Surrounded: How the U.S. Is Encircling China with Military Bases

Discussion in 'China' started by binayak95, Aug 21, 2013.

  1. binayak95

    binayak95 Regular Member

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    Surrounded: How the U.S. Is Encircling China with Military Bases
    Posted By John Reed Tuesday, August 20, 2013 - 7:15 PM

    The U.S. military is encircling China with a chain of air bases and military ports. The latest link: a small airstrip on the tiny Pacific island of Saipan. The U.S. Air Force is planning to lease 33 acres of land on the island for the next 50 years to build a "divert airfield" on an old World War II airbase there. But the residents don't want it. And the Chinese are in no mood to be surrounded by Americans.

    The Pentagon's big, new strategy for the 21st century is something called Air-Sea Battle, a concept that's nominally about combining air and naval forces to punch through the increasingly-formidable defenses of nations like China or Iran. It may sound like an amorphous strategy -- and truth be told, a lot of Air-Sea Battle is still in the conceptual phase. But a very concrete part of this concept is being put into place in the Pacific. An important but oft-overlooked part of Air-Sea Battle calls for the military to operate from small, bare bones bases in the Pacific that its forces can disperse to in case their main bases are targeted by Chinese ballistic missiles.

    Saipan would be used by American jets in case access to the U.S. superbase at Guam "or other Western Pacific airfields is limited or denied," reads this Air Force document discussing the impact building such fields on Saipan and nearby Tinian would have on the environment there. (Residents of Saipan actually want the Air Force to use the historic airbases on Tinian that the U.S. Marines are already refurbishing and flying F/A-18 Hornet fighters out of on an occasional basis.)

    Specifically, the Air Force wants to expand the existing Saipan International Airport -- built on the skeleton of a World War II base used by Japan, and later the United States -- to accommodate cargo, fighter, and tanker aircraft along with up to 700 support personnel for "periodic divert landings, joint military exercises, and joint and combined humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts," according to Air Force documents on the project.

    This means the service plans on building additional aircraft parking space, hangars, fuel storage tanks, and ammunition storage facilities, in addition to other improvements to the historic airfield. And it's not the only facility getting an upgrade.


    In addition to the site on Saipan, the Air Force plans to send aircraft on regular deployments to bases ranging from Australia to India as part of its bulked up force in the Pacific. These plans include regular deployments to Royal Australian Air Force bases at Darwin and Tindal, Changi East air base in Singapore, Korat air base in Thailand, Trivandrum in India, and possibly bases at Cubi Point and Puerto Princesa in the Philippines and airfields in Indonesia and Malaysia, a top U.S. Air Force general revealed last month.

    The Saipan announcement comes as Chinese defense minister, Gen. Chang Wanquan, visited Washington to talk with U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. The specific topic of U.S. bases in the Pacific didn't come up during a joint press conference held by the two officials on Aug. 20, but Wanquan said in response to a question about the U.S. military's increased focus on the Pacific that "China is a peace-loving nation. And we hope that [America's] strategy does not target a specific country in the region."

    While the U.S. military insists that Air Sea Battle, and the military's entire pivot to Asia, isn't about China, these bases are indeed a check against any future Chinese expansion into the Pacific ocean, according to Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

    "China will be much more discreet throughout the entire region because U.S. power is already there, it's visible; you're not talking theory, you're already there in practice," he said.

    This will also reassure America's allies in the region that the U.S. commitment to the Pacific is legit.

    "As part of this rebalancing to the Pacific, you have to show people it's real at a time when so much of U.S. power is increasingly questioned by our budget debates," Cordesman added.

    Gen. Herbert "Hawk" Carlisle, commander of all U.S. Air Force assets in the Pacific, said that the United States is planning on operating tankers, fighters, and bombers out of a string of bases throughout the South Pacific and Southwest Asia. Like the sites at Tinian and Saipan, these facilities aren't slated for permanent occupation by American aircraft -- or at least that's what American commanders say. Instead, these sites will see a steady stream of U.S. and northern Pacific based units visiting on a regular basis.

    "We're not gonna build any more bases in the Pacific" to support the U.S. Air Force's increased presence there, said Carlisle. And technically, he's telling the truth: no "new" bases, just expansions of existing airports and rebuilds of abandoned facilities like the sites at Saipan and Tinian. In fact, one of the fields being rebuilt by the Marines on Tinian is the place where the B-29 Enola Gay took off on its mission to drop the atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima.

    The refurbished airfields also hearken back to the Cold War era, when American units were constantly rotated in and out of Europe to keep the Soviets at bay. To counter a new foe, the Air Force will continuously deploy units based in the United States and the northern Pacific to a string of airfields in Southeast Asia.

    "Back in the late, great days of the Cold War, we had a thing called Checkered Flag: We rotated almost every CONUS [Continental United States] unit to Europe," said Carlisle. "Every two years, every unit would go and work out of a collateral operating base in Europe. We're turning to that in the Pacific."

    Not only does this dispersal allow the United States to hide its planes from destruction, it's also "a way to build up relations with partners in that part of the word," explains Jan Van Tol of the Center for Strategic And Budgetary Assessments, a Washington think tank that helped the Pentagon develop of the Air-Sea Battle concept. "It has to do with establishing interoperability, relationships, and experience in the actual areas" where the United States may have to fight.

    When asked what other old bases the United States might consider expanding to, Van Tol said "people in different discussions will mention bases they might like to see, like Wake Island or, I think, Palau." Both feature the remains of American airstrips from World War II. Wake, in fact, already has a very limited American military presence. Meanwhile, Palau has openely invited the U.S military to return and use one of its World War II airstrips there.

    Cordesman says the U.S. is likely looking at a three-tiered system of such bases in the Pacific. Some will be strictly American, others like those in Australia to India will be operated by allies who host the Americans on deployments, and the third tier will probably be a more secret string of austere, emergency bases.

    "You want forward bases in some areas to show that the United States can operate on its own, then you want that build up interoperability and cooperation with our allies, and then you want contingency capabilities -- and with those you want to leave people guessing," said Cordesman.

    It's another sign that, when comes to the Pacific, what's old is new again.
     
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  3. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    India figures in the lost of bases. Trivandrum. What have I missed all this while to see an Indian city in list of US bases?
     
  4. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Probably a wishlist. They may get logistics support from our bases, like refueling and maintenance before heading out again.
     
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  5. SADAKHUSH

    SADAKHUSH Senior Member Senior Member

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    There are two things GOI can do either they build their independent defense capabilities to take on the enemies on both side of the borders or join the hands with like minded countries to counter the expansionist nations on both side of our border. If all hell breaks loose than we might have to give them the airbase in the region bordering China as well. It all depends upon the circumstances in the future and Government of the day.
     
  6. binayak95

    binayak95 Regular Member

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    US plan to station military aircraft in India ?
    Published August 22, 2013 | By admin
    SOURCE: TELEGRAPH INDIA

    A top US Air Force general has said Washington is preparing to station military aircraft in India as part of its “Asia pivot” policy, and the city it is looking at to base its assets in is Kerala capital Thiruvananthapuram.

    An Indian defence ministry source said: “We have never discussed any such proposal.”

    Defence minister A.K. Antony is from Kerala, where the Opposition Left is mobilising protests against the state government.

    The disclosure by the American general, who was part of the policy group on Indo-US military relations, has the potential to stir up trouble for the Manmohan Singh government in the run-up to elections. In Kerala, the Left is particularly strong.

    CPM general secretary Prakash Karat, informed of the US general’s statement, said: “That seems to be the expectation of the Pentagon. It would stem from the Indo-US military framework agreement signed in 2006. It is up to the UPA government to clarify if such base facilities will be allowed.”

    The chief of the Pacific air forces under the US military’s Pacific Command, General Herbert “Hawk” Carlisle, has visited Thiruvananthapuram. As a lieutenant general before he took over his current command, he had led the US delegation at an executive steering group meeting of the Indian and US air forces.

    “So, as I envision it, as I talk about expanded engagement, a lot of our rebalance is a rotational presence through the Pacific. And obviously we’ll maintain our capability in Northeast Asia. In a lot of ways we’ll increasingly move south and west with the rotational presence. Darwin, Tindal, (Pilbara), Changi East in Singapore, Korat in Thailand, Trivandrum in India.… The most capable platforms will be rotated into the Asia-Pacific,” the general was quoted by Foreign Policy and other magazines as telling journalists at a breakfast meeting.

    Carlisle said the US was not setting up new bases in the Asia-Pacific but would continuously “rotate” its military assets in a revival of a “Checkered Flag” policy from the years of the Cold War.

    He said that during the Cold War, the US rotated all its military units from the Continental US (Conus) to Europe. That would now be done for the Asia-Pacific.

    Indian Air Chief Marshal N.A.K. Browne, who visited the US last month, met Carlisle.

    Talking of that meeting, the US general said the Indian Air Force was trying to learn to set up a military space command. Carlisle said he had apologised for cancelling a Red Flag exercise, to which the Indian Air Force had been invited, because of budget cuts.

    “The relationship’s great with the Indian Air Force. I think Air Chief Marshal Browne and I are good friends. We’ve known each other for a while,” Carlisle said.

    “We talked about a variety of things. One of them was, again, an apology on our part for cancelling Red Flag. We did make a commitment to have Red Flag next year about this time and they are going to participate, so that was a positive in that respect.”

    He added: “We talked about other engagement opportunities. Their C-17 (strategic air-lifter) — he was here picking up a C-17 out of Long Beach, their second one. He actually flew the C-17 back here to Washington DC through Colorado. So we talked about the C-17.

    “One of the discussions was doing some exchanges with their C-17 folks and ours. The other things that he talked about were the Indian Air Force — the Indian military is trying to develop a space command.”

    Browne was also in Colorado Springs to visit the US Air Force Space Command. “So we talked about our potential to show them how we do it, some of the education that’s available, some of the organisational things, some of the things we learned as we stood up a space command a long time ago,” the general said.

    US plan to station military aircraft in India ? | idrw.org
     
  7. JBH22

    JBH22 Senior Member Senior Member

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    Bringing in a foreign power on Indian soil. Complete NO we don't want to become new Pakistan.
     
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  8. jissuu

    jissuu Regular Member

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    Indian law makers will never agree to this.
     
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  9. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Sikkimese Saber Senior Member

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    No political party will agree to this.

    We didn't give military base to USSR which was the lifeline for our armed forces throughout cold war.

    What makes them think we will be happy with giving a military base to US?

    Good relations are welcome but a base is no-no.

    It is a stupid thing actually.

    The US already has a base in Diego Garcia which is like a 1000 Km below SL -- in the same region.
     

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