US wants a new fleet in Asia, but military analysts say that’s unacceptable
BEIJING, (BM) – BulgarianMilitary.com continues to closely monitor the actions of the outgoing US President Donald Trump, at least as far as America’s military affairs are concerned. In recent weeks, the international media seems to have failed to cover a creeping idea from the Trump administration: the creation of a new US navy in Asia, especially around Singapore.
However, the Chinese online edition, which is owned by conglomerate Alibaba South China Morning Post, makes extensive material on this American idea. According to author Bhavan Jaipragas, a number of military analysts believe that this idea will not be realized. Their fulcrum is based on the fact that this is a kind of “test bubble” of the outgoing current US administration, and Joe Biden’s incoming one will burst the bubble and the idea will not see its realization.
Tensions between the United States and China have escalated significantly in recent years, including at the military level. China continues to resent the military dealings between the United States and Taiwan, seeing them as an attempt by Washington to interfere in the Communist Party’s domestic and foreign policies in Beijing. Military observers say such bad relations would be exacerbated if Biden embraces Trump’s idea and still deploys a new US navy off the coast of Singapore.
Positive news about China came this week directly from the Singapore Ministry of Defense, which categorically denied that any negotiations were held with Washington for a new fleet in Singapore waters. Singapore is trying to play the role of a neutral Switzerland. Although the island nation is an official partner of the United States, the rulers do not forget that it is still positioned in Asia and tries not to show so much affection for Washington. At least that’s the opinion of regional security expert Colin Koch.
Koch is convinced that the upcoming Biden administration will “burn” Trump’s hopes and in January will put an end to speculation about a new US navy in the region. Koch believes that the new US president is more sensitive to regional issues in Asia than the current President Trump. According to another analyst in the region, Olli Peka Sworsa, Trump’s proposal looks more like a “mental exercise”, but it has its purpose and it is to signal to Beijing that if Washington normalizes talks with the Asian country in the coming years, the possibility of a new navy exists and could become a long-term US military strategy.
There is no lack of opinion from the other “side of the barrier”. John Bradford, an analyst at RSIS, says the current seventh fleet located in Japan is significantly congested, so creating a new fleet in Asian waters would significantly ease the regime of the seventh fleet and ensure the security of US partners.
How did it all start?
The main idea was to create a new US Army fleet (First Fleet – ed.) At the crossroads of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. The proposal came from US Navy Secretary Kenneth Braithwaite. He also used John Bradford as the main reason – overloading the seventh fleet in Japan. According to Braithwaite, the new first US navy in Asia will have a greater deterrent effect, especially if they receive support from local partners in the form of Singapore and India.
However, there is a problem. Like most things in the last four years, the Trump administration is again failing to answer important questions, including: how big will this fleet be? What’s more, Braithwaite may have thrown a line into space that engages the military at various levels around the world to analyze and think strategically about the new US Navy, and it turns out that even this concept has not been discussed with the new chief. of the Pentagon Christopher Miller.
A military base in Singapore is also a “bubble”.
But why Singapore? Military analysts raise their eyebrows and wonder why the secretary of the US Navy said and chose Singapore as the new First Fleet base?
Of course, their surprise is quite logical, as the relationship between the city-state and Washington is excellent, but they are not a formal union. Yes, Singapore’s ports often house US nuclear submarines, the US military has access to specific military facilities and, of course, Singapore hosts warships and US reconnaissance aircraft.
But that does not mean a military alliance, as Prime Minister Lee Hsien Long has pointed out, who has made it clear that strategic relations with Washington do not mean that Singapore will take the United States if there is rivalry between China and the United States.
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