Wednesday, January 30, 2013

1/30/2013 Namazu Speaks to the English Speaking Bipeds Part 2

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        Namazu , giant catfish former Japanese demigod turned maritime analyst

 Hello My English speaking biped friends. When I last addressed you in Part 1, I described for you how the thug state of China was engaged in a major naval build up and using naval bullying tactics to try and coerce a larger exclusive economic zone, larger territorial sea, and some islands out of some of the Dragon's non English speaking neighbors. However since two of those neighbors are formal allies of the United States, one English speaking naval power is already being sucked into the vortex of maritime unrest in the South and East China Sea Region. Recently China utilized one of its lower ranking senior military officers to deliver a thinly veiled threat in the form of an "academic paper" to English speaking U.S. ally Australia. While the Chinese central government can easily deny that there was anything official about the communique the message to Australia was crystal clear, do not side with America if any naval shooting starts in the China Seas or pay a terrible price, up to and including a nuclear attack. Thug talk from a thug state. The Bear (Russia) is claiming practically the entire Arctic Ocean as its own EEZ almost to Canada's northern beach line. But as I noted these two big thug states are distinguishable from rogue states. 

 The thug states are run by badmen, not madmen, they will respond to certain hard nosed logic. If the English speaking people will stop their naval decline, and then reverse it, the thug states can be backed down. Now China and Russia are not the only Thug states in terms of government and behaviors, there are smaller versions one might call them "punk states" but they can be a drain on naval resources. Consider Argentina and her claims on the Falklands. Anyone who knows the history of the Falklands knows Argentina doesn't have a shred of a claim. But back in the eighties when Argentina felt the once mighty British fleet had floundered they took advantage of their proximity, the only real reason for their claim and invaded. Eventually they were repelled.

 Today as reported recently in our News Section Argentina not only has had foreign courts occasionally detain her war ships for debt, she recently lost a war ship at the dock in Argentina where it sank, basically from neglect. Yet Argentina continues to loudly claim that it is the rightful ruler of the Falklands, if they ever scrape up the funds to float a navy again they will surely invade again if they perceive Great Britain as weak in the naval department, or friendless. This is what we mean by a punk state, bad intentions little capability. But Thug states often will work in concert with punk states to keep an other wise powerful adversary busy away from where they are doing their crime.

 Rogue states are distinguished from Thug states and Punk states by being led by actual madmen. Examples would be North Korea and Iran, but they don't constitute the entire club. However North Korea and Iran present the rest of the World, and especially the English speaking World with unique naval challenges. The English speaking news media of course carries a lot of news about Iran's nuclear threat. But with or without nuclear weapons capability Iran has the means and the will to disrupt the oil trade and commerce in the Persian Gulf. They have the shore side anti ship missile batteries, air craft , and small boat swarms to present a real threat to a Western naval task force, and bog down even a U.S. Carrier task force supported fleet for weeks. Thug states often have relatively good relations with rogue states. If a thug state has intentions on a territory grab and wants a major portion of a Western naval response bogged down one option is coordination of action with a rogue state.

 The United States barely has the naval capability to deal with two major contingencies at once, a third contingency could either require a default or cause a defeat in one or both of the other contingencies. The rest of the English speaking navies range in size from anemic Coast Guards to serious navies with global reach, but rarely the type of global reach that lets them go it alone. The Canadian Navy for example tries to maintain the watch on Canada's three coasts and contribute to the nation's NATO commitment. Canada has contributed to other coalition naval tasks forces in both the Atlantic and Pacific at times. However the Canadian Navy is not capable of mounting a task force capable of facing off with a dominant regional naval power without leaving the homeland virtually unguarded. Since the end of WW II the major English speaking Navies have downsized into forces with limited expeditionary capability. They have been mostly contributors to allied task forces with the United States providing the center pieces.

 The one exception in the relatively recent post WW II history was Great Britain's response to the Falklands invasion. No one came to Britain's direct aid in terms of warships, aircraft, or marines.  The United States and Canada seemed like deer caught in the headlights. The majority of the Organization of American States (OAS) backed Argentina. The U.S.had long ago articulated the Monroe Doctrine, then being thrown in its face by Argentina. Canada had its own political considerations and its usual thin margins in naval resources. Great Britain had to cobble together a task force superior to the Argentine navy  out a combination of combatants  auxiliaries, and merchant ships. Britain suffered losses and it is highly doubtful that she could field as large or as capable a task force today given the continued decline in her naval budget. Great Britain , once the nation that "ruled the waves" by the 1980s was at best a middle power  that was stressed to defeat a punk state, vice a real thug state. The Falklands never should have happened the way that it did.

 Great Britain is a NATO member and had it sovereign territory invaded, though south of NATO's usual areas of operation. By right of treaty she should have been able to call on the fullest possible assistance from any and all of NATO's member states. Certainly the United States and Canada should have responded with immediate real material floating and shooting assistance. Unfortunately some of NATO's members had sympathies with Argentina. The U.S. and Canada had ties with the OAS and just couldn't seem to decide what to do fast enough. One has to wonder what they would have done if great Britain had started to really lose. The Falklands should be an object lesson.

 On both sides of the Atlantic English speaking nations had formed alliances with Spanish speaking nations which several hundred years ago fought Great Britain long and hard over the every concept of freedom of the seas.  These nations had no problem with letting a supposed "neutral", the Pope, draw a line down what they thought was the center of the world ocean and split the globe in two as the private possession of leading states. Freedom of the seas as a concept of international law was won by English blood. Today the states that evolved out of old Rome and speaking the Romance languages only acquiesce to the concept as accepted international law because for hundreds of years the concept was defended by arms wielded by English speaking sailors and marines whenever and where ever it was challenged. The lack of depth in their belief may be seen in the propensity of Spanish speaking states to claim a 200 mile territorial limit after the discovery of outer continental shelf oil and before the International Convention on the Law of the Sea which America did not sign ,limited the territorial sea to 12 miles from the adjacent coastal state's coast line. Despite America's notable absence as a signatory, the last Convention adopted a regime of "graduated sovereignty"  that provided for the management of fisheries, the orderly leasing of mineral exploration and production sites, and still provided for "freedom of the seas" in their traditional role as international highway. This system resembled closely the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act provisions that predated the Convention. The last International Convention on the Law of the Sea was perhaps the last stand for traditional English speaking national views on the law of the sea, and it was less than a complete success.

 Britain had explored the world's oceans in competition with Romance language /civil law states. All of the competing states knew what it was to find an unoccupied land and to make a claim based on sighting, sometimes without even landing. All such states also knew what it was to have their claim ignored by powers who landed and settled and defended. Generations later the accepted rule of international law for inhabited territory is that effective settlement is the only reliable determinant of sovereignty. The people whose ancestors put the sweat and blood into new lands were entitled to determine the sovereign power over their land. There were both English and Latin settlers in the original British licensed settlement of the Falklands. They have chosen now for centuries to be a part of Great Britain. There is no native Falkland independence or pro Argentina political movement on those islands. The move by Argentina was theft pure and simple. And yet the English speaking world did not mobilize a combined fleet to protect the right of self determination of another English speaking people, the Falklanders. Only Britain, the sovereign chosen again and again by the Falklanders came to their defense. The world's impression of the unity and sea power of the English speaking peoples took a blow from which it shows no sign of recovery. In the Falklands War the punk state didn't defeat the English speaking middle power, but it did badly stress it, and showed the world that an English speaking naval power could be made to stand alone.

 The punk state performance in the Falklands was observed with keen interest by the thug states especially China which would relieve Great Britain of Hong Kong without fanfare in 1997. After the Falklands, China was unafraid to press her demands. Britain no longer ruled the waves not as a single nation and obviously not as as a coherent community of nations. There are of course various formal treaties between and among the English speaking nations for mutual defense and naval assistance. Only the overwhelming power of the United States Navy , once approaching 600 of the most advanced war ships in the world and an assumed affinity between the United States and English speaking democracies kept the kleptomaniac thug states inside their own territorial seas until   recent years. As the United States Navy shrank down to a little over 200 war ships the aggressiveness of thug, punk, and rogue states increased proportionately.

 Rogue states like Iran work around sanctions imposed on them by the UN and the West to prevent these madmen from obtaining nuclear weapons by turning to China which finds ways to buy their oil while paying lip service to the sanctions. North Korea has one friend in the world and that is the Dragon. Even the Dragon holds this madhouse at arms length but does nothing to discourage its misbehavior, because that misbehavior taxes the resources of the United States, South Korea and Japan. At any moment North Korea could require the United States to provide sea lift support for 50,000 or more troops. North Korea's tiny navy at first may not look like much of a threat to a  U.S. warship but tiny armed vessels piloted by suicidal operators can score a mission kill just by damaging a war ship, you don't always have to send them to the bottom.  The thug states play with fire when they engage the rogue states, but many a Mafia Don has tolerated the occasional homicidal maniac among his foot soldiers. The thug states can't always play the rogue and punk states exactly as they want, but they only have to get them reasonably well coordinated with their purpose once to win the day. The English speaking world and those allied states in favor of the rule of international law, human rights, and democratic government must guard against the the Thug, Punk, and Rogue states all the time. Unfortunately as the United States Navy has declined, the English speaking nations have not increasingly shouldered more of the cost of their own effective defense. All have done the opposite. Thirty years ago the English speaking people presented to the world a seemingly invincible face. Now that same family of related nations appears diminishing and weakening. My English speaking biped friends you must rally around your naval ensigns, pledge your mutual support and coordination to each other in new and focused ways, build effective navies and coast guards capable of interoperability, and prearrange joint command and control mechanisms.  The Thug, Punk, and Rogue states are circling and you will either win, go down in a blaze of glory together, or be picked apart individually. As a community of nations you need to reach out to India which that old thug Russia is courting.  India should be an honored and important member of the community and their willingness to sacrifice to build a navy as a national priority should be a shinning example to all members of the community.

 As I have said before hang together or prepare to hang separately. But Thug, Punk, and Rogue states are not the only enemies you face. In the future we will talk about failed states, and non state criminal, and terrorist organizations. You the English speaking bipeds must be the glue of civilization. You must become so connected and mutually defensive that you attract the other non English speaking but freedom loving states to alliance with you. They have no where else to go. There is no clash of civilizations, make no mistake about it, the Thug, Punk, Rogue, and Failed States together with the non state  entities plaguing the earth are anti civilization forces. If the Thug states conquer, they will fall on each other afterwards the world will be plunged into a dark age. Unite around a naval union and a naval commitment. The English speaking democracies represent the values that the world's civilized nations value. But only the English speaking nations occupy such a large and wide spread collection of relatively wealthy states. Having a common language allows you to form a true naval union where interoperability can be built from the admiral to the seaman level. If you can cooperate with each other you will really need no one else but for exactly that reason the other civilized states, including those with different levels of commitment to freedom of the seas will flock to you.

More to follow,


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