The drawbacks to a foreign policy of speak softly but carry a big hashtag are becoming evident re China:
Of course Hagel has to take this position. And the Chinese now have to bruster (a typo but I found it so funny that I can't correct it now) and protest, but would they have even expanded their ADIZ if they feared a tough response from the US?Using unusually strong language, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel took aim at Beijing's handling of territorial disputes with its Asian neighbors."In recent months, China has undertaken destabilizing, unilateral actions asserting its claims in the South China Sea," Hagel said.He warned Beijing that the United States was committed to its geopolitical rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region and "will not look the other way when fundamental principles of the international order are being challenged".Hagel said the United States took no position on the merits of rival territorial claims in the region, but added: "We firmly oppose any nation's use of intimidation, coercion, or the threat of force to assert these claims."
This is a president who wouldn't send rescue to Benghazi because a botched response would have hurt his chances for reelection. He won't send real help to Ukraine because he fears Putin. Heck, he couldn't even stop an interview to deal with a fly on his face.
Yes the Chinese protest this strong language, but they don't fear it. And if they've been paying attention to this president, they know that strong language and devastating hashtags is as far as this is going to go.
No, I'm not advocating escalation on our part. I'm saying we might not be at this point if we had shown a strong commitment to our allies for the last 5 years. I just hope China's neighbors don't escalate. There it is "hope".
Isn't hope and change what we were promised? Well I just hope we can limp along until 2016. Mark balance of power in the "changed" column.