Tuesday, October 09, 2012

DTN News - JAPAN / CHINA NEWS: Thinking About The Unthinkable ~ War In The Senkakus

DTN News - JAPAN / CHINA NEWS: Thinking About The Unthinkable ~ War In The Senkakus
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources The Diplomat
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - October 9, 2012: I am more sanguine than most about how the Japanese Self-Defense Forces stack up against China’s People’s Liberation Army. The SDF would acquit itself well in combat if commanders artfully combined all warfighting implements at their disposal, from ships to aircraft to shore-fired missiles. Tokyo has options; it even has advantages.

Judging from the contents of my email inbox the past few weeks, however, some Japanese commentators mistook this guardedly upbeat assessment for a prediction that Japan would prevail in any trial of arms—including a clash over the Senkaku/Diaoyu archipelago, west of the southernmost tip of the Ryukyus chain. Au contraire. Extolling the JSDF’s material and human excellence in general terms is a far cry from predicting a Japanese triumph in any particular contingency. There are no sure things in war.
Furthermore, a Senkakus conflict is probably the hardest case the JSDF may confront. Glance at the map. Geography may not be destiny, but it molds destiny. The archipelago lies within easy reach of PLA air, naval, and missile forces concentrated opposite nearby Taiwan. Advantage: China. On the allied side, Okinawa is home to U.S. Marine and Air Force bases as well as the JSDF’s Naha Air Base. It is situated a couple of hundred miles away, roughly the same distance as the mainland coast. That’s no small thing. But the Senkakus are remote from major bases in the Japanese home islands. The U.S. naval station at Yokosuka, for example, lies over 1,000 miles distant.
Even though Japan holds the contested ground, then, geography and the balance of forces would favor China should a conflict transpire today. The PLA will hold that edge unless Japan takes dramatic measures to fortify its southern ramparts. If the JSDF cannot win the air and sea battle around the Senkakus, it will lose the islands to any concerted PLA offensive. If nothing else, Chinese forces that controlled nearby waters and airspace could simply cordon off the archipelago and wait out the JSDF. Any Japanese defenders emplaced there would wither over time, bereft of food, water, and other critical supplies.
What to do? If commanding the air and sea is the key, then Tokyo must devise forces and plans for assuring JSDF access to the islands while denying PLA forces access. That could mean positioning mobile anti-ship missiles on Yonaguni Island, at the southern tip of the Ryukyus and within missile range of the Senkakus. (Such a move would be certain to play well with the locals.) It could mean expanding the submarine fleet and adjusting submarine deployment patterns southward. Patrolling the waters near the islets would comprise a potent deterrent. It could mean fielding new classes of small missile craft to wage guerrilla war at sea against Chinese surface ships—much as the PLA Navy envisions doing against U.S.-Japanese naval forces.
It certainly means Tokyo must act. Agonizing endlessly over measures like stationing token ground forces in the Ryukyus—as the nation has been doing for years now—does little to shore up Japan’s strategic position along its southern periphery. Fielding excellent military forces is a start. But if Japan’s leadership wants to win, it must put the JSDF in position to do so. Faster, please.

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*Link for This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources The Diplomat 
*Speaking Image - Creation of DTN News ~ Defense Technology News 
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News Contact:dtnnews@ymail.com 

DTN News - PAKISTAN NEWS: Taliban Shoot Pakistani Schoolgirl Campaigning For Peace

DTN News - PAKISTAN NEWS: Taliban Shoot Pakistani Schoolgirl Campaigning For Peace
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources By Jibran Ahmad  Reuters
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - October 9, 2012: Taliban gunmen in Pakistan shot and seriously wounded on Tuesday a 14-year-old schoolgirl who rose to fame for speaking out against the militants, authorities said.

Malala Yousufzai was shot in the head and neck when gunmen fired on her school bus in the Swat valley, northwest of the capital, Islamabad. Two other girls were also wounded, police said.
Yousufzai became famous for speaking out against the Pakistani Taliban at a time when even the government seemed to be appeasing the hardline Islamists.
The government agreed to a ceasefire with the Taliban in Swat in early 2009, effectively recognizing insurgent control of the valley whose lakes and mountains had long been a tourist attraction.
The Taliban set up courts, executed residents and closed girls' schools, including the one that Yousufzai attended. A documentary team filmed her weeping as she explained her ambition to be a doctor.
"My friend came to me and said, 'for God's sake, answer me honestly, is our school going to be attacked by the Taliban?'," Yousufzai, then 11, wrote in a blog published by the BBC.
"During the morning assembly we were told not to wear colorful clothes as the Taliban would object."
The army launched an offensive and retook control of Swat later that year, and Yousufzai later received the country's highest civilian award. She was also nominated for international awards for child activists.
Since then, she has received numerous threats. On Tuesday, gunmen arrived at her school and asked for her by name, witnesses told police. Yousufzai was shot when she came out of class and went to a bus.
Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan said his group was behind the shooting.
"She was pro-West, she was speaking against Taliban and she was calling President Obama her ideal leader," Ehsan said by telephone from an undisclosed location.
"She was young but she was promoting Western culture in Pashtun areas," he said, referring to the main ethnic group in northwest Pakistan and southern and eastern Afghanistan. Most members of the Taliban come from conservative Pashtun tribes.
Doctors were struggling to save Yousufzai, said Lal Noor, a doctor at the Saidu Sharif Teaching Hospital in the Swat valley's main town of Mingora.
The U.S. State Department condemned the attack.
"Directing violence at children is barbaric. It's cowardly. And our hearts go out to her and the others who were wounded, as well as their families," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in Washington.
(Writing by Katharine Houreld; additional reporting by Andrew Quinn in Washington; Editing by Robert Birsel and Paul Simao)

*Link for This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources By Jibran Ahmad  Reuters
*Speaking Image - Creation of DTN News ~ Defense Technology News 
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News Contact:dtnnews@ymail.com