Chinese agression shows Law of the Sea treaty is worthless
Posted By Crush
I've been writing about the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea for years. This sovereignty stripping, wealth transferring treaty has periodically reared its ugly head since Ronald Reagan was president, and its ratification is still sought by today's political, media, and even military elite.
But aside from the fact that we will be sacrificing our Naval superiority and paying exorbitant fees to the UN for mining our own resources, the underlying principles of the treaty - an internationally agreed-upon "constitution" and rule of law for the world's oceans - sound great.
Problem is, China - who signed UNCLOS in 1996 - is claiming islands surrounded by oil and natural gas deposits. Islands they appear to have no valid claim to. Islands that already belong to other nations.
Chinese naval vessels have targeted a Japanese destroyer and helicopters near the Senkaku Islands. When Japanese officials complained, the Chinese incredibly blamed them for taking a warlike posture. For months, the Chinese have maintained a delicate standoff with the Philippines in the Scarborough Shoals, sending boats 500 nautical miles to harvest fish 124 miles form the Philippine coast.
If the UNCLOS actually was worth the paper it was written on, then
there would be a legal and naval deterrent to any illegal activity by
the Chinese. But corruption, not law, rules the UN.
In 1947, the Chinese government claimed virtually all of the South
China Sea in what has become known as the “Nine-Dash Line.” China, a
member nation of UNCLOS, refuses to explain the details on how they
reached their far-fetching boundary.
A U.S. diplomatic cable published by WikiLeaks states
that a senior Chinese government maritime law expert admittedly did not
know of any historical basis behind the “Nine-Dash Line.”
China knows that if they open the door to international scrutiny,
their extravagant claim and ambiguous evidence would not survive and
any illusions of a legitimacy would vanish. And so would the massive
deposits of oil and natural gas surrounding these desolate islands the
Chinese want exclusive access to.
The Philippines even offered to settle the matter of Scarborough
Shoal in a UNCLOS tribunal, but the Chinese have stated they will not
participate in any of the treaty's dispute resolution mechanisms – or
abide by any UNCLOS ruling.
The Chinese claim to seek bilateral talks because they know that the
Philippines will refuse, and the issue will remain unsettled. The
Chinese interest is to keep things exactly as they are.
Diplomacy works great when one side has significant leverage over the other, both parties can find common ground, or if both parties at least wish to avoid war. The problem is, the Chinese political and military leadership has been telling its people to prepare for war. They have the economy, resources, military and naval forces, and the national will to make it happen.
And who is going to stand in their way?
China can be aggressive because they know that the UN is only out to get
paid, President Obama's “soft power” is big on soft and short on power,
and no other nation is capable of doing anything about it.
The United States has mutual defense pacts with both Japan and the Philippines, but who knows whether President Obama will honor them? Not so long ago, our Navy was continually conducting "freedom of navigation" cruises to deter this kind of aggression. Just our occasional presence alone was enough. Now, our diplomats can only offer empty and meaningless platitudes to assure our Pacific allies that we have their back. While that may be enough for the administration's sycophantic following in the U.S. media, it certainly isn't going to fool the Chinese, who live under the old rule of "you are only as strong as your reputation to back it up."
I would love to live in a world where an international law of the sea actually worked and the world didn't expect the United States to solve all their problems with our blood and treasure. But whether or not China starts World War III, let's at least realize that toothless, corrupt treaties are no replacement for naval superiority.
A coalition force member provides overwatch for the Afghan national army special forces soldiers conducting a satellite patrol while engaging insurgents during a firefight in Herat province, Afghanistan, Feb. 17, 2013. Coalition force members and Afghan special forces teams conducted satellite patrols from a temporary patrol base to lure insurgents out of hiding.U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Pete Thibodeau
Posted By Blackfive U.S. Army 1st Lt. Robert Wolfe, right, escorts Jim Otwell, left, a U.S. Agency for International Development field program officer, to the Directorate of Education in Farah City, Afghanistan, Feb. 26, 2013. Wolfe, a platoon leader, is assigned to Provincial Reconstruction Team Farah. The team met with the provincial education director and visited Aboonaser-Farahi High School, Farah City's oldest high school. U.S. Navy photo by Lt. j.g. Matthew Stroup
WASHINGTON, D.C. – A political fight has been ignited after President Obama announced the nomination of former soldier and Senator Chuck Hagel to Secretary of Defense. The choice is seen as controversial due to past comments from Hagel about Israel, gays in the military, and shadowy connections to a group known as the “E-4 Mafia.”
One of the early milbloggers is calling it quits. If you want to get a good feel for what it was all about, and read some of posts that show the best and how it should be done, go start from the beginning and read forward. It was a hell of a good run, and it was an honor, a laugh, a tear, and occasionally this wolf probably looked like the dog in the spoof about the old lady driving. Thanks brother.
This has been going around today on Facebook, and I've just talked with the funeral home. There is a WWII veteran, Lee Roy Cochran, who has reported to the Green and has services tomorrow. At 93, most of his friends and family have gone before him. His granddaughter would like for any and all fellow veterans (and troop supporters) who can attend to do so. A bit about him provided by the family:
Lee Roy Cochran was drafted into the
infantry and was assigned to a glider unit, set to jump into Europe.
Their entire platoon got shot down. Survivors were re-deployed to the
Philippines, where he was awarded a Bronze Star.
The funeral is tomorrow at 1530 hours (3:30 pm) at South Fork Cemetery, Gurdon, Clark County, Arkansas. Ruggles-Wilcox Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements, and will be glad to provide directions for those needing them. You can contact them via the link at need.
Posted By Uncle Jimbo
UPDATE: The Two Bills at Long War Journal have combined to take a look at this, and as always provide the best info on the topic. So go read it.
There is a report that Afghan President Karzai has told US Special Forces they must leave Wardak province.
"The order came after the governor of Wardak presented a report to the Afghan National Security Council today. The report alleges that special forces and armed groups created by them have committed a range of abuses in the volatile province that neighbors Kabul. President Karzai has long criticized U.S. raids on Afghan homes, but the claims in the report appear to go far beyond his previous allegations. The president's order says all special forces must cease operations immediately and leave the province within two weeks. A U.S .forces official says they have not seen the report and cannot comment until they can discuss the issue directly with the Afghan government."
Specifically there are claims a university student was beheaded and other folks have been disappeared. This being Afghanistan, there is not much chance of finding the objective truth about this. There is a gargantuan veracity black hole regarding pretty much everything that happens there. However, I think it highly unlikely that US Special Forces are authorizing their Afghan allies to behead university students. It is possible a rogue group or individual has done so, but institutionally it is just not going to happen.
If anything US Special Forces tend to be a moderating influence on the sometimes less than cricket tactics used by our allies. On one of my first deployments, we were working with a paramilitary police force that was actively fighting a nasty insurgency. There was no love lost at all between them and the insurgents/terrorists. When I asked them to describe their method for conducting a raid on an enemy village, they said they would sight in machine guns, "supress" the location with fire and then sweep through. This basically had them killing everyone and then counting the bodies.
Crude but effective and a pretty flagrant violation of the Laws of Armed Conflict. I was surprised by the amount of resistance to my suggestion that maybe they shouldn't kill everybody. They only came around to the idea of capturing a prisoner to interrogate when they figured they could torture some good intel out of him. Which opened up a whole new line of discussion/teaching points.
We deal with a lot of people who do not share our high regard for human life. It is a difficult task, but we tend to be on the side of good in this. That doesn't mean our ideas always prevail, they don't. But we do our best.
TAH notes a change to our push for votes to help with selection of Colt's cheerleaders. We now have two excellent people to vote for. Go read, go vote, and remember to vote early and often for Kaiti C and Rachel F.
Former Paratrooper and Army Officer, "Blackfive" started this blog upon learning of the valorous sacrifice of a friend that was not reported by the journalist whose life he saved. Email: blackfive AT gmail DOT com
Retired Special Operations Master Sergeant, Jim Hanson ("Uncle Jimbo") is now focused on writing about the military, politics, intelligence operations and foreign policy. Email: jimbo AT unclejimbo DOT com
Writer, photographer, and raconteur C. Blake Powers is the Laughing Wolf. He is independent in politics and covers topics including journalism, military, weapons, preparedness, space, science, cooking, food and wine, product and book reviews, and even spirituality. Email: wolf1 AT laughingwolf DOT net Laughing Wolf's Amazon Wish List
Bill Paisley, otherwise known as Pinch, is a 22 year (ongoing) active and
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cornucopia of various and sundry items and will bring a tactical naval
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about the F-14 Tomcat will be reverential and spoken in low, hushed tones.
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Mr. Wolf has over 26 years in the Army, Army NG, and USAR. He’s Airborne with 5 years as an NCO, before becoming an officer. Mr. Wolf has had 4 company commands. Signal Corp is his basic branch, and Public Affairs is his functional area. He recently served 22 straight months in Kuwait and Iraq, in Intel, PA, and senior staff of MNF-I. Mr. Wolf is now an IT executive. He is currently working on a book on media and the Iraq war. Functional gearhead.
In Iraq, he received the moniker of Mr. Wolf after the Harvey Kietel character in Pulp Fiction, when "challenges" arose, they called on Mr. Wolf...
Email: TheDOTMrDOTWolfAT gmail DOT com
Deebow is a Staff Sergeant and a Military Police Squad Leader in the Army National Guard. In a previous life, he served in the US Navy. He has over 19 years of experience in both the Maritime and Land Warfare; including deployments to Southwest Asia, Thailand, the South Pacific, South America and Egypt. He has served as a Military Police Team Leader and Protective Services Team Leader and he has served on assignments with the US State Department, US Air Force Security Police, US Army Criminal Investigation Division, and the US Drug Enforcement Administration. He recently spent time in Afghanistan working with, training and fighting alongside Afghan Soldiers and is now focused on putting his 4 year Political Science degree to work by writing about foreign policy, military security policy and politics.
McQ has 28 years active and reserve service. Retired. Infantry officer. Airborne and Ranger. Consider my 3 years with the 82nd as the most fun I ever had with my clothes on. Interests include military issues and policy and veteran's affairs.
Email: mcq51 -at - bellsouth -dot- net
Tantor is a former USAF navigator/weapon system officer (WSO) in F-4E Phantoms who served in the US, Asia, and Europe. He is now a curmudgeonly computer geek in Washington, DC, picking the taxpayers pocket. His avocations are current events, aviation, history, and conservative politics.
Twenty-three years of Active and Reserve service in the US Army in SF (18B), Infantry and SOF Signal jobs with operational deployments to Bosnia and Africa. Since retiring he's worked as Senior Defense Analyst on SOF and Irregular Warfare projects and currently ensconced in the emerging world of Cyberspace.
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A Marine who began his blog in Iraq and reflects back on what he learned there and in Afghanistan. To the point opinions, ideas and thoughts on military, political and the media from One Marine’s View. Email: onemarinesview AT yahoo DOT com
Uber Pig was an Infantryman from late 1991 until early 1996, serving with Second Ranger Battalion, I Corps, and then 25th Infantry Division. At the time, the Army discriminated against enlisted soldiers who wanted use the "Green to Gold" program to become officers, so he left to attend Stanford University. There, he became expert in detecting, avoiding, and surviving L-shaped ambushes, before dropping out to be as entrepreneurial as he could be. He is now the founder of a software startup serving the insurance and construction industries, and splits time between Lake Tahoe, Boonville, and San Francisco, CA.
Uber Pig writes for Blackfive a) because he's the proud brother of an enlisted Civil Affairs Reservist who currently serves in Iraq, b) because he looks unkindly on people who make it harder for the military in general, and for his brother in particular, to succeed at their missions and come home in victory, and c) because the Blackfive readers and commenters help keep him sane.
COB6 spent 24 years in the active duty Army that included 5 combat tours with service in the 1st Ranger Battalion and 1st Special Forces Group . COB6 was enlisted (E-7) and took the OCS route to a commission. COB6 retired a few years back as a field grade Infantry officer.
Currently COB6 has a son in the 82nd Airborne that just returned from his third tour and has a newly commissioned daughter in the 4th Infantry Division.