uss george washington

The USS George Washington Didn’t Sail In Vain

Countering neo-conservative and paleo-conservative derision about the decline of American power in Northeast Asia, Carlyle A. Thayer argues that American smart power is wearing down Chinese bellicosity in the South China Sea.

US diplomatic initiatives must be placed in the larger context of US-South Korean naval exercises, the prominent surfacing of three Ohio-class submarines armed with conventional Tomahawk long-range cruise missiles in Subic Bay, Busan and Diego Garcia, and the visit of the nuclear carrier George Washington to waters off central Vietnam to mark the 15th anniversary of diplomatic relations. The view that US primacy is in decline seems premature indeed.

No Money Backing the Stakes in the Koreas

Using foreigners as political foils resonates politically in the Koreas, where no one really takes the expressions to task. Case in point: ROK Foreign Minister Yu Myunghwan’s “Dear Leader-ing threat to South Korean dissenters. I agree with Yuna, that Minister Yu should keep his job. But, he needs to apologize and refrain from associating dissent with treason.

But, in the Koreas, it’s the leftists who are the real xenophobes.

The JSDF [Japanese Self-Defense Forces] observation will take place in the midst of China’s sensitive response to the joint South Korea-U.S. military exercises in the East Sea. Japan’s role is likely to add to existing tensions on the Korean Peninsula if China and North Korea issue unfavorable responses.

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