The Indo-Pacific in suspense – Latest news – The Nation


The policy and strategic design of the United States to engage, contain and manage its two potential rivals for world domination continues unabated. It pursues a two-pronged strategy. In Europe, it has irremediably mixed Russia with the Ukraine; in the Indo-Pacific region (IPR), it fired its first shot through the arc of China by sending Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House of Representatives, on a visit to Taiwan.
Rubicons have been crossed – by the United States allowing Nancy Pelosi to travel to Taiwan despite vehement protests from China and by the latter establishing a “literal air and sea blockade” of Taiwan. These are the first ominous signs of a restless, shaken, hesitant and fragile strategic environment whose paradigms are now worsening for good!
Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan can only be a political decision by the US government. It has serious bilateral, regional, and global implications and would, of necessity, have had the assent of the White House, the Pentagon, the CIA, and the State Department. It seems to have been a well thought out plan with specific goals/end states in mind.
Geopolitically, Nancy Pelosi’s visit runs counter to the US one-China policy. It seems to be extremely well timed, too. First, it precedes the 20th CPC National Congress where President Xi Jinping is expected to secure a predictable third term. It will test his leadership, his popularity and force him to tackle a serious international problem at a particularly sensitive time. Second, it was meant to judge China’s political will, determination and readiness to respond to such skirmishes. Third, Chinese reactions would reveal the CCP’s policy and strategic options should large-scale hostilities break out. Fourth, China’s response would also identify its limitations and the risks it would be willing to take. Fifthly, it would also determine the positions that the international community and in particular the countries of the region adopt. Sixth, the United States will thus be able to formulate more informed policy and consistent strategies for the future.
At the geostrategic level, the United States affirms its global strategic reach and sphere of influence by demonstrating its political will and military capability to simultaneously confront two major regional powers/conflicts. Was Nancy Pelosi’s visit a preliminary operation to that end? Reports indicate that the US and Indian armies are preparing to hold joint high-altitude military exercises (Auli, Uttarakhand) near the Sino-Indian/LAC border as well; create the strategic environment for a potential double-envelopment of China! The American objectives could be numerous. First, determine the combat value of the PLA. Second, verify the PLA’s operational methodologies, military capabilities and capabilities through its response. Third, study Chinese military leadership, professional skill, decision-making prowess, and conduct during this period. Fourth, analyze the PLA’s operational strategies, combined arms and combined arms operations, tactical employment of troops, applied military technologies in various fields and others and draw relevant conclusions. Fifth, study Taiwan’s “literal air and sea blockade” in great detail. Also, carefully examine their skills and techniques, the handling of weapons and equipment, and the speed of their operations. Contingency plans will therefore be (re)designed accordingly.
The United States will, however, analyze this “blockade” in the general context of its plans for the Strait of Malacca, its inevitability for Chinese trade and the importance of CPEC and the port of Gwadar as well. Sixth, reassess China’s degree of dominance over the South China Sea and SLOCs in light of the recent conflagration. Seventh, review the combat potential of the PLA and compare it to the military capabilities of its alliances (NATO, QUAD, AUKUS, etc.) and future coalition partners. Eighth, assess the type, quantity, quality, and location of troop, ammunition, and materiel transfer/preposition deployments in the IPR. Nine, reassess and modify its operational strategy plans vis-à-vis China and Taiwan, ensuring free and open DPI, including maintaining air and sea corridors/blockades, maintaining SLOCs and chains of supply, control of the exploitation of maritime resources, etc. , the US military will thus be well prepared and positioned to face the PLA at a time of its choosing.
Any conflict over Taiwan will have enormous implications for the geo-economic environment of the IPR and will have serious repercussions on all bilateral, regional and global trade, currently worth approximately $5 trillion. Americans per year thanks to the IPR! Free and open IPR, unrestricted shipping, functional supply chains, exploitation of maritime resources, “air and sea corridors and blockades”, SLOC dominance, trade routes, choke points, etc henceforth define the geoeconomic-geostrategic environment of the DPI. Any major conflict over Taiwan could upend the entire region and its economies and send them into a real spin. This will cause a catastrophe of global proportions!
China’s immediate response showed political will, military capacity and capability and is determined to step up to the next level if necessary. He summarily isolated Taiwan from the outside world. He has shown remarkable tenacity and commitment to the inviolability of his one-China policy and territorial integrity. China is likely to follow through with a detailed and thoughtful multidimensional response. US global hegemony is challenged by China’s unprecedented geopolitical, geostrategic and geoeconomic progress. It can either accept China’s growing global status and co-exist with it, or wage war on it to thwart its galloping economy, including its BRI, its evolving sphere of influence and concomitant strategic reach.
The United States has fought most of its wars east of the Atlantic, with the continental United States never facing significant direct threats, ever – World War II, Korea, Vietnam, skirmishes in Latin America, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, etc. The paradigms of the global strategic environment and strategic balance have since changed dramatically. The continental United States is now within strategic reach of China and Russia. The stakes have risen enormously and have universal ramifications. Full-scale war will lead to mutually assured destruction. The United States must recognize and acknowledge this. He must never start anything that he cannot fully control and bring to a timely and favorable close!


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