The Trump Administration is sending out a clear and decisive message when it comes to our commitment on the world stage, that this isn’t the Obama Administration, of obfuscating our responsibility as the “ONLY” superpower on earth.
No longer do we ignore, appease or apologize for our embrace of “nationalism,” rather then in the pursuit of “globalization.” The policy of appeasement practiced badly under the last administration has taken our advisories awhile to adjust. The bad actors like North Korea, Iran, Russia, and China have all tried to test the Trump Administration, hoping that the failed policies of the past administration to weaken our status on the world stage would somehow continue.
The latest “wake-up” call is currently being played out in the South China Sea near a number of small islands claimed and seized by China in 2014, to the surprise of the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Japan regional countries much closer to the islands then China’s 500 miles.
Ironically the Obama Administration had warned China in 2012 not to carry out any “reclamation works” as they have done elsewhere because the islands are part of international territories; however Obama once again ignored the threat, giving little more then lip service, which in turn singled to the Chinese Obama’s incompetence and timidity to actually confront international aggression, thus allowing China to claim the islands for themselves two years later, beginning construction of an airport and turning the islands into a strategic military installation, while Obama purposely looked somewhere else.
Much like everything Obama touched, the Trump Administration has had to clean up. For the second time this month the U.S. destroyer Preble sailed near islands claimed by China in the disputed South China Sea while the two countries engage in a trade fight.
Reuters reported that the operation was carried out on Sunday, citing that the Commander for the 7th fleet sailed 12 nautical miles off Scarborough Reef “in order to challenge excessive maritime claims and preserve access to the waterways,” the commander said.
The 7th fleet kept a watchful eye, as naval ships from India and Singapore performed drills within international waters. Those drills are expected to last until May 22. The U.S. has frequently criticized China for what it regards as the country’s militarization of the South China Sea, while China, in turn, has regarded the U.S. conduct in the region as a provocation.
Recent incidents surrounding the disputed islands within the South China Sea has the potential of becoming a flashpoint for an unintended confrontation if the players aren’t extremely careful within this high-density waterway.
On May 15th, 2019, Captain John Driscoll, commanding officer of the U.S. Coast Guard National Security Cutter Bertholf told reporters two Chinese Coast Guard ships were spotted off the South China Sea while they were conducting the joint exercise with Philippine Coast Guard.
A top American military commander says U.S. Air Force jets patrol the South China Sea daily to foster freedom of over-flight, although they’re not as visible as Navy patrols in the disputed waters.
“We fly on a daily basis in and around the South China Sea and really all across the region,” Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr., commander of U.S. Pacific Air Forces, told a news briefing late Thursday in Manila.
A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman for Lu Kang said the American ships had entered waters near the shoal without China’s permission, and the Chinese navy had warned it to leave.
“I must stress once again that the U.S. warship’s relevant actions have violated China’s sovereignty and undermined the peace, security and good order in the relevant sea areas. China is firmly opposed to this,” Lu told a daily news briefing.
Obama’s reluctance to confront China’s aggression seizing islands within international waters, and strategically changing the balance of power in the South China Sea, is yet another example of Obama’s pathetic foreign policy of appeasement.