China: Leap-Frogging U.S. Deterrence in the Pacific

American deterrence in Asia is a success of function, but a failure of application. “Credible combat power” was the answer, but the adversary has changed the question from “how to prevent a war” to “how to prevent the establishment of norms with everything short of war.” China’s harassment of civilian targets, positioning and posturing of military assets, and use of paramilitaries in the South China Sea reveals that China is choosing to defeat American military power by ignoring it: strategic asymmetry. China has created a military strategy that functions independent of how much military force America forward deploys.

via China: Leap-Frogging U.S. Deterrence in the Pacific.

Go read the whole thing. China is eating our lunch diplomatically, and through the exercise of hard power (though short of actual combat power) in the Western Pacific.

We’ve constrained ourselves to a simple “shoot/don’t shoot” paradigm. We continue to pursue diplomatic solutions when the Chinese are using that very process to stall and preclude any effective US response.

2 thoughts on “China: Leap-Frogging U.S. Deterrence in the Pacific”

  1. It’s a variation of an old communist guerrilla strategy;

    “The enemy advances, we retreat; the enemy camps, we harass; the enemy tires, we attack; the enemy retreats, we pursue. (3)”

    The Chinese will continue to establish permanent civilian and military installations in the disputed areas until they meet serious resistance. Then they will wait until the enemy tires and loses its will to resist. Then they advance again. This continues until the territory is irretrievably under Chinese control or the enemy chooses to initiate military action, which makes them the aggressor with all the attendant moral and political disadvantages.

    Time is on the side of the Chinese.

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