Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Is anyone paying attention?

Tis the election season which means every off-handed remark made by a candidate or incumbent will be dissected and replayed in the media ad nausea.  While part of our political process, this has by necessity pushed many other stories to the back or completely off of the radar.

For example, in the last week China and Japan are on the verge of going to war over some uninhabited
islands in the Senkaku chain.  Japan purchased several islands and took immediate occupancy igniting old tensions between the two nations.  

If you think this is hardly a reason to go to war, you need to go read about the Falklands War and how Britain and Argentina went to war over some rocky islands with only a few inhabitants.

The Chinese government is being pressure by thousands of anti-Japanese protestors who want China to take a hardline with Japan.  China has sent navy vessels to sit off the coast of the islands with the ominous warning from their defense minister to be prepared to go to war.

In response Japan has closed many of its plants (including Honda which makes over 900,000 cars per year at the plant in China).  Japan is not looking to back down and tensions are running high.

Secretary of Defense Panetta expressed his concerns which in turn forced him to reassure China that the US is not trying to contain China.  Panetta has maintained the US is neutral in this situation and is not taking sides despite the existence of the Taiwan Relations Act.  The act basically says the US treats Taiwan as an independent nation even though China does not recognize Taiwan's independence.

Meanwhile Syria has started bombing targets in Lebanon forcing refugees to flee to Turkey or Jordan.  In turn, Turkish and Syrian forces are clashing on the border.  Remember, Turkey is a member of NATO so at some point an attack by Syria will be considered an attack on NATO.

Then in the Persian Gulf, US and Allied Forces navy minesweepers are trying to keep the Straits of Hormuz open.  At the same time, Iranian has just launched a refurbished Russian attack submarine. A Tareq-901 heavy attack submarine was sold to Iran and refurbished by the Iranian Navy (along with Russian Navy technical experts.

Finally, the green on blue violence is continuing unabated in Afghanistan causing the US military to suspend joint patrols in theater. The situation in Afghanistan, Obama's forgotten war, has seen an ugly increase on US and NATO deaths.  Prince Harry, after his embarrassing  Vegas trip, finds himself right in the middle of this increased violence while being personally threatened with a bounty for his death.

Somehow, the comments of politicians seem a little less important in comparison.

1 comment:

Quimbob said...

While not anything that would lead to war, well, maybe if they really try to reclaim lands held by Turkey for hundreds if not over a thousand years, the rise of the Golden Dawn has interested me. I wonder how isolated this mood is. I can see elements in the U.S.