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U.S. admiral signals wider role for Third Fleet in western Pacific

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By Tim Kelly

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Get ready for WWIII. The US, Japan, and parts of Europe, versus China, Russia, and Iran. The same precedent before WWII and WWI is upon us: global monetary collapse. We now have over $200 trillion in sovereign debt, which can never be paid back. Currency wars, lead to trade wars, which lead to military war. This time it's different. Einstein said, " I don't know what weapons WWII will be fought with, but WWIV will be fought with sticks and stones".

2 ( +7 / -5 )

You get ready for WWIII. This action can only bring a grimace to the face of the Chinese PLA Navy, meaning that China's aspirations for territorial expansion and regional dominance will be obstructed, diminishing the possibility of your WWIII.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

OssanAmerica will of course ignore the rise in Chinese military spending, naval expansion, and aggression with regard to territorial disputes that came AFTER decades of American muscle flexing around China.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Peace out will now tell us what areas of Asia we have claimed to be ours since "ancient times" and our "sovereignty is indisputable". Tell us how many artificial islands we have built and how many Asian countries are in dispute with us over them. What China is doing is bullying weaker neighbors - that's "flexing muscle".

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Let's not forget, that the US used the same propaganda prior to WWII in announcing that Japan was "bullying" its neighbor, China. In fact, if you watch any of these propaganda movies, the US News was calling the Asian invaders, "Japs", and it was the US that wanted to save China. Of course they had to mine the waters off Japan, stage a military invasion from Manila, and bait Japan to attack Pearl Harbor so they could enter WWII. After dropping nuclear bombs, Japan has basically been a vassal state to America. They'll use Japan as an outpost for War with China.

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

Folks, this is not a harbinger of a future war. The ships from Third Fleet (units home ported in San Diego, Pearl Harbor, Bremerton/Everett, WA.) routinely come through the 7th Fleet area on their way to the Persian Gulf and the Middle East. If anything, it means that instead of leaving San Diego and heading straight for the Gulf with only a port visit on the way over to Guam to pick up supplies and then maybe a stop on the way back in Australia (if you are lucky) and maybe Hong Kong (if US/China relations are not at a bad point); deploying ships from the West Coast bases will be stopping more in Asia, and maybe not even going to the Middle East to turn circles in the ocean. They may wind up making more port visits to Japan, Singapore and probably the PI and other countries in the area instead of leaving all of those port visits to the ships that are home ported in Japan.

Operationally, they along with the 7th Fleet ships get their directions from PACFLT in Hawaii so there really is not going to be a big change except as I said more port visits for the guys from the West coast to places over here.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Swift was away from his headquarters in Hawaii and not immediately available to comment, his office said.

But he`s quoted in this article anyway. How many comments do you need from the guy!?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Peace out will now tell us what areas of Asia we have claimed to be ours since "ancient times" and our "sovereignty is indisputable". Tell us how many artificial islands we have built and how many Asian countries are in dispute with us over them. What China is doing is bullying weaker neighbors - that's "flexing muscle"

@OssanAmerica How telling that you did not even attempt to directly dispute what I said!

As for your "ours" are you attempting to claim I am Chinese? No. I am American, born and raised. I am just not a brainwashed American.

I believe Tibet should be let go and Uighur areas should get a vote for independence. Heck, I think the American South should have been allowed to leave the Union too!

China is not the only one disputing. Any map will show you that Taiwan's, Brunei's, Malaysia's, Vietnam's and the Philippine's have much overlapping as well. But not a bad word from you about them.

I already said that the muscle flexing began with America. The artificial island building and terra nullius excuses began with Japan. And the EEZ and ADIZ stuff also started with Japan and America.

If you don't like Chinese medicine then maybe you should advocate America and her allies stop making it?

But of course to truly catch up with America and Japan, China will have to make a military alliance with Mexico, have spy flights just off the coast of California and patrol the Caribbean with the Chinese Navy. If all that were to happen you could graduate from a run of the mill hypocrite to king of the hypocrites with your complaints!

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

China basically wants to challenge the existing world order as the U.S. as the top dog. But they don't do it as stupidly as Japan or Germany before WWII. China does it only to a degree that does not risk a military clash with the U.S. This is to validate their territorial claims in the long run. They well know the ultimate basis of power is economy.

China has flexed its economic muscle with the recent record purchase of Boeing passenger jets. But it's nothing compared to what they will be capable of if they can grow at above 7% rates annually for they next two decades. From the Chinese point of view, they need to keep insisting on their territorial rights for the day they become so dominant economically. Then, other countries will give up on their conflicting claims of their own volition as not doing so will be so detrimental to their vital economic ties with China.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

“It is my intent to underscore the legacy of Fleet Admiral Halsey ... by enabling Vice Admiral Tyson to more fully employ her fleet forward,” he said.

A further piece of education for those who may not know. When West Coast ships are back in the states, when they belong to Third Fleet the few operational tasks that they could do would be along the lines of law enforcement patrols, looking for ships that are carrying drugs to the USA. For their port visits to "foreign ports" they will be in either Canada, or Mexico, and maybe down to Panama.

Now, from what I am reading and from my knowledge in the area (over 10 years of sea duty), those ships will not just pass through East Asia as I mentioned before, but would be making more stops in this area vice only passing through on their way to the Middle East. If I were still back on sea duty, I would be happy. I would rather spend my time in port visits in places like Indonesia and the other countries in East Asia than going to only Bahrain and if lucky a stop in Dubai and then back to the Gulf going around in circles.

Keep this in mind, no matter what changes are going to take place, those ships will still be required to make it to the Middle East when required in a certain amount of time. So yes the "booze cruises" for Third Fleet ships may be making a come back and not going to be the exclusive right of the ships home ported in Japan, and that means the ships in Japan may be making more visits to the Middle East or not going out as much and let the ships from the West Coast take up the slack.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@Gabrial888 I agree. I think China has already finland-ized areas throughout the Indian and Pacific Ocean spheres, has set up infrastructure there to support its commercial trade and is developing a naval force large and powerful enough to maintain its authority and enable its businesses to grow even more. I think China has been successful in its efforts to establish itself, which means the US, Japan and the rest of the world will have to get in queue behind China.

Unless they're willing to get involved militarily, which would mean everyone loses. To me the choice is work with China and take less than what could have been got had both Japan, the US and others been more foresightful and not dithered things away, or try to stop China through military action. The latter scares me no end.

What I'm interested in watching is how India reacts to dealings in its sphere of influence.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

this is a great step forward and long, long over due to forward deploy the 3rd Fleet with the 7th Fleet. and with the "new emphasis" from Japan's Navy, it will be a grand fleets and great comfort!!!

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

just what the world needs, more US "involvement".

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Ossanamerica, what a load. Such comments are typical of the self-deluded self- grandiose self-righteousness that spout from highly anxious envious Americans/Abe. Why don't you try being a lot more realistic in such assessments.

The fact Americans need to use their strongest naval fleets shows how U.S./Japan know it will be extremely difficult to stop China and to win in large-scale war. And the fact China antes up any moves by USA is a key sign the China PLA is far more ready to protect their rights and engage in a war of which will be unprecedented (and which surely will make Japanese soldiers become more timid and even more unsure of Abe's bogus security bills and his haphazard anti-China war fantasies, not to mention Japan could be roasted first before the main event has even started).

As I said before, posters need a realistic and honest view, like Ptownsend above.

President Xi is far more astute and daring and extremely but realistically ambitious than the tyrannical Abe and the weak Americans or even the stoned-faced but predictable Putin.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

President Xi is far more astute and daring and extremely but realistically ambitious than the tyrannical Abe and the weak Americans or even the stoned-faced but predictable Putin.

Have any of you who are saying that the US is trying to impose and build up Abe have ever done any Navy time? For historical purposes, the US Navy has always had ships come to East Asia since the end of WW2. They used to leave the West Coast/Hawaii, and make it to "WESTPAC" as we call it and do port visits and show the US flag for up to 6 months at a time. In times of war like Vietnam, there was more of a method to the madness with ships going off the coast of Vietnam to do operations, but at the end of the war, ships were still doing the same thing. They would typically wind up staying in places like Subic for up to two or three months at a time, going in and out and conducting exercise and port visits in the area. When President Carter put us on the "One China" policy, the port visits to Taiwan were cut out, but we still made trips over to the area, with ships and crews spending months away from the US. Here's a hint, the ships on the East coast did the same thing, but would wind up in the Mediterranean or Red Seas and maybe the Gulf.

Not until the 80's and the Iraq/Iran war and the attacks on oil tankers did the Navy start sending ships more to the Persian Gulf (they have been going there, but not as much as now and the infrastructure there was not as extensive as it is now).

The fact that ships from the West Coast and the staff of Third Fleet will start doing more in the 7th Fleet area means that more ships will just be visiting, and not just passing through. Here's a hint, to get to the Middle East those same ships had to pass through this area. Now they will pass through, and make more stops and visits and not just shoot through. There still will be a requirement to send ships to the Middle East, and they will still be able to go there if needed and report there within a certain time frame. That's not going to change.

It would be more of an issue if the Admiral from 2nd Fleet, which is home ported in Norfolk, VA to be making those statements. That indeed would be a major shift in Naval strategy since those guys on the east coast don't normally come to the Far East, going as far as the Persian Gulf.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

America is protecting her vanishing empire.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

The US has SIX, not two, navy fleets. The 3rd and 7th Fleets presently operate in the same ocean, the Pacific. Mixing who goes where and when (and why) by an arm of a military....and suddenly it's all "vanishing empires" (as if there ever was one?) Stuff and nonsense.

If you'd like to see the US's power, soft and not, in action, take a look at the realignment going on with America and all the other countries in Asia not presently named "Russia" or "China." Then, ask yourself (if you're really interested in the truth, and not just rehashing your own preconceived conclusions, that is) who benefits more: America or its adversaries?

1.) Japan just "reinterpreted" it's "peace constitution" to allow it to use military force away from its territory (even if it hasn't been attacked...)

2.) Japan and the Philippines are expected to start talks on a framework for the transfer of defense equipment and technology and to discuss a possible pact on the status of Japanese military personnel visiting the Philippines.

3.) This year's US/South Korean drills, Foal Eagle and Key Reserve, were the largest and most sustained bilateral training with live fire ever between the two allies (at the request of the Koreans...)

4) Vietnam is receiving direct military assistance from Japan, and has now authorized its military to use "live fire" in dealing with repeat offenders in the South China Sea. (And we all know what a puppet of the US Vietnam is, right? Riiight...)

5.) The island building by China, while categorically rejected by the US as "illegal," continues apace. Meanwhile, ASEAN countries' responses get louder and louder...and the consensus? "The US 'pivot' to Asia is welcome...if slow to take shape.

6.) The United States has updated its security agreements with treaty allies Japan and the Philippines and is bolstering missile defenses in Japan. U.S. Marines are training in Australia on a rotational basis, littoral combat ships are operating out of Singapore (!) and new P-8 reconnaissance planes stationed in Japan have flown missions across the region.

7.) Overall (US defense officials said) the Navy will increase its footprint by 18 percent between 2014 and 2020. The aim is to have 60 percent of Navy ships oriented toward the Pacific by 2020, compared to 57 percent currently.

In other words: the "Empire" vanishes...by expanding its strength almost 20% in half a decade and by forging new, stronger alliances with ALL other Asian countries not named China! Pretty impressive party trick!

Now, your turn: could you please point out the myriad Asian countries clamoring for more Chinese island building or unilateral Chinese declarations of "sovereign territory" in seas that until now have been relatively free of any such destabilizing claims? (China actually now boldly claims almost 90 PERCENT of the South China Sea, all for itself and regardless the overlapping claims from Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan.) Cause I just can't find any...

And speaking of not finding any, for all the talk about women "shining" here in Japan (to the point where the government now wants to import "temporary shiners" from overseas!)-that commander leading the US's 3rd Fleet? Yup-she's a woman as well as a three-star admiral. She KNOWS how to speak softly...while at the same time carrying a big something or other...I forget what...4 of the US's 10 active nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Strike Groups, perhaps?

Still-by all means, carry on with your "vanishing empires" pap since, dewy-eyed and wishful sentiment aside, realpolitik in the real world actually functions quite differently...

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Halsey was rebuked by many for a foolish decision at Leyete, but the press loved his wit and statements. Here we have another political admiral of the 3rd Fleet trying to invoke the political Halsey by trying to do the Halsey-esque tactic of sticking a nose anywhere that will get some publicity and a chance for a three star to use the podium to reach for that 4th star.

It's ironic.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I think also US Military should be station in Hokkaido. If war with China was accidentally broken out and then they can watch closely on Russian movement. Japan can retake 4 Islands plus interests from Russian if Russian try to involve side from China.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The fact of the matter is, the US is the one moving it's military around to far away areas, and China isn't. This won't stop the Chinese from building those islands. In fact, they'll probably build more, and station more capable hardware there. China is at the position of being at home, while the US isn't. Down the line, logistics play a huge role. China knows the US wants them to make the first strike, and therefore will avoid to do that as much as possible. They'll wait this out instead, because the more there's peacetime, the more they'll get the advantage. Even Abe alluded this situation with WW1, where the UK had to have a war with Germany before Germany (a rising economic, political, and military power) surpassed them, finding ANY reason to fight a war as a result.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

ringman2Sep. 28, 2015 - 11:41AM JST Why don't you try being a lot more realistic in such assessments. The fact Americans need to use their strongest naval fleets shows how U.S./Japan know it will be extremely difficult to >stop China and to win in large-scale war

"Large Scale War" is an all out war. And if you think that China can overcome the United States then it is you who is not being realistic. Even China itself has been and continues to avoid an "all out war" with the U.S. because it knows it could never win. China's goal is expansion and they are only prepared to risk limited engagement.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

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