Oppose U.S. War Preparations
U.S. War Preparations in Central America
The U.S. is systematically gearing up for more war and aggression against the peoples of the world. The U.S. has specifically singled out Iran and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) as targets of U.S. aggression. More warships and troops have been sent to threaten Iran and all the Middle East, to Asia to threaten the peoples of Korea and China and the region and to Central America, to threaten -Nicaragua, -Venezuela, Cuba and all the Americas. All of these war preparations are crimes against the peace and must be vigorously opposed. As Americans our duty is to demand All U.S. Troops Home Now! as the surest block to aggression against the peoples.
The threats against Iran and Korea have continued without let up and more recently have been escalating. Military preparations include sending the USS Truman battle group to join the USS Eisenhower battle group in the waters closer to Iran. An Israeli submarine is also said to be in the area. The Diego Garcia base, in the region in the Indian Ocean, reportedly has been stockpiled with hundreds of bunker busters, considered the second most powerful U.S. bomb, after nuclear weapons. One of the largest U.S. submarines equipped with Tomahawk missiles is also now at Diego Garcia.
President Barack Obama, following his meeting with Israel’s Netanyahu July 6 again stated that “all options are on the table,” meaning a nuclear first strike is still an option. He did so in the context of Israel refusing to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and refusing to submit its nuclear weapons program to inspection. Indeed Obama emphasized the U.S. commitment to strengthen Israel’s “qualitative military edge.” According to news reports, this includes providing more nuclear weapons technology to Israel.
Obama emphasized, “The United States is committed to Israel’s security; we are committed to that special bond; and we are going to do what’s required to back that up, not just in words but with actions.” He said, “We strongly believe that, given its size, its history, the region that it’s in, and the threats that are leveled against us — against it, that Israel has unique security requirements. It’s got to be able to respond to threats or any combination of threats in the region. And that’s why we remain unwavering in our commitment to Israel’s security. And the United States will never ask Israel to take any steps that would undermine their security interests.”
The President told Netanyahu he recognizes that Israel must always have the ability to defend itself, by itself, against any threat or possible combination of threats, and that only Israel can determine its security needs. This is essentially a green light for use of nuclear weapons and a further indicator that plans for U.S.-Israeli aggression against Iran are in motion. In addition, these military preparations have been coupled with yet more unjust sanctions against Iran. The U.S. has threatened to board Iranian ships on the high seas in the name of enforcing the sanctions.
The warships and bombers are in place and the stage is being set for a pretext for U.S. aggression at a time chosen by the U.S. Let no one be fooled by claims of enforcing sanctions or acting in self-defense. After all, the world is already witness to Israel’s military boarding of the Turkish vessel, carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza, which killed nine people — and U.S. backing of it.
War preparations and promotion of them are crimes against the peace. There can be no justification for them. Removing all U.S. warships and troops from the region is what is required, now!
Threats Against Korea and China
The U.S. has also carried out belligerent actions and statements toward Korea and China. The military preparations include the fact that three of the largest submarines of the U.S. Seventh Fleet surfaced in Asia-Pacific ports last week, the South China Morning Post reported July 5. The appearance of the USS Michigan in Pusan, South Korea, the USS Ohio in Subic Bay, the Philippines, and the USS Florida in the strategic Indian Ocean outpost of Diego Garcia was a show of force not seen since the end of the Cold War, the paper said, adding that the position of those three ports looks like a siege of China. Between them, the three submarines can carry 462 Tomahawks, boosting by an estimated 60 per cent-plus the potential Tomahawk strike force of the entire Japanese-based Seventh Fleet. The Tomahawks can strike anything within a 1,000-mile radius.
In addition the U.S. plans war games with south Korea, which are to include a US aircraft carrier. The U.S. first threatened to conduct these in a northern area very close to the DPRK and China, in the Yellow Sea. Both countries have opposed the war games and demanded that negotiations and dialogue be utilized, not military action. At present the U.S. insists on conducting the war games, but will likely at least begin further south, off the coast of south Korea. It remains unclear of the U.S. will still press ahead for exercises further north.
As well the U.S. military has once again broken the truce agreement on the Korean Peninsula by moving heavy weaponry into the truce village of Panmunjom. In a statement June 28, the DPRK’s Panmunjom Mission of the Korean People’s Army urged the U.S. to withdraw the heavy weapons deployed in the south side of the area around the Panmunjom Conference Hall. The introduction of heavy weapons to the area where armed forces of both sides stand in acute confrontation is “a premeditated provocation aimed to spark off a serious military conflict,” the DPRK mission said.
The positioning of battleships and submarines, the scheduling of the war games in the region, alongside numerous other belligerent statements and actions are provocations and open threats to Iran, DPRK, China and all others in the region that the U.S. is to reign supreme. The U.S. is creating conditions, in the Middle East and Asia, where a far larger war can be unleashed. Now is the time to strengthen our unity with the peoples of the world by demanding
All U.S. Troops Home Now!
U.S. Provokes New Crisis With China
Three news features appearing earlier this week highlight tensions between the United States and the People’s Republic of China that, at least in relation to the language used to describe them, would have seemed unimaginable even a few months ago and are evocative more of the Korean War era than of any time since the entente cordiale initiated by the Richard Nixon-Mao Zedong meeting in Beijing in 1972.
To indicate the seriousness of the matter, the stories are from Global Times, a daily newspaper published in conjunction with the People’s Daily, official press organ of the ruling Communist Party of China, and Time, preeminent American weekly news magazine. Both accounts use as their point of departure and source of key information a July 4 report in Hong Kong’s major English-language daily.
On July 6 writer Li Jing penned a news article for Global Times called “U.S. Subs reach Asian Ports: Report,” which detailed the following recent developments:
“Three of the largest submarines of the U.S. Seventh Fleet surfaced in Asia-Pacific ports last week, the South China Morning Post reported Monday [July 5]. The appearance of the USS Michigan in Pusan, South Korea, the USS Ohio in Subic Bay, the Philippines, and the USS Florida in the strategic Indian Ocean outpost of Diego Garcia was a show of force not seen since the end of the Cold War, the paper said, adding that the position of those three ports looks like a siege of China.”
The piece from the Hong Kong newspaper cited was entitled “U.S. Submarines Emerge in Show of Military Might: Message Unlikely to be Lost on Beijing as 3 Vessels turn up in Asian Ports,” and was in fact dated July 4.
The author, South China Morning Post Asia correspondent Greg Torode, described the simultaneous arrival of three “Ohio-class submarines” equipped with “a vast quantity of Tomahawk cruise missiles” as a reflection of “the trend of escalating submarine activity in East Asia....”
He further added this noteworthy data: “Between them, the three submarines can carry 462 Tomahawks, boosting by an estimated 60 per cent-plus the potential Tomahawk strike force of the entire Japanese-based Seventh Fleet — the core projection of U.S. military power in East Asia.”
The author quotes without identifying his name or nation a veteran Asian military attaché with reported close ties to both Chinese and U.S. military officials: “460-odd Tomahawks is a huge amount of potential firepower in anybody’s language.
“It is another sign that the U.S. is determined to not just maintain its military dominance in Asia, but to be seen doing so...that is a message for Beijing and for everybody else, whether you are a U.S. ally or a nation sitting on the fence.”
On July 8 Time magazine’s Mark Thompson elaborated on the earlier report with language, including that of his title, “U.S. Missiles Deployed Near China Send a Message,” derived from the South China Morning Post piece, which Thompson claims contained information planted by “U.S. officials...on July 4, no less” in a clear signal to the government in mainland China.
The Time journalist added details, though, not in the original story, replete with a good deal of editorializing that perhaps serves the same source he attributes the contents of the Hong Kong article to and for the same reason: As a shot across the bow to China.
His account of last week’s deployments included: “A new class of U.S. superweapon had suddenly surfaced nearby. It was an Ohio-class submarine, which for decades carried only nuclear missiles targeted against the Soviet Union, and then Russia.”
The U.S. has eighteen nuclear-powered Ohio class ballistic missile submarines, fourteen still armed with nuclear warhead-tipped Trident missiles and four that “hold up to 154 Tomahawk cruise missiles each, capable of hitting anything within 1,000 miles with non-nuclear warheads.”
“The 14 Trident-carrying subs are useful in the unlikely event of a nuclear Armageddon, and Russia remains their prime target. But the Tomahawk-outfitted quartet carries a weapon that the U.S. military has used repeatedly against targets in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Iraq and Sudan.”
With the arrival of the USS Ohio in the Philippines, the USS Michigan in South Korea and the USS Florida “in the strategic Indian Ocean outpost of Diego Garcia” on the same day, “the Chinese military awoke to find as many as 462 new Tomahawks deployed by the U.S. in its neighborhood.”
The Time report also revealed that all four Ohio class Tomahawk-armed submarines were operationally deployed away from their home ports for the first time.
Thompson wrote that the coordinated actions were “part of a policy by the U.S. government to shift firepower from the Atlantic to the Pacific theater, which Washington sees as the military focus of the 21st century.”
Regarding the submarines still carrying Trident missiles, he rhetorically added, “Why 14 subs, as well as bombers and land-based missiles carrying nuclear weapons, are still required to deal with the Russian threat is a topic for another day.”
All three journalists cited — Jing, Torode and Thompson — place the U.S. submarine deployments within a broader and also a more pressing context.
The South China Morning Post writer stated: “In policies drafted under then-president George W. Bush, a Republican, and continued by the administration of his successor, Democrat Barack Obama, the Pentagon is shifting 60 per cent of its 53 fast-attack [as distinct from ballistic and guided missile] submarines to the Pacific — a process that is now virtually complete.
“But the presence of the larger cruise-missile submarines shows that, at times, the U.S. forward posture will be significantly larger.”
The USS Ohio, for example, “has been operating out of Guam for most of the last year, taking advantage of the island’s expanding facilities to extend its operations in the western Pacific.
“It is due to return soon, but the Florida and the Michigan are likely to remain in the region for many months yet, using Guam and possibly Diego Garcia for essential maintenance and crew changes.”
Additionally, “The presence of the Florida, based on the U.S. east coast, appears to confirm the U.S. is still routinely bringing submarines under the arctic ice cap to East Asia.”
Just as the Pentagon is moving nuclear submarines under the northern polar ice cap to the Indian Ocean, so it has recently reached an “agreement [that] will allow troops to fly directly from the United States over the North Pole” to Afghanistan and “the region” by way of Kazakhstan, which borders China as well as Russia.
The U.S. military “siege of China” is proceeding on several fronts, on land as well as under water and in Central as well as South and East Asia. But what primarily had been a policy of surveillance and probing China’s perimeter is now entering a new phase.
That the U.S. currently has over 60 per cent of the Tomahawk cruise missiles assigned to its Japan-based Seventh Fleet near China emphasizes the qualitative escalation of Washington’s show of strength vis-à-vis Beijing. One related to, as was seen above, a strategic shift of attack submarines nearer China and also to the crisis on the Korean Peninsula that was exacerbated by the sinking of a South Korean warship, the Cheonan, in March.
There has even been speculation that U.S. submarine deployments and other “messages” delivered to China of late were designed to pressure Beijing into taking a tougher stance toward North Korea over the Cheonan incident. What journalists have been referring to as messages would in an earlier age have been called saber-rattling and gunboat diplomacy.
U.S.-China relations sharply deteriorated this January when the Obama administration finalized an almost $6.5 billion arms sales package for Taiwan which includes 200 Patriot missiles. An article on the subject in the New York Times on January 31 was titled, revealingly enough, “U.S. Arms for Taiwan Send Beijing a Message.”
China suspended military ties with the U.S., and bad blood has persisted throughout the year, resulting in Secretary of Defense Robert Gates scrapping plans to visit Beijing early last month when he was effectively disinvited by Chinese officialdom on the prompting of the military.
The White House and the Pentagon have been sending a number of unequivocal — and increasingly provocative — messages to China this year.
The new U.S. administration signaled a confrontational approach early on. In May of 2009 Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, barely three months in her post, stated, “The Obama administration is working to improve deteriorating U.S. relations with a number of Latin American nations to counter growing Iranian, Chinese and Russian influence in the Western Hemisphere....”
Later in the year then Director of National Intelligence (and retired admiral and former commander-in-chief of the Pacific Command) Dennis Blair released the latest quadrennial National Intelligence Strategy report that said “Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea pose the greatest challenges to the United States’ national interests.
While Blair headed up the Pacific Command (PACOM) from 1999-2002, his role included overseeing a vast area of the planet that includes China (since the Ronald Reagan administration assigned it to that military command in 1983).
Arrogating the right to divide the entire world into military zones, areas of operation, has never been attempted by any other nation, any group of nations, not even all the nations of the world collectively (in the United Nations or otherwise). But the U.S. has and does do just that. It has even added two new Unified Combatant Commands in recent years — Northern Command, [for the U.S. and North America] and Africa Command — in 2002 and 2007 respectively.
The Pacific Command is the oldest and largest of the six current regional commands (the others being the Africa, Northern, European, Central and Southern Commands), and was formed during the dawning of the Cold War in 1947. Its area of responsibility takes in over 50 per cent of the world - 105 million square miles - 36 nations and almost 60 per cent of the world’s population.
300,000 troops from all major branches of the U.S. armed forces — the Air Force, Army, Marine Corps and Navy — are assigned to it, 20 per cent of all active duty American service members.
Pacific Command is in charge of military defense treaties with Australia, Japan, New Zealand, the Philippines and south Korea.
The U.S. is also alone in assigning the world’s oceans and seas to naval commands. Washington has six naval fleets — the Fourth Fleet (the Caribbean, Central and South America) was reactivated in 2008 after being disbanded in 1950) — and just as Pacific Command is the largest unified, multi-service command, so the Seventh Fleet is the largest forward-deployed fleet, with 50-60 warships, 350 aircraft and as many as 60,000 Sailors and Marines at any given time. It is based in Japan and its area of responsibility includes more than 50 million square miles of the (largely western) Pacific and Indian Oceans.
The U.S. also has eleven aircraft carriers, ten of them nuclear-powered and all eleven part of strike groups. (China has none and Russia one carrier.)
The Time magazine article quoted from earlier mentioned that the deployment of four U.S. guided missile submarines to East Asia and the Indian Ocean is not the only development that China needs to be concerned about. The U.S. is simultaneously presiding over the six-week biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) military exercises in Hawaii with over 20,000 troops, 36 warships and submarines (25 American) and 180 planes and helicopters.
This year’s RIMPAC, which began on June 23 and is to be completed by the end of July, includes for the first time the participation of France, Colombia — with which the U.S. has recently concluded an agreement for the use of seven of its military bases — and the Southeast Asia nations of Malaysia and Singapore. The other countries involved are Australia, Canada, Chile, Indonesia, Japan, the Netherlands, Peru, South Korea and Thailand. The five-week war games involve “missile exercises and the sinking of three abandoned vessels playing the role of enemy ships.”
The combined task force commander for RIMPAC 2010 is commander of the U.S. Third Fleet, whose area of responsibility is approximately 50 million square miles of the eastern Pacific, Vice Admiral Richard Hunt, who stated, “This is the largest RIMPAC that we’ve had,” and one which “clearly focuses on maritime domain awareness dealing with expanded military operations across the complete spectrum of warfare.”
Time’s Mark Thompson also wrote: “Closer to China, CARAT 2010 — for Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training — just got underway [July 5] off Singapore. The operation involves 17,000 personnel and 73 ships from the U.S., Singapore, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand.
“China is absent from both exercises, and that’s no oversight.”
This February Cobra Gold 2010, “the largest multinational military exercise in the world,” was launched in Thailand (separated from China by only one nation, either Laos or Myanmar) and as with all previous Cobra Gold war games was run by U.S. Pacific Command and the Royal Thai Supreme Command. Joining the U.S. and Thailand in this year’s exercises, designed “to build interoperability between the United States and its Asia-Pacific regional partners,” were the armed forces of Japan, Indonesia, Singapore and, for the first time, South Korea.
From June 8-25 the latest U.S. Air Force-led Red Flag Alaska air maneuvers were held near the eastern Pacific. “The Red Flag exercises, conducted in four-to-six cycles a year by the 414th Combat Training Squadron of the 57th Wing, are very realistic aerial war games. The purpose is to train pilots from the U.S., NATO and other allied countries for real combat situations.”
Over a thousand airmen from five nations — the U.S., Japan, South Korea, Romania and Belgium — assembled at Alaska’s Elmendorf and Eielson Air Force Bases for air combat training which “unites forces from all over the world.” […]
The U.S. is conducting regular military exercises, building military partnerships, stationing troops and opening bases around China’s periphery, in addition to the positioning of warships, submarines and aircraft carriers in the waters off its coasts.
What alarms China most at the moment, though, is a proposed joint U.S.-South Korean military exercise in the Yellow Sea, enclosed by both Koreas to the east and China to the north and west.
China’s Global Times recently quoted Xu Guangqian, military strategist at the People’s Liberation Army’s Academy of Military Sciences, issuing this warning: “China’s position on the Yellow Sea issue demonstrates its resolution to safeguard national rights and interests. It also reflects that China is increasingly aware of the fact that its strategic space has confronted threats from other countries.”
China, which just concluded six days of naval drills of its own in the East China Sea, had more reason to be concerned when it was disclosed earlier this month that a U.S. aircraft carrier would join the maneuvers off its Yellow Sea coast.
On July 8 China renewed its opposition to the planned U.S.-South Korean war games, with Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang telling reporters, “China has expressed its serious concerns with relevant parties. We are firmly opposed to foreign military vessels engaging in activities that undermine China’s security interests in the Yellow Sea or waters close to China.”
An unsigned editorial in the Chinese Global Times of July 8 stated, “Beijing sees the joint exercise not only as being aimed at Pyongyang (DPRK), but also as a direct threat to its territorial waters and coastline,” and blamed South Korean President Lee Myung-bak for worsening relations between the two nations:
“It is not known whether Lee had thought of China’s reaction when he announced in May the drill with the U.S.
“Did he foresee Chinese people’s anger? Or, did he intend to provoke the country on the other side of the Yellow Sea?
“It is a shame and a provocation on China’s doorstep.
“If a U.S. aircraft carrier enters the Yellow Sea, it will mean a major setback to Seoul’s diplomacy, as hostility between the peoples of China and South Korea will probably escalate, which Beijing and Seoul have been working for years to avoid.”
President Lee met with his American counterpart, Barack Obama, on the sidelines of the Group of Eight summit in Toronto late last month, during which a previous arrangement to transfer wartime command of South Korean forces to the nation in 2012 were postponed if not abandoned. In Obama’s words, “One of the topics that we discussed is that we have arrived at an agreement that the transition of operational control for alliance activities in the Korean peninsula will take place in 2015.” In the five-year interim “if war were to break out on the Korean peninsula the United States would assume operational command of South Korean forces.”
If Washington is planning direct intervention on the Korean Peninsula as its military buildup in the region, including off China’s shores, might indicate, the words of former South Korean president Kim Young-Sam a decade ago are worth recalling. Two years after stepping down as head of state, Kim revealed to one of his nation’s main newspapers that he had intervened to prevent a second Korean war, that his government “stopped U.S. President Bill Clinton from launching an air strike against North Korea’s nuclear facilities in June 1994.”
He initiated a last-minute phone conversation with the U.S. president, which “saved the Korean peninsula from an imminent war,” as “The Clinton government was preparing a war” by deploying an aircraft carrier off the eastern coast of North Korea “close enough for its war planes to hit the North’s nuclear facilities in Yongbyon.” […]
All means fair and foul are employed [by the U.S.] to eliminate obstacles to uncontested supremacy, and what the world’s sole military superpower (the term is President Obama’s from his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech) truly excels at is expanding its international military machine with an unflinching willingness to use it.
Negotiation, rather than flexing military muscle, is the best way to resolve disputes between key global powers.
A joint navy drill by the U.S. and the Republic of Korea (ROK) in the Yellow Sea has aggravated concern among East Asian nations, especially China, over regional peace and stability. The participation of the 97,000-ton U.S. aircraft carrier George Washington in the exercise has attracted widespread media coverage and its involvement is a move that is hostile to China.
The spate of recent activity by U.S. aircraft carriers is a fresh reminder of a series of unfriendly moves by its navy in the waters of the Yellow Sea since the 1990s. In 1994, a fleet led by the US Kitty Hawk intruded into the waters along China’s maritime boundary line on a so-called cruise mission. The US formation of naval warships trespassed into China’s territorial waters and went even farther to closely trail a Chinese nuclear submarine, which had just finished a long-distance cruise mission. This ill-advised move plunged the two countries into confrontation mode for a time.
Recently, the U.S.’s “Victorious” surveillance vessel conducted an unauthorized mission in China’s exclusive economic zone and even used water cannons to expel two Chinese fishing boats in the vicinity.
The current U.S.-ROK drill, which was repeatedly put off since June, is by no means a purely military move aimed at the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) for its alleged torpedoing of the ROK naval vessel Cheonan.
The U.S. navy had for a long time avoided any provocative military moves in the Yellow Sea although Washington possesses several military bases in the ROK and Japan. In fact, many of its naval fleets, including the George Washington-led Seventh Fleet, are deployed in Japan’s Yokosuka port.
The Cheonan incident, however, has provided a rare opportunity and excuse for the U.S. naval force stationed in the ROK and Japan to actively intervene in regional matters. A joint drill with the ROK in the key waters off its Asian military bases will help the U.S. realize multiple strategic goals in the Asia-Pacific region.
First, the drill will help the U.S. maintain high-pressure against what it calls a restive DPRK regime. It is also believed to be an explicit indication of the U.S. stance that the world’s sole superpower would stand firmly behind the ROK and Japan in case of a military conflict between Pyongyang and Washington’s two traditional Asian allies.
In addition, a well-deliberated military exercise in the Yellow Sea will also help the U.S. collect geographic and military information about some Asian countries bordering the vast waters.
General Ma Xiaotian, deputy chief of general staff of the People’s Liberation Army, has expressed “firm opposition” to the scheduled U.S.-ROK military maneuver. Ma’s unequivocal position reflects the country’s determination and unwavering will to safeguard its maritime rights and interests. It is also an indication of China’s increasing confidence in its military in the context of its growing national strength and military build-up.
The Yellow Sea is pivotal to China’s core interests given that it is related not only to the extension of the country’s maritime rights and interests but also with its maritime security. If the U.S. and ROK continue to act willfully by holding the controversial military drill, it would pose a challenge to China’s safety and would inevitably provoke a huge backlash from Chinese citizens.
Today’s China is no longer the China of a century ago that had no choice but to bend to imperialist aggression. After decades of development, especially since the adoption of the reform and opening-up policies, China has become the world’s third largest economy and possesses a modern military capable of any self-defense missions.
Nevertheless, the U.S. military force, especially the fighting ability of its aircraft carrier formations, has also become far stronger than what it was a century ago. The radius of the U.S. military operation has expanded to more than 1,000 kilometers, which means a U.S. military mission in the waters off the ROK can still constitute a huge deterrence to China and other countries along the nearby coastline and strike at strategic targets deep inside their territories.
With an unchallenged armed force, the U.S. has never relented in its efforts towards long-planned strategic adjustment in the Asia-Pacific region. Under this strategy, the U.S. has gradually increased the presence and activity of its warships and airplanes in China’s surrounding maritime area.
More worrisome, the U.S. has seemingly become less restrained in its move to push forward an Asian version of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization with its allies in the region.
In so doing, Washington has harbored the obvious strategic intention of containing China — whose economic and strategic influence has kept increasing in the international arena — in a bid to preempt possible troubles that the fast-growing nation may cause to the U.S.
In the 21st century, all countries should focus efforts on negotiations, rather than the use of force or show of military muscle, to resolve disputes.
The author is a researcher with the Chinese Navy’s military academy.
More than three-dozen naval ships and submarines are leaving their temporary berths at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Tuesday and organizing at sea for this year’s “Rim of the Pacific” international war games.
Fourteen nations and more than 20,000 military personnel, including a U.S. fleet of 25 Navy ships and submarines and a Coast Guard cutter, are participating in the biennial RIMPAC training off Hawaii that military officials have billed as the world’s largest maritime exercise. Three other nations have sent teams of observers for the exercises, which also includes ground and combat support forces and nearly 180 jets, helicopters, patrol craft and transport and refueling aircraft.
The at-sea operational phase of RIMPAC 2010, which officially kicked off June 23, begins Wednesday once all the ships and vessels have left Pearl Harbor and have organized into separate task groups for scripted play.
“This is the largest RIMPAC that we’ve had,” said Vice Adm. Richard “Rick” Hunt, who commands San Diego-based 3rd Fleet and is acting as the combined task force commander. The exercise “clearly focuses on maritime domain awareness dealing with expanded military operations across the complete spectrum of warfare.”
While the United States accounts for the largest group of participants this year, the exercise isn’t designed just for one force. “The maritime environment is just too big for any one country to tackle and manage,” Hunt said Tuesday in a teleconference briefing with reporters.
The exercises will incorporate unit-level training -- planners can tailor individual drills to each force’s needs and specific requests -- and let participating militaries come together in combined operations that sharpen interoperability between commanders and forces, including command and control and communications, and help build trust and cohesion. “It’s a meshing of different tactics and procedures and making sure that we can blend them together,” Hunt said. “We find that developing an understanding and working relationship early in our careers has huge paybacks as we come together,” he added.
RIMPAC has evolved since the first exercises were held in 1971, when it was largely focused on blue-water naval operations, Hunt said.
This year’s training includes maritime patrols, security operations and 50 percent more live-fire gunnery and missile exercises, conducted at various military ranges in and around the Hawaiian islands, than was done in 2008, he said. These include 20 air-to-air missile shoots and three “Sink-ex” events, where old, retired hulls serve as targets for air, surface and undersea weapons.
Hunt said the presence of littoral combat ship Freedom and Supreme, a stealthy frigate with the Singapore navy, will allow for expanded operations closer to shore and training in visit-board-search-seize missions and maritime interdiction operations “in ways perhaps we have not spent the time doing in the past.”
The San Diego-based Freedom is equipped with a partial surface warfare mission module and will be augmented with visit, board, search, and seizure (VBSS) teams and helicopters to allow it to support maritime interdiction or noncombatant evacuation operations, he said. Exercise planners have carved out more shallow operating areas for the ship geared to “the way we believe with the surface package she will be utilized,” he said.
Two diesel submarines participating in the exercises — one from Japan, the other from South Korea — will inject into the exercise “the number one threat everybody has to deal with,” Hunt said. “The opportunity to work and operate against the very quiet diesel submarine provides very realistic training for us.”
Marines with several Hawaii-based units will operate from the sea during RIMPAC’s land phase and conduct over-the-horizon amphibious missions ashore that will incorporate Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory-led experiments. Other experimentation will include computer-assisted planning aids and electronic warfare sensor packages.
RIMPAC will culminate with the final tactical phase, a series of scenario-driven training events set to begin July 25, before the exercise ends Aug. 1.
Along with the U.S., participating nations include: Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Netherlands, Peru, Singapore and Thailand. In addition, Brazil, India and New Zealand have sent teams of observers.
46 Warships & 7,000 Marines
On July 2, 2010 the Costa Rica Congress authorized the entry of 46 U.S. warships capable of carrying 200 helicopters and warplanes, plus 7,000 U.S. Marines “who may circulate the country in uniform without any restrictions,” plus submarine killer ships to the Costa Rican coast for “anti-narcotics operations and humanitarian missions’ between July 1, 2010 until December 31, 2010.
With this kind of nation destroying firepower, it gives real meaning to the expression “war on drugs,” but if this a real six month “war on drugs” we should expect to see some fantastic results, right?
Politicians representing the Acción Ciudadana (PAC), the Unidad Social Cristiana (PUSC) and the Frente Amplio (FA) political parties opposed the measure saying that the destructive force of the ships, helicopters and 7,000 U.S. Marines is “disproportionate for the fight against drug trafficking.”
On Sunday, the President of Costa Rica Laura Chinchilla said that the government does not intend to militarize the fight against drugs and the Minister of Public Security Jose Maria Tijerino stressed that this huge, powerful military force would be under the command of the U.S. Coast Guard and not the U.S. Navy.
Although I don’t suppose the Costa Ricans, the drug traffickers or we expatriates will notice the difference...
A few of the thoughts that raced through my mind?
1. To my knowledge at the present time, Costa Rica is not suffering from any “humanitarian” crisis.
2. The article did not make it clear what sort of “humanitarian missions” might take place or where.
3. With what is probably the world’s worst environmental disaster going on right now in the Gulf of Mexico, surely it would be more appropriate to conduct “humanitarian missions” in the Gulf?
4. On July 10, 2010 it was also announced that: “Honduras will build a new military base in the Caribbean, in addition to another military base built with funding from the U.S. in the same region with the pretext of fighting drug trafficking.” Last April Washington invested $2 million in a base near the border with Nicaragua and the military base is “under the supervision of the U.S. Southern Command.”
5. Since U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) is based in Miami, Florida, could these crucial warships and the 7,000 U.S. Marines be fleeing from something infinitely more dangerous that is about to happen in the Gulf of Mexico?
6. SOUTHCOM’s “area of responsibility... encompasses 31 countries and 10 territories. The region represents about one-sixth of the landmass of the world assigned to regional unified commands. What exactly they are responsible for is not explained.
7. The article did not make it clear whether these vessels would be patrolling off the Pacific or Atlantic coast but either way, is it possible they are on their way to Venezuela? Either as a show of force or something more serious?
8. Does anyone know if any of these ships carry nuclear weapons?
Another politician Francisco Chacón defended the arrival of the U.S. forces saying, “they would give humanitarian support, build schools and fight against drug traffickers.”
If these 7,000 U.S. Marines, 200 helicopters, warplanes and submarine killers are coming to Costa Rica to “give humanitarian support, build schools and fight against drug traffickers,” perhaps we could ask them to repair the new highway to Caldera? With that kind of manpower they could have it finished in a week.
After conducting its successful coup d’etat in Honduras against President Manuel Zelaya, the imperialistic Barack Obama administration is now bent on ousting Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega by massing a huge U.S. Coast Guard and Marine Corps presence in neighboring Costa Rica, a base of operations for Reagan administration-backed CIA operations in the 1980s in support of the Nicaraguan contras, [organized, funded and armed by the U.S. to defeat the elected Sandinista government of Nicaragua].
Costa Rican government officials, including President Laura Chinchilla, Vice President Luis Lieberman Ginsburg, Security Minister Jose Maria Tijerino, counter-narcotics Commissioner Mauricio Boraschi, and the Costa Rican Congress agreed to Operation Joint Patrol, which will see 7,000 U.S. Marines, 46 mainly U.S. Coast Guard vessels, and 200 helicopters and 10 combat aircraft descend on Costa Rica, which does not have a military force, from July 1 to December 31.
At a time when the Coast Guard vessels could be used to assist in the clean-up of the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, they will be used in an operation widely believed to be targeting the Sandinista government of Nicaragua, which incurred the ire of Israel and its Zionist ally in San Jose, Costa Rica, Vice President Lieberman, by severing relations with the Tel Aviv regime over the Israeli attack on the Gaza aid flotilla.
The official reason for Operation Joint Patrol is to combat drug trafficking but few in the Costa Rican opposition and in Nicaragua believe that to be the sole reason. The Joint Patrol operation is being likened to Plan Colombia, which has targeted the governments of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa from Colombian territory. The Costa Rican opposition has denounced Chinchilla’s government for militarizing Costa Rica.
It is also believed by WMR’s sources in Costa Rica that Costa Rican Vice President Lieberman, a noted Zionist, has arranged for Israeli Special Forces to enter Costa Rica in order to participate in operations directed against the government of Nicaragua.