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By Brahma Chellaney
Beijing's creeping aggression signals a challenge to U.S. presence in the Asian Pacific
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - U.S. Pacific Command
Air Force Gen. Herbert J. "Hawk" Carlisle, commander of the Pacific Air Forces, recently outlined his service's role in the Pentagon shift to Asia, known as both the "pivot" and Air Sea Battle, a concept to counter China's high-tech weapons.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will depart Thursday on a tour of Southeast Asia to meet with U.S. allies increasingly concerned over China's aggressive pursuit of its maritime territorial claims.
A U.S. intelligence-gathering ship was harassed by a Chinese security ship last month in an incident that analysts say indicates Beijing is stepping up aggressive maritime encounters toward the U.S. Navy in the Asia-Pacific.
Chinese Senior Col. Zhou Bo made headlines at the annual Shangri La Dialogue in Singapore, held from May 31 to June 2, when he announced that Chinese ships have been conducting reconnaissance operations in America's Exclusive Economic Zone.
The top U.S. military officer in the Asia Pacific region said Tuesday there is a growing sense in South Korea that “it would almost impossible for the South Koreans not to respond in some fashion” if North Korea were to sink one of their ships or shell an island, as the communist state did in 2010.
The U.S. would oust the communist regime in North Korea if it uses its nuclear weapons or launches an all-out invasion on South Korea and the 28,500 American troops stationed there, national security sources say.
United States B-52 bombers carried out simulated nuclear bombing raids on North Korea as part of ongoing U.S.-South Korean military exercises, Pentagon officials said on Monday.
The U.S. government this week lifted the lid slightly on its mostly secret policies on cybersecurity and cyberthreats, as the Obama administration grapples with the growing problem of cyberwarfare attacks and computer-based spying.
National security officials in the military and at the Pentagon are voicing growing worries that the second Obama administration is preparing to jettison the new policy focus on Asia known as the "pivot" or rebalancing.
Outgoing Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta reaffirmed the value of aircraft carriers last summer, telling the crew of USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) as it redeployed to the Middle East that carriers are key to American defense because they're "agile, deployable, on the cutting edge of technology and can defend the United States of America any time, any place, anywhere."
The chief of U.S. Pacific Command warned North Korea on Thursday not to launch a long-range missile this month in violation of international law, saying it would be destabilizing for the region.
Pentagon intelligence official Michael Vickers and National Security Council counterterrorism adviser John Brennan are being looked at by President Obama as top candidates to head the CIA.
Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta's unusual offer to China's military to join a major U.S.-led naval exercise in the Pacific prompted several U.S. security officials to express fears privately that China will gain valuable war-fighting intelligence from the Rimpac, or Rim of the Pacific, exercise.
U.S. and South Korean military commanders will be on the lookout for North Korean efforts to jam GPS signals as they take part in exercises on the divided peninsula this week and next.
Outgoing Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton A. Schwartz says the Air Force and Navy are developing "a range of initiatives" designed to counter high-technology anti-access and area-denial weaponry as part of the new Air Sea Battle Concept.