Tags: China | Coronavirus | Iran | Middle East | North Korea | Russia | Trump Administration | War on Terrorism

America's Enemies Flex Muscles During COVID-19

the you es es theodore roosevelt aircraft carrier with planes stacked on its deck
USS Theodore Roosevelt (Roslan Rahman/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 20 April 2020 04:33 PM

China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea have not let the COVID-19 pandemic stop them from testing America's resolve.

China, where the novel coronavirus is believed to have started, is continuing making moves in the South China sea to gain a foothold in the Spratly and Paracel island chains, The Wall Street Journal noted.

The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt has been docked in Guam amid an outbreak of coronavirus. The ship had been a major deterrent against China's moves in the area.

The USS Ronald Reagan is the only other aircraft carrier deployed in the Pacific, and it is undergoing maintenance in Japan, Time reports. The Navy has quarantined the crew of the U.S.S. Nimitz in Bremerton, Washington, making it unavailable. 

That gives China the only carrier operating near the territorial waters of U.S. allies Japan and Taiwan, Time notes.

"I think some of this stuff is profoundly and clearly taking advantage of a bad situation," an administration official said.

"When the world and America are off-balance, it presents opportunities for our adversaries," former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel added. "They will continue to make every effort to assert themselves in this time. I don't believe we are ever adequately prepared for events like we are living through now, especially a global health pandemic."

North Korea, meanwhile, has reinstated missile tests that had been put on hold amid diplomatic efforts with Washington. And Russia test-fired an anti-satellite missile and buzzed U.S. Navy planes over the Mediterranean, the Journal quoted military officials as saying.

Iran has continued its own proxy war against the United States, with its militias and Taliban groups attacking U.S. forces in Iraq.

Such actions during trying times are nothing new, and the United States typically flexes back, thought usually through its own show of force. This time, circumstances have dictated the response be more through words than action.

"We will continue to carry out our mission assignments around the world in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, et cetera," Joint Chiefs Chairman General Mark Milley recently stated at a Pentagon briefing. "Our readiness is still high. Our readiness is still strong. We are able to deter and defeat any challenges that may seek to take advantage of these opportunities at this point of crisis."

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Testing America's resolve, China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea have not let the COVID-19 pandemic stop them.
pandemic, covid-19, enemies, pentagon, defense, uss theodore roosevelt, department
Monday, 20 April 2020 04:33 PM
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