July 01, 2004

US plans big show of force in Pacific

Operation Summer Pulse 04 is set commence within the next few weeks, with as many as seven different aircraft carriers and their associated battle groups coming within striking distance of China and Taiwan.

According to the Department of Defense, the exercise is a test of a new Fleet Response Plan aimed at enhancing the Navy's combat power and readiness in a time of crisis. The plan calls for the despatching of six 'forward deployed' or 'ready to surge' carrier groups to a trouble spot within 30 days, and an additional two within 90 days.

Of course exact plans are shrouded in mystery, but according to the Navy's website, the Carl Vinson, Abraham Lincoln, John C Stennis, and Kitty Hawk are all in the Pacific presently, the Harry S Truman and the Enterprise are in the Atlantic, while the George Washington is in the Persian Gulf.

Sources indicate that seven of the battle groups will assemble in the Pacific as a part of this exercise. Never before have that many battle groups been assembled in one place.

ONE aircraft carrier is sent to a trouble spot as a reminder of US presence. This was done several times in the past, when tension was high in the Taiwan Strait.

TWO carriers show serious concern, as was the case when China test-fired missiles over the strait in 1996.

THREE OR FOUR are sent in combat situations - as in the Gulf War in the early 1990s and the recent Iraqi war.

Sending SEVEN carriers in peace time to the same region is unprecedented. The US plan to do this after mid-July, in the Pacific Ocean near China, is a message to Beijing for its threat to use force to stop Taiwanese independence.

As you can imagine, China is pretty much as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.

The Chinese government stands behind it's long-standing proclemation that Taiwan would not be permitted to officially declare it's independance.

Posted by mhking at July 1, 2004 03:17 PM

this is the sort of thing i personally and a lot of people i know like America doing. I don't believe the claim of China that Taiwan is merely a rebel province to be invaded at any time they like. No other country can do this sort of thing apart from America and it is good when it does.

Posted by: Nick Saunders at July 3, 2004 12:25 PM