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Why It’s Necessary to End NATO

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On February 24th, Medea Benjamin and Nicolas S.J. Davies headlined “What Planet Is NATO Living On?”, and documented that the U.S. Government and NATO are preparing to invade and conquer both Russia and China, and that this goal is opposed by vast majorities of Europeans, which means that this decision by NATO does not reflect democracy in Europe, but instead it reflects Europe’s being vassal-nations in the U.S. empire:

As Michael Klare explains in a NATO Watch report on NATO 2030, every step the U.S. is taking with NATO is “intended to integrate it into U.S. plans to fight and defeat China and Russia in all-out warfare.”

The U.S. Army’s plan for an invasion of Russia, which is euphemistically called “The U.S. Army in Multi-Domain Operations,” begins with missile and artillery bombardments of Russian command centers and defensive forces, followed by an invasion by armored forces to occupy key areas and sites until Russia surrenders.

Unsurprisingly, Russia’s defense strategy in the face of such an existential threat would not be to surrender, but to retaliate against the United States and its allies with nuclear weapons.

U.S. war plans for an assault on China are similar, involving missiles fired from ships and bases in the Pacific. China has not been as public about its defense plans, but if its existence and independence were threatened, it too would probably use nuclear weapons, as indeed the United States would if the positions were reversed. But they’re not—since no other country has the offensive war machine it would need to invade the United States.

Michael Klare concludes that NATO 2030 “commits all alliance members to a costly, all-consuming military competition with Russia and China that will expose them to an ever-increasing risk of nuclear war.”

So how do the European people feel about their role in America’s war plans? The European Council on Foreign Relations recently conducted an in-depth poll of 15,000 people in ten NATO countries and Sweden, and published the results in a report titled “The Crisis of American Power: How Europeans See Biden’s America.”

The report reveals that a large majority of Europeans want no part in a U.S. war with Russia or China and want to remain neutral. Only 22% would support taking the U.S. side in a war with China, 23% in a war with Russia. So European public opinion is squarely at odds with NATO’s role in America’s war plans.

Many Europeans now recognize that NATO’s including the United States of America is toxic to their own nation’s security because the U.S. Government is addicted to war and to international conquest that has nothing whatsoever to do with defense but is purely aggressive in its intent and reality. That assessment by the European public is, indeed, realistic: the military alliance with America is toxic to their own nation’s security. The sole way forward for Europeans is to end that alliance, as fast as possible. Here is why:

On 3 May 2017, I had headlined “America’s Top Scientists Confirm: U.S. Goal Now Is to Conquer Russia” and opened:

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists published a study, on 1 March 2017, which opened:

The US nuclear forces modernization program has been portrayed to the public as an effort to ensure the reliability and safety of warheads in the US nuclear arsenal, rather than to enhance their military capabilities. In reality, however, that program has implemented revolutionary new technologies that will vastly increase the targeting capability of the US ballistic missile arsenal. This increase in capability is astonishing — boosting the overall killing power of existing US ballistic missile forces by a factor of roughly three — and it creates exactly what one would expect to see, if a nuclear-armed state were planning to have the capacity to fight and win a nuclear war by disarming enemies with a surprise first strike.

I noted that the U.S. Government had quietly abandoned the meta-strategy called “Mutually Assured Destruction” or “MAD,” which had viewed nuclear weapons as being purely to be used as defensive weapons and only when and if the United States is already under attack from another nuclearly armed nation, so that any such aggressor against the U.S. will be decimated. Victory in any nuclear war will be impossible, because it would result in both sides being effectively eliminated, and thus the name was “Mutually Assured Destruction.” But America’s aristocracy no longer views nuclear weapons that way. Here is how America’s unofficial change to nuclear forces for a blitz first-strike against Russia, so as to prevent retaliation by Russia, came to be established: 

A landmark event in the process of reconceptualizing such a war as being ‘winnable’, was the publication in 2006 of two articles in the two most prestigious journals of international relations, Foreign Affairs, and International Security, both formally introducing the concept of “Nuclear Primacy” or the (alleged) desirability for the U.S. to plan a nuclear conquest of Russia. Until those two articles (both of which were co-authored by the same two authors), any such idea was considered wacky, but since then it has instead been mainstream. As the final link above (the article that’s linked-to immediately before) explains, the source even prior to George W. Bush goes all the way back to 24 February 1990 when his father, then also the U.S. President, secretly initiated the operation ultimately to conquer Russia.

It was a two-step process, between the father and the son, and not only has every American President this century participated in this monstrosity (the adoption of “Nuclear Primacy” replacing “MAD”), but NATO has participated 100% in it — this secret continuation of the Cold War after Russia ended its side of the Cold war in 1991, and heading now for The Kill.

This is the reality. Whereas neither Russia nor China has abandoned the MAD meta-strategy, the U.S. and its NATO alliance definitely did.

A country that’s so extremely aggressive can be expected also to be aggressive against lesser target-countries, and the U.S. is — and this fact is seen routinely.

NATO now is even trying to extend to operations in Iraq and other nations that the U.S. regime already militarily occupies. On February 24th, NATO headlined “NATO Mission in Iraq” and reported based only upon Iraq’s having requested and received in October 2018 additional training so as to defeat ISIS. That NATO report ignored the demand by Iraq’s Government in January 2020 for all U.S. troops to leave Iraq immediately and the millions of Iraqis who subsequently demonstrated against the U.S. and demanded the U.S. to leave immediately. (Trump responded by threatening to destroy Iraq if Iraq’s Government would continue its demand.) On 24 November 2020, NATO headlined “Denmark assumes command of NATO Mission Iraq”. But Iraqis don’t want any alien military force occupying their country.

Here are some articles in the U.S.-and-allied mainstream media that are encouraging U.S. President Joe Biden’s moves to press even farther in the direction of assisting — rather than abandoning — the U.S. regime’s conquests:

“Iraq’s Disappearance From Biden’s Agenda Is a Big Mistake”, Foreign Policy, 21 January 2021

“Attack in Iraq highlights Biden’s Saudi problem”, Politico, 16 February 2021 

“Why Biden can’t ignore Iraq and Afghanistan, even if he might want to”    Vox, 16 February 2021

“Joe Biden Gets Tested in Iraq”, Wall Street Journal, editorial, 16 February 2021

“U.S. contractor dies as rocket attacks in Iraq pose fresh challenge to Biden”, Washington Post, 3 March 2021

By contrast, the non-mainstream Voltairenet headlined on 14 February 2020, “NATO to deploy troops in Greater Middle East” and opened by reporting that:

Ultimately, it looks as though NATO will take over in the Arab world after the withdrawal of CentCom (US Central Command in the Middle East). Germany could play a leadership role in the Alliance.

Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg hopes to:

1. deploy the Alliance in Tunisia and make the war in Libya last forever;

2. deploy the Alliance in Iraq and Jordan and make the war in Syria go on forever.

Adherents to the U.S. empire don’t get to see that type of reporting. The same billionaires — U.S. billionaires — who control America’s ‘news’-media and ‘defense’ contractors and politicians, control also America’s vassal nations indirectly; and if such international dictatorship exists, then can a given vassal nation actually be a democracy? Is this what the international corporations are bringing — a global dictatorship?

On March 4th, the non-mainstream progressive media-criticism site, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, headlined “Purging Inconvenient Facts in Coverage of Biden’s ‘First’ Air Attacks” and proved that all of America’s mainstream media were reading from the same script of lies, that Biden’s bombing on February 25th, which killed dozens of Syrians, was his “first” bombing-operation, though actually even the New York Times had, in fact, reported on January 29th — on Biden’s 9th day as President — that “American airstrikes in a joint mission with Iraqi forces have killed the top Islamic State leader in Iraq, an attack aimed at stemming the group’s resurgence and exacting retribution for a deadly double-suicide bombing in Baghdad last week.” So, the February 25th bombing was actually Biden’s second bombing-operation. He was continuing Trump’s invasions which continued Obama’s invasions, which continued Bush’s invasions; and America’s mainstream ‘news’-media were constantly lying about it. The FAIR report also noted: “The pretense that the US defended itself by carrying out last week’s airstrikes also necessitates glossing over the fact that the country Washington actually bombed, Syria, is accused of neither sponsoring nor carrying out the rocket attacks on American bases in Iraq that should not be there in the first place. The articles I’ve examined all acknowledge that the US airstrikes hit Syria, but it’s remarkable how little attention they [these U.S. ‘news’-reports] pay to the country.”

All of the empire’s mainstream media present the pro-empire views and constantly lie, even to disappear events that they themselves had previously reported. If Europeans are going to fight and die for their own aristocracy, that’s bad enough, but to do it for America’s lying aristocracy — the billionaires who control U.S.-based international corporations — is even worse. NATO must end now, not only because it’s a real and present danger of WW III, but because it’s a U.S. mega-corporate and allied scam, which destroys countries, even if it won’t end the world. To accept NATO is to accept evil.

If Russia hadn’t inherited the nuclear weapons that the USSR had produced, then maybe the U.S. regime would already have taken over in Russia.

The Cold War started on 26 July 1945, when U.S. President Harry S. Truman became deceived by his advisors to end his predecessor, FDR’s, intention that the post-WW-II world would put nuclear and all strategic weaponry under the control of a United Nations which would replace all imperialisms in international relations — it would establish instead a global democratic federation of nations, which, alone, would possess ultimate international legal authority and be the source and enforcer of international law. Internal matters within each nation would continue to be determined under the given nation’s existing constitution, but the U.N.’s Charter would be the global constitution and be international law. Tragically, the Charter that ended up being written during 25 April to 26 June 1945 was Truman’s, not FDR’s. It is a watered-down version of FDR’s vision of a democratic federation of the world’s nations. It provided the U.N. with no means to enforce international law. Imperialism, which FDR had planned the U.N. to end, continued unaffected by Truman’s U.N. FDR had died on 12 April 1945, and a ferocious battle took place immediately within the new Truman Administration between Patrick Hurley and other FDR advocates versus James Byrnes and other opponents of FDR’s international plans. On 26 July 1945, Truman decided conclusively to go with Byrnes and blundered massively by terminating FDR’s anti-imperialist international vision and priorities, and Truman proceeded then to establish the Cold War and the U.S. empire. Just before the Soviet Union and its communism and Warsaw Pact all ended in 1991, George Herbert Walker Bush intentionally committed a huge international crime on 24 February 1990 by secretly extending into the future that blunder by Truman, and then each subsequent U.S. President has continued Bush’s mega-crime of seeking a global U.S. empire, instead of to end NATO and to end the U.S. regime’s aspiration to become the world’s first global empire. After the end of the Soviet Union and its communism and Warsaw Pact in 1991, NATO has possessed no valid justification for its continuing existence. NATO is entirely a scam, to further extend the U.S. empire. If the U.N. becomes reformed so as to adopt what had been the FDR plan, then all international military alliances will end, but even if the U.N. continues as it is, which is little more than a global forum where each nation airs its official views, NATO is evil, and has no real justification. It serves no good function. It should have ended in 1991. But, now, its prompt termination has become an urgent necessity, because the U.S. regime has publicly declared that its aim is to conquer both Russia and China. The only way to end America’s aspiration to control the entire world is to end NATO, because NATO was built upon that evil aspiration.

Author’s note: first posted at Strategic Culture

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010

Defense

Why shouldn’t Israel Undermine Iran’s Conventional Deterrence

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When Naftali Bennett took over as the prime minister of Israel, it was expected that he would take a different approach compared to Netanyahu. This could be a probable expectation, save for the issue of Iran, since Iran is considered a consistent strategic and existential threat in the eyes of Israeli political and military officials same way that Israel has always been considered an enemy in the strategic culture of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Therefore, with the resumption of the Iran nuclear talks in Vienna, Israel has intensified its campaign for an imminent military strike on Iran. On the other hand, Iran has tried to create a balance of missile threat against Israel based on valid deterrence during the past years.

However, the level and the nature of performance and deterrence of these two influential actors of the Middle East are fundamentally different. While Iran has defined its deterrence based on hybrid missile deterrence concepts—including direct and extended deterrence—, Israel’s deterrence is based on preemptive warfare, a.k.a. “immediate deterrence,” irrespective of its nuclear capabilities, policies of “strategic ambiguity” and “defensible borders strategy.”

From a direct deterrence perspective (i.e., the strength of a large missile fire from within Iranian territory) and given the extended and asymmetric dimensions (i.e., strengthening missile capabilities of the axis of resistance), the Islamic Republic of Iran believes that Israel will gradually become weaker and more fragile defensively, considering the importance of objective components in the area of ​​deterrence—such as geographical depth and population, and this will derive Israeli leaders to consider their fragile security and survival before any attempt to take on a direct military confrontation with Iran. For instance, when the tensions over Iran’s nuclear program escalated between 2010 and 2013 during the Obama administration, none of Iran’s nuclear facilities was attacked, despite Israel’s repeated expression of its willingness to do so. Former defense minister Ehud Barak justified this inaction with the pretext of Barack Obama’s opposition and lack of support.  In fact, the Netanyahu administration sought to instill this idea to the world that Israel has both the “determination” and the “ability” to attack Iran should this preemptive action not have been faced with Washington objection. The fact that Netanyahu still failed to implement the idea even during Trump administration—as John Bolton points out in the first chapter of his book—despite his overwhelming support for Israel, indicated the fact that Israel does not have independent military capabilities and determination to take such hostile action at no cost without the support of the US.

Therefore, despite the constant claims of Israeli officials, this country’s general strategy so far has been to avoid direct military confrontation with Iran and to focus on less intense and covert warfare. This has changed since 2017 due to Israel’s objection to pro-Iranian forces regaining the control over Al-Bukamal Qa’im border crossing on the Iraqi-Syrian border, and the consequent lack of a proportionate and retaliatory response from Iran to Israel’s ongoing operations in Syria. In fact, inaction of Iran has allowed Israeli army to expand its campaign from northern borders and the Golan Heights (as the first ring) to the province of Deir ez-Zor in eastern Syria, then to the depths of Iraq in cooperation with the US (as the second ring), and eventually, inside the Iranian territory (as the third ring). The expansion of Israel’s subversive actions deep inside Iran is an effort to discredit Iran’s deterrence as well as undermining Iran’s strategic stability, while also dismantling Iran’s military and nuclear capabilities.

In the meantime, Israel’s embark on the strategy of Third-Circle Directorate based on intensifying low-level but effective military actions on Iranian soil has played a greater role in undermining Iran’s conventional deterrent advantages. Israel’s repeated operation and its recklessness in accepting responsibility for such actions has taken Israel’s belief and determination that it can target Iran’s assets and strategic resources inside and outside of Iran with numerous intermittent actions to a new level. Therefore, it can be said that while the previous positions of Israeli officials regarding the bombing and cessation of Iran’s nuclear capabilities were mostly focused on the assassination of Iranian scientists, targeted cyberattacks, sabotages, and bombings of industrial, security, and military facilities, there is no guarantee that the Third-Circle Directorate would not extent to explicit and direct entry of Israeli fighters, bombers or ballistic missiles to bomb Iran’s nuclear and military facilities in cooperation with the United States or independently.

If Israel mistakes Iran’s inaction with inability to respond and decides to extend Mabam Campaign to air or missile strikes inside the Iranian borders, it should not be sure of the unpredictable consequences. Iran has not yet responded decisively to cyber-attacks, the assassination of its scientists, and the Israeli sabotages due to the fact that these actions have been designed and carried out in such a way that Iran has assessed the damage as compensable. That is, a long set of low-level attacks were conducted to change the state of the field without taking actions that justifies an extensive reaction. Iran’s failure to respond to the recent Israeli attack on the port of Latakia is a clear example of the success and effectiveness of Salami Slicing strategy. Such strategies are designed to engage Iran in a polygonal dilemma: that it cannot respond to every individual military actions and small-scale sabotage, while inaction against these multiple small and non-intensive attacks will gradually result in losing its strategic position and deterrent credibility.

This very, unique Israeli strategy in military confrontation with Iran has reinforced the assessment of the Bennett administration about the serious weakness of Iran’s conventional deterrence. As a clear case Foreign Minister Yair Lapid claimed that “Israel could attack Iran if necessary without informing the Biden administration, which is looking to rejoin the nuclear deal”. This problem became more apparent after the assassination of the commander of the Quds Force of the IRGC, especially in the last months of Donald Trump’s presidency. In other words, if Tehran decided to respond directly to various Israeli actions, such as the assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh and attacks on its military and industrial centers, the risk of a war with Israel with the support of the US would increase. By the same token, this has in fact given Tehran an opportunity not to retaliate based on the concept of conventional strategic stability. That is, at this level of conflict, Iran’s confidence in its ability to retaliate makes it easier for this country to limit and delay the response. From Iranian perspective, therefore, conventional strategic stability means preventing armed conflict in the Middle East, especially a level of conflict that directly threatens its security and territory.

However, if Israel tries to discredit Iran’s conventional deterrence and strategic stability by launching a direct air strike into Iranian territory, Iran’s retaliatory response will not be as limited and symbolic as the attack on the US base of Ain al-Assad in Iraq, because Tehran would face the so-called “Sputnik moment” dilemma, which forces it to test its missile credibility. In such a situation, Iran will be forced to first, launch a decisive comprehensive missile response against Israel and then change its deterrent structure from conventional to nuclear by leaving the NPT in order to contain pressure of domestic public opinion, maintain its credibility with regional rivals such as Turkey, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and even the Republic of Azerbaijan, and to reassure its proxy forces in the axis of resistance.

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Indo-Pacific strategy and the new China-IDF relationship

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The signing of the United States of America (the new Aukus defense agreement and the Quad Quartet agreement with Japan, India and Australia), had significant future repercussions on the Middle East region and the balances of power and influence within it, given its great geopolitical importance, according to these new American agreements in the “Indo-Pacific region”, China will have to (face a new strong defense alliance in the Indo-Pacific region, then transfer this entire Chinese conflict to the Middle East and the Iranian nuclear file and increase Chinese influence in the sea straits and waterways in the Middle East), an alliance welcomed by regional partners such as  Japan. The three countries in the new US regional alliances and polarizations of “Japan, India, and Australia” also make it clear that such agreements with the United States of America are a (historic opportunity for them and their allies to protect common values ​​and enhance security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region). On the other hand, we find that those American agreements and alliances in the “Indo-Pacific” region surrounding China will be reflected in one way or another and may increase in the Middle East, for China will have to transfer conflict and competition with Washington to the region, Israel and Iran, and this will have future consequences and repercussions.  The countries of the region in the Middle East and the Arabian Gulf, as follows:

The equation of competition between the United States and China in the Middle East has increased since the Biden administration took office, and here (placing the neutral countries in the middle became more difficult). One of the areas that may witness an escalation in the intensity of competition between the two sides is the Middle East.

To understand the vision of regional countries for their interests with the two powers, it is necessary to look at the initial indicators issued by the Biden’s administration towards the region. It has become clear that the US administration has a desire to reformulate its approach towards the region, but (it is not yet clear how deep this American step and its impact on the regional security structure sponsored by the United States, especially in the Arab Gulf region).

The US Defense Secretary “Lloyd Austin” announced a comprehensive strategic review of the status of US forces around the world, including the Middle East. It seems that officials in the US Department of Defense “Pentagon” are tending to reconsider the status of US forces in the Middle East, which may be understood (not a condition of reducing them), in favor of increasing the size of the forces in the “Indo-Pacific” region.

At the present time, the Biden administration’s focus was on (ending the war in Yemen, reviving the negotiation track over the Iranian nuclear file), and it did not show much interest in other pivotal files.

In parallel with the previous US approach, the US National Security Adviser “Jake Sullivan”, reduced the number of Middle East experts in the US National Security Council, and significantly increased the number and hierarchy of Indo-Pacific experts.

Defense Minister “Lloyd Austin” also appointed three advisers to him, all of them are Asian experts, and none of them specialize in Middle Eastern issues, in contrast to the approach of all previous US administrations, due to the danger of China, according to the current US security strategy.

These American steps toward China reflect the Biden administration’s vision of the world from the perspective of “the theory of the great power conflict”, which prevailed during the Cold War, and the decline of the Middle East on its list of priorities.

On the Israeli-Chinese side, Beijing will try to play an increasing role inside Israel in order to bring about rapprochement with Tel Aviv at the expense of Washington.  Here, we note the (extent and seriousness of Chinese companies sought to obtain contracts to operate the main Israeli ports, as Washington was particularly concerned about a Chinese company winning a tender to manage a port in Haifa, where the US Navy’s Sixth Fleet is anchored).

Perhaps the future analysis will come in (China’s attempt to play a challenge to American interests inside Israel, and China’s future planning in order to manage all Israeli ports, and thus control the shipping lanes in the Mediterranean and the Red Sea). Which is what Washington fears the most.

In addition to China’s desire to invest and be present in vital infrastructure projects in Israel, (China is trying to obtain this advanced Israeli technology, and trying to obtain any monopoly information that can be harvested in China by Israeli companies to benefit from it in the aspects of Chinese progress and innovation), thus, he challenged American technological progress from the Israeli gate.

The most important and most dangerous for me, analytically, is the attempts of the People’s Republic of China to obtain all Israeli trade secrets related to the United States of America, and even more dangerous in the future is (the rapprochement of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army with the Israel Defense Forces, which relies heavily on advanced American equipment such as  Fighter “F-35”).

From my analytical point of view, the expectation remains that (if China succeeds in increasing its ability to exist, monitor and infiltrate the Israeli army), this may allow Beijing to obtain all American military technological secrets from Israel directly, and here is the danger for the United States of America being  Israel is a conduit through which the (People’s Liberation Army of China) “PLA” achieves greater parity with the US armed forces. This is what Washington is trying to confront from Tel Aviv to counter Chinese influence there, as the United States of America cannot in any way allow its military technology to fall into the hands of its main opponent, China.

   Perhaps the final analysis here, is explaining that (the absence of American thinking of a clear strategy until now to confront the growing Chinese influence in the region and the world), and perhaps it is a continuation of the same approach of the “Trump’s administration”, as the United States shows interest in what it does not want, without presenting a clear vision of the results that you want access to this conflict.

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China, Vietnam, Philippines and United States Sustainability in the South China Sea

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The guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville during a replenishment-at-sea with the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan. Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class John Harris/U.S. Navy/Flickr

Authors : Nabel Akram, Imran Altaf, Komal Tariq

Supremacy of any world power depends upon its control over the important Geo-strategic places. A hegemon must have influence over the Geo-strategic places. This rule is generally applied for every world super power. Other factors like the will to lead, economic, political and military factors are also important but these factors are restricted in a specific sphere of influence. Influence over Geo-strategic important places enhances the influence over other countries related to that place. Britain remained the superpower due to occupation of such important places. The US as a super power and hegemon, is enjoying influence over the Geo-strategic places in the world. The US has influence over Malacca Strait, Suez Canal, and Panama Canal etc. (Oral, 2012). On strategic places, the US is facing challenges from China and Russia. Russia has occupied Crimea the strategically important place in East Europe which covers black sea and offered a way towards Mediterranean Sea. On the other hand, China is struggling hard to get control over South China Sea (SCS). The SCS is an important Geo-strategic, Geo-economic and geopolitical place for world. It contains plenty of natural resources and the hub of fishing. It covers half of the world trade passage. The US has enjoyed strong influence in this place after WWII, but, now the US is facing great resistance from China. The US does not want to lose its influence in East Asia and the SCS. The US is struggling hard with the coordination of the ASEAN states, Japan, Australia and India. China is gradually strengthening its control over the SCS. Due to economic growth, China has got influence over regional countries. Most critical area of South China Sea dispute contains two groups of islands such as Paracel Islands and Spratly Islands. Paracel archipelago comes under the rule of China (The People’s Republic of China, 2014). China has occupied this group of islands in 1974. Spratly islands are most disputed among China, Philippines and Vietnam (Ngo, 2017). This group of islands are under the different countries like China, Vietnam, Philippine, Malaysia and Taiwan. China has constructed seven artificial islands on this place (Southerland, 2016). The US has initiated Freedom of Navigation Operations (FONOPs) in the SCS region with objective to contain China from establishing its hegemony in this region. It has increased the sensitivity of this issue in region (Harress, 2015).   

Vietnam and Philippines both are the potential rival of China in South China Sea dispute. These countries have deep economic and diplomatic ties with China. Both countries are engaging China to set up alliances with the US and other important states for restraining and hedging China. Vietnam and Philippines are making efforts to strengthen their military setup against China. The US is providing its assistance to the rival states of China and opposing Chinese irredentist claim with the help of maritime law and the right of freedom of navigation in the SCS as an international sea. In this way, China has to face potential rivalry from the US, Vietnam and Philippines in SCS.

Philippines and Vietnam have huge trade and diplomatic relations with China for hedging China. Both countries even have strong economic and strategic relations with Chinese competitors like the US, Russia, Japan and India. In this way, both countries are reducing the risk. Vietnam is consistently building its military capabilities through strong economy and making alliances with the strong countries and international and regional institutions. There are following way which cause to hedging China.

  • For hedging China, Philippines and Vietnam are engaging China through a huge trade volume and interdependence. Vietnam has become the biggest trading partner of China. Mutual interdependence will cause to stop China from taking any aggressive action against Vietnam.
  • Philippines and Vietnam are developing diplomatic, political, party to party and people to people relations with China. This will help to know about the behavior of China towards Philippines and Vietnam over South China Sea dispute.
  • Philippines and Vietnam are focusing to increase its military strength. For this purpose, Vietnam has bought large military equipment from Russia and developed its military equipment complex in Vietnam for modernizing its military equipment with the help of Russia. Philippines has increased its military alliance with the US.
  • Vietnam has made alliances with world powers like the US, Russia, India, Japan etc. to secure itself against any aggression from China. For this purpose, it has engaged itself in many exercises and joint ventures with the US and many other countries.
  • Philippines and Vietnam has improved its relations with neighboring countries who can provide help in time of difficulty. This is the reason that Philippines and Vietnam are active in ASEAN forum.

China would play its role as a hegemon after the US. The US should contain China through its neighboring countries like Japan, India, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, Singapore and Russia. To gain hegemonic status, it is necessary to become regional hegemon. John Mearsheimer supports regional hegemon. He gives example of the US that it first became regional hegemon in 1898 after Monroe doctrine and gained world hegemonic status after the WWII (Mearsheimer, 2004).

China has acquired economic and military power and about to become a regional hegemon. John Mearsheimer (2006) suggests China to gain hegemonic status; China must need to become regional hegemon and to get more power than its neighbors like Japan, Russia and India. China should increase its military strength and power. China has to regain Taiwan for establishing the status of regional hegemon (Mearsheimer, China’s Unpeaceful Rise, 2006).

Rising security demands of China has unsecured the neighboring countries. Arm race has been started in East Asia region. Although, China has maintained good relations with its neighbors but they have strong concerns over Chinese security measures. China’s largest economy and advanced military stimulate China to control its surroundings (Roy, 2013).

After open up policies, China has rapidly grown and become world imminent actor. To become a great power, China has to respond all challenges positively and set its priorities to overcome its drawbacks. In future, China should not claim its hegemony. China should need to advocate new world system with some reforms in economy and politics without claiming its hegemony (Bijian, 2005).

China is the largest trading partner of Vietnam. Vietnam’s second largest export partner is China with 13.2 percent of its export. The US secure biggest trading partner with 21 percent of Vietnamese export and Japan secured third with 8.4 percent of Vietnam export. Vietnam’s first largest import partner is China with 34 percent of its import and Japan secured fourth largest import partner with 6.4 percent of Vietnamese import (CIA, 2017). A huge numbers of Chinese foreign direct investment companies are working in Vietnam. It is estimated that about 833 companies are running their business in Vietnam in 2011. The quantity of these companies are increasing day by day and their total registered capital is 4.3 billion. There are following benefits of Vietnam for economic partnership with China;

Spratly Islands (Kalyan Islands Group) are the part of Philippines territory. KIG is the part of Philippines Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) under UNCLOS 1982 (Palma, 2009). Philippines has filed a case against China and its historical claim of nine dash lines in International court of Tribunal in Hague in 2013. Court has given decision in favor of Philippines on 12 July 2016 but China has rejected the decision and remained adamant in its claim (France-Presse, Agence, July 8th, 2016). Philippines and Chinese relations worsen due to Philippines case and the ongoing problem in Scarborough Shoal and Chinese construction of new islands. This was the scenario when Philippines new president Rodrigo Roe Duterte took charge on 30 July 2016 (Philippine History, 2017) and initiated new strategy that is called strategic hedging. Although Philippines previous governments have close economic and political relations but current government is leading in this respect.  Philippines started to engage China with a huge trade volume. Politically, Philippines has come closer to China (Shead, 2017).

The Geo-strategic position and bundle of resources are the main reason that China is very conscious to control this region whereas other regional actors like Vietnam, Philippine, Malaysia and Brunei are also active for sovereignty over these islands due to Geo-proximity and resources. The US as the global hegemon has become the part of this game and wants to get its part from these resources. This is the reason that it has established strong alliances with other stack holders against China and also provoking Japan, Australia and India against China due to this regional dispute. The SCS is important for the US for three purposes; first it secures the US trade and military, second, it is check to restrain and contain the Chinese hegemony in the East Asia region (Mustajib, 2016), third, it is necessary for the protection of the US allies like Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan and ASEAN member countries. On the trade basis, the SCS is the passage of the 5 trillion annual ships (Robinson, 2018) and ships related to the US trade and military activities are worth 1.2 trillion dollar trade with East Asian countries (Mustajib, 2016).

Peace lies in continuous diplomatic engagement of claimant countries of the SCS dispute. Any change in existing status quo might put the peace of whole region at risk. Philippines and Vietnam consider China as an assertive state. Both States want to establish close relations with China in order to stop China from assertive actions. The US has strong political, economic and military bilateral alliances with Philippine, Vietnam and other ASEAN countries.  The US has launched the FONE operations in the SCS to contain China. These operations show that the US wants to sustain its hegemony in East Asia.

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