China Militarizes Disputed Islands


In a move sure to raise tensions with neighboring countries China has announced that it will establish a military base on disputed islands in the South China Sea.  Several countries including Vietnam, the US, and the Philipines all denounced the move.  The area in question was actually annexed by China after a skirmish with Vietnam back in the 1970’s.  What this does signal to the rest of the world is all the Chinese propaganda about a peaceful rise to great power status was only to keep the world at bay while China finished modernizing so it could soon begin to wield its new-found might.  The real question becomes what can anybody actually do about the great Chinese land grab that is about to get underway?  Unfortunately the answer is not that much.  The only country with power to check Chinese aggression would be the US but I would think it highly unlikely that the US would risk an open confrontation over the issue.  The US could mop up the Chinese military in the South China Sea in short order.  However, the cost economically would be unbearable.  This is why you should never be indebted to a foreign power, and under no circumstance be indebted to a foreign power who happens to be your chief strategic competitor in the world.  The situation the US finds itself in with China today will in the future be a case study of how not to conduct a nation’s policy at the military, political, and economic level.

Spratly Islands Conflicting Claims

Claims by Country
Country South China Sea Spratly Islands Paracel Islands Gulf of Thailand
Brunei UNCLOS no formal claim no n/a
Cambodia (n/a) n/a n/a UNCLOS
China all* all all n/a
Indonesia UNCLOS no no n/a
Malaysia UNCLOS 3 islands no UNCLOS
Philippines significant portions 8 islands no n/a
Taiwan all* all all n/a
Thailand n/a n/a n/a UNCLOS
Vietnam all* all all UNCLOS
UNCLOS = UN Convention on the Law Of the Sea
n/a = not applicable
*excluding buffer zone along littoral states (calculations for buffer unknown)

US Concerned about Chinese Troops Plans on Disputed Island


Pic Of The Day: F/A-18’s In Digital Camo


Pic of the Day: Digital Super Hornet

200 Years Later


June 18 marks the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812.  It is a war that it is not well understood or much remembered in America so I decided to give some key facts about the war below.

1.  What was the war about? 

          The US declared war on Britain because of the British Navy’s policy of impressment (stopping US merchant ships and forcing former British citizens to serve on British ships).  Also because of British restrictions on US trade because of Britains’ war with France.

2.  Who won?

          Both America and Canada (even though it was not a country at the time) claim to have won, the British who were busy battling Napoleon at the time don’t seem to really care either way.  Canada claims victory because they did stop several US invasions of their country.  The US claims victory because we also stopped several British invasions of the US, won the final battle of New Orleans in decisive fashion, and also destroyed most organized indian resistance across the frontier (indians were allied with the British).

3.  Interesting Facts about the war.

          2260 Americans died in combat

          15-20,000 Americans died from disease

          1160 British combat deaths

          3321 British died from disease

4.  One of the Great American victories of the war, the Battle of New Orleans, came several weeks after the war had ended.  Messages in that day and age had to be hand delivered, since the treaty was signed in Europe it took quite a while to get the word out.

5.  Even though the outcome of the war was probably a draw it did lead to a new American unity after the war, the organized indian resistance along the border was defeated which opened up new lands to settle.  US and British relations seem to normalize after the war.  America had fought Britain twice in a span of roughly 25 years, but with the end of the war the two nations enjoyed a prosperous trade relationship which eventually turned into so much more in the 20th century.

6.  The US national anthem the Star Spangled Banner was written by Francis Scott Key in 1814 while he witnessed the British bombardment of Fort McHenry which ultimately failed to take the fort.

War of 1812 – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This Is Not A UFO


For the second time in a short span people have seen one of the US military’s newest drones being transported by truck and thought they were witnessing a UFO in transit.  No folks it is just the X-47B, a carrier launched stealth drone that is still in the testing phase.  Should it eventually join the fleet on active duty it would mark a milestone finally achieved for the US Navy because while the air force has had stealth capabilities for literally decades the navy has been left with conventional aircraft to get the job done.  This would be a serious upgrade for the navy greatly increasing their reconnaissance and strike capabilities.  Since the US Navy will be in the lead in confronting China this is also something they can’t afford to be without.

X-47B Completes Cali Flight Testing, Moves to th


70 Years Ago Today The Battle Of Midway Came To An End

In one of the most decisive victories in the history of naval warfare the US Navy engaged and defeated the seemingly invincible Imperial Japanese fleet at the Battle of Midway.  The US Navy delivered a crushing blow to the Japanese Navy from which they would not recover.  Here is an excerpt from describing the American victory.

“At the Battle of Midway, Japan lost four carriers, a cruiser, and 292 aircraft, and suffered 2,500 casualties. The U.S. lost the Yorktown, the destroyer USS Hammann, 145 aircraft, and suffered 307 casualties. Japan’s losses hobbled its naval might–bringing Japanese and American sea power to approximate parity–and marked the turning point in the Pacific theater of World War II. In August 1942, the great U.S. counteroffensive began at Guadalcanal and did not cease until Japan’s surrender three years later.”