Indo Pacific strategy

Sandhi Yudha

Well-Known Member
Meanwhile in the Singapore Strait, two chinese 'fishing vessels' with a large amount of antennae and electronic equipment.

I think the Malaysian/Singaporean/Indonesian Coast Guard/Navy need to pay a visit for inspection on these suspicious vessels.

But according to some commentators this kind of equipment is common on fishing vessels...
 

STURM

Well-Known Member
Reports of Chinese trawlers with ELINT gear operating along Malaysian waters first surfaced in the 1990's long before the Spratlys issue became regular news. The problem is these ships operate in international waters.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Meanwhile in the Singapore Strait, two chinese 'fishing vessels' with a large amount of antennae and electronic equipment.

I think the Malaysian/Singaporean/Indonesian Coast Guard/Navy need to pay a visit for inspection on these suspicious vessels.

But according to some commentators this kind of equipment is common on fishing vessels...
Well they are fishing, but not for fish that taste nice and feed your belly. :D
 

Sandhi Yudha

Well-Known Member
A very exotic collection of warships: Murasame-class destroyer Kirisame (DD-104), SIGMA 10514 frigate KRI R.E. Martadinata (331) and Floréal-class frigate Vendémiaire (F734). All are currently in Darwin to take part in Exercise Kakadu 2022.

The photo is taken from INS Satpura (F48), which is a Project 17 Shivalik-class multi-role frigate and an improvement over the preceding Talwar-class frigates with increased stealth and land attack features. Vendémiaire F734 is stationed in the French Pacific territories for patrol duties, so she didn't need to sail all the way from France to Darwin.

Exercise Kakadu 2022 (KA22) is involving more than 15 vessels, over 30 aircraft and approximately 3000 personnel from more than 20 countries.

Source.
 

Attachments

Last edited:

OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
Airbus is also making delivery of the remainder of RSAF’s H225Ms by the Airbus A300ST Beluga.

But with a transport fleet of Fokker 50, C-130H and A330 MRTT, I don't think Singapore needs the A400M urgently.
It depends on your point of view. I think there is a need for the A400M but Mindef has been carefully avoiding a choice, via work arounds.

To get our helicopters to Ex Wallaby, they now have to be trucked 700km to Rockhampton Airport from the Port Of Brisbane for Ex Wallaby. There are 2 legs to this journey — by sea from Singapore to Brisbane & then by truck from Brisbane to Rockhampton.
 
Last edited:

kato

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Three of the German Eurofighters deployed to Singapore flew to Japan this week supported by a A330MRTT with 5 AARs during the 8-hour nonstop trip.

One of the Eurofighters on this trip was flown by Lieutenant General Ingo Gerhartz, the supreme commander of the Luftwaffe. The group was greeted and escorted on arrival in Japanese airspace by F-2 fighters, one of which was flown by his JASDF counterpart General Shinju Isutzu.

The other two German pilots got to ride in a F-2 themselves during the visit.

The aircraft departed back to Singapore yesterday, where the other three German Eurofighters are training with the Singaporean Air Force.


In parallel one of the A400M deployed there flew for a visit to South Korea with a stopover for refueling in the Philippines. This A400M was flown by Lt.Gen. Günter Katz, commander of the Luftwaffe Air Transport Command. Apparently after South Korea it joined the other aircraft in Japan before flying back.

Meanwhile one other A400M on this deployment did a 46,200 km round-the-world trip. After unloading material (and LtGen Gerhartz, who it had picked up in India) for Pitch Black in Darwin it continued on across the Pacific, South America and the Atlantic solo without AAR support, with overnight stops at:
-> Sydney -> Tahiti -> the Easter Islands -> Bolivia -> Curacao (Dutch Carribean) -> the Azores (Portugal) -> back to Germany

The trip for this aircraft served to train both landing at isolated airports without alternatives (on islands) and a high-altitude landing (in Bolivia). It also served for training a bit more complicated air transfer scenarios, such as:
  • inadvertantly multiple system failures on the aircraft that were repaired in India and Australia
  • very limited flight windows for the Sydney - Tahiti leg (combination apparently only available 5 hours per day)
  • the German military attache at the embassy in Chile having to politically coordinate the landing in the Easter Islands with its highly restricted entry conditions
  • the leg to Bolivia being complicated by Peru suddenly denying overflight and having to be flown around

The total four A400M on the deployment had flown separately from the Rapid Pacific Eurofighter deployment as a group with refueling stops in Jordan and India. Most of them also did not stop in Singapore but flew directly to Darwin from India.
 
Last edited:

OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
1. Brunei and Indonesia are keen to be visible in hosting or participating in bilateral (eg. Exercise Pelican or Exercise Eagle Indopura) or multilateral exercises (RIMPAC or Super Garuda Shield) in & around the South China Sea or the Natuna islands, respectively.

2. In naval exercises, the RBN & TNI AL not only assert sovereignty but also complicate PLA(N)’s planning calculus (i.e. ⬆ costs & ⬇ benefit to be gained for any armed hostility).

3. Dr Kaharuddin Djenod of PT PAL, said that the company's plan in the next few years is to do the first steel cut for the frigates, where the construction process will take 5-6 years. Indonesia's defence is not an offensive orientated. However, PT PAL is already preparing to build a submarine, LHD and an aircraft carrier. PT PAL in 2023 will launch an aircraft carrier design. IMO, Indonesian SOEs do a disservice to the TNI by doing the wrong thing, like proposing to design an aircraft carrier when they can’t design & build their own frigates.

4. An Indonesian security sector actor, like a SOE, needs to be controlled & their growth planned for in a crawl, walk, & run manner — a continuous naval build strategy should be adopted — given MEF goals.
 
Last edited:

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
@OPSSG I really like the suggestion of a RIMPAC in the SCS. The squealing and screeching that would emanate from Beijing would make it worthwhile, because it would show them that the bully will be stood up too.
 

OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
@OPSSG I really like the suggestion of a RIMPAC in the SCS. The squealing and screeching that would emanate from Beijing would make it worthwhile, because it would show them that the bully will be stood up too.
Counter productive — many countries, including Brunei, Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia would not be willing to attend.

If the US led or forced an event beyond the scope of CARAT, it would fail. There are already many plan Bs being executed that do not apparently target the PLA(N), as being direct harms our national interest.
 
Last edited:

STURM

Well-Known Member
Indeed. No way that Malaysia, Thailand, Brunei and Indonesia would participate in a regional U.S. led/organised multilateral exercise which will be viewed by China as being directed against it.

From what I've been told China in the past has discreetly expressed its displeasure over the participation by some regional countries in CARAT. China to date only conducts bilateral exercises with very few countries [air exercises are held with Thailand] and what multi lateral exercises there have been have centered on HADR. It's in no hurry to increase to scope of exercises in the region.
 

Hari Sud

New Member
That operationalization of QUAD has been shoved into the cold storage. The Ukraine war and US focus of defeating Russia has taken over the whole strategic thinking.

That unfolding scenario of Chinese invasion of Taiwan came and went like a bad dream. Either the Chinese thought that it is tough nut to crack or the American advised the Chinese against it with full backing of their naval power. The Chinese aggressive plans dissolved into the thin air.

All that leads one to think that QUAD has lost its initial enthusiasm. Moreover, the Americans did not wish to be involved in two wars…… one in Europe and other in Taiwan. Occasional noises will be heard but just to keep the Media busy but nothing concrete.
 

OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
Post 1 of 3: President Biden’s National Security Strategy

1. President Biden’s National Security Strategy (Biden NSS) outlines how the US will advance its vital interests and pursue a free, open, prosperous, and secure world. The Biden NSS plans to invest, align, and compete. This also includes the following:
⏩We place a premium on growing the connective tissue on technology, trade & security between our democratic allies & partners in the Indo-Pacific & Europe because we recognize that they are mutually reinforcing & the fates of the two regions are intertwined.​
⏩We are charting new economic arrangements to deepen economic engagements with our partners and shaping the rules of the road to level the playing field and enable American workers and businesses—and those of partners and allies around the world—to thrive.”​

2. While the US is a global power with global interests, but in relation to the Indo-Pacific, “the US has a vital interest in realizing a region that is open, inter-connected, prosperous, secure, & resilient. We are ambitious because we know that we & our allies & partners hold a common vision for the region’s future.” In some ways, the war in Ukraine is a Biden Pivot back to teaming with Europe. Let me quote a passage:

“With a relationship rooted in shared democratic values, common interests, and historic ties, the transatlantic relationship is a vital platform on which many other elements of our foreign policy are built. To effectively pursue a common global agenda, we are broadening and deepening the transatlantic bond.”​
3. The Biden NSS also reads: "the PRC is also central to the global economy & has a significant impact on shared challenges, particularly climate change and global public health. It is possible for the US & PRC to coexist peacefully, & share in and contribute to human progress together."
(a) This language was not included in last NSS under Trump, and leaves the door open to cooperation with China, or at least signals the US intent to leave the door open.​
(b) The brand new Biden NSS declares the post-Cold War era "over" reflecting the new, more challenging security environment. It calls for "out-competing" China and Integrated deterrence (ID). ID intends to deter across domains, spectrum of conflict, and regions, leveraging all tools of national power and working with allies and partners.​

4. The Biden pivot to teaming with Europe helps America to compete in areas where it has ceded global leadership to China. This self inflicted loss is thanks in part to the prior racist antics and other harmful acts of the Trump administration to regional security. According to Lyle Morris, the Biden NSS is distinct from the 2017 NSS in 2 ways:
  • U.S.-China competition should not trump global cooperation on transnational issues; &
  • Competition with CCP ≠ competition with Chinese people, to include shunning racism.
5. A war on the economic front is looming & this is related to the competition for influence. China will not take this latest American move lying down. And I agree that Washington is unleashing forces beyond its control. Since 2009, Beijing has incrementally ramped up its claims across the South China Sea, consolidated its control in contested areas, interfered with the sovereign economic activities of other claimants within their exclusive economic zones, and militarised those features it has converted from rocks and reefs into artificial islands. Thankfully, America is aided by China making 3 foreign policy mistakes, as pointed out by former Singapore MFA official and Ambassador, Bilahari Kausikan.
(a) Prematurely giving up ‘hide your strength & bide time approach.​
 
Last edited:

OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
Post 2 of 3: President Biden’s National Security Strategy

(b) Believing CCP’s own propaganda that US’ decline is absolute (when the decline is just relative to the growth rates China enjoyed).​
(c) The no limits partnership with Russia becoming a liability.​

6. Whereas the 2017 National Security Strategy treated China and Russia as an interchangeable threat to America’s security and prosperity, this strategy draws distinctions between them. The Biden NSS clarifies that Russia and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) “pose different challenges” that demand differentiated responses. But the India part of the Biden NSS, is old wine in a new bottle. Showing no self-awareness of prior US revisionist behavior that the Indians love to point out, the Biden NSS says:
“India is the world’s largest democracy & a Major Defense Partner, the US & India will work together, bilaterally & multilaterally, to support our shared vision of a free & open Indo-Pacific."​

7. The Biden NSS, makes the conceptual move to bunch 8 rules based orders altogether (as if there is a single one). Marinate the document with amorphous references to the "order" created in 1945, and suggest or imply that it only started unravelling five minutes ago.
(a) A rules based order is not one where Americans impose their rules on others only, and ignore rules when it suits them. The Biden NSS way of talking about the rules based order (as American crafted rules) will reduce the search for areas of cooperation.​
(b) The current global trade order is one which China moderately supports. While China is the least open of all the major economies, some of China’s trade policies have been ‘barrier-reducing’ after entering the WTO.​
(c) The US Commerce Department just dropped 100+ pages of new export control regulations that will reshape the global semiconductor industry and the future of the US-China relationship. Jake Sullivan's team skirted around some legal technicalities in order to go forward without the notice-and-comment process, so that the new US regulations can take effect immediately.​
(d) From this week on, any of the inputs, tools, technology/software, and services in support of advanced node semiconductor manufactoring or advanced computing are now subject to some form of regulation — as in, a license from the US government is required. Controls now apply when sending items of any sort to a integrated-circuit fab in China whose production meets one of three criteria:​
(i) logic that's either nonplanar or has a smallest feature size under 16nm;​
(ii) dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) with a smallest feature size under 18nm; &​
(iii) producing or developing NAND flash memory.​

Compliance-wise, US persons must either get licensed, or confirm that their export to China isn't for these purposes.​

8. Prof. Alastair Iain Johnston argues that there are 8 different types of international orders and China’s compliance with international order depends on the specific kind we talk about. This is precisely the problem of ignoring the agency of other countries, like China, UK, Indonesia, India and Korea in crafting the rules based order. More importantly, South Korea only gets 1 mention, same as fellow allies Philippines and Thailand (the other 4 Korea mentions are on North Korea). The new Biden NSS rights the prior faux pas wherein Philippines and Thailand were completely absent but non-allies Singapore and Vietnam got mentions.
(a) Hanoi has progressively aligned its domestic legislation with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and international law because its long-term interests are best served by upholding the rule of law and peaceful dispute resolution. While Singapore and Vietnam are important as part of ASEAN — in hard power terms — the whole of ASEAN combined is not as important as South Korea.​
(b) Vietnam’s maritime strategic orientation has fostered closer economic and security partnerships with Australia, India, Japan, South Korea, the United Kingdom and the US. But in-terms of alignment, Vietnam will never align with the Americans over Russia (who is their main arms supplier).​
(c) The importance of Singapore lies not with its size (it is a feather weight in geopolitics, compared to any North East Asian country), but rather with its geographic location (for logistics) that it has used to make connections — be it in FOSS (with 108 member states), ASEAN or FPDA. As the host of the annual Shangri-La Dialogue, Singapore, and its competent Ministry of Defence has gained an outsized influence in geopolitical matters.​
9. An increasing number of South Koreans don't trust the US will stick around; Trump’s actions corroded a lot of trust from even Koreans keen on keeping an American presence in Korea. Even if Trump might never become POTUS again, there are others like him. IMO, Korea in particular needs some American reassurance. Below, a quote from Biden NSS to reassure allies is set out below:

“We reaffirm our iron-clad commitments to our Indo-Pacific treaty allies—Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Philippines, & Thailand—and we will continue to modernize these alliances.”​
 
Last edited:

OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
Post 3 of 3: President Biden’s National Security Strategy

10. Ashley Townshend explains that the shift to a denial posture (in layered defence through the island chains), and central focus on allies and partners jump out. Plus tolerance of heightened risk in 2020s as US adapts to this transition and awaits arrival of new capabilities.

11. Allies and partners are driving Team Biden conversations, realising that the US can’t deter China alone. In this sense, the NDS is not solely a US strategy. Nor is it new. Japan, Australia, India, Taiwan and Korea are on the frontline of this collective defence agenda. How each “plugs in” is necessarily different, but trend is toward aligned roles and missions.
 
Last edited:

Hari Sud

New Member
Biden being a mediocre personality has down graded Indo-Pacafic issue. He does not realize that a belligerent leadership in Peking is in a do or die mode to capture Taiwan. Smiling diplomats abstain from making any pre judgement but his behaviour during Pelosi visit only three months back almost started a war. Today he has been forced elected himself for the third time and acquired Mao Tse Tung type of power of political, economic and military control in his hands. That does not speak well of peace in North, South China Sea. He may escalate the war mongering to Pacific and Indian Ocean.

Permanently banned for repeatedly posting political posts.

Ngatimozart.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

T.C.P

Active Member
Biden being a mediocre personality has down graded Indo-Pacafic issue. He does not realize that a belligerent leadership in Peking is in a do or die mode to capture Taiwan. Smiling diplomats abstain from making any pre judgement but his behaviour during Pelosi visit only three months back almost started a war. Today he has been forced elected himself for the third time and acquired Mao Tse Tung type of power of political, economic and military control in his hands. That does not speak well of peace in North, South China Sea. He may escalate the war mongering to Pacific and Indian Ocean.
Really, not to get too political, but of all the US preidents, Biden has been the most vocal in terms of support to Taiwan. Under his administration the USA made some of the boldest pro Taiwan moves. With a much better than expected mid terms augmenting his presidency, Biden appears to be stronger than ever. Democrat control of the senate means that he is in no danger of becoming a lame duck president. The onus is on Taiwan now, to decide how much they want to ramp up their defenses, now that they have such a pro Taiwan US leadership in place.
 
Last edited:
Top