The United States is poised to flex its military muscle if China or North Korea makes an aggressive move such as Russia has done against Ukraine, according to a report.
In recent months, the Wall Street Journal
reports, the U.S. Pacific Command in Hawaii has bolstered its plans in case either of the two nations commits any provocative acts in the region.
If an offensive move occurred, the U.S. military would show its force through B-2 bomber flights, by sailing an aircraft carrier close to Chinese waters and by beefing up surveillance.
President Barack Obama is visiting the region, and shortly before he arrived in the Philippines on Monday, the U.S. came to an agreement with that nation to return U.S. troops there. Last week, during a visit to Japan, Obama reiterated the U.S. partnership with the archipelago country.
"They're concerned. But it's not only about Crimea. It's a crescendo that's been building," a senior U.S. defense official told the Wall Street Journal regarding the administration's feelings on the region.
U.S. officials, the Journal reports, see the crisis between Russia and Ukraine as an example of what could happen in the Far East if China or North Korea decides to make an aggressive move.
The U.S. military has contingency plans for almost anything that occurs in the world. There were plans to deal with China and North Korea before, but they have been updated.
"Combatant commands plan . . . for everything from exercises and humanitarian assistance, disaster relief operations all the way up to full-scale combat operations," Pacific Command Capt. Chris Sims told the Journal. "In the plans that they create, options are provided to senior military and civilian leadership."
Last year, China declared an air-defense zone
that spanned more than 600 miles in international waters that separate Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, and China.
The U.S. responded by flying B-52s
through the zone, in response to
which China did nothing
When tensions with North Korea increased in 2013, U.S. bombers flew near that country too.
Any U.S. military actions would be intended to force China or North Korea to back down, not to start a war, the Journal reports. With a multi-pronged, calculated response, the U.S. would like to diffuse any situations that arise.
"Never push your enemy into a corner, because you might get a reaction you don't want," a U.S. official told the Journal.
In February, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger
said a war between China and Japan is increasingly likely.
"Asia is more in a position of 19th-century Europe, where military conflict is not ruled out," Kissinger said. "Between Japan and China, the issue for the rest of us is that neither side be tempted to rely on force to settle the issue."
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