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British Crown Figure Declares China To Be “Gravest Strategic Challenge;” Demands that U.S. Exert “Escalation Dominance”

British Crown Figure Declares China To Be “Gravest Strategic Challenge;” Demands that U.S. Exert “Escalation Dominance”


June 10, 2014 (LPAC)–In a a sharp polemic carried by the Singapore {Straits Times}, Dr. Jonathan Eyal, International Director at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), demands immediate, sharp, provocative actions against China.

“[I}t is clear that China has crossed a fundamental psychological barrier. Beijing is no longer engaged in just a reactive or theoretical assertion of its rights to territories and waters; China now sets the strategic agenda with pre-emptive actions which create irreversible facts on the ground. And China will continue doing so unless the United States and its allies — both in Asia and elsewhere — respond in a more coherent manner.”

Based in London, the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies, was founded in 1831, by the Duke of Wellington, and has as its President, HRH the Duke of Kent.

Eyal continued: “This is the most audacious and gravest strategic challenge to the US and its allies since the disappearance of the Soviet Union. Still, there are plenty of ways the US can effectively respond to this challenge without unleashing a war.”

“Incrementally, reefs and atolls are falling under Chinese de facto control and, once they do, are enlarged to project China’s military power even farther afield. Regardless of the imagery, the substance is the same: a set of supposedly small steps which, once undertaken, are irreversible and, over time, result in China gaining its territorial objectives.”

This demands escalation.

“The only way the US can counteract this is by gaining what strategy specialists call ‘escalation dominance’, by making it clear to Beijing that China is not the only country which controls how big or how small these confrontations are, and that China can never be sure of the strength of the US response. If, for instance, a small Chinese step in the South China Sea prompted a strong and disproportionately large US response, then Chinese military planners would have to think twice about their next step in the escalation process.”

As an example, Eyal uses Obama’s recent trip to the Philippines. “Had he announced the immediate stationing of some US Navy ships in the Philippines, that would almost certainly have forced a rethink of strategy in Beijing.”

But this did not happen, so “escalation dominance is still with China, precisely where it should not be.”

Eyal knows this is risky, but caution be damned:

“Given South-east Asia’s currently fraught security situation, it may seem odd to suggest that what the region needs is even more uncertainty. But, it’s only when Chinese decision-makers realize that they can’t predict how the US may react that Beijing current strategy may be reversed.”

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