The August 11 Wall Street Journal article “China Flexes Naval Muscle” by Jeremy Page reporting from Beijing began:
China sent its first aircraft carrier to sea, a defining moment in its effort to become a top-tier naval power that seeks to challenge U.S. military supremacy in Asia and protect Chinese economic interests that now span the globe.
This news wasn’t a surprise to me or to my husband, Mitchell R. Miller, with whom I wrote the novel LT. COMMANDER MOLLIE SANDERS.
In January of 2007 we attended a conference in San Diego sponsored by the U.S. Naval Institute. One of the speakers emphasized how the U.S. needed to turn its attention to the Pacific before it was too late.
In the 1930s the United States made the mistake of not paying enough attention to Japan’s growing territorial ambitions. And now the U.S. might be facing the repetition of this mistake, only with China standing in for Japan.
The Wall Street Journal carried a follow-up article on August 15 from the Associated Press titled “U.S. Shows Off Carrier Amid Tensions”:
ABOARD THE USS GEORGE WASHINGTON—Less than a week after China launched its first aircraft carrier, the U.S. showed off its own big-boy supercarrier to former enemy Vietnam — one of several smaller Asian nations with jittery nerves amid Beijing’s burgeoning maritime ambitions.
A delegation of Vietnamese military and government officials was treated to a tour aboard the sprawling USS George Washington nuclear carrier this weekend off the country’s southern coast, once home to the U.S.-backed capital of South Vietnam during the Vietnam War.
While this show-and-tell is very nice, it is not going to be enough to discourage China from its territorial ambitions. China needs to be convinced that this time the U.S. is ready to militarily prevent a takeover of Southeast Asia countries.
Thus here is the important U.S. military question:
Are the U.S. military chiefs at the top of U.S. defense policy paying close enough attention to the Pacific and to what might need to be done to keep the shipping lanes open for global trade?
The novel LT. COMMANDER MOLLIE SANDERS begins on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier the USS Nimitz in the Pacific and ultimately moves on to a nuclear sub on a reconnaissance mission to the South China Sea.
At one point in the story Lt. Commander Mollie Sanders makes a quick trip to Afghanistan to get an up-close-and-personal look at the problem of IEDs.
(Improvised Explosive Devises cause death and terrible physical injuries as well as the “invisible” injuries of Traumatic Brain Injury — TBI — and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder — PTSD.)
Thus I was very pleased to read the amazing true story of how a man’s determination to bring his brother safely home from Afghanistan saved six soldiers from an IED explosion thanks to a “souped up” toy truck.
And I was also pleased that the USO magazine “On Patrol” featured the true story of one woman’s undiagnosed PTSD in the hope that more active duty military personnel and vets would be encouraged to seek help.
Get an eBook of the timely novel LT. COMMANDER MOLLIE SANDERS now for only $2.99 in formats for the Kindle, the Nook, Sony’s Reader, the Kobo, your computer, etc. at http://budurl.com/MollieSandersebooks
(And if you do read the book and like it, please write a review on the ebook’s Amazon page.)
Here are two posts about China and the South China Sea: