May 2015 – GEOPOLITICS – IS the world going mad? Military posturing is quietly reaching new extremes in Europe, the Mediterranean and the South China Sea. And the provocative bluster has just reached new heights. The source was anonymous. But the mouthpiece has a measure of credibility. High profile military analyst and former US Naval War College lecturer John Schindler tweeted last week: “Said a senior NATO (non-US) GOFO to me today: ‘We’ll probably be at war this summer. If we’re lucky it won’t be nuclear.’ Let that sink in.”
The warning comes as Europe engages in some of its biggest ever war games — right on Russia’s front door. It’s a deliberate ploy, intended to remind Moscow of the consequences of its duplicitous invasion of Ukraine. Half a world away, the “w” word was mentioned again yesterday. This time in an editorial by a Chinese state controlled paper. Said the Global Times: “If the United States’ bottom line is that China has to halt its activities, then a US-China war is inevitable in the South China Sea.
It came as China’s government effectively declared a “no fly zone” over the disputed waterway after warning the US over its “provocative” aerial reconnaissance of several islands. Yesterday, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman issued a formal protest at the United States’ actions in challenging its territorial claims. “We urge the US to correct its error, remain rational and stop all irresponsible words and deeds,” Hua Chunying said. “Freedom of navigation and over-flight by no means mean that foreign countries’ warships and military aircraft can ignore the legitimate rights of other countries as well as the safety of aviation and navigation.” It represents a distinct hardening of China’s attitude towards the rising clamor of international protest. Rising tension could inevitably lead to a dangerous confrontation.
Until recently it had been ignoring military over-flights of these islands by the US and other regional nations. China is maintaining its stance that its aggressive construction work on disputed islands in South-East Asia is no different to building highways or public facilities anywhere else on the mainland. Such is its determination that these disputed territories are its own. Combined, the increasingly threatening talk is causing many to take notice: High-profile US Billionaire investor George Soros told the World Bank last week: “If there is conflict between China and a military ally of the United States, like Japan, then it is not an exaggeration to say that we are on the threshold of a third world war.”
China warns war with U.S. may be inevitable
Global Times, a tabloid newspaper run by the Communist Party, said that China might have to “accept” there would be conflict with the United States. “If the United States’ bottom line is that China has to halt its activities, then a US-China war is inevitable in the South China Sea”, said the paper, which is often seen as a mouth-piece of hardline nationalists in the government in Beijing, says the Telegraph. –Telegraph
The Chinese-government newspaper The Global Times was even more blunt, adding: “We do not want a military conflict with the United States, but if it were to come, we have to accept it,” an editorial reads. “The intensity of the conflict will be higher than what people usually think of as ‘friction’.” Another newspaper, The People’s Daily, editorialised last September that Beijing should prepare itself for a third world war arising out of the standoff between the United States and Russia over Ukraine.
NATO war games in Europe
Early in May, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization began one of its largest ever war-games. The naval anti-submarine exercise was designed to send a message after a series of aggressive Russian submarine incursions into the territorial waters of Baltic States such as Latvia, Finland and Sweden. Last month, a number of Baltic State defense ministers issued a statement condemning Russia’s activities, once again declaring its old Cold War enemy their “biggest threat to security.” Russia retaliated by highlighting the deepening relationship between neutral Finland and Sweden with NATO was a “special concern.” Some 18 warships and submarines took part in the oddly named exercise, “Dynamic Mongoose”. It involved 10 NATO members and the otherwise neutral Sweden.
It came just weeks after NATO members — including Britain — sent tanks and troops to conduct live-fire exercises with Estonia: Once again an act designed to send a signal to Russia — keep your hands off the Baltic States. The tiny Baltic state separated from the former Soviet Union in 1991. This week saw the launch of a third major NATO military exercise: Combat jets from the US, UK, Germany, France, Switzerland and the Netherlands have gathered in Finland, Norway and Sweden for extensive Arctic combat drills over 12 days. –News.com.au