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ICYMI, Geopol: South China Sea

[ by Charles Cameron — this caught my eye, not an area i often think about, but important, important ]

Commander Robert Brodie, U.S. Navy, Winning the Joint Fight

The most likely high-end fight in the near future would be the Peoples’ Republic of China (PRC) attempting to annex the South China Sea, coerce the nations in and around it into a dependent relationship, and push the boundary with the free world into the Pacific. This is in addition to the perpetual problem of North Korea invading South Korea. These scenarios present many opportunities for the Marine Corps to help the joint fight. It is time for the Corps to reestablish its expeditionary and amphibious assault capabilities. Expeditionary long-range artillery, antisurface and antiair teams could turn the tables on PRC antiaccess/area denial efforts by holding their man-made bases, ships, and aircraft at risk and imposing significant cost in a wartime scenario. The threat of an amphibious assault that would trap North Korean leaders and bring about regime collapse if the North invaded the South is as good a deterrent as any. While these skill sets have been traditional Marine Corps strong points, the collapse of the Soviet Union, the hope that prosperity would cure the PRC of communism, and the Global War on Terror have distracted the Corps from staying ahead of the requirements to fight and win high-end battles against forces that may locally outnumber us.

All is not lost. As a free people, the United States is better able to innovate, communicate, and fight jointly for the common good. In the case of the Marine Corps, everything it needs to threaten PRC land, sea, and air assets has been fielded and only needs to be organized, transported, supported, and integrated into the joint fight. The Marine Corps needs to take charge of the expeditionary fight, even if that means co-opting capabilities or units from other services and working with other countries. If it fails to take the lead, the Army’s Multi-Domain Task Force experiment[1] that envisions deployable long-range artillery, antiship, antiair, and space and cyber units as the building blocks of its capabilities will compete against the Marine Corps expeditionary role instead of complementing it.

One Response to “ICYMI, Geopol: South China Sea”

  1. Charles Cameron Says:

    Here’s another:
    Peter Dickinson, Can the West Prevent the Slow Strangulation of Ukraine?

    Recent events in the Black Sea have thrust Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine back into the international headlines, but for ordinary Ukrainians, it never went away. Over the past four and a half years, Ukrainian society has grown grimly familiar with a unique brand of creeping Russian aggression that has been carefully calibrated to cause maximum damage while avoiding the crippling costs implicit in a more conventional campaign. Russia’s hybrid hostilities have extended far beyond the country’s thinly veiled military intervention in eastern Ukraine, with Moscow also making use of targeted assassinations, cyberattacks, trade embargoes, and disinformation campaigns to keep Ukraine permanently destabilized and to prevent the country’s final escape from the Kremlin’s sphere of influence. Throughout it all, the one constant has been a desire to disguise Russian involvement. This emphasis on plausible deniability made Russia’s November 25 naval attack on three Ukrainian vessels a watershed moment. For the first time since the start of the conflict in spring 2014, Russian forces operating under the Russian flag had openly attacked Ukraine.

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