Indo Pacific strategy

ngatimozart

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i'm sure there are country do some maneuvering like you mentioned. but an united ASEAN Aggressively against China. I dont think that will happen soon, unless china start invading islands left/right. Japan is also worry about China, and continue to arm itself, but still keep a decent relationship with China due to been one of their biggest trading partner. ASEAN/Japan/Skorea will only tolerate certain level of aggression from china, appropriate action have appropriate response. With US-China current situation, +india, last thing China want right now is alienated ASEAN/Japan/SKorea. So i see china continue arm up their bases in ScS, building ships, some fishing fleet issues etc, but these action not gonna push every ASEAN together and aggressively against China. i dont think they are going do a FON into 12 nm of chinese claimed island like US did right now.

the 3 countries you mention are not in good term with China right now. but ASEAN is more than just indonesia.

China may even try to cozy up ASEAN due to ongoing geopolitical situation. which i think is opportunity for ASEAN/Japan/SKorea. they could benefit from trade war.


also many these countries buying arms from China including indonesia, if diplomatic situation is bad, i doubt these sells will happen.
@weaponwh I remember my history and on 21st June 1941 the Soviet Union's biggest trading partner was National Socialist Germany. In the early hours of the morning of 22nd June 1941 Nazi Germany launched Operation Barbarossa; the invasion of the Soviet Union and for 6 days Stalin went into a really deep depression and didn't do anything about the Nazis rolling his forces back across the Russian motherland. The Russians had trains delivering goods to the Germans as German forces pushed across the border of German occupied Poland into Russian occupied Poland. So just because nations may trade with one another and have economic ties, doesn't preclude them from going to war against each other. War is a political statement and the CCP will be making a political statement first and foremost, because the marxist dialectic demands that. Everything that the CCP does ALWAYS has a political dimension.

You need to read history widely and when dealing with the PRC have a basic understanding of the CCP and how marxist leninsm works in practice as well as the theory. What drives them and what do they want? What they tell the world they want and what they actually want are two different things and you have to grasp and understand that concept first. Next you have to grasp and understand the concept that the CCP does not tolerate any opposition. The PLA's and all security forces, including police, allegiance is to the CCP, not to the nation nor the people, so they belong to the Party, not the nation nor the people, and can and are used by the Party at the Party's every whim.

We do not live in an idealised or perfect world. We live in a real world with all of its faults and dangers. In olden days on sailors charts at the edges it used to be written "There Be Dragons". Well the dragons of old may have disappeared, but there still be dragons today and you seem to be living in a fantasy world rather than the real world if you believe what you are posting.
 

OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
The German government published its policy guidelines for the Indo-Pacific (only in German). It includes 3 references to cyber that includes closer cooperation on cybersecurity and cyberdiplomacy with likeminded partners: Esp. Singapore, Australia, Japan, and South Korea.
As Andreas Fulda noted in his RUSI article, in these guidelines Germany anticipates a growing role in Indo-Pacific Region. In the guidelines' preface, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas seeks to distance Germany from the increasing US–China rivalry. While paying lip service to security matters, a more active German role does not aim at strengthening the US-led security architecture in East and Southeast Asia. Instead, Maas hones in on conventional instruments of ‘entanglement’ (Verflechtung) through multilateral diplomacy, coupled with trade, investment, and development aid. The German government also signalled its willingness to provide its experience and expertise to the region, strengthen both arms export control and arms control, participate in collective security measures and to help implement UN resolutions.

On closer inspection, it thus becomes clear that the guidelines amount to pouring old wine into new bottles. While the newly published document does indicate that Germany's regional focus is gradually shifting from China to other parts of the Indo-Pacific, the new policy announcement offers no critical self-reflection about existing shortcomings of Berlin’s previous China engagement. Key challenges in Germany's relationship with China are only hinted at. While the term China is mentioned 59 times in the document, no attempt is being made to critically reflect on Germany's failed 'change through trade' policy vis-a-vis China. This stands in stark contrast to the ‘US Strategic Approach to the People’s Republic of China’ document, which made it very clear that the US government was disappointed that years of constructive China engagement had not led to political liberalisation.

Why am I not surprised? China’s swine flu is more out of control than that of Germany.
 
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ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
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I don't know why the US was expecting political liberalisation in the PRC. Right from the outset Deng's reforms were purely economic and were never going to be political. Tiananmen Square in June of 1989 should have taught them that. It's the core basic tenent of the CCP that it doesn't share power - ever. Anyone who watches or studies the PRC / CCP knows that.
  • So was / is this some self delusional vision that the USG foreign policy establishment has inflicted upon itself?
  • If this is the case, what other self inflicted delusions are the USG foreign policy establishment operating under?
 

kato

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
The German government published its policy guidelines for the Indo-Pacific (only in German). It includes 3 references to cyber that includes closer cooperation on cybersecurity and cyberdiplomacy with likeminded partners: Esp. Singapore, Australia, Japan, and South Korea.
Actually there is only one relevant reference. Notes in that regard - own translation of the original German, since "official German" is full of diplomatic pitfalls:

increase cyber security policy cooperation and dialogue with partners of like values (among others Singapore, Australia, Japan, South Korea) in order to strengthen the protection of own information and communication systems, collective defense capability and resilience against increasing threats within the Cyber- and Information Space
  • The original "Wertepartner" for "partners of like values" is a pretty difficult word to describe in English. It describes partners upholding the same or at least congruent values in an ethical/philosophical sense, not as suggested "likeminded countries" (which could refer to anything).
  • The list of countries is explicitly not concluded/absolute, and "among others" holds a different value compared to "especially" in that regard. The order of listing may or may not hold significance.
  • the second part of the sentence - following "in order to" - refers only to German systems, not some sort of overarching or collective system with the partners. "Cyber- and Information Space" in the way stated refers to the battlespace domain of the CIR branch of the Bundeswehr.

The two other instances where "cyber" is mentioned are:

[The German government] has under inclusion of in particular Chinese actors launched a discussion framework for the topic of Handling New Technologies. Target is enclosure of potential risks to security and stability that may stem from the military use of new technologies. Due to their significance in the fields of artificial intelligence, cyber-, space- and missile technology Indo-Pacific States hold a particular responsibility in this regard.

and

Germany supports the hands-on cooperation between NATO and indo-pacific partners especially in the fields cyber defense, maritime security, humanitarian assistance and disaster assistance, counter-terrorism, armament control as well as in the thematic field of "women, peace and security". Close exchange with partners in the indo-pacific region in the form of joint training and exercises as well as cooperation in the field of standardization and logistics improve the interoperability between the partners and the alliance.
  • The first of these instances explicitly refers to (PR) China, and mostly engages that particular country (note the difference between "indo-pacific partners" used in other instances and "indo-pacific states" used here). The "enclosure" is stated like that - it's not about risk mitigation, it's about elimination of such risks.
  • The second of these instances effectively just states support for NATO cooperation programmes in the region. It is notable here linguistically that it refers to "partners in the indo-pacific region" instead of "indo-pacific partners" in the second sentence.
While the newly published document does indicate that Germany's regional focus is gradually shifting from China to other parts of the Indo-Pacific, the new policy announcement offers no critical self-reflection about existing shortcomings of Berlin’s previous China engagement. Key challenges in Germany's relationship with China are only hinted at. While the term China is mentioned 59 times in the document, no attempt is being made to critically reflect on Germany's failed 'change through trade' policy vis-a-vis China.
I just checked through all mentions of China in the document, and issues mentioned are:
  • "the strategic rivalry between the USA and China" and "intensifying differences between China and the USA" (in the sense of: not something we interfere with, but something we see with concern)
  • a few instances mention basically the problem of carving out a position for Germany and the EU within this Chinese-US dualism, although this is in particular regarding technology (in the sense of "not belonging to the US sphere, while not joining the Chinese sphere either").
  • China is variably called "a regional power", "an aspiring world power", "a nuclear power", "a significant actor". There is some ambiguousness in this.
  • sole instance of explicit criticism of China is regarding transparency of nuclear disarmament and arms control.
  • there is a (quite important) implicit criticism in one instance, alluding that China seeks to undermine the rules of international order on the basis of which Germany and Europe act.
 
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kato

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
P.S. for the EU project mentioned under Tweet (2) you can find the project description in English here with GIZ: Enhancing Security Cooperation in and with Asia

EU security-related efforts will be undertaken together with the countries concerned in four priority areas: Counter-Terrorism/Prevention of Violent Extremism (CT/PVE), Cybersecurity, Maritime Security and Crisis Management. These four areas are where the EU's interests and priorities intersect with the greatest opportunities for enhanced cooperation with partners in the region. Partners will cooperate with the EU in one or several of these areas, depending on shared or converging interests.

Note that the description overall is basically simply an expansion on the third instance mentioned in the last post.
 

OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
Following the proposal by Indo-Pacom chief Adm. Philip Davidson, the head of the Indo-Pacific Command to spend US$20 billion in the Pacific region to counter China in coming years, the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee has crafted a plan to make a US$6 billion downpayment in fiscal 2021.

Creating an Indo-Pacific Deterrence Initiative with a US$6.09 billion investment in fiscal year 2021 would boost air and missile defense, fund rotational forces and prepositioned stocks, build and modernize joint training ranges across the region, and ramp up information and influence operations.
Pew Research has shown the degree to which trust for the US has fallen during the transition from Bush to Obama and the from Obama to Trump. There is also a strong disconnect between Trump’s rhetoric and ground truths about CORVID-19 deaths in the US.
 
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Beholder

Member
Following the proposal by Indo-Pacom chief Adm. Philip Davidson, the head of the Indo-Pacific Command to spend US$20 billion in the Pacific region to counter China in coming years, the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee has crafted a plan to make a US$6 billion downpayment in fiscal 2021.

Creating an Indo-Pacific Deterrence Initiative with a US$6.09 billion investment in fiscal year 2021 would boost air and missile defense, fund rotational forces and prepositioned stocks, build and modernize joint training ranges across the region, and ramp up information and influence operations.
I think we will see more investments into this, or similar initiatives. One reason is that CCP will increase it's investments in military, another is because there is need to maintain technological edge.

Pew Research has shown the degree to which trust for the US has fallen during the transition from Bush to Obama and the from Obama to Trump. There is also a strong disconnect between Trump’s rhetoric and ground truths about CORVID-19 deaths in the US.
Well, i would say it's pure politics. Ppl perception i mean.
COVID-19 response:


USA situation is bad, when you look at cases/1m or death/1m, it's bad. But there are other western countries with similar or worse situation by this metric, some did lockdown(Israel for example), some put less restrictions.
And knowing israeli situation i can tell that gov response is good, but society response was very bad(it started to improve only now).

My point is it's not always gov policy that determine situation.
It's better to access situation after we exit this pandemic.
---------------
Popular opinion around the world:

First Trump is not likeable person. Interesting yes, likeable no,
Well, in Israel Trump is loved. He facilitated peace with 3 countries, we don't care about 2% defence spending, as we spend 5.3% (and Israel is not in poll).
Now look what he did to others, first he liked more by right wing population, while most of world like more leftist ppl.
He push for more military spending among US allies and the only way to do it is to make US commitments ambiguous, or directly threaten to withdraw support.
He undermine world institutions, bcs he feels they were hijacked by China/RF and this put off ppl too.
He counter EU on Iran and basically bully EU and others into upholding sanctions through US financial might.
He counter China and it hurts financial interests too.
And he mostly achieve his objectives. EU is better geared to counter RF, then ever, AP countries increase cooperation and military spending.
So why should they like him?

I'm very interested to know how Taiwan view changed on Trump.
Here they favour him over Biden:


But we'll see how it will change as he will push for more military spending there too.
---------------------

Now from strategic POV in AP which country will support US in case of Taiwan invasion, or other case of aggression?
Continuing past policies(little commitments from allies and bilateral alliances) may leave US isolated with attacked ally with token support from other allies.
Deterrence factor will also be lower in such case. Will China be deterred to act against underspending Taiwan + US + token forces from underspending UK/Canada? What about other possible conflicts in Asia Pacific?
 

Sandhi Yudha

Well-Known Member
I just read this article


Sadly that stupid newspaper doesnt allow copy pass, but this part was quite new for me: that the US requested permission to operate P-8 Poseidons from Indonesian soil and that China proposed to build a chinese military base in Indonesia.

Of course for Indonesia both proposals are unacceptable.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
I just read this article


Sadly that stupid newspaper doesnt allow copy pass, but this part was quite new for me: that the US requested permission to operate P-8 Poseidons from Indonesian soil and that China proposed to build a chinese military base in Indonesia.

Of course for Indonesia both proposals are unacceptable.
Knew about the US request because that was in the media last week, but the PRC request is a new one. The PRC won't take the refusal kindly so I wouldn't be surprised if there will be some retaliation of some kind.
 

OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
President Donald Trump fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Monday, an unprecedented move by a president struggling to accept election defeat and angry at a Pentagon leader he believes wasn’t loyal enough.

The decision was widely expected as Trump had grown increasingly unhappy with Esper over the summer, including sharp differences between them over the use of the military during the civil unrest in June. But the move could unsettle international allies and Pentagon leadership and injects another element of uncertainty to a rocky transition period.

Christopher Miller, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center, will serve as acting secretary, sidestepping the department’s No.2-ranking official, Deputy Defense Secretary David Norquist.

I salute Esper for standing up for what is correct and kept the military out of US domestic politics.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Yes Esper has been a dead man walking for a while. He had the moral fortitude to stand up to Trump when he was most needed to and it looked like he was doing a good job as SECDEF. I think that Trump’s going to wrack havoc between now and the inauguration in a set of tanties.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
Yes Esper has been a dead man walking for a while. He had the moral fortitude to stand up to Trump when he was most needed to and it looked like he was doing a good job as SECDEF. I think that Trump’s going to wrack havoc between now and the inauguration in a set of tanties.
Sadly true, more destructive actions are a certainty before Trump leaves office.
 

Big_Zucchini

Active Member
Sadly true, more destructive actions are a certainty before Trump leaves office.
And yet it would not be unique to him. Obama did it before him. Though, I think Trump might be aiming for a term after Biden.

I personally don't see Trump as destructive. I think there are some things he did right that none before him had done, but my bias here is that as an Israeli I didn't really hear about his policies that might be bothering most Americans.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
And yet it would not be unique to him. Obama did it before him. Though, I think Trump might be aiming for a term after Biden.

I personally don't see Trump as destructive. I think there are some things he did right that none before him had done, but my bias here is that as an Israeli I didn't really hear about his policies that might be bothering most Americans.
Well his policies bothered many Americans (which is why he got the boot) but he didn’t exactly make many friends in NATO and I freely admit his stance on allies doing more was right on, albeit poorly conveyed. He did right by Israel and some Arab partners but has left Asia Pacific somewhat concerned.

The bigger issue for me are his business dealings and lack of transparency. It is not unreasonable to assume he may be compromised financially, something team Putin are experts at exploiting. Just my two cents.
 

ASSAIL

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Well his policies bothered many Americans (which is why he got the boot) but he didn’t exactly make many friends in NATO and I freely admit his stance on allies doing more was right on, albeit poorly conveyed. He did right by Israel and some Arab partners but has left Asia Pacific somewhat concerned.

The bigger issue for me are his business dealings and lack of transparency. It is not unreasonable to assume he may be compromised financially, something team Putin are experts at exploiting. Just my two cents.
He got the boot because of his crass, boorish and narcissistic personality.
His policies were supported which is why every Republican standing for the house was re-elected giving the GOP one of the best results for years, more than half the States have Republican Governors and the Senate is likely to remain a Red majority.
As a further indication, Proposition 16 failed in that most progressive of state California. This proposition tried to force diversity as a prerequisite for public employment. (Some US contributors can describe it better)
The “Blue Wave” never eventuated despite the uttering of commentators, the tech oligarchies and big media.
Americans seem comfortable with GOP policies which should temper the progressive tendencies of the new administration.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
And yet it would not be unique to him. Obama did it before him. Though, I think Trump might be aiming for a term after Biden.

I personally don't see Trump as destructive. I think there are some things he did right that none before him had done, but my bias here is that as an Israeli I didn't really hear about his policies that might be bothering most Americans.
Well in the last 24 hours he's managed to decapitate the top levels of the civilian leadership of the Pentagon. That's not good.


 

oldsig127

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Well his policies bothered many Americans (which is why he got the boot) but he didn’t exactly make many friends in NATO and I freely admit his stance on allies doing more was right on, albeit poorly conveyed.

He made few friends with any of his allies excepting Israel as far as I can see. There was a Pew Research study on the subject earlier this year that found that the United States' allies felt both Putin and Xi more trustworthy than Trump. Given the current situation between Australia and Chinese I find that instructive. The USA has been our ally a long time, but we'd reach the stage of expecting Chinese aggression but not knowing whether the unstable administration in Washington would stab our back.

oldsig
 

OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
Trump being destructive — Part 1
I personally don't see Trump as destructive.
1. You have got to be kidding — in the last 4 years, we have seen a tactically incoherent Trump in the Middle East, and strategically clueless Trump in the South China Sea and the Indo-Pacific — given the scale of the China challenge and the determination of Russia, Iran and Turkey to inject themselves into regional conflict. To many, Trump is just a weapons salesman/cheerleader in the Middle East to the oil rich Gulf states — American foreign and defence policies is beyond arms sales, right? Interestingly, Emirati Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, with his eye on acquiring 50 F-35As for the UAE, was quick in congratulating Biden.
  • The UAE has been preparing for a potential Biden victory for several months, and it made sure to get a blessing from Biden and other senior Democrats for its normalization deal with Israel.
  • The Emiratis hope the goodwill they won with that deal will help them navigate Biden world, particularly given their concerns about a possible revival of the Iran nuclear deal.
2. Trump’s mafia like demands for protection money from South Korea and Japan while down playing the alliance — made the Americans look untrustworthy to Japan and ASEAN. And then he sidelined South Korean President Moon Jae-in when talking to Kim Jong-un — in the process wasting millions of Singapore tax payer dollars to hold a fake Trump-Kim summit in Singapore because he did not do his homework — while trying to win the Nobel prize.
Trump has always tried to ‘extort’ money via host nation support payments from Japan.

3. In 2017, US President Trump said North Korea’s threats will be met with fire. Prior to the 3 Trump-Kim summits he even threatened war with North Korea. If you stayed in Seoul, you would be nervous to have Trump in charge of peace negotiations. President-elect Joe Biden has made clear that he would not follow Trump’s incoherent North Korea policy.

4. Instead of bypassing the established diplomatic steps, President-elect Joe Biden, would re-energise working-level talks and secure a commitment to reduce nuclear capacity from North Korea before meeting Kim.

5. Even some Americans hold the view that Trump’s acts are destructive.
I think there are some things he did right that none before him had done, but my bias here is that as an Israeli...
6. America First means America the lonely. See: Opinion | Donald Trump's Foreign Policy Hurt American Alliances

7. Allies believe a second Trump term could lead to a breakdown of the US led alliance system. Democracies across Europe, Canada, and Korea have been attacked by Trump. Australia and Japan had to make extra-ordinary efforts at a back room level to avoid being on Trump’s trade hit list. To get an idea of how badly Trump does in working with allies, just look at the German response to the Biden win.
 

Big_Zucchini

Active Member
Well, as I said, I'm not really exposed to Trump's policies that don't involve me. I have very little care for American domestic news because it often involves a lot of additional info I'm not too eager to understand, and regarding ASEAN I don't think it even got any attention in the media I read past the first few months of his term IIRC.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Well, as I said, I'm not really exposed to Trump's policies that don't involve me. I have very little care for American domestic news because it often involves a lot of additional info I'm not too eager to understand, and regarding ASEAN I don't think it even got any attention in the media I read past the first few months of his term IIRC.
Well you'll have to broaden your horizons then, which is one advantage of being here. We learn from you and you learn from us.
 
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