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Monday, April 20, 2015

Warning Signs, Prelude to World War


By Erick San Juan
Balikatan (Photo credit: Val Rodriguez)
Balikatan (Photo credit: Val Rodriguez)
Having air and sea military exercises with other allied countries is not new especially if it’s a regular event based on agreements. But given the growing tensions among nations with common interest in certain territories, make the military exercise as a way of provocation or a threat to other neighboring territories.
Our own annual joint military exercises with the United States (later on joined by Australia) dubbed as ‘Balikatan’ started with the passage of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), since then the annual military exercise is considered as a regular exercise.
Considering the tensions in the contested areas in the South China Sea or West Philippine Sea with China, every year’s Balikatan is perceived as a pretext to a possible conflict that might lead to a shooting war. And it’s not just a regular conflict but a bigger one, considering the involvement of both the US and Australia that make the whole region nervous.
A pundit told me that the structures being built by China’s military in South China Sea/West Philippine Sea is not in preparation for a possible attack in the Philippines but China’s first line of defense just in case US make their move against mainland China. He added that China need not attack the Philippines from South China Sea bases because the Chinese slippers have been here for so long and basically control all walks of life of the Filipinos including our economy, local communities, politicians, law enforcers including the underworld. The pro-Beijing operatives learned from the Japanese invaders before and after the 2nd world war.
Same is true on the other side of the globe, in Europe the military drills dubbed ‘Exercise Joint Warrior’ include around 50 warships and submarines, 70 aircrafts and a total 13,000 military personnel.
Participating countries are NATO member states including the US, Germany, France and Turkey, as troops are prepared to respond to attacks and detect enemy vessels, underwater or aircraft in the skies.
Prior to the launch of the drills, the British Ministry of Defence (MoD) said the war games were not a response to any single country.
The MoD said in a statement: “There will be significant naval and aerial activity off the west and east coast of Scotland, including amphibious landings on the west coast.”
This comes after a Russian submarine reportedly ventured close to Scottish waters in recent weeks. Since the Ukraine crisis, there are growing concern that Russia has increased incursions by submarines and warplanes to test European and North American defenses since relations between Moscow and the West began to deteriorate.
The West accused Russia of having a hand in the crisis in eastern Ukraine, an allegation strongly rejected by Kremlin.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon accused President Putin of “subverting democracy” with his actions in eastern Ukraine and Crimea.
The ‘Exercise Joint Warrior’, which is held twice a year, is planned to continue until April 24. (By Rebecca Perring)
It has been over a year since the Ukranian crisis broke out and until this day a threat towards a broader conflict is looming among the NATO-member countries and Russia. The threat is real and the signs are clear leading to a possible world war.
Another interesting study by Michael Raska and Richard A. Bitzinger in the RSIS cited that last February 2013, the current Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Russia, and first Deputy Defence Minister, Gen. Valery Gerasimov, published an article in the Russian newspaper Military-Industrial Courier projecting the conceptual contours of future conflicts: the so-called “hybrid wars” or “non-linear wars.”
Underscoring Gerasimov’s concepts of “hybrid wars” are three mutually-reinforcing principles. First and foremost, it is the idea of the “permanency of conflict,” which blurs the boundaries between wartime and peacetime, space and time, as well as actors involved. In essence, ascertaining whether a state of war exists becomes increasingly difficult, particularly for the one under an attack. According to Gerasimov, 21st century conflicts in Africa and the Middle East show that prosperous and stable regimes can, within a short period of time – perhaps even in the space of a few days – transform into arenas of intense conflicts. These events may not reflect an official state of war, but their social, economic, and political implications for individual countries and their societies are comparable with the consequences of real wars.”
Like what is happening in our region, the race towards an arms race is a clear indication that we are all at war, perhaps unnoticed by some leaders but the mere fact that country like ours is actually fueling the military-industrial-complex by buying museum-grade military hardware. Once it started, it will never stop as tensions keep growing every day.
We are on the verge of having a real war in the offing and the present administration’s only concern now is the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law as soon as possible.
Unsolicited advice to the PNoy administration, please stop purchasing second hand and war vintage materiels. Our need is immediate. If our allies are serious in supporting us which many doubt, we have to acquire portable but brand new missiles, stingers and fast speed boats or ‘kumpit’ to fight a ‘Goliath’. Despite our Mutual Defense purchase agreement, we can request for a counter trade agreement due to budgetary constraint. If not lets all pray harder to avert a ‘rape with consent’ in the offing.

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