Tuesday, July 12, 2005

This Just In

Just last week, I wrote about our new treaty with India. Well, we've got another pal to add to the list:


That's pretty sweet, since it gives us a commanding location with respect to the Straits of Malacca. Given the growing piracy problem there, that's a good deal for Singapore. They need help, and signing up the world's most powerful navy is a smart move for them. And they've got a pretty sharp little force themselves, so it gives us a useful friend in an important spot.

It's also another shot across China's bow. If they get jiggy, they just might have a spot of trouble getting oil tankers through. They'd have to go from the Persian Gulf, past India, through the straits of Malacca ... any of those places sound familiar?

Thought so.

Mind you, Singapore would be just as happy if things didn't spiral down the drain so precipitously. They also have fairly decent relations with China, and would like to keep it that way. But that's OK. We're recruiting allies, not client states. And come to think of it, we'd be just as happy keeping things nice and peaceful, too. The whole point of this exercise is to throw just a bit more confusion and uncertainty into the thought processes of the Chinese General Staff. The more uncertain the outcome of a military engagement, the less likely anyone's liable to pull the trigger.

Containment, while it does not work for fanatics or madmen, works just fine with folks who are within shouting distance of rational. And that looks to be what we're after, here.

Someone's doing some damn fine work over at State. I'd be somewhat less than heartbroken if she wound up with a bit of a promotion in November 2008.

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