An ugly dance - The Asian Pivot

SUBHEAD: The Asian Pivot has so far been a feeble attempt by USA to outplay Asia in the game of who can destroy the planet the fastest. 

By Juan Wilson on 5 December 2013 for Island Breath -
Image above: Overview of western Pacific showing how distant Pearl Harbor (far right) is from the "action" (far left). It's halfway around the world. From GoogleEarth by Juan Wilson.

Who are the most destructive bastards in the Pacific - WE ARE!

Needless to say, after dropping nuclear bombs on Japan in 1945, we held the lead and kept a lap ahead of the field with our hundreds of a-bomb and h-bomb tests in the 50's. We left Russia and France in the dust (laced with Strontium 90). We followed up with a grinding war against South East Asia through the 60s and 70s. In terms of "big wars" after that America simply coasted through the next couple of decades.

We got a wake-up call on September 11th, 2001. That temporarily diverted our attention from destroying the Pacific Ocean full time. We've spent two decades shredding the Middle East over 911 and Al Qaeda.

Oh sure, we kept up pretenses. We went through the obligatory biennial RIMPAC (Rim of the Pacific) War Games, but our hearts weren't in it. The Japanese and others were strip-mining the ocean mega-fauna faster than we could kill them with sonar and weapons tests.

It was only when the environmental destructiveness of China's industrial expansion started to eclipse our own that President Obama admitted we we falling behind. Now we had some real competition.

Our response?  - "The Asian Pivot". It was announced on April Fools Day 2009.The idea was that America would turn its strategic might towards the western Pacific and China.

In over our heads
The Asian Pivot has so far been a feeble attempt by USA to outplay Asia in the game of who can destroy the planet the fastest.

We had no idea what we were up against. On March 11th, 2011 An earthquake and tsunami devastated the eastern coast of Japan. Significantly, it destroyed the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant and in the process melted down the cores of three boiling water reactors.

This amounted to 350 tons of melted "corium"consisting mostly of uranium and plutonium. Enough for about 50,000 nuclear bombs yielding 40 kilotons of energy each. And this trove didn't include the much vaster amounts of nuclear material in the sites other two reactors and seven "spent" fuel cooling ponds.

Curses, outdone again!
Immediately the Japanese began cooling the ravaged reactors with Pacific Ocean water that, to this day, has been recycled back into the sea at a rate of about 300 to 400 tons a day - this was, of course, along with incalculable amounts of radioactive Cesium 137, Iodine 131 and Strontium 90. Simply stir and serve.

With the entire Pacific threatened the Japanese had moved into first place in planetary destruction.

Certainly China was not to be deterred. The Chinese had their own plans. They announced territorial rights on the entire South China Sea as well its undersea petroleum exploitation rights. Drill baby drill! They have recently extended claims of airspace control of areas hitherto not in their jurisdiction.

America will not to be deterred by these Johny-Come-Latelys. We have been working on our own plans.

A bit of backgound
Our Navy is the most deadly and destructive force in the world. The Pacific Ocean is almost 40% of the Earth's surface. At one time the strategic control of our Navy was centered in San Diego.

America realized, late in the 19th century that if it wanted to dominate the Pacific it would have to take down the Spanish Navy. Before the Spanish American War we overthrew the Hawaiian government and made Pearl Harbor our safe haven in the Pacific.

In 1898 we fought the Spanish over Cuba and the Philippines. Since 1907 United States Pacific Fleet headquarters has been at Pearl Harbor on Oahu, Hawaii. It has since become the strategic center of operations for the US Navy throughout the Pacific.
Image above: A closer look at the western Pacific near the South China Sea showing our Strategic Islands, including Guam and the Marianas; Subic Bay, the Philippines; Okinawa, Japan; and Jeju Island, South Korea. Click to enlarge. From GoogleEarth by Juan Wilson.
Westward Ho!
With the Pacific Pivot the US Navy strategic center is moving farther West - Or that is East by going over the international dateline. How far are we talking about? Some 5,000 miles. That's about twice the distance from San Diego to Pearl Harbor.

It is my opinion you will see continued pressure on South Korea and Japan to "step-up" and support our saber rattling. There will be pressure on Japan to let our bases on Okinawa not only remain, but get beefed up.

We will likely see renewed some arm twisting of the Philippines. In June 1991, the second largest volcanic eruption of the twentieth century took place on the island of Luzon in the Philippines, a mere 55 miles northwest of the capital city Manila. Following their near complete destruction, two of the largest American military bases in the world were abandoned - Clark Air Force Base and the Navy's base in Subic Bay.

Back in 1991 Bill Clinton was president and those distant and our interests were in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. We simply abandoned the Philippine bases. In my opinion we will see renewed interest in those bases attached to offers of aide to the Philippine government in the aftermath of typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).

The costs be damned!
Needless to say, trying to face down China halfway around the world will be hideously expensive. A lot of that cost is the maintenance of about a dozen Carrier Strike Groups (CSG). CSGs comprise the principal element of U.S. power projection capability.They include nuclear aircraft carriers, cruisers; destroyers, submarines and other specialized ships. Weapons platforms include fighter/bomber and anti-tank aircraft; heliccopters; long range sea-to-surfaceguided missiles; air-to-air short range missles; etc. Nuclear weapons are a key element of their armament.

The number of CSGs varies of the years between ten and fifteen. You can bet the CSGs will play a party in the Pacific Pivot on Jeju and Gaum islands in the western Pacific Ocean and Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean.

The idea is that you steam one or two CSG anywhere in the world and you establish full-spectrum dominance. 

How will the Pacific Pivot be paid for? Most likely by continued reduction of support for the lower and middle classes. It will take the form of cuts in Social Security payments; reduced unemployment benefits; cuts in food supplements, infrastructure maintenance, disaster relief and anything else you can think of.

The Real Enemies
The sad part is that the Carrier Strike Group is an obsolete system. It was what we successfully fought the Japanese with in WWII, and what could not win the long war in South East Asia or the Middle East. It is likely the defenses of the CSGs will be overcome with a variety of technologies in the next decade or so. That could include electromagnetic pulses; GPS satellite intereference; electronic hacking and other tactics. The CSG are lumbering dinosaurs with no real enemy or mission.

The real enemies today are the spread of radioactive poison throughout the Pacific; climate induced ocean levels rising; acidification, and global warming. The Pacific is also being ravaged by over fishing; gigantic gyres of floating plastic waste; reef dieoff; and, of course, the US Navy's own war games.

Asian Pivot my ass. It's an ugly dance of death!

See also:
Ea O Ka Aina: Help save Mariana Islands 11/13/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Moana Nui Confereence 11/1/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Okinawa breathes easier 4/27/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Navy Next-War-Itis 4/13/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Hawaii - Start of American Empire 2/26/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Military schmoozes Guam & Hawaii 3/17/11
Ea O Ka Aina: In Search of Real Security - One 8/31/10
Ea O Ka Aina: Peace for the Blue Continent 8/10/10
Ea O Ka Aina: Pacific Resistance to U.S. Military 5/24/10
Ea O Ka Aina: Shift in Pacific Power Balance 8/5/10
Ea O Ka Aina: RIMPAC to Return in 2010 5/2/10
Ea O Ka Aina: Living at the Tip of the Spear 4/5/10
Ea O Ka Aina: Guam Land Grab 11/30/09
Ea O Ka Aina: Guam as a modern Bikini Atoll 12/25/09
Ea O Ka Aina: GUAM - Another Strategic Island 11/8/09
Ea O Ka Aina: Diego Garcia - Another stolen island 11/6/09
Ea O Ka Aina: DARPA & Super-Cavitation on Kauai 3/24/09
Island Breath: RIMPAC 2008 - Navy fired up in Hawaii 7/2/08
Island Breath: RIMPAC 2008 uses destructive sonar 4/22/08
Island Breath: Navy Plans for the Pacific 9/3/07
Island Breath: Judge restricts sonar off California 08/07/07
Island Breath: RIMPAC 2006 - Impact on oceani 5/23/06
Island Breath: RIMPAC 2004 - Whale strandings on Kauai 9/2/04
Island Breath: PMRF Land Grab 3/15/04


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