Why did the conflict escalate so much last year, culminating in massive anti-Japan protests in China?
A significant incident took place in 2010 when a Chinese fishing trawler captain twice clashed with the Japanese coastguard and was then arrested by the Japanese. This was an overstepping of the line for China and they said they should protest more strongly and make their claim to the Diaoyu Islands more clearly. This incident was an important precursor to the current conflict.
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I am very worried about the fact that China keeps escalating this conflict, boosting coastguard patrols near the islands and regularly trespassing in the 12-mile zone around the islands. Last December, a coastguard plane flew over the islands. And in Japan an intrusion into airspace can only be counteracted by the air force. So whereas before it was a question of coastguard against coastguard, it’s now coastguard against air force. That’s a further escalation which is structural and not intentional. There were rumors recently that the Japanese had fired warning shots to the planes. That worries me and it has of course an impact on the South China Sea, in which this conflict is reflected.
On Jan. 15, the reporter from Global Times confirmed from Japanese Defense Ministry that firing light tracers is included in the established rule of Japanese Self-Defense Forces. Light tracer is a signal of attack, said a Chinese expert who has flown planes before.
With the increasing tensity in Diaoyu Islands’ dispute, are China and Japan moving toward a terrible war? Chinese military expert said that a modern warfare will not be triggered at once and China will not declare war because of a light tracer. But if Japan did so, China would not make concession.
IDF commanders informed Washington in November, according to the newspaper, after satellite imagery showed Syrian soldiers filling 500-pound bombs with a substance that may have been the deadly “sarin” nerve gas.
Further reports by Israeli revealed that the bombs has been loaded onto vehicles near Syrian air bases, where Assad’s planes could use them within two hours, too late for the United States to intervene militarily.
The New York Times reported that “a remarkable show of international cooperation” over the civil war in Syria found Russia and China agreeing with the United States and working to stop Assad through diplomatic channels.
The Pentagon says the United States has “no intention of re-establishing bases in the Philippines.”
But activity in Subic, a breezy coastal city about 80 km (50 miles) north of Manila that has the feel of a tidy American suburb with shopping malls, fast-food outlets and well-lit streets, resembles a buildup.
As of October, 70 U.S. Navy ships had passed through Subic, more than the 55 in 2011 and the 51 in 2010. The Pentagon says more than 100 U.S. planes stop over each month at Clark, another former U.S. base located between Manila and Subic.
“It’s like leasing a car as opposed to buying it – all the advantages of ownership with a reduced risk,” said James Hardy, Asia-Pacific editor of IHS Jane’s Defense Weekly.
Sunday Times’ report says Iran’s nuke site hidden safe from conventional airstrikes; Israel left with nuclear, ground options.
According to The Times, western defense experts discovered Iran’s Fordow nuclear site is hidden deeper underground than previously estimated and therefore safe from conventional airstrikes.
The Times report, quoting Western defense experts, added that due to the “upgraded” progress of Iranian enrichment, Israel has to change their tactics to prevent a loss of up to 20% of its planes from a conventional air strike.
Defense experts claim Israel have two options, to either deploy special forces on the ground, or use ballistic missiles with tactical nuclear warheads, The Times reported.
Aerial bombardments weighed heavy on the minds of Chinese military planners in the taut decades of the Cold War, and protecting their fledgling jet fleet was of paramount importance.
To keep their planes and equipment from the prying eyes of satellites, and the earth shattering bombs of an aerial attack, China built an elaborate set of underground bunkers.
Sean O’Connor and Dr. Carlo Kopp from Air Power Australia published a monograph on China’s underground air bases, and what it would take to bring them down may surprise you.
No order to strike is likely to be given before the P5+1 talks with Iran resume in May, the reporter, Alon Ben-David, said. “But the coming summer will not only be hot but tense.”
In the event that negotiations fail and the order is given for Israel to carry out an attack on Iranian nuclear facilities, “dozens if not more planes” will take part in the mission: attack and escort jets, tankers for mid-air refueling, electronic warfare planes and rescue helicopters, the report said.
Ben-David said the Israel Air Force “does not have the capacity to destroy the entire Iranian program.” There will be no replication of the decisive strikes on Iraq’s Osirak reactor in 1981 or on Syria in 2007, he said. “The result won’t be definitive.” But, a pilot quoted in the report said, the IAF will have to ensure that it emerges with the necessary result, with “a short and professional” assault.
Ben-David said that if negotiations break down, and Iran moves key parts of its nuclear program underground to its Qom facility, the IAF “is likely to get the order and to set out on the long journey to Iran.”
Guards’ plans include the launch of ballistic missiles at the narrow Strait of Hormuz from deep within Iran to disrupt the flow of oil and destabilize the world economy.
Iran has the largest and most diverse ballistic missiles arsenal in the region, some with a range of over 2,000 miles, capable of either carrying a one-ton conventional payload or a nuclear warhead. The Islamic regime is currently working with China and North Korea on intercontinental ballistic missiles with a range of over 6,000 miles, capable of reaching America.
The Guards have also armed hundreds of speed boats with high explosives for suicide attacks against U.S. Navy assets and the shipping traffic in the Gulf. Sources within the Guards also reveal that the Guards have been training pilots for suicide attacks against U.S. assets in the Gulf by using smaller planes loaded with explosives.
Close the bases, and bring the troops home.
The same with South Korea and Japan. Now that Mao is dead and gone and China is capitalist, Seoul and Tokyo trade more with Beijing than they do with us.
South Korea has 40 times the economy and twice the population of North Korea. Japan’s economy is almost as large as China’s. Why cannot these two powerful and prosperous nations provide the troops, planes, ships and missiles to defend themselves? We can sell them whatever they need.
Why is their defense still our responsibility?
In the world of weaponry, they are the sexiest things around. Others countries are desperate to have them. Almost anyone who writes about them becomes a groupie. Reporters exploring their onrushing future swoon at their potentially wondrous techno-talents. They are, of course, the pilotless drones, our grimly named Predators and Reapers.
As CIA director, Leon Panetta called them “the only game in town”. As secretary of defence, Robert Gates pushed hard to up their numbers and increase their funding drastically. The US Air Force is already training more personnel to become drone “pilots” than to pilot actual planes. You don’t need it in skywriting to know that, as icons of American-style war, they are clearly in our future – and they’re even heading for the homeland as police departments clamor for them.