Chinese premier threatens action against Japan
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao demanded the immediate release of a Chinese fishing boat captain, who has been held for two weeks, as Chinese-Japanese tension continued to rise.

Upping the Ante in China-Japan Clash
The escalating dispute between Beijing and Tokyo about Japan’s detention of a Chinese fishing boat captain is a challenge for Washington and raises concerns about Chinese maritime activities in the Asia Pacific, says CFR’s Sheila Smith.

China, Paint, Corner
China appears to have upped the ante a little more with its highest level intervention yet as Premier Wen Jiabao threatened ‘further’ action if the Chinese captain is not released immediately by Japanese authorities. One of the problems for China is that Japan is treating this as a legal, administrative issue that needs to be dealt with through due process. China, however, has made this into a political issue that would require political intervention in the justice system.

A summit of tensions in Pyongyang
While North Korea’s much-anticipated conference, which state media say will take place on September 28, could see the Dear Leader’s youngest son crowned as successor, it could also see a simmering conflict between the party and the military explode. The party has powerful players, but the Cheonan sinking is believed to have been masterminded by a general seeking an independent course.

Muddling Through to 2025
Global Governance 2025, a joint effort of the Atlantic Council and its global partners, offers a wide range of trajectories for the international system depending on whether we adequately address known threats. They are summarized as follows….

‘Peak Oil’ and the German Government – Military Study Warns of a Potentially Drastic Oil Crisis
A study by a German military think tank has analyzed how “peak oil” might change the global economy. The internal draft document — leaked on the Internet — shows for the first time how carefully the German government has considered a potential energy crisis.

Russian Navy and Defense Industry: Anxious August and Sober September
August was the cruelest month for the Russian navy in recent years. Not since the loss of the SSNM Kursk had the news been so bad. Moscow and much of central Russia had suffered through a seemingly unending heat wave that had made life miserable for all and started large- scale fires that proved difficult to control. Military units were deployed to fight the many fires. For the navy those fires brought material losses, embarrassment and a presidential reprimand. The cause of this were the material losses sustained at Supply Base 2512 for naval aviation outside Moscow, where firefighting efforts proved ineffective resulting in serious damage.

India third most powerful nation: US report
India is listed as the third most powerful country in the world after the US and China.

Biggest India-U.S. Defense Deal Set To Be Signed
India and the U.S. are likely to sign a $3.5 billion defense deal, the biggest ever between the two countries, according to a report released Sept. 22.

Indian Officers To Join USMC Exercise
India’s decision to participate in upcoming exercises at the U.S. Marine Corps base at Okinawa, Japan, is a clear signal that New Delhi will not go out of its way to please Beijing, a defense analyst here said.

Risk of small-scale attacks by al-Qaeda and its allies is rising, officials say
Al-Qaeda and its allies are likely to attempt small-scale, less sophisticated terrorist attacks in the United States, senior Obama administration officials said Wednesday, noting that it’s extremely difficult to detect such threats in advance.

Price spikes raise food concerns
Global prices of wheat and other staples are rising again after declines earlier this year. That could mean even higher costs for consumers in countries where floods, riots and insurrection can already drive up food costs independent of world trends.

China builds its own high-tech military
China’s military is nearly self-sufficient in building advanced weaponry following decades of importing aircraft, ships, submarines and missile technology, mainly from Russia, and the capability is raising new fears of Chinese military hegemony in Asia and arms exports to rogue states.

U.S. Import Dependence on China: Free Markets and National Defense
Americans buy a huge quantity of goods—ranging from audio-video equipment to clothing—made, or at least assembled, in China. The vast amounts involved raise the possibility of U.S. dependence on China. Heritage Foundation Asia economist Derek Scissors looked at the numbers and found that Chinese imports to the U.S. are concentrated in areas with little or no strategic value. This does not mean that dependence on China, or on other economic partners, is impossible.

Smart Multilateralism and the United Nations
Multilateralism is not an end in itself. It is one of many foreign policy tools, admittedly a very important one, in the diplomatic kit. For the United States, multilateralism faces its greatest challenge at the United Nations, where the all-too-frequent clash of worldviews between liberty and authoritarian socialism has stymied multilateralism more than facilitated it. If the United States is to advance its many interests in the world, it needs to pursue multilateral diplomacy in a smarter, more pragmatic manner.

Arms Control and Disarmament: Restoring the Role of the Nation-State System
The cause of the United States is the preservation of liberty, starting with its own. It is the most noble of callings, and U.S. leaders should never lose sight of this. The shortcomings of the U.N. system, particularly in arms control and disarmament, are increasingly focused, intentionally or unintentionally, on constraining our ability to defend liberty. The arms control and disarmament processes at the U.N. are being misused to disarm the defenders of liberty around the world, starting with the United States.

Chris van Avery is an Asia-Pacific FAO and Military Professor at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, and blogs on a variety of topics at The Yankee Sage.




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