Its 3:00 AM and everyone in the control room party has managed to find a comfortable enough position to hide the fact that they are half snoozing. The room is rigged for red and the boat is plugging along at 4 knots at 150 feet. Even the Auxiliaryman of the Watch has laid his clipboard down as he reposes on the comfy naugahide cushion covered trashcan.
Then at 3:06 everyone gets a quick reminder how fast things can change as the forward torpedo room bilge alarm starts flashing and chirping on the BCP. The Chief of the Watch turns to the AOW and gives him a kind of a nasty look since its obvious that someone wasn’t watching the level in the potable water tanks…
Life is kind of like that sometimes.
You are just cruising along when out of seemingly nowhere an alarm sounds. It could be nothing. Or it could be an indicator of something much bigger. Maybe that little flashing light is a warning that events not yet clearly understood could spiral out of control.
There was a pretty interesting alarm today in the New York Times.
The far east has been an evolving maze of activity for the past decade. The US presence has been decreasing with the loss of bases, ships, attention and focus. A large part of that has been the number of assets dedicated to fighting the War on Terror. Iraq and Afghanistan have rightly or wrongly consumed much of our attention and the Far East has slowly evolved into an unsettled existence.
I was kind of surprised that the CiC would announce to the world the permanent posting of 2500 Marines in Australia.
I am not sure what their purpose is or why they are needed there. Their proximity to the vital sea lanes is the official line from the DoD but if shipping was the major deal, why not build more ships and planes? I have been to the area a number of times and I can assure you its pretty wide open. Don’t get me wrong, I love Australia and would gladly put my uniform back on to help defend her. The match up just seems a little off balance.
Caught in the crossfire?
More surprising to me though (and it probably should not have been) is the reaction to the Chinese. The article speaks about “concern” and even contains a not so veiled threat to Australia about not getting caught in the crossfire. Are we at war? Did I miss something here? wasn’t this supposed to be the “Age of Aquarius” or some such silly nonsense?
Its pretty routine for people to dismiss alarmists like me. I am not formally schooled in international diplomacy and I am not privileged to any insider information. However, I am pretty skilled at reading maps and I can count. As much as I admire the United States Marine Corps, I am pretty sure that 2500 of their finest will still have trouble overpowering 2.8 million active duty Commies even on a good day.
Over 60,000 vessels transit the Strait of Malacca per year. If the strait were blocked, nearly half of the world’s fleet would be required to reroute around the Indonesian archipelago through Lombok Strait, located between the islands of Bali and Lombok, or the Sunda Strait, located between Java and Sumatra. I find it kind of interesting how many Mine Warfare ships the Chinese Navy has. Does 391 seem a bit high for a country at peace?
When you have a Commander in Chief who has broadcast what the ChiCom’s perceive as weakness since the day he took office, you should expect that at some point they will start actively and aggressively testing the limits of our actual commitment.
Frankly, I love the Australian people but I am not so sure I would put too much faith in anything offered by a government that routinely lies to its own people (Fast and Furious, Solyndra, GM’s actual bail out cost, support for Israel, and anything Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid say).
The most frightening statistic for me on the Global Firepower charts is this: despite the fact they consume over 8 billion barrels of oil per day, they are only able to produce 4 billion.
At some point, their reserves are going to be out leveraged by their needs. I wonder where they plan on getting the rest of their oil needs from. Talk about getting caught in the crossfire.
Didn’t we do this war back in the 1940’s?
Now who in the world would want to mess with our satellites???