your above reply fails provide sources required in the prior Mod Warning. An evasive answer will not do. Kindly note that failure to reply in the next 24 hours will result in sanctions.


Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by klaXonn View Post
Only the Philippines and Vietnam will claim its against China. That's what I read somewhere, maybe in an article.
Quote:
Originally Posted by klaXonn View Post
Sorry I couldn't provide the source. It was a magazine or newspaper circa 2011. It said to the effect that only Vietnam or the Philippines would have the gall to say what they're doing is because of China.
1. Do you agree that no other country (i.e. Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan) have given given up their claims in the South China Sea?

- Yes or No? (if your answer is no, please provide source)


Quote:
Originally Posted by klaXonn View Post
"What is ours is ours", "We will defend our backyards", "The Philippines never retreats"...
2. Absolute rubbish - your reply demonstrates that you have not read the thread. Philippines is not the only one facing the problem. You country is unable to effectively patrol your EEZ (i.e. never or seldom there), unlike Brunei. Brunei does not have a problem because, its navy effectively patrols its small EEZ claims. This means that Brunei is sovereign in its EEZ, while the Philippines is not. By a failure to resource the Philippine Navy, your country has by default surrendered it's sovereign claims over disputed EEZ areas. There is no doubt to all external observers that your navy is impotent - it is armed like a coast guard - making your pronouncements, simply statements of delusion. The Malaysian Navy also faces-off with PLAN ships in the South China Sea but they don't shout about it. The Malaysians don't shout about it because they have effective control of all 5 EEZ stations they occupy (i.e. always there) and they are able to conduct effective patrols in response to PLAN presence patrols - which means they are sovereign with regards to their EEZ claims. The more capable and potent navies in ASEAN are able to protect their country's national interests. In the event of an armed conflict, these navies can make their enemies pay a price for miscalculation, unlike yours.

3. Your ignorance about the position of other ASEAN claimant states is stunning. The Malaysians and Vietnamese have adopted a joint submission to the UN on the Limits of the Continental Shelf. Please note that the Vietnamese and Malaysian claims over-lap with Philippine claims. If your country is willing to accept the joint Vietnamese and Malaysian position, ASEAN can work to present a joint position. But it is precisely the incompetence of your country's diplomats and politicians that prevent the emergence such a joint multi-country position. Further, on 21 Nov 2012, Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario again demonstrated your country's ability to make an announcement (that Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam will meet on 12 Dec 2012) without doing the ground work necessary (or win support from fellow ASEAN claimants to hold a meeting). Your country's neighbours have a demonstrated track record of working to resolve or manage boundary and trans-boundary issues. Please don't blindly blame other countries for your country's failures in the diplomatic arena.

Quote:
Originally Posted by klaXonn View Post
Besides, the country is still putting some last touches in its COIN efforts.
4. Do you agree that you do not have a source that demonstrates your point on Philippine COIN efforts?

- Yes or No? (if your answer is no, please provide source)

Edit: klaXonn has been banned for 12 months (6 months for each failure to provide sources based on 2 source challenges).
________________
“Terrorism is the tactic of demanding the impossible, and demanding it at gunpoint.”
Christopher Hitchens

Last edited by OPSSG; July 17th, 2015 at 08:09 PM.
OPSSG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 6th, 2013   #87
Grumpy Old Man
General
gf0012-aust's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Australia
Posts: 17,997
Threads:
Post count restrictions

@ klaXonn, your inability to cite references does not stop you from typing the link and removing the hyperlink

that way people can still edit and convert to check the link even though you can't add files etc...

claims of citation are required for validation in this forum
________________
A corollary of Finagle's Law, similar to Occam's Razor, says:

"Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity"
http://au.linkedin.com/pub/gary-fairlie/1/28a/2a2
http://cofda.wordpress.com/

gf a.k.a. ROBOPIMP T5C
gf0012-aust is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 8th, 2013   #88
Super Moderator
General
OPSSG's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Singapore
Posts: 3,299
Threads:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Focus Taiwan
Taipei, Aug. 8 -- An envoy authorized by Philippine President Benigno Aquino III apologized in person on Thursday to the family of a Taiwanese fisherman who was killed by gunfire from Philippine coast guard officers in May. Amadeo Perez Jr., chairman of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO), said he has been authorized to "personally convey the president's and the Filipino people's deep regret and apology" to the family for "the unfortunate loss" of 65-year-old fisherman Hung Shih-cheng's life...

...His visit comes one day after both Taiwan and the Philippines released their respective investigative reports, both of which urge charges of homicide against the eight coast guard officers found responsible for the fatal shooting.

Perez made the official apology and other remarks in the presence of Hung's widow, other family members and reporters at Pingtung County's Liuqiu Township, off the coast of southern Taiwan...

<snip>
As discussed earlier in this thread, Taiwan had issued a list of four demands -- a formal apology, punishment of those responsible for the shooting, compensation for the Hung family and bilateral fishery talks to prevent the occurrence of similar incidents in the future. After Manila failed to meet the demands, Taiwan on 15 May 2013 imposed a series of 11 punitive measures against the Philippines, including a ban on the further hiring of Filipino workers in Taiwan and the suspension of most bilateral exchanges.
Quote:
The Republic of China expresses affirmation of the Philippine government’s recommendation for homicide charges in its investigation report on the ROC fishing boat Guang Da Xing No. 28 shooting incident

2013/8/7

Press Release No.200

The Philippine government released its investigation report August 7, 2013, concerning the ROC fishing boat Guang Da Xing No. 28 shooting incident. Completed through the Taiwan-Philippines mutual judicial assistance mechanism, the report indicates that the assault by a Philippine government vessel caused the death of ROC fisherman Hong Shi-cheng (Hung Shih Cheng, 洪石成), and recommends that eight Philippine Coast Guard personnel be prosecuted for homicide, and four for obstruction of justice. The ROC government expresses affirmation of this recommendation as a constructive response to the incident...

...The ROC hopes to see the case appropriately resolved through the Philippines’ positive and concrete response to its four demands, thus returning bilateral ties to normal.

The ROC Coast Guard Administration patrol vessel Wei Hsing recently rescued three Filipino fishermen adrift in waters south of Taiwan and helped them return to the Philippines as soon as possible, demonstrating the country’s spirit of humanitarian assistance...

<snip>
Yesterday, Manila released an investigative report on fatal shooting. In it the Philippine Authorities have recommended the filing of homicide charges against eight Filipino coast guards for the killing of a Taiwanese fisherman in May 2013. The investigative also report found that four of these personnel will be charged with obstruction of justice for tampering with the video evidence submitted to the investigators. This includes a falsified gunnery report which reduced the rounds of ammunition used in the incident. The Filipino coast guard also spliced the video taken of the incident cutting off vital portions.

With this latest development, Taiwan's foreign ministry has said that it willing to lift sanctions against Manila, if the four Taiwanese demands are met. Taiwan's Deputy Foreign Minister Joseph Shih also noted that Taiwan and the Philippines agreed during a meeting in June that there should be no use of force in disputed waters and that a mechanism should be set up to inform each other of any fishery incidents.
________________
“Terrorism is the tactic of demanding the impossible, and demanding it at gunpoint.”
Christopher Hitchens

Last edited by OPSSG; August 10th, 2013 at 12:35 PM.
OPSSG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 10th, 2013   #89
Super Moderator
General
OPSSG's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Singapore
Posts: 3,299
Threads:
Below, the latest news of Taiwan lifting the sanctions imposed against the Philippines.
Quote:
Following the constructive response of the Philippine government to the shooting incident involving the Taiwan fishing boat Guang Da Xing No. 28, the government of the Republic of China announces that cooperative and friendly relations between the two countries are being restored, effective immediately

2013/08/08

Press Release No. 202

On August 8, 2013, ROC Minister of Foreign Affairs David Y. L. Lin received Chairman of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) Amadeo R. Perez, Jr., and the Philippine Representative to Taiwan Antonio I. Basilio. With respect to the Philippine government’s formal written response over the shooting of the Taiwan fishing boat Guang Da Xing No. 28 by a Philippine government vessel, Chairman Perez gave the following explanation:

1. The President of the Philippines, Benigno S. Aquino III, authorized MECO Chairman Amadeo R. Perez, Jr., to travel to Taiwan as his personal representative to express the deep regret and apology of the president and people of the Philippines to the family of crew member Hong Shi-cheng, the victim of the fatal shooting incident involving a Philippine government vessel, as well as to the people of Taiwan.

2. Under arrangements made by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in the Philippines and MECO, the Philippine National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Pingtung District Prosecutors Office coordinated their respective investigations on this tragic incident. Based on the evidence collected, the Philippine Coast Guard personnel appear to have broken the law. The NBI thus recommended that the perpetrators be charged with homicide and obstruction of justice and have appropriate administrative and disciplinary actions taken against them. Accordingly, the Philippine National Prosecution Service (NPS) will initiate necessary proceedings in accordance with the law. The Philippine Department of Justice has promised to promptly start the prosecution process in accordance with the NBI’s investigation results.

3. In order to prevent such unfortunate incidents from recurring, TECO and MECO held the first preparatory meeting on fisheries cooperation on June 14. The two sides agreed that they would refrain from using force or violence when enforcing fisheries laws and regulations. They also agreed to inform each other of their respective maritime law enforcement procedures and establish a mechanism for prompt notification of the other party when undertaking a law enforcement operation against any fishing vessel or crew members of the other party. Moreover, they agreed to set up a mechanism for the prompt release of detained fishing vessels and their crews.

4. Attorneys appointed by MECO and Mr. Hong Shi-cheng’s family have reached an agreement to settle the matter.

<snip>

... A mutual judicial assistance process was initiated based on the Agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters signed by the ROC and the Philippines. The ROC and the Philippines dispatched their respective investigation teams to each other’s countries on May 27. The two sides jointly compared and verified their findings on June 6 and 7. Both sides released their investigation reports on August 7. The conclusions of the Philippine investigation and its recommendation to prosecute the offenders are generally consistent with the findings and recommendations of the ROC report.

The ROC government and its 118 overseas missions have provided relevant information to allow the international community to better understand what actually happened in this incident. Consequently, it garnered support in political and academic circles, as well as from the public, in many countries. To date, nearly a thousand reports worldwide have objectively portrayed the case.

In addition, the ROC government instructed relevant authorities such as the Coast Guard Administration to step up patrols in its EEZ to safeguard the safety and rights of Taiwan’s fishermen. The ROC continued to negotiate with the Philippines through diplomatic channels to prevent similar tragedies in the future. On June 14, officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Fisheries Agency under the Council of Agriculture, and Coast Guard Administration traveled to the Philippines to meet with officials from the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources under the Department of Agriculture, and Coast Guard under the Department of Transportation and Communications for the first preparatory meeting on fisheries talks. This meeting produced some concrete results...

<snip>
Using a soccer analogy, Taiwan 4: Philippines 0 - with at least 2 own goals. Pinoy pride and inability to crisis manage at the start made things worse and resulted in public humiliation in the face of Taiwanese coercive diplomacy.

Given that all four Taiwanese demands are met, it is a demonstration that coercive diplomacy works against the Philippines. Taiwan's diplomatic moves will serve as a useful template for other countries in the region to manage future at sea incidents with the Philippines. This includes the use of overseas Taiwanese missions to provide relevant information to the international community - demonstrating the importance of Taiwan actively telling its side of the story. Taiwan's ability to line up members of the US Congress as part of its public communication efforts demonstrated to the international audience Taiwan mastery of its taking points - by sticking to a script and not veering off-script, Taiwan was able to counter Philippine efforts to portray themselves as a victim of circumstance, when in fact, it was Philippine insincerity that forced Taiwan to issue an ultimatum.

The immediate crisis at hand was that Philippines law enforcement authorities in a bigger and faster boat (a 115.45 ton vessel and over 30m in length) killed an unarmed Taiwanese citizen in a smaller fishing boat (a 15.15 ton vessel at 14.7m in length). However, the search for justice for the Taiwanese dead fisherman does not tell the complete story. This story is in essence a fisheries dispute between Taiwan and Philippines, with Taiwan applying economic sanctions to motivate the Philippines authorities to prosecute eight members of the Filipino coast guard for their criminal acts and to get the parties started on a fisheries agreement with certain preconditions - that there should be no use of force in disputed waters and that a mechanism should be set up to inform each other of any fishery incidents.
________________
“Terrorism is the tactic of demanding the impossible, and demanding it at gunpoint.”
Christopher Hitchens

Last edited by OPSSG; August 10th, 2013 at 12:34 PM.
OPSSG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 17th, 2013   #90
Super Moderator
General
OPSSG's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Singapore
Posts: 3,299
Threads:
Quote:
Originally Posted by STURM View Post
Amidst all this recent fuss about the Spratleys, it is often forgotten that the dispute has been around for decades but has only been making headlines on a constant basis in recent times. Malaysia for example first started laying claims to the 5 reefs/islands it currently occupies way back in 1980, when it launched a number of operations to occupy and expand its reefs/islands - as part of moves to strenghten its claims - some of which became almost completely submerged during high tide.

To date, Malaysia has not been involved in any standoffs with Chinese shipping - trawlers, fisheries department, naval or otherwise. There have been some instances - which were reported in the Malaysian press and by Chinese bloggers who also released photos - of Chinese fisheries department boats and naval ships coming into very close proximity to areas occupied by Malaysia but which left without much fuss after the appearance of Malaysian naval ships and aircraft. The fact that Malaysian trawlers do not operate in this area and that Malaysian naval ships only operate within areas that are already occupied by Malaysia would indicate that for the time being at least, the chances of any 'unpleasentness' happening between both countries at sea is remote.

Inside Story - The world's most disputed waters - YouTube
Some 'unpleasantness' between Malaysia and China may have occurred; but the nature of these at sea incidents may not be as well reported (see section in bold and quoted below) because both parties are keen to play-down any incidents at sea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dzirhan Mahadzir
Malaysia to establish marine corps, naval base close to James Shoal

Malaysia is to set up a marine corps and establish a naval base close to waters claimed by China, Defence Minister Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said in a statement on 10 October.

According to the statement, the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) base will be established at Bintulu on the South China Sea (SCS) to protect the surrounding area and oil reserves.

Unstated by the minister is the base's proximity to James Shoal, which is 60 n miles away and was the location for the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) exercises on 26 March that were the most recent example of China asserting its claims to most of the SCS.

Hishammuddin's description of the marine force only states that it will be established for amphibious operations, drawn from all three services and essential for security in the East Malaysian state of Sabah, where Sulu militants staged an incursion in February that was subsequently repelled by a military operation.

The statement did not give any further details but IHS Jane's understands that the marine corps proposal was planned before the Sulu incursion but has since been prioritised.

While the marines will be drawn from all three services, the bulk is expected to be drawn from one of the three parachute battalions of the 10th Parachute brigade, which will be redesignated as a marine battalion.

The 9th Royal Malay Regiment (para) and 8th Royal Ranger Regiment (para) have both conducted amphibious warfare training as a secondary mission, most recently in June during the CARAT exercise with the US Marine Corps (USMC) and subsequently in an amphibious landing exercise with French troops and the landing platform dock FNS Tonnerre .

The marines will be drawn from existing personnel because of a government cap on the number of armed forces personnel allowed on active duty.

The Ministry of Defence is yet to decide whether marines will fall under Malaysian Army or Royal Malaysian Navy control. Initial plans call for the unit to be an independent force under the control of the Malaysian Joint Force Headquarters until operational experience determines which service is better suited.

Malaysia is keen to draw on the USMC's expertise and has been in discussions with the United States (US) over support, training and expertise exchange. Malaysia has been without an amphibious naval platform since the loss of Newport-class landing ship-tank KD Sri Inderapura in an October 2009 fire.

Plans to obtain an LPD, with France offering a downsized Mistral design and South Korea offering a downsized Dokdo design, have been stalled due to budgetary constraints. The US has offered the LPD USS Denver , scheduled to be decommissioned from US service in 2014, to Malaysia...

<snip>

...Malaysia has been keen to further develop joint amphibious training exercises and exchanges with the US but has been hampered by the absence of a marine force...

<snip>

Unlike Vietnam or the Philippines, Malaysia does not make public such occurrences to avoid jeopardising its strong economic ties with China. China's activities in its near waters are of concern to Kuala Lumpur, however, which has stepped up naval patrols in the area.

The RMN is hampered by its small fleet and the need to maintain a strong naval presence off Sabah to discourage further intrusions by Sulu militants... the first in class of the Second Generation Patrol Vessel - Littoral Combat Ship (SGPV-LCS) programme will start operations in 2018, gains greater importance.

Six of the SGPV-LCS corvette-class ships, which are based on the DCNS Gowind corvette family, are to be built by Boustead Naval Shipyard...

<snip>
Certainly Malaysia is engaged in what is commonly called 'Phase Zero' planning (in American military lingo) as reflected in the latest Janes article, dated 15 October 2013, by Dzirhan Mahadzir. This is forward looking article, which provides some context for the latest developments in the region. The planned development of better amphibious warfare capabilities for Malaysia will benefit the security posture of Eastern Sabah Security Command, given the porous nature of the borders in that area.
________________
“Terrorism is the tactic of demanding the impossible, and demanding it at gunpoint.”
Christopher Hitchens

Last edited by OPSSG; October 17th, 2013 at 02:54 AM.
OPSSG is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:57 PM.