You could almost say that "rumors of war" (in addition to the actual "wars") define this stage of prophecy watching in this last generation:
The U.S. Navy has dispatched a small armada to the South China Sea.
The carrier John C. Stennis, two destroyers, two cruisers and the 7th Fleet flagship have sailed into the disputed waters in recent days, according to military officials. The carrier strike group is the latest show of force in the tense region, with the U.S. asserting that China is militarizing the region to guard its excessive territorial claims.
Stennis is joined in the region by the cruisers Antietam and Mobile Bay, and the destroyers Chung-Hoon and Stockdale. The command ship Blue Ridge, the floating headquarters of the Japan-based 7th Fleet, is also in the area, en route to a port visit in the Philippines. Stennis deployed from Washington state on Jan. 15.
The stand-off has been heating up on both sides. After news in February that the Chinese deployed an advanced surface-to-air missile battery to the Paracel Islands, U.S. Pacific Command head Adm. Harry Harris told lawmakers that China was militarizing the South China Sea.
"In my opinion China is clearly militarizing the South China Sea," Harris testified on Feb. 24. "You’d have to believe in a flat Earth to believe otherwise."
Overnight, Chinese officials dismissed claims that China was militarizing the region, pointing to the Stennis's patrol as evidence that the U.S. was to blame for the increased military tensions.
“The accusation [that China is militarizing the region] can lead to a miscalculation of the situation,” said Fu Ying, a spokeswoman for China's National People's Congress. “If you take a look at the matter closely, it’s the US sending the most advanced aircraft and military vessels to the South China Sea."
In the author’s opinion, since China has an Eastern-styled approach to warfare, most Westerners don’t recognize that the two powerful nations are already engaged in mortal, if not subtle, combat.
Most Westerners are not capable of identifying “Chinese aggression” because it has a different composition than Western-styled force-projection. The primary difference between the United States and China is hard versus soft power or Clausewitz versus Sun Tzu.
Historically speaking, Western powers more often than not use hard-power “Shock and Awe” tactics for rapid dominance of geopolitical regions and rely on Clausewitz for the basis of their war-fighting strategy. Subtlety has never been the strong suit of Western countries when compared to the Chinese.
China is indeed actively fighting America in Africa and in the U.S. within different domains. These domains include but are not limited to economic, cyber, cyber-kinetic, political and territorial.
The Peoples Republic of China is also creating a littoral base in Djibouti, right next to America’s only real, non-austere locale in Africa: the United States Naval Expeditionary Base Camp Lemonier.
China’s war with the U.S. has already begun, but it is silent, very subtle and difficult for Westerners to detect since the PRC has not used the West’s favorite tool of warfare: the obtrusive use of conventional weapons..
Does the United States risk facing off against a tri-partite alliance between Russia, Iran and China?
The geopolitical balance is being restructured in Eurasia on an almost daily basis. Sino-Russo relations are improving and both the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) and Russia share strong anti-American and anti-NATO sentiments. Russo-Iranian relations have also been warming up and Sino-Persian ties have also been gradually strengthening. All three countries would like to see a shift away from more than a century of global domination by the United States.
Furthermore, the interest of Western Powers and ISIS in seeing Assad and Syria topple has drawn Russia and Iran closer together and both countries seem determined to stand steadfastly on the side of Assad. Indeed the stability of Europe and Western Asia may hinge on how the U.S. and its allies handle the escalating violence in the Levant.
The pre-existing framework which has set the geopolitical precedent for regional power-pacts has recently experienced a massive upheaval and alliances are now being quickly re-drawn. .
Other factors have come into play. China, Iran and Russia have a shared interest in seeing the US lose its unipolar grip in the region and on the continent. That desire makes for strange bedfellows and will eclipse any past differences which have separated these three powers..
At a time when the force-projection capacity of both the Chinese and Russians is increasing, regional alliances are being rewritten, and the world economy is becoming less stable, the United States needs to very carefully consider how it handles the delicate house of cards called Syria, which is the keystone of Eurasian stability at the present time.
With a series of edicts, speeches and martial ceremonies, President Xi Jinping has over the past six months unveiled China’s biggest military overhaul since the aftermath of the Korean War.
The plan seeks to transform the 2.3-million-member People’s Liberation Army, which features 21st-century hardware but an outdated, Soviet-inspired command structure, into a fighting force capable of winning a modern war. China is shifting from a “large country to a large and powerful one,” Xi explained in November. The restructuring will be a major focus of the country’s new defense budget, which will be announced Saturday as the annual National People’s Congress gets under way in Beijing.
As part of the move toward a unified command, China consolidated its seven military regions into five “Theater Commands” or “Battle Zones,” with each service reporting to a single commander, a move first reported by Bloomberg News in September. How these zones will function remains unclear.
Many will be watching to see how far beyond China’s borders the new zones reach and how the revamped military map will shape PLA activities in regional hotspots such as the South China Sea.