Actually, life is again interfering with blogging, sadly. But while I don’t have time to give my spin on this, it is an interesting post at The Diplomat.
The who, what, where, when and how of China’s HD-981 oil rig foray into Vietnamese waters have been addressed comprehensively, both by commentators here at The Diplomat and elsewhere. The enduring question, as with many of China’s provocative actions in the Asia-Pacific, remains why? The opacity of China’s internal decision-making processes makes it rather difficult to conclusively answer that question, but a good amount of evidence suggests that the oil rig crisis with Vietnam was manufactured to test the mettle of ASEAN states and the United States. It gives Beijing an opportunity to gauge the international response to China asserting its maritime territorial claims.
Emphasis mine. And it certainly rings true to me. And we can certainly expect to see more of this type of provocative behavior in the future.
One of the prime reasons the US Navy fared so badly in the sea battles around Guadalcanal in August of 1942 is that the US Navy had practiced fighting in a very particular manner, one which the Japanese Navy declined to participate in. Instead, the US Navy’s cruiser/destroyer forces found themselves engaged in repeated night torpedo battles, which the Japanese had designed their entire fleet and doctrine for.
Having admitted that exercises must be realistic, we disagree with Holmes’ argument that Japan must make this exercise harder than a real operation. There does come a time in a training cycle when you should rig the game against the Blue Force. But it’s not at the very beginning of the cycle. It’s the graduation exercise. Right now, Japan’s efforts in training are simply to learn what the challenges are in expeditionary warfare, not to implement lessons not even learned yet.
Crawl, walk, and only then, run.