NavWeek: Maritime Matters

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With good reason, there is global concern about the new Chinese air defense zone recently announced blanketing most of the sky above the East China Sea. What is more interesting, though, is that there has been little or none of this uproar with the same kind of Chinese bluster IN the East China Sea as well as the South China Sea.

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Indeed there have been at-sea-level skirmishes for some time now in both areas, not only between Chinese and opposing forces, but also between other Asia-Pacific countries as well.

Moreover, pirates, sea-terrorists or whatever else you want to call them continue to ply the waters here. The rest of the world seems to think that piracy rises and falls on the numbers reported off African coasts, but sailors in Asia-Pacific waters know better.

It’s no coincidence that the nations in that region are investing just as much in their military shipbuilding programs as they are in aviation-related ones.  And many of their defense aviation-related investments have to do with maritime patrols or other coastal missions.

The world’s eyes may be trained on the skies now for potential battles. But the truth is that conflict has already begun on the seas and THAT is where real wars, if there are any, are likely to begin.

As U.S. Navy officials have been saying for some time now, the Pacific pivot and rebalancing of Pentagon resources back to the Asia-Pacific is a naval one at its core.

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