Friday, July 12, 2013

It’s military drill season in the East China Sea

PLAN officers at attention on the Type 051C Shenyang
All the elements of tit-for-tat exercises by the principal countries are present this week 

Judging from the frequency, size, and coincidence of military exercises that are being held this past week alone in the East China Sea, it is easy to conclude that tensions in the region — especially over the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu islands — are continuing to rise, something that Japan’s defense white paper, released earlier this week, seems to confirm.

What is especially troubling, despite efforts by the governments involved to downplay the drills by repeatedly stating that they are not aimed at any third party, the fact of the matter is that live-fire military drills are increasingly becoming instruments of policy, and are being timed in a way that can only be described as escalatory.

My article, published today in The Diplomat, continues here.

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