Monday, February 13, 2017

Things Are Tough All Over, Part 11,715





Photo: Carrie Lam's Facebook page is blowing up - and not in a good way http://www.ejinsight.com/20170208-thank-you-lam-for-making-a-sham-election-fun/


HAS CHINA BEEN PRACTICING PREEMPTIVE MISSILE STRIKES AGAINST U.S. BASES?


THOMAS SHUGART, WAR ON THE ROCKS
Specifically, the PLA Rocket Force appears to have been practicing on several ship targets of a similar size to U.S. Arleigh Burke-class destroyers moored in a mock port that is a near-mirror image of the actual inner harbor at the U.S. naval base in Yokosuka (see Figure 11). Note what looks like an impact crater located near the center of the three ship targets, close enough to have potentially damaged all three ships with submunitions. The display of these targets may itself constitute signaling to the United States and its allies as a long-term deterrent effort. All the same, it bears considering that the only way that China could realistically expect to catch multiple U.S. ships in port as shown above would be through a surprise attack. Otherwise, with clear signs of imminent hostilities, the United States would likely have already sent its fleet to sea. Some skeptics might say that catching the U.S. flat-footed would be unlikely, but history teaches us not to discount the possibility of successful surprise attacks.  
GEORGE FRIEDMAN AND JACOB L. SHAPIRO, MAULDIN ECONOMICS
Japan is the 62nd largest country in terms of area. It is the 11th largest in terms of population. But neither of these facts disqualifies Japan from rising as a regional power. 
Unlike China, Japan has no land-based enemies—it is an island nation. Unlike China, the Japanese government has no concern about its ability to impose its writ throughout the entire country. 
Nor does it have to deal with a huge gulf in wealth disparity between regions. Japan has also managed a transition from a high-growth economy to a low-growth economy without revolution. 
Japan's weaknesses have manifested in the development of a strong navy able to guard maritime supply lines. It has also cultivated a tight alliance with a country that will guard those supply lines, the United States. 
http://www.mauldineconomics.com/editorial/the-leading-power-in-east-asia-will-be-japannot-china-1

INDIA'S CONCERNS OVER CPEC

Dahwood Rheman, Daily Pakistan
(The) Sipri report is the first one that elaborately touches upon the topic of Indian concerns on CPEC-a subsidiary of 'One Belt One Road' initiative and discussed the mega project's implications on security mechanics in the region.

According to the report, India has serious reservations against the CPEC and strictly opposes it. India fears that China will ultimately pose a threat by possessing a clear edge, though a toehold in the beginning, in the Indian Ocean with direct access to the Arabian Sea. India considers that the toehold will culminate into a military presence at some stage, the report says. 

Senator Cory Bernardi's warning for Malcolm Turnbull

Richard Lawson, NEW ZEALAND HERALD
While he pledged his support for money bills to keep the Government operating, Bernardi hinted he wouldn't rubber stamp other legislation. As expected, the South Australian used the first sitting day of the year to inform Parliament he had resigned from the Liberal Party to guide his political movement, the Australian Conservatives.

His defection means the Turnbull Government will need the support of nine of the 10 independent cross benchers to have its legislation clear the Senate against opposition from Labor and the Greens.

Bernardi defended the "difficult" decision, arguing the political class was out of touch. He warned that Australia was succumbing to the lure of personality politics which he claimed was shrinking the debate and compromising the sense and values of the many. 
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11796361


The Rohingya Insurgents: Myanmar Creates Its Own Frankenstein 

Aparupa Bhattacherjee, THE DIPLOMAT
One thing is clear: HaY is a monster of Myanmar's own creation, an offspring of failed policy and abhorrent treatment toward the Rohingya. If this group becomes a threat the world is afraid of, the credit for HaY's growth and strength should be attributed to the failure of Myanmar's peace initiative and also the atrocities by the BGP and Tatmadaw in the name of preventing conflict. 

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