Dr. Ely Ratner is Senior Fellow and Deputy Director of the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security, “The False Cry of the Pivot Deniers,” April 25, http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2014/04/25/the_false_song_of_the_pivot_deniers_obama_administration_asia
Former Vice President Al Gore told a crowd at the University of Hawaii on April 15 that using fake science to mislead the public on climate change is "immoral, unethical, and despicable." Currently on a weeklong trip to Asia, President Barack Obama can probably sympathize, as he faces a cadre of skeptics committed to the idea that one of his leading foreign policy priorities -- the pivot to Asia -- is somehow an illusion. After a decade of war in the Middle East and South Asia, Obama and his national security team launched a comprehensive set of initiatives in the fall of 2011 to afford greater attention and resources to Asia. The official moniker has since evolved into the "rebalancing" to Asia, but its contents haven't changed much. And its achievements are considerable.But don't tell that to the Pivot Deniers, who won't talk about Obama's successes on trade and development in Asia, such as the Lower Mekong Initiative, an innovative assistance program strengthening cooperation among Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam; implementing the U.S.-South Korea free trade agreement, which the U.S. International Trade Commission estimates will increase U.S. exports by over $10 billion through tariff cuts alone; and striving to complete the most important trade deal in a generation, the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Pivot Deniers never mentionthat the United States has dramatically deepened its engagement with the region's institutions, either: Since 2009, it has joined the East Asia Summit, the premier leaders' forum in Asia; stationed a resident ambassador to the Association for Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the region's most important multilateral body; and now regularly attends the ASEAN Regional Forum, which, thanks to high-level U.S. participation, has been ground zero for critical multilateral diplomacy on dangerous disputes in the South China Sea.They further ignore the diplomatic opening with Myanmar and the substantial progress in revising the U.S. military presence in the region; new agreements that give U.S. troops access to bases in Australia, the Philippines, and Singapore; and the substantial deepening of U.S. engagement with China that has seen more presidential-level meetings, more substantive cooperation on key geopolitical issues like Iran, and more military-to-military engagement than in the previous decade. The deniers almost universally discount that, in more instances than not, U.S. officials and their counterparts in Asia describe bilateral relations as having "never been stronger." None of that matters to the Pivot Deniers, who refuse to admit that the administration has accomplished more in Asia, and has a more coherent approach to the region than any other part of the world. So who are these folks? The most prominent group is the hardcore anti-Obamanians who fill the conservative halls of Congress and right-leaning think tanks. Facts have failed to clear the fog of the ever-popular "over-promising and under-delivering" meme of Obama's policy. And despite supporting almost every element of the rebalancing strategy, this crowd nevertheless feels compelled to argue that the policy "doesn't really exist" or, even if it once did, is now "dead." No setback or gaffe is too small to elicit a torrent of obituaries. A second group of Pivot Deniers appears more emulous than angry. These are the former Bush administration officials who bristled at former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's declarations that "the United States is back" in Asia. They contend that everything Obama has done in the region had antecedents in the mid-2000s. These are Bush initiatives, they say -- Obama is just following through. To them, the rebalancing policy is just a marketing exercise, and a clumsy one at that. They call the pivot a "myth" or a "misnomer," because the United States never left. But they are wrong. U.S. troops based in Japan and South Korea were sent to backfill in Afghanistan and Iraq; and U.S. policy in Southeast Asia after 2001 centered on fighting the war on terror, rather than building stronger institutions and partnerships. That may have been the right call at the time, but there's no question that it distracted from Asia. The final group of deniers is a motley crew of op-ed writers, editors, and D.C. pundits who can't resist the easy hook. Here's how it works: Pick your favorite crisis of the day and use a catchy title like, "Forget Asia -- Pivot to Europe" or "The Year the US Pivoted Back to the Middle East" or even "Are We Pivoting to Africa Rather Than Asia?"Then, without actually assessing U.S. policy in the region, simply declare that, "the pivot to Asia appears to have been largely called off."And even if your article has nothing to do with Asia, use a subtitle like, "How the standoff in Ukraine could split NATO and kill the Asia pivot." [Ed. - Sorry, that one's on us.] Journalists are equally culpable. I get it. Sometimes you need a good narrative and no one -- besides me, perhaps -- wants to read a story titled, "Obama Goes to Asia to Continue Relatively Successful, Long-Term Reorientation of U.S. Foreign Policy." So instead, you go with something foreboding, like "Obama Looks to Salvage Asia ‘Pivot'" or "Obama's Strategic Shift to Asia Is Hobbled by Pressure at Home and Crises Abroad." The problem is that all of this noise and nonsense has led to serious misreporting from some of the best and most reliable commentators in the business. It's simply not true, as the New York Times suggested on the eve of Obama's departure on April 22, that "the larger diplomatic presence [in Asia] has not materialized." Nor is it true, as the Financial Times reported the same day, that: "The main non-military aspect of the pivot is the drive towards a new Trans-Pacific Partnership." Folks, you're better than that. Of course, the administration is partially to blame for the shoddy public discourse on U.S. Asia policy. The president still hasn't spoken to the American people about the importance of Asia, and the White House has been overly reliant on speeches and magazine articles rather than offering an official document on what the rebalancing policy actually entails. But Washington's chattering classes need to do their homework as well. The rebalancing to Asia is real and the president isn't there right now to salvage a phantom policy.
( ) Real engagement is key – plan reassures allies and creates regional stability
Michael Mazza is a research fellow in foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, “Can Obama save his mighty pivot?” April 18th, http://www.aei.org/article/foreign-and-defense-policy/regional/asia/can-obama-save-his-mighty-pivot/
Peace in Asia is slowly slipping away. America’s closest allies in the region, Japan and South Korea, are barely talking to each other. Nor are Japan and China, which are locked in a bitter territorial dispute involving the regular deployment of military and paramilitary assets to a contested area of the East China Sea. North Korea is lobbing missiles into the Sea of Japan and threatening to carry out a “new form” of nuclear test while Chinese forces in the South China Sea attempt to starve out marines stationed on a Philippine-held reef. Taiwan’s Sunflower Movement has shown Beijing that its efforts at peaceful unification are making scant headway. The list goes on. President Obama’s upcoming trip to the region, then, comes at a crucial moment. And yet the Asia-Pacific’s numerous challenges are heightened by perceptions of America’s waning determination to stand by its commitments.U.S. allies see the Asia “pivot” as being strong on rhetoric but lacking in content. For starters, difficult U.S.-Japan negotiations are holding up the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, which in any case would have a difficult time making it through the U.S. Congress. Concerns that America’s military is being starved of resources are more pressing. Following North Korea’s recent test launch of two medium-range missiles, Chuck Hagel announced that the United States would deploy two more missile-defense destroyers to Japan…by 2017. In testimony submitted to the Senate Armed Services Committee, PACOM commander Samuel Locklear explained that, due to “budget uncertainty,” over the past year PACOM has had to prioritize the readiness of forward-deployed forces “at the great expense of the readiness of the follow-on force and the critical investments needed for these forces to outpace emerging threats, potentially eroding our historic dominance in both capability and capacity.” General John M. Paxton, Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps, speaking about the pivot to Asia, recently asked, “Do we have enough people and enough ships to do it?” He pointed out that while 54 amphibious ships are needed for the Marines to carry out their global responsibilities, only 38 are planned for, and that number is likely to shrink. The current inventory stands at a mere 29. Perhaps most concerning of all for U.S. allies has been what they see as the president’s weak-kneed responses to the actions of Bashar al-Assad and Vladimir Putin. It is true that America’s Asian partners would rather not see the United States bogged down in new conflicts in the Middle East or in Europe. It is also true that America’s lack of treaty obligations in those cases make for very different circumstance than those that hold in East Asia. Still, there have been consequences on the far side of the Eurasian landmass. In the case of Syria, the abandonment of President Obama’s “red line” left allies wary of taking the president’s words at face value. Tokyo, Seoul, Manila, and others can no longer be confident that the president means what he says and says what he means. In the case of Ukraine, the allies have watched the United States fail to defend with any urgency a central principle of the post-war, American-made order: states do not forcibly annex the sovereign territory of other states. Russia has shown that to do so is no longer necessarily a casus belli. Asia is already experiencing the aftershocks. So the president travels to Asia next week with much to address. The White House’s agreement to make the president’s trip to Tokyo a formal state visit sends a useful signal to allies and adversaries alike. That the president and his Philippine counterpart will sign a new security accord in Manila is likewise a positive development. Even so, the administration may not recognize the depth of the challenge it is facing in Asia. The Washington Post reports that, with the president having canceled a trip to the region last year, “White House aides say they are confident that the president will reenergize his Asia strategy by visiting seven countries this year—Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines next week and China, Burma and Australia in the fall.” Deputy national security advisory Benjamin Rhodes told the Post that “showing up matters a lot in Asia. The good news is that it’s pretty easily fixable…We have the benefit of knowing what success will look like—and if we achieve it, people will think it was worth it.” The sentiment is astonishing both in its naiveté and its self-confidence. The president will not save his pivot by racking up frequent flyer miles. “Showing up” is important, but not nearly as important as what the president has in hand upon his arrival. Assuming that “success” is defined as preservation of the peace in Asia and the establishment of relative stability, the president’s presence in the region will certainly be insufficient to achieve it.The president has a long to-do list. He needs to reassure allies that the United States will live up to its security obligations in Asia. He likewise needs to assure them that he will not fiddle while the rest of the world burns. He needs to convince capitals across Asia that “21st century” America can play hardball with the world’s “20th century” powers—and play to win. He needs to demonstrate that he has a strategy for winning the peace in Asia, that the pivot is more than a slogan.This is a tall order. “Showing up” next week will be a start, but it is only a start. There is no easy fix to Asia’s current panoply of problems. There will not be a fix of any kind until the White House accepts that reality.
( ) Non military initiatives like the plan are especially key to avoiding conflict
Dr. Ely Ratner is Senior Fellow and Deputy Director of the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security, “Rebalancing to Asia with an Insecure China,” The Washington Quarterly, Spring, 2013, Vol 36, no 2, pp 21-38
With an eye toward sustaining regional support for the U.S. rebalancing to Asia,Washington will have to better explain the content and origin of the strategy.This means working to diminish perceptions of competition between the United States and China by continuing to search for ways in which the two countries can work together in Asia. Announcements by Secretary Clinton and Foreign Minister Yang of the launch of an array of U.S.—/China joint cooperative projects in the Asia—/Pacific at the past two ASEAN Regional Forums, while small in scale, provide a useful platform from which to build. Actively solving problems together sends an important signal both domestically and regionally that the United States is interested in practical cooperation with China, and vice versa. Washington should also continue to reiterate/perhaps with greater emphasis/that it prefers others in the region to also have strong and positive ties withBeijing. (This also means communicating to allies and partners that the U.S. rebalancing to Asia does not give regional states the license to challenge or provoke China.) The United States should also continue to search for additional opportunities to include the PLA in regional military exercises. Secretary Panetta’s announcement that China would be invited to the 2014 Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) military exercise was a step in the right direction. Multilateralmilitary engagement with China should also be explored with U.S. Marines nowrotating through Darwin, Australia, possibly with other key regional actors suchas Indonesia. In the meantime, the United States should seek to demonstrate to the region the inherent value of the U.S. military presence beyond high-/end deterrence and dynamics with China. For instance, the United States could address non-/traditional security challenges like humanitarian crises, natural disasters, human trafficking, and narcotics. Over the long term, it is crucial thatgovernments and publics in Asia perceive U.S. efforts as sustained and earnest,and not as Trojan horsesfor developing improved access for warfighting. At the same time, the United States should, to the extent possible, seek toaddress the chronic misperception that the rebalancing effort is primarily amilitary and security endeavor. Official commentary in China, as is true elsewhere, has focused on U.S. force posture revisions more than any other aspect of President Obama’s Asia policy.49 In response, leading U.S. officials have made major policy speeches both in Washington and the region aimed at underscoring the breadth of the U.S. agenda in Asia, including Leon Panetta at the PLA Engineering Academy of Armored Forces in Beijing and Tom Donilon at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. In previewing Obama’s second term, Donilon noted explicitly that the rebalancing to Asia is a ‘‘multi-/dimensional strategy’’ that ‘‘harnesses every element of our national power.’’50 U.S. officials will have to continue sending these messages both rhetorically and through action. As the U.S. shift to Asia continues to evolve, additional resources must gotoward diplomatic, social, and economic initiatives. The Obama administration has taken initial steps with the Asia—/Pacific Strategic Engagement Initiative (APSEI) and the new U.S. mission to ASEAN in Jakarta, Indonesia. Particularly as future security agreements come online, it will be increasingly necessary for the U.S. government to credibly make the case that defense policy is only one piece of a much broader agenda that includes investment, trade, development, tourism, and other forms of cultural exchange. Cooperative activities in energyand health announced by the White House at the conclusion of the 2012 East Asia Summit demonstrate the types of non-/securityefforts where the United States can contributemuch-/needed assets and expertise to the region.51 It will likely prove impossible to perfectlyreconcile the rebalancing effort with buildingpositive and cooperative U.S.—/China relations, but it is imperative that the United States doeswhat it can to lower the dissonance between thesecritical objectives. U.S. China policy will have to remain focused on managing the consequences of an insecure Beijing and preventing relations from spiraling downward. At the same time, rebalancing, even as it continues apace,should emphasize non-/security dimensions, as well as the ways in which U.S.activities are strengthening relations with China and serving the interests of theregion. No matter what, U.S. policymakers will need to go to great lengths to sustain the level of political engagement with Beijing necessary both to maintain stable U.S.—/China relations and to permit the rebalancing effort to go forward.
A-to “Pivot Fails – budget cuts”
The current budget is more than sufficient to have a substantial enough military presence
Dr. Janine Davidson is senior fellow for defense policy at the Council on Foreign Relations. Her areas of expertise include defense strategy and policy, military operations, national security, and civil-military relations, “What Hawks and Doves Both Miss on the Asia Pivot,” April 28, http://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2014/04/what-hawks-and-doves-both-miss-asia-pivot/83341/
Next, recognizing that the U.S. military presence was heavily weighted in the northeast, the rebalance called for increased presence and engagement with countries to the south, such as Australia, Singapore, Thailand, and the Philippines. Up to 2,500 Marines will conduct regular six-month deployments to Darwin, Australia for exercises with Australian and other regional forces; while two new littoral combat ships will stage out of Singapore to conduct exercises with various Southeast Asian militaries. Other moves include the Navy’s posturing of 60 percent of its fleet in the region and new access and cooperation agreements with the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.Meanwhile, the President’s visit to Japan underscores the increased military assets the U.S. has recently committed, including increased global hawk rotations to monitor the contested areas around the Senkaku islands, a second missile defense early warning radar and the forward-deployment of two more AEGIS ballistic missile defense ships focused on the threat from North Korea. Contrary to popular critiques, this military presence is neither provocatively aimed at China nor insignificantly robust. Nor is it unsustainable. Sure, the U.S. is downsizing. But even with the cuts being taken, the U.S. military’s base (non-war) budget is still $136 billion more in 2015 dollars than in 2001. This is more than a reasonable level of investment to sustain America’s commitment to the Asia-Pacific.
A-to “Alt causes – other things = effect Asia Pivot”
Yes, many issues confront the US’s Asia Pivot – but the 370 search helps overcomes alt causes. It speaks to broader themes that reassure the region of US leadership.
Yang Hengjun is a Chinese independent scholar. He once worked in the Chinese Foreign Ministry and as a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council in Washington, DC. Yang received his Ph.D. from the University of Technology, Sydney in Australia – “What Flight MH370 Tells Us About the US in Asia” – The Diplomat – March 21st – http://thediplomat.com/2014/03/what-flight-mh370-tells-us-about-the-us-in-asia/
In theMH370 incident,China may suffer the largest loss of life. Malaysia may run into an unexpected drop in tourism recession and financial problems. It is rare for a pilot to hijack a plane, and to create such a large incident is even rarer. This will fundamentally shake the world’s confidence in the reputation and national governance ofMalaysia. Vietnam’s efforts seem to have been in vain and the neighboring countries are still in shock. Only the United States, with its indisputable soft and hard power, uses the incident of Flight 370to wordlessly announce: I have returned to Asia! If an air crash occurs in the Americas, the United States would be the unquestioned leader of an investigation. If such an incident happened in Europe, both France and the UK have considerable strength, and the U.S. would also rush to assist. If in Africa, the U.S., UK, Germany and France would rush to the rescue. But what about Asia? Which country should Malaysia have turned to in the first moment to seek help? In the past twelve days spent searching for both the plane and the truth, the U.S. has not only shown itself as alone in possessing the most sophisticated search and rescue technology, but has also displayed advanced human intelligence that far surpasses that of all other countries in this region. Didn’t all of the information finally confirmed as correct come from the U.S. media and “relevant persons” in America? There are three pillars for the U.S. to return to Asia. First, to strengthen alliance relationships such as those between the U.S. and Japan, South Korea and Australia. Second, to effectively manage relations with China,which is the so-called “new type great power relations.” Third, to use American soft and hard power to demonstrate its irreplaceable role in the Asia-Pacific region.The MH370incident thus provides a rare opportunity for America.
A-to “Pivot fails b/c of European focus”
( ) Europe won’t distract from Asia Pivot – Obama Trip proves.
Richard Weitz, Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute – “Obama’s Trip Aimed to Rightsize the Pivot, Not Threaten Beijing” – China-US Focus – May 13, 2014 – http://www.chinausfocus.com/foreign-policy/obamas-trip-aimed-to-rightsize-the-pivot-not-threaten-beijing/
The unfavorable Chinese media coverage of President Barack Obama’s recent Asian trip reflects the mistaken impression that the president’s tour was designed to rally regional partners against Beijing. In fact, the president’s sojourn had many goals, but stirring up tensions between China and its neighbors in order to contain Beijing was not one of them. The main objectiveswere to reassure the region that the United States was not overly distracted by Ukraine; to dilute the military edge of the Asian Pivot caused by U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s effective tour a few weeks earlier; to deter North Korean aggression and reassure allies about security threats, and to reduce tensions between Japan and South Korea. Washington policy makers are still assessing the global impact of Russian aggression against Ukraine. Much depends on how events will unfold in the coming months. Relations between Russia and the West will clearly be strained for years, since Putin looks unlikely to return the Crimea to Ukraine, and it is unclear whether Russia will attempt to acquire additional former Soviet territories. The U.S. military presence in Europe will probably see a modest rise in order to assure U.S. allies that are anxious about their security. One concern is how the events in Ukraine will affect Asian international relations. Some fear that Russia’s successful annexation of a disputed territory through the use of force will encourage Asian governments to try to resolve their own territorial disputes. But Moscow’s successful war against Georgia in 2008 had no such effect. Ukraine is a weak military power without strong international security ties, whereas the Asian boundary disputes involve countries with powerful conventional forces, and in some cases, nuclear forces. Potential aggressors in Asia cannot exploit a strong fifth column equivalent to the ethnic Russians in Ukraine. The North Koreans in Japan can hardly declare a separatist government there, while the overseas Chinese are generally better assimilated in their countries of residence than the ethnic Russians were in Ukraine, many of whom genuinely wanted to join Russia. Even so, President Obama sought to reassure local allies that the increased U.S. military presence in Europe would not weaken U.S. military capabilities or commitments in Asia. This problem arises mainly because the Pentagon’s Asian rebalancing has been modest, with few new deployments. While the relative percentage of U.S. military assets in the Asia-Pacific region has been rising, this trend has been balanced by a decrease in absolute U.S. capabilities. For example, as the U.S. Navy retires ships in Europe without replacing them, the percentage of the remaining ships elsewhere rises automatically. Although the United States now has a 10-year basing agreement with the Philippines, the Pentagon has considerably fewer soldiers, sailors, and marines to send there than it did in the 1970s, when the Philippines hosted several massive military bases. And the Philippine armed forces hardly represent a threat to China.
The pivot is not about absolute diplomatic focus – it’s about improving attention to Asia.
Dr. Janine Davidson is senior fellow for defense policy at the Council on Foreign Relations. Her areas of expertise include defense strategy and policy, military operations, national security, and civil-military relations, “What Hawks and Doves Both Miss on the Asia Pivot,” April 28, http://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2014/04/what-hawks-and-doves-both-miss-asia-pivot/83341/
President Obama’s long awaited trip to Asia has highlighted the ongoing debate about the military part of the “rebalance.” Criticism comes from all sides. Those who claim the Obama administration has not matched its verbal commitment to the region with real action or military investment are countered by others who worry that the policy is overly militaristic and provocative. Depending on the perspective, China is either going unchecked or being provoked, both of which would lead to instability if not corrected. But this China-centric debate misses the bigger pointabout the role America plays in the region and the way that role is changing. The network of alliances and partnerships the U.S. has developed with over a dozen countries throughout the region represents the foundation of America’s Asia-Pacific policy – and is our most important asset. It is sustained multilateral engagement focused on promoting cooperative approaches to stability and security among these allies and partners, not swelling U.S. force deployments aimed at preparing for war against China, that will be the real benchmark of success for the rebalance.Contrary to common misperceptionthe rebalance was never designed as a zero-sum “pivot” from Europe or the Middle East to Asia. Rather it was meant to rebalance attention and resources back to Asia after a decade of large-scale counterinsurgency operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. For instance, throughout the last decade, Marines normally postured in Okinawa, Japan were nearly perpetually deployed from the region to support operations in the Middle East. Air assets in the region and army units based in Korea were periodically pulled from their forward stationed bases to support the two wars. Although, as I have previously written, the non-military elements of the rebalance to Asia are predominant, the military shifts are not insignificant. In terms of physical changes to U.S. military presence across the region, what the U.S. has decided to keep in Asia is as important as what it decided to add. Many forget that the Bush administration had initiated a downsizing of the U.S. military presence in Korea, which in turn understandably fueled concern about America’s commitment. Therefore, one of the first steps of the rebalance was to halt that repositioning and to announce the U.S. would sustain a robust presence in both Korea and Japan (28,500 and 50,000 military respectively).
( ) Obama’s Asia trip occurred during Ukraine crisis – proves Pivot has focus.
Andrew Hammond – reporter for the Business Times – “Obama's Asia trip has been a notable success; He has secured goal of re-assuring key allies about enduring US commitments to region” – The Business Times Singapore – April 30, 2014 – lexis
BARACK Obama finished a landmark week-long Asia visit yesterday in Manila followingthe signing of the US-Philippine defence cooperation treaty. This is an important step enabling greater rotation through the country of US ships, sharing of local bases, and aircraft and troops. The US president's trip, which also included stop-offs in Japan, South Korea and Malaysia, has proved highly successful in achieving the over-riding US goal of re-assuring these allies about enduring US security, political and economic commitments. And it has also sent a clear message to neighbouring states, including China, about the US intent to continue to place greater strategic emphasis on the region (commonly known as the Asia-Pacific pivot), despite deep involvement in other areas of the world. These are simple but crucial messages at a time of significant geo-political turbulence and tension - both in the region and beyond. The trip, for instance, came at a moment when US foreign policy attention remains diverted by events in Ukraine which many in Asia-Pacific are watching closely as a potential signal for how Washington might respond to future Chinese belligerence.
Yes, US gets drawn-in
( ) Serious South China Sea conflicts draw-in the US.
The Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI) is a non-profit, non-partisan tax-exempt organization that promotes continued U.S. engagement--diplomatic, economic, and military—in the world. FPI deploys a range of writers for its pieces. The Executive Director of FPI is Chris Griffin – who previously served as legislative director to Senator Joseph I. Lieberman (ID-CT) – “FPI Analysis: America’s Stabilizing Role in the South China Sea Conflict” – Sept 4th – http://www.foreignpolicyi.org/content/fpi-analysis-america%E2%80%99s-stabilizing-role-south-china-sea-conflict#sthash.aUJoHJvo.dpuf
China’s increasingly assertive tone and posture in the South China Sea conflict affects America’s security and economic interests in the Asia-Pacific region. For one, the sea’s shipping lanes are critically important to the United States. Over $1 trillion in U.S. trade flows through the sea. Indeed, the forward deployment of U.S. Naval forces, such as the Seventh Fleet, in the Asia-Pacific helps to ensure and protect the continued flow of that trade. For another, while Washington may not be a direct claimant in the South China Sea’s maritime and territorial disputes, many of its regional partners and treaty allies are claimants—and they look to the United States as a pillar of security and stability in the region. A serious and protracted military clash between or among claimants in the seacould damage the regional and global economy, and potentially invoke America’s mutual defense treaty obligationsto the Philippines and shared security interests with other regional partners.As an integral part of America’s “rebalance” towardsthe Asia-Pacific region, Washington should therefore more publicly support efforts to get China and ASEAN to engage and conclude a binding code of conduct over the South China Sea. In addition, the United States should continue to encourage rival claimants to explore various options for joint development of the sea’s hydrocarbon and food resources, with the aim of moving the various maritime and territorial disputes further away from a zero-sum situation. At the same time, the United States should also hedge against the danger of flare-ups in the South China Sea,and continue efforts to help build up the defensive deterrent capabilities of its strategic partnersin the Asia-Pacific region, especially its longtime treaty ally, the Philippines. Washington’s plans to help Manila establish National Coast Watch Centers are an important development. As part of that effort, the Philippines—which has signaled openness to a rotational presence of U.S. Armed Forces in the country—needs assistance not only in acquiring land-based radar and other intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities that can improve its situational awareness of its coastlines, but also in establishing a more modern navy and coast guard.
( ) US-Sino war would escalate— treaty obligations confirm.
(Ted Galen – senior fellow at the Cato Institute, July 10, “The Roiling South China Sea Dispute”, The National Interest, http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-skeptics/the-roiling-south-china-sea-dispute-7178)
Thealways troublesomeSouth China Sea territorial dispute between China and its neighbors isheating up again. Vietnam and the Philippines currently present the principal challenges to China’s expansive claims in those waters. Unfortunately, Washington seems inclined to back those challenges, which creates the danger of entanglingthe United States in this emotional dispute. Tensions flared this spring when the Philippines deployed several ships around Scarborough Shoal (which China calls Huangyan Island) to strengthen its claim. Beijing reacted harshly to that move, gradually sending numerous fishing vessels and naval-patrol boats to the area. It appeared that the bilateral quarrel was easing in June when the government of Benigno S. Aquino ordered his country’s ships to leave the area. The Chinese foreign ministry promptly praised that move as a welcome, conciliatory gesture. But the cordial atmosphere between the two countries soon faded. Reports circulated that the Aquino government intended not only to have the Philippine ships return to the disputed waters but also that Manila would ask theUnited States to initiate patrols by aerial drones to monitor Chinese moves in the area. Although Aquino later denied that his government is seeking such patrols, Beijing’s reaction to the reports was just short of furious. An editorial in China Daily accused Manila of being “obsessed with playing the role of troublemaker in the South China Sea.” The latest episode, the editorial went on, “shows Manila is determined to drag Washington into its maritime dispute with China. By seeking backup from the U.S. in its quarrel with Beijing, Manila has ignored the goodwill shown by Beijing and is trying hard to complicate the issue.” Unfortunately, Washington’s behavior over the past year gives some credibility to China’s accusations. While attending an economic summit in Bali in November 2011, President Obama went out of his way to highlight the importance of the U.S. defense alliance with the Philippines and pledged to strengthen the relationship. Chinese officials considered his comment worrisome because it immediately followedSecretary of State Clinton’s strongly pro-Philippines statements regarding the rival claims in the South China Sea. “Any nation with a claim has a right to exert it,” Clinton said during a visit to Manila on November 16, “but they do not have a right to pursue it through intimidation or coercion.” She added that “the United States will always be in the corner of the Philippinesand we willstand and fight with you.” The Obama administration backed up such rhetoric in early 2012 with a decision to deploy additional troops to that country—ostensibly to assist the Manila government in combating terrorism. Such rhetorical meddlingis especially troubling because theUnitedStates has a defense treaty with the Philippines. If Chinese and Philippine forcesever come to blows in the South China Sea, Washington is going to be in an awkward and dangerous position. There certainly will be pressure, both from domestic hawks and other U.S. allies in East Asia, not to appease China. But the potential damage to the crucial bilateral relationship with China if the United States chose to back the Philippines militarily—even if outright war could be averted—is enormous. As the world’s leading maritime power, the United States is understandably concerned about the South China Sea territorial dispute—especially China’s breathtaking claims to well over half of the waters. Beijing’s position has important economic and strategic implications. Many of the crucial oceanic routes leading to Japan, South Korea and other countries in East Asia run through theSouth China Sea. Chinese control of that body of water would give Beijing a grip on the economic jugularsof all of those nations and might cause Washington’s East Asian allies to reassess their close ties to the United States. Nevertheless, the Obama administration should be wary of embroiling the United States in the South China Sea dispute by reflexively backing Manila’s position. It would not be the first time that a small client state, emboldened by the perceived backing of a large, powerful patron, managed toentangle that patron ina dangerous quarrel. Washington needs to back off.
Yes, goes nuclear
( ) US-Sino war goes nuclear. Crisis management and hotlines won’t check
Note: when this card has a line that reads “it says”, it is referencing a 42-page report by the Washington DC-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Ask your lab leaders about the CSIS and the PONI (Project on Nuclear Issues) – several of them have worked for that organization and will have unique insights. The study at hand was prepared by the CSIS’ Project on Nuclear Issues. The Tapiei Time article was written by William Lowther, who is the Washington DC staff writer for that organization and he is citing a report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, 3-16-2013, “Taiwan could spark nuclear war: report,” Taipei Times, http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2013/03/16/2003557211
“Although Beijing and Washington have agreed to a range of crisis management mechanisms, such as the Military Maritime Consultative Agreement and the establishment of a direct hotline between the Pentagon and the Ministry of Defense, the bases for miscommunication and misunderstanding remain and draw ondeep historical reservoirs of suspicion,” the report says. For example, it says, it is unclear whether either side understands what kinds of actions would result in a military or even nuclear responseby the other party. To make things worse, “neither side seems to believe the other’s declared policies and intentions, suggesting that escalation management, already a very uncertain endeavor, could beespecially difficultin any conflict,” it says. Although conflict “mercifully” seems unlikely at this point, the report concludes that “it cannot be ruled out and may become increasingly likely if we are unwise or unlucky.” The report says: “With both sides possessing and looking set to retain formidable nuclear weapons arsenals, such a conflict would be tremendously dangerous and quite possibly devastating.”
A-to “China not interested in South China Sea”
( ) China is interested – SCS is definite flashpoint
Christopher – AP Writer, “Few Barriers to China's Push in South China Sea,” May 21, http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/barriers-chinas-push-south-china-sea-23806146?singlePage=true
China's planting of an oil platform in contested waters off Vietnam drew robust complaints from Hanoi, a messy standoff between ships and violent protests among Vietnamese — but nothing to dislodge the rig and no broader pushback in the region.¶ Southeast Asian countries, with diverging interests and wariness of angering Beijing, have so far shunned any collective action that might halt China as it relentlessly nudges forward its sovereignty claims in disputed seas seen as a possible flashpoint for the world's next major conflict.¶Despite its accusations of Chinese bullying, Vietnam can expect little in the way of concrete outside help as its patrol boats continue to spar with Chinese vessels guarding the rig in the South China Sea.¶ "The divisions already existed (among Southeast Asian countries), but China is very adept at exploiting them," said Ian Storey, an expert on regional politics at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore.¶ "At the end of the day, Vietnam is on its own," Storey said.¶ In a rare show of mutual support, the leaders of Vietnam and fellow China antagonist the Philippines met Wednesday to declare they would oppose "illegal" Chinese actions in the South China Sea.¶ Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, standing beside President Benigno Aquino III after they held talks in Manila, called on the world to condemn China for causing what he called an "extremely dangerous" situation in the South China Sea by deploying the oil rig.¶ But the overall lack of unity and decisive action among Southeast Asian nations has encouraged China as it looks to cement its claim to virtually the entire South China Sea, its island groups and its maritime wealth — including potentially significant deposits of petroleum needed to keep the Chinese economy booming.¶ China calibrates the pitch of its assertiveness depending on surrounding events and the amount of push-back it receives. So far, its actions have mainly targeted the Philippines and Vietnam, while other countries that also claim parts of the South China Sea such as Malaysia and Brunei are left alone. To avoid escalating matters too quickly, China generally relies on its coast guard rather than the navy when confronting ships of other nations.¶ It isn't clear why China chose May 1 to move the rig from the state-run China National Offshore Oil Corporation into position about 32 kilometers (20 miles) from the China-controlled Paracel Islands and 278 kilometers (173 miles) from the coast of Vietnam.¶ While China says that's simply part of its ongoing search for resources, some have speculated it was a deliberate test of Vietnamese resolve and a warning to Hanoi against closer security ties with the Beijing's main rival, the U.S.¶ "It seems to be a put-up-or-shut-up move," said Carl Thayer, a Vietnam and regional security expert at Australia's University of New South Wales.¶ China's action was met with immediate, though apparently fruitless, opposition by Vietnam, which also claims the Paracels and says the rig is inside its exclusive economic zone.¶ Hanoi sent ships to harry Chinese craft protecting the rig.¶ Anti-Chinese anger, ever-present in Vietnam, bubbled to the surface last week in violent attacks that left at least two Chinese workers dead and 140 injured. Thousands of Chinese have since been evacuated by sea and air.¶ The latest confrontation is among several Chinese moves bolstering its hold on the South China Sea since around 2008. China has expelled Philippine fishing boats from reefs and atolls, built scattered military outposts, demanded that foreign countries apply for permission to fish in the area, and dispatched a naval flotilla to reassert Chinese sovereignty over James Shoal off the coast of Borneo — a full 1,500 kilometers (930 miles) south of China's island province of Hainan.¶ Despite scattered protests and steps by its neighbors to shore up their own presence in the area, nothing has effectively impeded China's progress.¶ Storey said both the Philippines and Vietnam dearly desire the backing of their fellow members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in their disputes with China. The grouping had shown some degree of unity in the 1990s, closing ranks behind the Philippines in an earlier territorial dispute with China, he said.¶ However China's growing clout, politically and economically, has sapped the group's resolve. So has the entry into ASEAN of Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar, all of which have strong ties to Beijing and no direct stake in the South China Sea dispute, Storey said.¶ This month's ASEAN summit, about a week after China installed its rig off Vietnam's coast, expressed concern about maritime disputes but did not even mention China by name.¶ Some Southeast Asian countries also may want to stay out of what they suspect are moves that are actually directed at the U.S., which has been increasingly critical of what it describes as Chinese provocations, said Tan See Seng, of Singapore's Nanyang Technological University.¶ China chafes at U.S. dominance, including its security alliances with the Philippines and others, and has long sought to curtail U.S. intelligence gathering and military operations in the South China Sea.¶ Washington's moves to beef up its presence in Asia after a decade of war in the Middle East have particularly riled Beijing, which says that is emboldening its neighbors and raising tensions.¶ "Why draw unwanted attention to oneself if a backlash only strengthens Chinese suspicions that one is indeed in cahoots with the Americans," Tan said.¶ So far, the U.S. has offered mere rhetorical support for Beijing's rivals, saying issues must be resolved peacefully and without hindering navigation.¶ "We just need to cool off, move in a deliberate manner and hopefully solve this diplomatically," U.S. Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert said Monday when asked about the China-Vietnam dispute.¶ Such statements pale in comparison to strong U.S. assertions of support for treaty partner Japan, with whom China is engaged in a dangerous feud over uninhabited islands in the East China Sea that are controlled by Japan but claimed by both.¶ China may be hurting its reputation by being seen as bullying smaller countries in a region where it wants to be seen as a benign regional overlord that will one day replace the U.S.¶ Yet Beijing apparently has calculated that strong trade and investment ties with the region will head off any major rift, Tan said.¶ "China seems prepared to absorb any short-term costs its actions might incur for what it perceives is the fundamental strategic gain of ensuring its rise is not unduly, and — in its view — unfairly constrained by the U.S. and its partners," Tan said.¶ Although China says its oil rig will cease drilling at the start of typhoon season in August, Beijing seems likely to keep raising the stakes in the South China Sea.¶ One way would be by declaring an air defense zone over all or part of the area, similar to what it did last year over a wide swath of the East China Sea. Storey called the move "only a matter of time."
A-to “Pivot bad – pulls from Europe”
( ) Pivot forces won’t come from Europe. Will come from Afghanistan draw-down.
(Col Vivek Chadha (Retd) is a Research Fellow at Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses -- ASIAN STRATEGIC REVIEW: US Pivot and Asian Security – a book edited by S.D. Muni, Vivek Chadha – From Chapter Three: “Military Implications of the
US Rebalancing Strategy” – by Vivek Chadha – http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CCUQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fidsa.in%2Fsystem%2Ffiles%2Fbook_ASR2013.pdf&ei=AY-XU8rjNuaO8gG3g4CQBg&usg=AFQjCNG_ooiEIMhuGCnMzg7oy_t67sZTgQ)
The pull-out from Iraq and the drawdown from Afghanistan is likely to release forces, which will be available for deployment elsewhere.29 Given the shift in focus towards the Asia-Pacific, this surplus is likely to find its way into the region. The large financial allocations for countering insurgency in the past, could also find its way into conventional forays in priority areas like the Asia-Pacific. This could potentially release funds, which will not only offset budgetary constraints as a result of sequestration but also provide the additional outlay for force accretion and modernisation. However, there are contradictory views on the subject, which will be analysed later in the paper.
( ) Cutting troop commitments to Europe would not compromise deterrence or security.
Dr. Sean Kay is a Professor in the Department of Politics and Government at Ohio Wesleyan University specializing in international politics, international security, international organizations, and U.S. foreign and defense policy. He is also the Director of the Arneson Institute for Practical Politics and Public Affairs and Chair of the International Studies Program. Sean Kay is a Mershon Associate at the Mershon Center for International Security Studies at Ohio State University and a Non-Resident Fellow at the Eisenhower Institute in Washington, D.C. specializing in international security. “America’s Asia Pivot – A Return to Realism?” – Working Paper Prepared for the Center for International Security and Peace Studies – October 2013 – http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CB8QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fcepsi-cipss.ca%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2014%2F02%2FSeanKay-Workingpaper_5x5.pdf&ei=jI6XU7a8JcW28AHGrIDgCg&usg=AFQjCNF0wKneKLskCakFk_XB9wZA6xhanQ
Europe is the region most immediately affected by the pivot concept as it is the part of the world where the logic for dramatic realignments of America’s role is highest. During the Cold War, and in the two decades after, Europe received priority attention from the United States. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was seen in the Clinton administration as a major area of consolidation of post-Cold War gains as spreading democracy in Central and Eastern Europe became a major new mission for the United States – including fighting a war to liberate Kosovo from oppressive Serb crackdowns in 1999. Europe was also seen as an important place from which to move American forces to project power into the Persian Gulf region in a crisis. The Bush administration continued policies like NATO enlargement and missile defense deployments while seeing Europe as a region from which to pick and choose coalitions of the willing in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since 1989, the US had made dramatic force reductions in Europe from well over 300,000 to 80,000 by 2013 with further reductions ongoing (down to 30,000 landforces by 2015). Still, by 2010, half of America’s overseas deployed forces were based in Europe.52 The case for a deeper transatlantic alignment was exacerbated by growing American frustrations over burdensharing inequities. The European allies were capable to police their own neighborhood. However, mired in the Eurozone crisis, and with no significant threat even remotely on the horizon, Europeans should not be spending more on defense. America was, however, in a position to incentivize its European allies to pool resources by signaling deeper cuts in America’s presence there. The United States could go to almost zero ground troops in Europe while still affirming its commitment to collective defense in NATO.In fact, while implementing deep cuts in ground forces, it was also realigning the priorities in the transatlantic relationship – focusing American’s role in Europe on collective defense, via ballistic missile defense, and re-investing in trade by beginning negotiations on a US-EU trade agreement.
A-to Deterrence-related K’s
Note to students: this is preliminary – more Aff work on this as the deterrence K gets released.
( ) Particularity first – The Deterrence K increases the risk of this specific context.
(et al; Dr. Ely Ratner Senior Fellow and Deputy Director of the Asia-Pacific Security Program, Center for a New American Security – “Roiling the Waters” – Foreign Policy – Jan-Feb – http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2014/01/21/roiling_the_waters)
U.S. officials have been careful to avoid provoking a China that appears increasingly willing to flex its newfound military muscle. Perhaps that's why Biden invoked his father's advice in warning on the eve of his Beijing visit that "the only conflict that is worse than one that is intended is one that is unintended." But an overemphasis on stability can be dangerous. While preventing inadvertent war in Asia is obviously a worthy goal, it is just as important to discourage China from believing that it can employ economic, military, and diplomatic coercion to settle international disagreements without triggering a serious response. Making the risk of escalation too low will at some point start running counter to U.S. interests.Why? Because China is taking advantage of Washington's risk aversion by rocking the boat, seeing what it can extract in the process, and letting the United States worry about righting it. Beijing's playbook of tailored coercion relies in part on China's confidence that it can weather ephemeral international outrage while Washington takes responsibility for ensuring the situation doesn't get out of control. This means that reducing the likelihood of escalation through high-level strategic dialoguesand military-to-military hotlines, however important, is in and of itself insufficient to curb Chinese assertiveness.History has demonstrated the perils of focusing too much on stability at the expense of deterrence. The Cuban missile crisis, the modern world's closest brush with the apocalypse, was precipitated by Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev's perception that the United States, especially President John F. Kennedy, was overly concerned about stability and cooling tensions between the superpowers. Khrushchev's sense that America could be pushed was formed by Kennedy's cautious reactions to assertive Soviet moves toward Berlin, as well as Khrushchev's measure of Kennedy at the 1961 Vienna superpower summit as "weak" and accommodating. Over the following year and a half, Khrushchev and the Soviet Union sought to exploit what they perceived to be shaky American resolve, pressing in Berlin, where East Germany built a wall closing off the free part of the city, and secretly deploying nuclear-armed missiles to Cuba. Only through a demonstrated willingness on the part of Kennedy to go to the nuclear brink -- with U.S. nuclear forces on high alert and U.S. naval forces prepared to forcibly halt Soviet ships attempting to run the blockade (accompanied by a U.S. concession on missile deployments in Turkey) -- was the United States able to get Moscow to back down. Needless to say, restraint and a willingness to negotiate were elemental to a peaceful resolution of the crisis, but only in the context of a major mobilization of U.S. forces against Cuba, the elevation of the U.S. alert level to Defcon 2 (one step short of nuclear war), and chilling threats designed to convince the Soviets that conciliation was the only viable move. OF COURSE, CHINA IS NOT THE SOVIET UNION. And 2014 is not 1962. The point is simply that a country with the power of the USSR or China, unsatisfied with features of the existing order, motivated to do something to change it, and skeptical of the resolve of the United States, could well pursue a policy of coercion and brinkmanship, even under the shadow of nuclear weapons. As historian Francis Gavin has argued, the whole history of the Cold War shows that countries like China -- and, at times, the United States -- can bluff, coerce, and threaten their way to geopolitical gain.The worst way to deal with such a power is to leave it with the impression that these approaches work. Just as the United States would have been far better off if Kennedy, at the Vienna summit, had squelched Khrushchev's doubts about his resolve to defend Berlin, it will be far better if the leadership in Beijing has the clear sense that the United States will meet each challenge to its and its allies' interests resolutely. Taking a cue from history, the United States needs to inject a healthy degree of risk into Beijing's calculus, even as it searches for ways to cooperate with China. This does not mean abandoning engagement or trying to contain China, let alone fomenting conflict.But it does mean communicating that Beijing has less ability to control escalation than it seems to think. China must understand that attempts to roil the waters could result in precisely the kinds of costs and conflicts it seeks to avoid. To make this work, the United States should pursue policies that actually elevate the risks -- political, economic, or otherwise -- to Beijing of acting assertively. On the high seas, the focal point for the region's territorial disputes, China has bullied its neighbors by relying on non-military vessels. China is using its rapidly expanding coast guard to assert its expansive sovereignty claims by harassing non-Chinese fishermen, oil companies, and military vessels that pass through contested waters in the East and South China seas. This has the benefit of exploiting China's dominant numerical advantage while keeping the U.S. Navy on the sidelines. Washington should blur the false distinction between non-military and military shipsby stating that it will respond tophysical coercion and the use of force as deemed appropriate -- regardless of whether the perpetrator is a white- or gray-hulled ship. Exercises that practice U.S. naval operations against aggressive non-military vessels would be a good place to start. So would calling upon China to end its illegal occupation of the disputed Scarborough Shoal off the Philippine coast, while contesting Chinese administration there by sending the U.S. Navy through the area to assert its right to freedom of navigation. The Chinese PLA Navy, for its part, hasn't been shy to test the waters. In early December, the U.S. Pacific Fleet revealed that the guided-missile cruiser USS Cowpens, while shadowing China's new aircraft carrier on a routine mission in international seas, was forced to take evasive action when a PLA Navy warship attached to the carrier group approached on a collision course, literally forcing the cruiser into a game of chicken. "The Chinese knew what they were doing," a military official told CNN. Beyond the sea, the United States must demonstrate a willingness to push back militarily when China attempts to coerce America's allies and partners. To do this, the U.S. military needs capabilities and plans that not only prepare it for major war, but that also offer plausible, concrete options for responding to Chinese attempts to exploit America's perceived aversion to instability. Leaders throughout Asia will be watching. Too much caution, especially if China is clearly the initiator, may be read as U.S. weakness, thereby perpetuatingrather than diminishing China's incentives toward adventurism.
( ) The Alt can’t solve – underplaying Chinese aggression makes solutions impossible.
Edward Friedman is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He has worked in rural China, co-authoring Chinese Village, Socialist State (Yale University Press, 1993) and Revolution, Resistance, and Reform in Village China (Yale University Press, 2007) and serving as the major editor condensing and re-organizing Yang Jisheng’s great study of the Leap era famine Tombstone: The Great Chinese Famine, 1958-1962 (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012) for an English-reading public. ‘Time to Escalate ? Should the U.S. Make China Uncomfortable?” – China File – Jan 21st – please note that the top portion of this card is from the editors as they pose a question to Friedman. https://www.chinafile.com/time-escalate-should-us-make-china-uncomfortable
How should the United States respond to China’s new level of assertiveness in the AsiaPacific? In the past few months as Beijing has stepped up territorial claims around China’s maritime borders—and in the skies above them—the Obama administration has moved to soothe tensions, cool tempers and slow momentum toward potential conflict. In the January/February issue of Foreign Policy, Elbridge Colby and Ely Ratnerof the Center for a New American Security argue that when the U.S. plays peacemaker it encourages China to raise the stakes, pursuing ever greater levels of adventurism with the confidence that Washington will step in and make sure things don’t get truly out of hand. “China is taking advantage of Washington’s risk aversion by rocking the boat,” they write, “seeing what it can extract in the process and letting the United States worry about righting it.” Instead, they conclude, the U.S. ought to pursue a military and diplomatic strategy that includes lowering its tolerance of provocations at sea, deepening military ties with Japan, and building stronger alliances with other countries in the region “to inject a healthy degree of risk into Beijing’s calculus, even as it searches for ways to cooperate with China.” We asked ChinaFile Contributors to respond. —The Editors Responses (by Edward Friedman): Colby and Ratner perform an invaluable service by detailing how C.C.P. government foreign policy in the Asia-Pacific region is dangerously expansionist and a threat to China’s neighbors. Ruling groups in Beijing imagine China’s security as requiring a great expansion of Chinese power. Our two authors are absolutely correct that analysts who will not confront this reality are hiding the seriousness of the challenge.