politics

Gates touts role of U.S. forces in Japan in dealing with N Korea, China

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Gates hailed Tokyo’s actions to stand by South Korea and the United States

Standing by South Korea is one thing, but standing by Washington (light-years away from here) is another.

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"Standing by South Korea is one thing"

Stand but South Korea? But do you think for one second they would stand by Japan if North Korea attacked? I doubt it. South Koreans still carry a lot of hate and resentment towards Japan. The US is basically Japans only friend, yet I wouldnt trust Obama for a second to give a single care about Japan if she were hit. Japan needs to work on making Asian friends and then alliances but not a one-sided alliance with someone that hates you.

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In dealing with China:

"China has amassed record financial reserves and has constructed history’s most powerful export machine. China has regained its rightful power in the world. And now, the United States — reeling under government debt, nursing a financial crisis hangover, and suffering the stress of long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — has arrived to plead for detente. A humbled America is hoping to sweet talk China into averting a costly arms race.

The message of the J-20 flight: too late."

By David Case — GlobalPost Published: January 13, 2011 12:28 ET in Asia

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@mushroomcloud

SARCASM MODE ON

Oh..! I see! You suggest to give up any hope and surrender to your chinese overlords.

SARCASM MODE OFF

Can you please stop shaking in your boots and grow some balls? Because you embarrass your country and alienate your allies. Such self-defeating attitude is not what made America the Great country that it is. The USA is the leading power of the free world, sometimes commit mistakes, sometimes suffer defeats, but always recover for make a comeback and in the end prevail.

No matter how defiant they sound, China's worst nightmare is to be "encircled". The USA and their allies don't need to win any arms race, we only need to deepen our ties, get more allies and organize a strong alliance as deterrence for keep peace.

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7777: "But do you think for one second they would stand by Japan if North Korea attacked?"

I think you're dead wrong, and that SKorea would most certainly help Japan if NK attacked. This is even more the case when you take into consideration the fact that the US is tied to and defends BOTH nations, so the US would join in if Japan were attacked and like it or not that would drag in SK (if they weren't volunteering to begin with). What's more, NK isn't about to ONLY attack Japan and try to be friendly with others at the same time; any strike by NK assures at the very least the destruction of the regime, if not the nation, so it would be an all-out strike, I'm quite sure.

roomtemperature: "Standing by South Korea is one thing, but standing by Washington (light-years away from here) is another."

Given that the US is Japan's only protection against NK and China, you bet it's in their best interests to stand by Washington. The capitol city may indeed be far away, but the troops are right here.

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Taiwan, South Korea and Japan all need the US as an ally.

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smithinjapan I agree

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Could someone help me out here - Why would North Korea, or China for that matter want to attack Japan? Surely the ruling classes of the countries in question would greater benefit long term from a facade of fear in which the common man hates each other based on nationality.

"He said the U.S. would be patient while Japanese political leaders try to blunt popular opposition to the continued presence of U.S. Marines and loud aircraft on crowded Okinawa island."

Aren't those politicians supposed to be working for the best interests of the people who pay them?

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Being an ally is double edge sword. If the one nation of ally is being attacked, it will or will not get the military contribution from superpower. However there is some price to pay for it. It is footing bill and contributing the security force for policing around the world.

Former is interesting and preferable. Later is just a huge burden. Current economic climate is also not encouraging. The reality is superpower also has limitation. Fighting two wars with invisible enemy has already drained resources and motivation of Ally.

According the recent wars research, ally force are mostly killed by friendly fire from their ally. Not by enemy. It is unacceptable and inexcusable.

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America's military spending in 2009 was 650 billion dollars whereas China's is 90 billion. And the U.S. accounted for 54 percent of the increase in the military spending from the previous year (2008). China may be increasing its military spending mostly because of America's huge military expenditure. And Japan is routinely urged by the same token to increase its own because of China's. Japan might sometimes squirm amid all this wolf crying and dare suggest kicking the stupid vicious cycle rather than always standing by Washington.

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At the end of the day, Gates is a salesman. Without grave "threats", he's got no market.

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We need a threat in Asia. Our military industrial complex depends on it. Now we need technology to deal with China's new weapons systems.

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mareo2,

Great post.

My hope is to bring down the U.S. debt to a manageable level, otherwise the current debt load of $14 trillion weakens America's position.

As Hillary Clinton said about China, “How do you get tough on your banker?"

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Japan, China and the two parts of Korea should and could coexist. The only source of noise in the East-Asian arena is the desire of America to eliminate North Korea.

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Japan, China and the two parts of Korea should and could coexist. The only source of noise in the East-Asian arena is the desire of America to eliminate North Korea.

the u.s. always need a threat (real or otherwise) to deal with. it's good for politics and business.

At the end of the day, Gates is a salesman. Without grave "threats", he's got no market.

so true.

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The Japanese aren't buying into the threat talk. yeah, they'd like to keep the nuclear umbrella, but I think their concern is how to save money on hosting them bases. They pay for several things they'd like cut, like Morale Welfare and Recreation programs on US bases etc...

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Maglev, I think NK would be a threat even without the US around. The leadership is a bunch of loons and they have spent so much on "juche" for the military that they have very few economic options except to make threats in exchange for aid. There is very little to cooperate with NK. On the other hand China will want a stable economy to continue it's gains. Attacking Taiwan or anybody else will upset the economy and provide almost no benefit. I'm sure the Chinese are going to build a military that ensures that they aren't pushed around again. The question is, will they then use that military to push issues such as the Spratly Islands? In that case the US military presence and SK-Japan cooperation makes a lot of sense.

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I think Mr. Gates is cool! He should be the vice president, not Biden.

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