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December 30, 2010

Good News! China's Defense Minister Says They Are Preparing For, "Military Conflict In Every Strategic Direction"

Boy good thing we are facing any peer level competitors and could afford to scrap F-22 production since it was "waste" and "outdated".

Seems not everyone got the message that it is now all about unicorns (and domestic programs) and not defense.

"In the coming five years, our military will push forward preparations for military conflict in every strategic direction," said Liang Guanglie in an interview published by several state-backed newspapers in China. "We may be living in peaceful times, but we can never forget war, never send the horses south or put the bayonets and guns away," Mr Liang added.

China repeatedly says it is planning a "peaceful rise" but the recent pace and scale of its military modernisation has alarmed many of its neighbours in the Asia-Pacific, including Japan which described China's military build-up as a "global concern" this month.

Mr Liang's remarks come at a time of increasingly difficult relations between the Chinese and US armed forces which a three-day visit by his counterpart Robert Gates is intended to address.

And yet we expect them to be helpful with Iran and North Korea. Yeah, good luck with that.

Now, the Chinese Defense Minister may or may not be a big player in their power structure but the fact that he's making this kind of bellicose statement with the North Korea situation boiling up again and Gates about show up for a visit shows China's leadership wants to send a message.

Statecraft isn't simply about going to war, it also involves making your adversaries think you might to influence their decision making, create opportunities to extract concessions and a whole host of other things.

What's our response going to be?

The story was via "Galrahn" who runs the indispensable Navy-centric blog "Information Dissemination".

He also has an interesting piece up now at the US Naval Institute's blog on the Top 5 Navy stories of the year.

Check out the whole list but Number 5 is recent and it's big....

#5 – Russia Buys Mistral Amphibious Ships from France.

There is already a lot of complaining coming from NATO nations with the recent Christmas surprise that France will sell Mistral class amphibious ships to Russia. While it is absolutely true the Mistral class is a dynamic ship capable of supporting several peacetime missions for Russia, it is the capabilities of waging war that has Russia’s neighbors nervous. From the US perspective, promises that Russia will be utilizing the ships in the Pacific is hardly better news considering that means the ships will be primarily for demonstrating Russian resolve in territorial disputes with Japan. It could be worse, Russia could base the ships in the Black Sea and give Georgia plenty of reasons to be nervous. No matter how one looks at it, the Mistral class is a weapon of war well designed towards Russian strengths (like attack helicopters) and Russian requirements for power projection, and does represent a major transfer of knowledge and capability from a NATO friend to a former enemy. The dynamics of the deal itself are tailor made for political firebranding.

How's that reset thing working out again?

Never mind, we got the START deal done so it's all good.


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posted by DrewM. at 04:48 PM

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