War in Peace

CWF3

Cocoy at Pro-Pinoy wrote  an interesting article a couple of weeks ago that explained how Taiwanese harassment of Philippine internet sites represents a clear vulnerability to Philippine defense. We know that cyber-warfare is here, even during peace. The Chinese have a military unit in Shanghai that is prowling the world looking for information. China may have people roaming the dialogue forums to stir up angers and friction between states, and between factions within states. Cyber-warfare is high on the priority for the United States, and offensive activities are rumored to have been carried out in Iran.

The Philippines is like a cute little newborn puppy on the Savannah surrounded by lions and hyenas and a snake or two. Not to mention that it must fend off home-grown crocodiles.

Philippine government web sites are easily hacked. This has already been demonstrated. Response to Taiwanese hacker aggression is being carried out by private citizens, angered. Not the Philippine State. At least, that is what I presume to be going on, not that any Philippine security agencies have JoeAm in their “need to know” pipeline.

A few weeks ago I wrote a series of articles about Philippine defense. I concluded that the Philippines is in poor shape and is spending too much time and effort policing Filipinos and not enough time and effort preparing for hard moments like when Taiwan and Philippine ships face off.

I argued for cruise missiles and drones over troops.

Now I’m prepared to argue that cruise missiles and drones do not go far enough into the future.

Other nations are technologically superior to the Philippines. Their electronic networks are fast, powerful and everywhere. Alas, the Philippines cannot even process my credit card transaction, and most of its agencies are still tied up in paper and in bed with notary publics. Lawyers, rather than attacking injustice, are busy stamping notary seals.

But I digress.

The Philippine defenses are about as weak as weak can be. Only the United States, standing squarely and stoutly in the background, prevents China or Taiwan from invading vulnerable isles such as Batanes or even Palawan.

War is hell.

Any war veteran will explain that real-world fighting is chaotic. It is out of control, wild, loud, unpredictable, part plan and intent and part reaction and adaption . . . and a large measure of horror, death, stench and pain. The frustration we experience with Taiwan’s erratic and irrational behavior is par for the course when truths are manipulated and fictions are thrown out to sway opinions. What you see and hear may not be close to any real truth.

Accurate information is critical in gaining the upper hand in war, which is why the U.S. has cameras in the sky processing every ship’s movement and staring down at Iranian and Syrian weapons plants. Do you think the Chinese and Taiwanese ships playing dangerous games near the Philippines are not being watched? They are.

Let’s step back and try for perspective on this. What are we looking at here in the Philippines? Are we looking at defense as necessary for survival, as life and death? Or do we simply see the need for occasional posturing against unruly states and little more? Are we past the state of Bataan death marches and comfort women and killing of innocents?

What do we want and need for the Philippines and Filipinos?

Let me ask the question differently. Is independence and autonomy and sovereignty more important than the loss of one Filipino life? Of the loss of 100 Filipinos? 10,000? One million? How many people are you willing to sacrifice to remain sovereign? Are you among them?

Well, I’m inclined to say I’d feel a lot better if the Philippines were three states of the United States because I don’t see how the Philippines avoids being the battle ground in China’s expansion and almost desperate need for resources. And a million deaths is likely closer to the real risk of such a battle than 100.

The problem is that China does not negotiate or recognize the right of other peoples to have interests different than China’s. China demands. And now Taiwan is demanding, too.

Taiwan represents a very clear, very serious kind of handwriting on the wall.

Standing militarily firm will result in death and destruction because Taiwan is irrational and has a sizable war machine built to fend off China.

For sure, you can also go the other way. Become a province of China. That would prevent the death and destruction. If you trust the Chinese to be a fair and reasoned people, respectful of Philippine ways, lives and property.

Between these big bookends is a middle ground called competent sovereignty, where competence means the Philippines develops its own warring capabilities to reduce it’s need to rely upon the United States for protection against local infringements into Philippine economic space. And the Philippines develops its own cyber-warfare capabilities – offense and defense – and the kinds of contingencies that permit military agencies to communicate with one another when Smart and Globe, radio and television, and the internet go dark.

I can’t imagine a time when the Philippines would cut its security lifeline with the United States. Given the ease of looking back, it would appear that throwing the U.S. out of Clark and Subic was a mistake. Taiwan would likely not be behaving so boldly and gracelessly with American ships cruising off Batanes. And China would not be parked on Scarborough and prowling off Palawan with warships.

Americans have tools that the Philippines needs. Most important are satellites and drone cameras. And big-ass smart bombs, for the sake of deterrence. Indeed, it is deterrence that is the objective, not fighting and winning battles. But you have to demonstrate the capacity to fight to gain deterrence.

I had originally drawn up JoeAm’s recommended “Seven Point Philippine War in Peace Survival Plan”, but it reads rather arrogantly. That some twit American would presume to lecture Filipinos on how to run their show. So I struck that, and will only drop off two suggestions:

  1. Firm up specific action scenarios with the United States. If Chinese military ships or aircraft attack Philippine Coast Guard ships within the UNCLOS-defined economic boundaries, is the Joint Defense Agreement in play or not?  This will dictate how urgent is the Philippine need to invest in warships.
  2. Wargame long and hard: strategies, tactics, responses, probabilities.  Use those exercises to determine information and equipment needs. Don’t determine needs based on political favor. Determine them based on the need to win.

And maybe it is best to stop coddling the generals and demand they go to work to defend the Philippines. The army is not a country club, the navy is not a delightful day at the beach.

Comments
37 Responses to “War in Peace”
  1. Rein Luna says:

    It would be great if the government considers taking in local hackers to train more people, strengthening our cyber capabilities. This may be the cheapest military improvement available to us and with the alliances we have with Japan and America, it isn’t so farfetched to say that we can even specialize on it.

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, Information, information, information. And purposeful mischief now and then. It is indeed an area that does not require a huge budget, and I think the talent is in-country. I simply don’t get a sense that the Philippines is in the hunt. It needs to be attacking, not just defending. In the peaceful way war is waged these days. It also needs a psychological warfare capability and a skilled propaganda arm (like, a newspaper or two under the government wing, and some really good press releases.) Like where is the Philippine “former government official” who can stand up and call the Taiwanese leaders “irresponsible idiots”? Instead, they seem to be standing up and lecturing their own government (as former President Ramos did). Man, unify and attack.

  2. edgar lores says:

    1. There is a conundrum here.

    2. The Philippines chose to end US military presence here for two reasons: insufficient compensation and nascent nationalism.

    2.1. I think the second reason was the primary reason to cut the umbilical cord with America. It was a desire to grow up and be self sufficient.

    3. It is now obvious that while we are economically sufficient, though there is great room for improvement, we are not militarily insufficient.

    3.1. So the goals of biological self-sufficiency — and the more important psychological goal of self-reliance — have been accomplished. From this view, the decision to cut the umbilical cord was arguably correct.

    4. But now, we are in need of US might to protect our interests against the depredations – threatening and real – of neighboring countries. Thus the following needs are both immediate and future:

    4.1. We need to redefine military ties with America not as child to mother but as little brother to big brother.

    4.2. Not only that, we need to foster and strengthen mutual trade and defense pacts with Japan, Australia and the Asean countries.

    4.3. More, as pointed out, we need to shore up our own defenses to increase our self-reliability.

    5. Despite Steve Pinker’s optimistic assessment of the “better angels of our nature”, we continue to resort to the threat of war, if not war itself, to settle disputes.

    5.1. I am fortunate. I was conceived in war but born to peace. I have neither participated in nor witnessed the horrors of war directly. I have only seen the images on cinema and TV screens, in books and in the private imaginings of the mind. I am aware the images bear little resemblance to the reality.

    5.2. Again, one can die for a cause, but not kill for a cause.

    • Joe America says:

      I think the relationship with the US was chopped abruptly without guessing how badly the Chinese neighbors would behave. China at the time was threatening no one and had not launched into her military build-up. Taiwan was fairly docile. Now the world is smaller and both Chinese states are pushing. The relationship with the US is sound, though, thanks to the respect Mr. Aquino has earned, and I hope that it remains sound as the Philippines works on building her military strength.

      The importance of strong military is actually war avoidance, because the Chinese are like an animal, sensing strength and weakness. The weak do not survive. So the Philippines needs to be stronger because China is drooling.

      I think things are developing fast with China’s new incursions within the Philippine EEZ west of Palawan. Warships are being used to protect poaching (fishing) vessels. I think the Philippine Country Club attitude about how its military works needs to change mighty fine quick. Like, get serious. I wonder if the generals know how. It means thinking of the Philippines, after all, not their ribbons and houses.

      Monday’s article is related to this. How to respond to China’s thuggery mighty fine quick without a serious navy.

      • edgar lores says:

        I agree the chop was abrupt. My initial reaction when I first heard about it was, “What the?” This happened in 1991 and I was already here in Oz.

        I take the point of strength being a deterrence. But in an ideal world, fear should not be the motivator; it should be cooperation for mutual benefit. This business of making bigger and better clubs is endless and, as Josephlvo points out, redirects attention and funds away from internals.

        Fear, it seems, leads to the seeking of power, and the acquisition of power leads to abuse. It’s almost inevitable as history shows although there have been rare exceptions. If the US, despite its best of intentions, has not been immune to using war, coercion and torture as instruments of national policy, how much more countries with less or no scruples?.

        I cannot understand people pushing the idea of war. Their imaginations are so limited because the reality of war is unthinkable. Today we have the images of a Syrian combatant eating the heart of an enemy, of jihadists trying to behead a soldier on desk duty in London, and the astonishing fact that US soldier suicides outnumber combat fatalities. The books I have read on war indelibly impress on me this notion and sentiment of the survivors, the living, envying the peace of the departed.

        Under the current thinking, there seems to be no recourse but for the country to build its military strength. We need to change current paradigms of war and peace.

        • Joe America says:

          Frankly, I don’t understand China. The more she behaves badly, the stronger the U.S moves into the Pacific to counter her. She was going great with her peaceful economic expansion. Gaining respect. Welcomed into the international community. Now it seems this has gone to her head, filling the national ego with considerable hubris, most of it from the military leadership. Had she continued the peaceful economic expansion, and respected and tried to build other Asian states instead of harass them, the U.S. would probably stay home. Inscrutable . . .

          • The Mouse says:

            The Mouse thinks it boils down to Confucianism and the Middle Kingdom syndrome where virtually everyone else in the world are Chinese vassal states and everyone must comply with China’s demands since she is up there in the hierarchy. Her seemingly “nice” aura before was just part of Sun Tzu’s Art of War

      • The Mouse says:

        The Mouse now wonders where are the people who were saying that China is a better partner for the Philippines than the US or Japan (that was about 10 years ago) because they did not attempt to invade the Philippines(which is false. Koxinga planned to invade the Philippines from Formosa).

        They’re probably eating their words now and wishing “Papa Sugar” will come to the rescue

  3. Proud Pinoy says:

    Joe,

    If the Taiwanese want a cyber fight, they will get one and the Pinoys will obliterate them.

    I find it laughable that they think they can bully a superior people.

    There is an old Filipino saying:

    “Sinimulan mo, tatapusin ko!”

    This is exactly how it will unfold.

    P.S. I like your new site. Keep up the good work! The Anti-Pinoy blogs are dying and they thought that you were an insignificant voice in the wilderness. How wrong they were (as they often are).

    • Joe America says:

      Good of you to visit, PP. Well, I believe all peoples stand equal, so I don’t subscribe to the notion of being or acting superior. Unless, of course, it is war, then one should aspire to smash the opponent. The anti-pinoy blogs are indeed irrelevant.

  4. JosephIvo says:

    Don’t mind the lions and hyenas and the snake or two. Keep your eyes focused on the ball, the home-grown crocodiles. The question is not if independence and autonomy and sovereignty more important than the loss of one Filipino life or the loss of 100 Filipinos or 10,000 or one million, if many people are you willing to sacrifice to remain sovereign. Let me ask the question differently. Are you willing to sell your sovereignty for 100 peso, 10,000 peso or a million. Are there many people willing to do this? Are you among them?

    We live in an extractive nation, a few living on the work of many, 40 families controlling, 4,000 rich lackey families and the rest with salaries far below average or extremely far below average. The Philippine worst enemies are indigenous. Remember Aginaldo? Remember the American bases? Does it matter if they sell to China or to the US? Who is likely to offer more?

    Let’s concentrate on the freedom of information act, on an improved cyber law. On politicians representing the people not them self. One Robredo intending not to change is nor enough, there are 288 other congressmen, trapos or changed by power.

    I’m reading “Philippine in Crisis, US power versus local revolt” by Donald Kirk. Describing the ‘90’s. In 20 year little seems to be changed. It might explain my skepticism. But tomorrow will be a new day, gone the extraction, welcomed the new proud Filipino, all thanks to one president.

    • Joe America says:

      On one hand, I agree with you. On the other hand, the oil under the sea within 200 nautical miles of the Philippines, by UN rules, ought to belong to the Philippines, and may be one of the ways the Philippines becomes rich enough to afford decent salaries, or food for the poor. It is in extraordinary bad form for a big nation to rob a poor nation of her resources simply because she can.

      I think the two goals are joined, not mutually exclusive. Cleaning up the Philippines and warding off predator states can be done simultaneously, and you can’t do the former as well without doing the latter.

      • JosephIvo says:

        The oil will not be lost in a shot out (1% chance) but because some Filipinos will sell out, pocketing a few billion for themselves (90% chance).

        • JosephIvo says:

          shoot out not shot out

        • Joe America says:

          Well, I agree with you on that point, too. Philippine regulation of big business is very very weak, and predator owners milk the Philippines of her wealth. I’d like to see an expose on who owns whom around here, and how much money they are making. I rather believe it is obscene.

  5. JosephIvo says:

    My scenario:

    The Chinese occupy several Philippine rocks in the 200 mile zone. Brave Philippine marines fire their Winchesters at the intruders, the new Chinese aircraft carrier blows them out of the water. International mediation will result in a peace deal. The rocks remain Philippines property. The Erap and sons that fired the nationalistic outburst leading to the shooting incident are saluted as heroes. Later we will discover that in the small letters of the treaty the Chinese got sole exploitation rights for all oil within the nine-dotted line and that some Erap’s have a few billions dollars on their previous unknown Swiss bank accounts. But Philippine history books will proudly mention this heroic victory.

  6. The Mouse says:

    The problem here, I believe, is that the 1987 constitution is too pacifist. The anti-Philippines and anti-US left made sure that the Defense has its hands tied.

    All these pacifism has resulted to the Philippines assuming that its neighbors will always act in good faith.

    The extreme influence of Philippine left must be eradicated. These people try too hard to get the Philippines hate its only true ally yet these people are eerily silent about its backstabbing neighbors that violates its sovereignty.

    • The Mouse says:

      Correction: The influence of the extreme left…

      • Lil says:

        Heh. I’ve always wondered why they’re so adamant against military modernization. Isn’t that counterproductive to their interests? A weaker PH means more US military visits and that actually encourages more pro-US thinking eventually even in the military. Have they not heard of reverse psychology?

        • The Mouse says:

          Indeed. They just gave a reason for the US to play the Philippines’ “knight in shining armor”. Hehehehe

  7. The Mouse says:

    “Well, I’m inclined to say I’d feel a lot better if the Philippines were three states of the United States because I don’t see how the Philippines avoids being the battle ground in China’s expansion and almost desperate need for resources.”

    Mr. America,

    This statement reminded me of a philippine diary blog entry I have read. I think it was Manuel Roxas that said that there were Americans who were wishing that the Philippines would ask the US to at least postpone the schedules Philippine independence. It said that the ‘Mericans cannot openly do it and wash just wishing for the Philippines to renegotiate Philippine independence because of the “anti-imperialists” in the US mainland.

    I was elated at his response as this represented my own thoughts and sentiments. We have heard rumors that the Imperialists had sent men here—Army officers, and men in the C.I.C.—to work for the withdrawal of the independence plan. It was their plan to work through the Filipinos: they want the Filipinos themselves to petition for the postponement of independence. They cannot do it directly in America as the majority of the Americans are against imperialism. As a matter of fact, I was present in the U.S. Congress when they voted down a large appropriation for the fortification of Guam. They argued that America should pull out of the Orient. But the Imperialists want to be able to show that the Filipinos themselves do not want independence. They are absolutely wrong if they think the Filipinos will give up their lifelong desire for independence.

    Source: http://philippinediaryproject.wordpress.com/1945/04/29/april-29-1945-sunday/

    What a wasted opportunity. Now, the Philippines is lorded by its native imperialists in cohorts with imperialists in China and Taiwan. LOL

    In addition, former Paul American Commissioner to the Philippines, Paul McNutt was also against the 10 year transition to independence since he believed the Philippines cannot defend itself. Little did he know it would remain that way 70 years later. Haha.

    This is where history gets interesting.

    I hope this post is not too off topic.

    • Joe America says:

      Not off-topic. The relationship with the US is a crucial part of the Taiwan scene. You know, it is interesting to observe that we often think of the Philippine/US relationship as controversial in the Philippines. But it is also controversial in the US, and has been since the Philippine American War. There were a lot of advocates for Philippine independence at the time, but not enough of them in the right power-positions.

  8. The Mouse says:

    Hey Joe! XD

    Sorry for the bad formatting of post above!

    Anyway, I found this article and you might find it interesting

    http://www.interaksyon.com/article/62535/costs-of-capitulation–strategic-implications-of-philippine-response-in-taiwan-crisis

    • Joe America says:

      I’m impressed that you can do the out-of-the-box formatting and videos in the comment frame, so, no problem at all.

      Thanks for the article. Superb framing of the situation, and how decision-making and punishments are being pushed lower and lower. A soldier (or Coast Guard sailor) these days almost has to be a lawyer. I also agree with the writer that China is taking careful notes. Thanks.

      • The Mouse says:

        Actually, I think the video is wordpress default. The one above was the “blockquote” code..which I forgot to close.

        • Attila says:

          Thanks Mouse for the article.
          If you read the comments of the article it is interesting to see how naive some Filipinos are. They afraid that the USA will colonize them again. They talk about “how the foreigners abused our peaceful loving nature” in the past. To me it is so obvious that Filipinos just do not like to take responsibility for themselves, be it the past or present.
          I know Filipino culture and thinking; They are very far from being the innocent “peaceful loving nature”. I know about their inner fighting here in New York and how they enjoy vicious chismiss. Thanks to my wife I know about everything she knows. I can not wait to see the many protestors who will blame the US for “exploiting our people” at the independence parade.

          • The Mouse says:

            I think you need to separate the Philippine left from the typical “Hello Joe, how are you Filipino”. Those who like to protest in front of the US Embassy are usually the leftists who are silent with these recent Taiwanese escalation and Chinese territorial grab — Bayan Muna, Akbayan, Pamalakaya, Kabataan, Gabriela, etc…yknow those partylists — they are all the political fronts of the NPA. While the armed struggle has been irrelevant now, the NPA fronted partylist rose to power with the 1987 constitution and although they are not the majority, their brainwashing prowess is quite…strong. They “recruit” people through high schools, colleges, universities, labor unions…They take legitimate concerns to get people to join them even if these concerns do not really concern the NPA-front partylist

  9. JM says:

    I am working as a consultant for a telco company. I am telling you right now, when war happens, China can easily shut down our communications through the internet. They don’t need to hack anything at all. The networks are built by “Huawei”. Besides, what can they hack that is critical to the country? Maybe I am just ignorant about how they would use a cyber attack to disable the country but our military does not rely on this. Most people still watch the tv and listen to the radio. Unless of course they can somehow disable these as well.

    I like the suggestions about military ties but in order to do that, the agreement must be beneficial to the other country as well. My country has nothing to offer. Our military is next to nothing. We pull our troops at the first sign of trouble. If you study the comments of most of the filipinos on news like “Pull out Filipino UN troops”, they agree that we shouldn’t get involved in other countries affairs yet they expect that we should be saved by other countries when war happens. It’s really annoying and stupid. I don’t understand why most of them think that way. I am tired of trying to change their mindset. It’s a hopeless case.

    As for building the military, China can build 100x more than we can, that is if the military will not take half of the budget. Also, some reports say that china understates the budget. China is the US biggest trading partner (I honestly don’t understand why the US keep on supporting China’s economy when its intentions are very clear). What we need are ICBMS loaded with WMDs enough to strike their major cities. Regardless of how many they have. If we fight back, it would hurt them bad. That’s the only deterrent they would understand.

    I don’t believe that the US will go to war to China when China take the spratlys. If the US had intentions of getting the oil in Spratlys they would protect it from China, but obviously they don’t.

    The Americans that care about the Filipinos are people are either too old or dead. My country serves as a pawn in chess. It’s a buffer against China to protect the US and that is the only value the US sees in my country. For when war happens, it will not happen in America’s shores. It will happen here in Asia. Well, I still think that is better than being colonized again and losing freedom to the Chinese. And that is why I am still pro-American and anti-Chinese.

    • Joe America says:

      Fascinating comment, JM. I agree there seems to be a lack of consistent principle in Filipino international behavior. Very self-engaged. The idea of developing a major deterrent capability is new to me, and makes good sense. Rather than spend billions developing an inadequate navy that can be sunk in quick order, develop a nuke or two. Certainly that would get China’s attention.

      Also, your perspective about Americans is new to me, and makes sense. The Philippines simply is not on the mental map of most young Americans.

      I tend to think the American strategy is a game of inches, not miles, and it started with the clear pivot out of the Middle East and into Asia. The U.S. will not simply shut down economic activity with China, because an intertwined economy is the best hope for peaceful co-existence. What will occur is a gradual pushback, and I believe if most American citizens don’t see the strategic importance of the Philippines as a western bridge into Asia, the government clearly does.

      Be sure to read my current blog to consider an alternative form of deterrent. Peace.

      • Attila says:

        The true interest of the US is to be in good terms with China and Taiwan. Filipino leaders, politicians and Filipinos in general do not care to express their desire for real US help. I will see if there will be any public desire for US intervention for US help at the Filipino independence parade in New York. I’m afraid it will be the same old America bashing. blaming the US for all their problems as usual. It would be hard to convince the public to go to war for the Philippines. As far as I’m concerned the Philippines is done. China won. The land grabbing started.

        • Joe America says:

          I agree the US is interested in good terms with China and Taiwan, but there is a reason she shifted a carrier fleet from the Middle East to the Pacific, and there is a reason that China keeps complaining about it. The big forces are in play against one another, the slowest, most cautious dance possible. Neither wants a fight to erupt.

          The US for sure will not come in to push Chinese warships out of Philippine territory. And for a small incident, they might raise a voice, but would not act. However, if China moved to occupy islands now occupied by Filipinos, the treaty obligations require the US to come to the aid of the Philippines. They MUST, or what does a treaty with the US mean?

          The Chinese push against Japan is also rubbing up against defense treaties.

          The US and Philippines may not be close, but there is no denying the strategic location of the Philippines in the heart of Asia, a westernized outpost that the US would be foolish to abandon to the hungry wolf. Japan, Korea and the Philippines are important allies. Australia buttresses the south. The Malaysian and Indonesian and Southeast Asian countries are perhaps more neutral between the US and China.

          The US government would explain to the American people what they are doing and why, and there would be a lot of debate, but the government’s actions would be accepted. Americans may not be inspired about defending the Philippines for the sake of Filipinos, but I’d guess they are very interested in holding China in check for what it means to the US..

        • JM says:

          I don’t bash Americans. I’m a bit biased though, my grandmother is an American and I admired her. She’s very strict and she taught me discipline. Anyway, I’ve read a lot of comments about us Filipinos bashing Americans in yahoo. The American replies are basically, we saved you during WWII, you are ingrates, if it weren’t for us, China would own you. And for Filipinos who ask for American help. The American reply is generally: you kicked us out, you deal with your own problem, we are sick of wars. As you can see, no matter what we say, the answer will always be generally negative. I don’t know what to say honestly.

          As for the blaming part, I understand that. It’s part of our culture. Even I am annoyed when the people close to me do that. It’s very illogical and immature. And when I confront them about it, they would make me look and feel like the bad guy.

          As for china won already, I am divided. If they invade, a part of me would like to stay in the country and defend it regardless if we’d lose (which is certain but what the hell). A part of me just want to say, screw it! and migrate to another country. My people’s thinking cannot be changed. This country is hopeless.

      • JM says:

        Its really hard to think of peace when they Chinese are stealing right in front of us. If China’s intention is peaceful, why build too much military? Why steal technology from you Americans? Each time we protest diplomatically, they just say “China’s indisputable sovereignty blah blah”. Their logic is that they drew a map since ancient times when their fishermen fished the area, that’s why they own south china sea. If the Chinese were the first people in South China sea, wouldn’t it be logical for them to colonize the Philippines? But wait, I don’t look like Chinese. Wasn’t it proven that the Austronesian race (South east asian ancestors 5000 to 10000 years ago) were sea faring people and that the Chinese explorers left their country a little bit later than other races? Anyway, enough of history, current law is the UNCLOS and they don’t want to follow that. What’s the purpose of having a UN? Everyone wants peace but that doesn’t mean we should not prepare to defend ourselves because the world is a cruel place. the Chinese only understands force and that is why we must improve our military by acquiring WMDs.

        • Joe America says:

          China behaves as if her leaders just emerged from the caves, I agree. The notion of civilization being a composite of many different peoples, each meriting respect, totally escapes them. They are still stuck in the cold war, on track to a hot one.

  10. Attila says:

    “They MUST, or what does a treaty with the US mean?”

    I don’t think it will come to it. I think China will just hold on to and protect the grabbed islands and waters around it. They may start developing it’s riches. Taiwan will keep pretending that the waters around the disputed islands were part of Taiwan. What will the Philippines do? She will just adjust and sweep it under the rug. There will be no anti Chinese movements. The leftist (including the NPA communist and Maoist etc.) will have to save their face and avoid any blaming so they will stay quiet. The Filipino Chinese who already running the country will also down play it. It will be a strange situation for a pride stricken country. It will make the average Filipino feel even more confused. The only positive I could see coming out of it is that the communist left will become weak: They will be discredited for their pro Chinese and Maoist background. Will it make the Filipinos more USA friendly? Tough question. My Filipino mother in law thinks there will be more frustrated Filipinos who will turn to crime and trust no one other than their own family..

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