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Clinton convoy in paint attack in Philippines

November 16, 2011 

U.S. empire was also confronted by demonstrators in the Philippines, where protests threw red paint on Clinton’s convoy and clashed with security forces. The convoy was forced to detour:

Protesters clashed with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s security detail near the Malacañang Palace Wednesday, forcing her convoy to detour, an Agence France-Presse photographer on the scene said.

Filipino security men and at least one American jumped out with automatic rifles drawn after about 50 protesters kicked their vehicles and hurled red paint on the cars, but no shots were fired, the photographer said.

[...]

At a largely friendly public meeting that was broadcast on television, a demonstrator suddenly stood up with a banner and repeatedly shouted, “Drop VFA!” before staff at the event escorted the protester out.

The protester was referring to the Visiting Forces Agreement, which gives US troops legal safeguards when they visit the Philippines.

The pact has been controversial in the Philippines after alleged crimes by US troops in the former colony, as well as opposition among some groups for any American soldiers to be in their country.

Clinton brushed off the protest and said that it was a sign that “people are unafraid to express themselves” in the Philippines.

She was on a visit to the Philippines aimed at shoring up military cooperation amid high tension between Manila and Beijing over a territorial dispute in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

Whose Pacific?

October 18, 2011 

Secretary of State Clinton lays out the US policy in the Pacific.   As the subtitle states, “The future of politics will be decided in Asia, not Afghanistan or Iraq, and the United States will be right at the center of the action.”   This will mean more militarization in our region despite the social and environmental costs, increased military tensions, and a high price tag in a time of fiscal crisis.  This is the real APEC agenda: maintaining the Pacific as an “American Lake”

But there is a different agenda rising up from the peoples of the Asia Pacific for peace, security and economic justice based on cooperation, sustainability and self-determination.  Those in Washington, D.C. on October 21-22, 2011 can attend the “Peace in Asia and the Pacific: Alternatives to Asia-Pacific Militarization” conference, which features leading activists and scholars from around the Asia Pacific region, including a rare opportunity to hear the head of a leading Chinese peace organization and Vice President of the Standing Committee of the Chinese People’s Congress.  Ikaika Hussey will represent DMZ-Hawaiʻi / Aloha ʻAina.  Julian Aguon will be a representative from Guahan (Guam).

In Honolulu, November 9-11, 2011, peoples movements from around the region will be meeting apart from APEC to discuss a peoplesʻ agenda for peace, justice and the environment.  Moana Nui 2011 will feature renowned international activists and scholars.   There will be a panel discussion on Thursday, November 10 on militarization and resistance in the Asia Pacific Region.  Speakers will include: Suzuyo Takazato, Okinawan Women Act Against Military Violence, Lisa Natividad, Guahan Coalition for Justice and Peace, Christine Ahn, Korea Policy Institute, Kyle Kajihiro, Hawaiʻi Peace and Justice and DMZ-Hawaiʻi /Aloha ʻAina, Bruce Gagnon, Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, Mayumi Oda, artist and peace activist, Craig Santos Perez, Chamoru poet and professor at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.  Ikaika Hussey will be the moderator.

Here is Hillary Clinton’s article as posted on the State Department website:

http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2011/10/175215.htm

America’s Pacific Century

Op-Ed

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Foreign Policy Magazine
October 11, 2011

The future of politics will be decided in Asia, not Afghanistan or Iraq, and the United States will be right at the center of the action.

As the war in Iraq winds down and America begins to withdraw its forces from Afghanistan, the United States stands at a pivot point. Over the last 10 years, we have allocated immense resources to those two theaters. In the next 10 years, we need to be smart and systematic about where we invest time and energy, so that we put ourselves in the best position to sustain our leadership, secure our interests, and advance our values. One of the most important tasks of American statecraft over the next decade will therefore be to lock in a substantially increased investment — diplomatic, economic, strategic, and otherwise — in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Asia-Pacific has become a key driver of global politics. Stretching from the Indian subcontinent to the western shores of the Americas, the region spans two oceans — the Pacific and the Indian — that are increasingly linked by shipping and strategy. It boasts almost half the world’s population. It includes many of the key engines of the global economy, as well as the largest emitters of greenhouse gases. It is home to several of our key allies and important emerging powers like China, India, and Indonesia.

At a time when the region is building a more mature security and economic architecture to promote stability and prosperity, U.S. commitment there is essential. It will help build that architecture and pay dividends for continued American leadership well into this century, just as our post-World War II commitment to building a comprehensive and lasting transatlantic network of institutions and relationships has paid off many times over — and continues to do so. The time has come for the United States to make similar investments as a Pacific power, a strategic course set by President Barack Obama from the outset of his administration and one that is already yielding benefits.

With Iraq and Afghanistan still in transition and serious economic challenges in our own country, there are those on the American political scene who are calling for us not to reposition, but to come home. They seek a downsizing of our foreign engagement in favor of our pressing domestic priorities. These impulses are understandable, but they are misguided. Those who say that we can no longer afford to engage with the world have it exactly backward — we cannot afford not to. From opening new markets for American businesses to curbing nuclear proliferation to keeping the sea lanes free for commerce and navigation, our work abroad holds the key to our prosperity and security at home. For more than six decades, the United States has resisted the gravitational pull of these “come home” debates and the implicit zero-sum logic of these arguments. We must do so again.

Beyond our borders, people are also wondering about America’s intentions — our willingness to remain engaged and to lead. In Asia, they ask whether we are really there to stay, whether we are likely to be distracted again by events elsewhere, whether we can make — and keep — credible economic and strategic commitments, and whether we can back those commitments with action. The answer is: We can, and we will.

Harnessing Asia’s growth and dynamism is central to American economic and strategic interests and a key priority for President Obama. Open markets in Asia provide the United States with unprecedented opportunities for investment, trade, and access to cutting-edge technology. Our economic recovery at home will depend on exports and the ability of American firms to tap into the vast and growing consumer base of Asia. Strategically, maintaining peace and security across the Asia-Pacific is increasingly crucial to global progress, whether through defending freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, countering the proliferation efforts of North Korea, or ensuring transparency in the military activities of the region’s key players.

Just as Asia is critical to America’s future, an engaged America is vital to Asia’s future. The region is eager for our leadership and our business — perhaps more so than at any time in modern history. We are the only power with a network of strong alliances in the region, no territorial ambitions, and a long record of providing for the common good. Along with our allies, we have underwritten regional security for decades — patrolling Asia’s sea lanes and preserving stability — and that in turn has helped create the conditions for growth. We have helped integrate billions of people across the region into the global economy by spurring economic productivity, social empowerment, and greater people-to-people links. We are a major trade and investment partner, a source of innovation that benefits workers and businesses on both sides of the Pacific, a host to 350,000 Asian students every year, a champion of open markets, and an advocate for universal human rights.

President Obama has led a multifaceted and persistent effort to embrace fully our irreplaceable role in the Pacific, spanning the entire U.S. Government. It has often been a quiet effort. A lot of our work has not been on the front pages, both because of its nature — long-term investment is less exciting than immediate crises — and because of competing headlines in other parts of the world.

As Secretary of State, I broke with tradition and embarked on my first official overseas trip to Asia. In my seven trips since, I have had the privilege to see firsthand the rapid transformations taking place in the region, underscoring how much the future of the United States is intimately intertwined with the future of the Asia-Pacific. A strategic turn to the region fits logically into our overall global effort to secure and sustain America’s global leadership. The success of this turn requires maintaining and advancing a bipartisan consensus on the importance of the Asia-Pacific to our national interests; we seek to build upon a strong tradition of engagement by presidents and secretaries of state of both parties across many decades. It also requires smart execution of a coherent regional strategy that accounts for the global implications of our choices.

What does that regional strategy look like? For starters, it calls for a sustained commitment to what I have called “forward-deployed” diplomacy. That means continuing to dispatch the full range of our diplomatic assets — including our highest-ranking officials, our development experts, our interagency teams, and our permanent assets — to every country and corner of the Asia-Pacific region. Our strategy will have to keep accounting for and adapting to the rapid and dramatic shifts playing out across Asia. With this in mind, our work will proceed along six key lines of action: strengthening bilateral security alliances; deepening our working relationships with emerging powers, including with China; engaging with regional multilateral institutions; expanding trade and investment; forging a broad-based military presence; and advancing democracy and human rights.

By virtue of our unique geography, the United States is both an Atlantic and a Pacific power. We are proud of our European partnerships and all that they deliver. Our challenge now is to build a web of partnerships and institutions across the Pacific that is as durable and as consistent with American interests and values as the web we have built across the Atlantic. That is the touchstone of our efforts in all these areas.

Our treaty alliances with Japan, South Korea, Australia, the Philippines, and Thailand are the fulcrum for our strategic turn to the Asia-Pacific. They have underwritten regional peace and security for more than half a century, shaping the environment for the region’s remarkable economic ascent. They leverage our regional presence and enhance our regional leadership at a time of evolving security challenges.

As successful as these alliances have been, we can’t afford simply to sustain them — we need to update them for a changing world. In this effort, the Obama Administration is guided by three core principles. First, we have to maintain political consensus on the core objectives of our alliances. Second, we have to ensure that our alliances are nimble and adaptive so that they can successfully address new challenges and seize new opportunities. Third, we have to guarantee that the defense capabilities and communications infrastructure of our alliances are operationally and materially capable of deterring provocation from the full spectrum of state and nonstate actors.

The alliance with Japan, the cornerstone of peace and stability in the region, demonstrates how the Obama Administration is giving these principles life. We share a common vision of a stable regional order with clear rules of the road — from freedom of navigation to open markets and fair competition. We have agreed to a new arrangement, including a contribution from the Japanese Government of more than $5 billion, to ensure the continued enduring presence of American forces in Japan, while expanding joint intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance activities to deter and react quickly to regional security challenges, as well as information sharing to address cyberthreats. We have concluded an Open Skies Agreement that will enhance access for businesses and people-to-people ties, launched a strategic dialogue on the Asia-Pacific, and been working hand in hand as the two largest donor countries in Afghanistan.

Similarly, our alliance with South Korea has become stronger and more operationally integrated, and we continue to develop our combined capabilities to deter and respond to North Korean provocations. We have agreed on a plan to ensure successful transition of operational control during wartime and anticipate successful passage of the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement. And our alliance has gone global, through our work together in the G-20 and the Nuclear Security Summit and through our common efforts in Haiti and Afghanistan.

We are also expanding our alliance with Australia from a Pacific partnership to an Indo-Pacific one, and indeed a global partnership. From cybersecurity to Afghanistan to the Arab Awakening to strengthening regional architecture in the Asia-Pacific, Australia’s counsel and commitment have been indispensable. And in Southeast Asia, we are renewing and strengthening our alliances with the Philippines and Thailand, increasing, for example, the number of ship visits to the Philippines and working to ensure the successful training of Filipino counterterrorism forces through our Joint Special Operations Task Force in Mindanao. In Thailand — our oldest treaty partner in Asia — we are working to establish a hub of regional humanitarian and disaster relief efforts in the region.

As we update our alliances for new demands, we are also building new partnerships to help solve shared problems. Our outreach to China, India, Indonesia, Singapore, New Zealand, Malaysia, Mongolia, Vietnam, Brunei, and the Pacific Island countries is all part of a broader effort to ensure a more comprehensive approach to American strategy and engagement in the region. We are asking these emerging partners to join us in shaping and participating in a rules-based regional and global order.

One of the most prominent of these emerging partners is, of course, China. Like so many other countries before it, China has prospered as part of the open and rules-based system that the United States helped to build and works to sustain. And today, China represents one of the most challenging and consequential bilateral relationships the United States has ever had to manage. This calls for careful, steady, dynamic stewardship, an approach to China on our part that is grounded in reality, focused on results, and true to our principles and interests.

We all know that fears and misperceptions linger on both sides of the Pacific. Some in our country see China’s progress as a threat to the United States; some in China worry that America seeks to constrain China’s growth. We reject both those views. The fact is that a thriving America is good for China and a thriving China is good for America. We both have much more to gain from cooperation than from conflict. But you cannot build a relationship on aspirations alone. It is up to both of us to more consistently translate positive words into effective cooperation — and, crucially, to meet our respective global responsibilities and obligations. These are the things that will determine whether our relationship delivers on its potential in the years to come. We also have to be honest about our differences. We will address them firmly and decisively as we pursue the urgent work we have to do together. And we have to avoid unrealistic expectations.

Over the last two-and-a-half years, one of my top priorities has been to identify and expand areas of common interest, to work with China to build mutual trust, and to encourage China’s active efforts in global problem-solving. This is why Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and I launched the Strategic and Economic Dialogue, the most intensive and expansive talks ever between our governments, bringing together dozens of agencies from both sides to discuss our most pressing bilateral issues, from security to energy to human rights.

We are also working to increase transparency and reduce the risk of miscalculation or miscues between our militaries. The United States and the international community have watched China’s efforts to modernize and expand its military, and we have sought clarity as to its intentions. Both sides would benefit from sustained and substantive military-to-military engagement that increases transparency. So we look to Beijing to overcome its reluctance at times and join us in forging a durable military-to-military dialogue. And we need to work together to strengthen the Strategic Security Dialogue, which brings together military and civilian leaders to discuss sensitive issues like maritime security and cybersecurity.

As we build trust together, we are committed to working with China to address critical regional and global security issues. This is why I have met so frequently — often in informal settings — with my Chinese counterparts, State Councilor Dai Bingguo and Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, for candid discussions about important challenges like North Korea, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, and developments in the South China Sea.

On the economic front, the United States and China need to work together to ensure strong, sustained, and balanced future global growth. In the aftermath of the global financial crisis, the United States and China worked effectively through the G-20 to help pull the global economy back from the brink. We have to build on that cooperation. U.S. firms want fair opportunities to export to China’s growing markets, which can be important sources of jobs here in the United States, as well as assurances that the $50 billion of American capital invested in China will create a strong foundation for new market and investment opportunities that will support global competitiveness. At the same time, Chinese firms want to be able to buy more high-tech products from the United States, make more investments here, and be accorded the same terms of access that market economies enjoy. We can work together on these objectives, but China still needs to take important steps toward reform. In particular, we are working with China to end unfair discrimination against U.S. and other foreign companies or against their innovative technologies, remove preferences for domestic firms, and end measures that disadvantage or appropriate foreign intellectual property. And we look to China to take steps to allow its currency to appreciate more rapidly, both against the dollar and against the currencies of its other major trading partners. Such reforms, we believe, would not only benefit both our countries (indeed, they would support the goals of China’s own five-year plan, which calls for more domestic-led growth), but also contribute to global economic balance, predictability, and broader prosperity.

Of course, we have made very clear, publicly and privately, our serious concerns about human rights. And when we see reports of public-interest lawyers, writers, artists, and others who are detained or disappeared, the United States speaks up, both publicly and privately, with our concerns about human rights. We make the case to our Chinese colleagues that a deep respect for international law and a more open political system would provide China with a foundation for far greater stability and growth — and increase the confidence of China’s partners. Without them, China is placing unnecessary limitations on its own development.

At the end of the day, there is no handbook for the evolving U.S.-China relationship. But the stakes are much too high for us to fail. As we proceed, we will continue to embed our relationship with China in a broader regional framework of security alliances, economic networks, and social connections.

Among key emerging powers with which we will work closely are India and Indonesia, two of the most dynamic and significant democratic powers of Asia, and both countries with which the Obama administration has pursued broader, deeper, and more purposeful relationships. The stretch of sea from the Indian Ocean through the Strait of Malacca to the Pacific contains the world’s most vibrant trade and energy routes. Together, India and Indonesia already account for almost a quarter of the world’s population. They are key drivers of the global economy, important partners for the United States, and increasingly central contributors to peace and security in the region. And their importance is likely to grow in the years ahead.

President Obama told the Indian parliament last year that the relationship between India and America will be one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century, rooted in common values and interests. There are still obstacles to overcome and questions to answer on both sides, but the United States is making a strategic bet on India’s future — that India’s greater role on the world stage will enhance peace and security, that opening India’s markets to the world will pave the way to greater regional and global prosperity, that Indian advances in science and technology will improve lives and advance human knowledge everywhere, and that India’s vibrant, pluralistic democracy will produce measurable results and improvements for its citizens and inspire others to follow a similar path of openness and tolerance. So the Obama administration has expanded our bilateral partnership; actively supported India’s Look East efforts, including through a new trilateral dialogue with India and Japan; and outlined a new vision for a more economically integrated and politically stable South and Central Asia, with India as a linchpin.

We are also forging a new partnership with Indonesia, the world’s third-largest democracy, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, and a member of the G-20. We have resumed joint training of Indonesian special forces units and signed a number of agreements on health, educational exchanges, science and technology, and defense. And this year, at the invitation of the Indonesian government, President Obama will inaugurate American participation in the East Asia Summit. But there is still some distance to travel — we have to work together to overcome bureaucratic impediments, lingering historical suspicions, and some gaps in understanding each other’s perspectives and interests.

Even as we strengthen these bilateral relationships, we have emphasized the importance of multilateral cooperation, for we believe that addressing complex transnational challenges of the sort now faced by Asia requires a set of institutions capable of mustering collective action. And a more robust and coherent regional architecture in Asia would reinforce the system of rules and responsibilities, from protecting intellectual property to ensuring freedom of navigation, that form the basis of an effective international order. In multilateral settings, responsible behavior is rewarded with legitimacy and respect, and we can work together to hold accountable those who undermine peace, stability, and prosperity.

So the United States has moved to fully engage the region’s multilateral institutions, such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, mindful that our work with regional institutions supplements and does not supplant our bilateral ties. There is a demand from the region that America play an active role in the agenda-setting of these institutions — and it is in our interests as well that they be effective and responsive.

That is why President Obama will participate in the East Asia Summit for the first time in November. To pave the way, the United States has opened a new U.S. Mission to ASEAN in Jakarta and signed the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation with ASEAN. Our focus on developing a more results-oriented agenda has been instrumental in efforts to address disputes in the South China Sea. In 2010, at the ASEAN Regional Forum in Hanoi, the United States helped shape a regionwide effort to protect unfettered access to and passage through the South China Sea, and to uphold the key international rules for defining territorial claims in the South China Sea’s waters. Given that half the world’s merchant tonnage flows through this body of water, this was a consequential undertaking. And over the past year, we have made strides in protecting our vital interests in stability and freedom of navigation and have paved the way for sustained multilateral diplomacy among the many parties with claims in the South China Sea, seeking to ensure disputes are settled peacefully and in accordance with established principles of international law.

We have also worked to strengthen APEC as a serious leaders-level institution focused on advancing economic integration and trade linkages across the Pacific. After last year’s bold call by the group for a free trade area of the Asia-Pacific, President Obama will host the 2011 APEC Leaders’ Meeting in Hawaii this November. We are committed to cementing APEC as the Asia-Pacific’s premier regional economic institution, setting the economic agenda in a way that brings together advanced and emerging economies to promote open trade and investment, as well as to build capacity and enhance regulatory regimes. APEC and its work help expand U.S. exports and create and support high-quality jobs in the United States, while fostering growth throughout the region. APEC also provides a key vehicle to drive a broad agenda to unlock the economic growth potential that women represent. In this regard, the United States is committed to working with our partners on ambitious steps to accelerate the arrival of the Participation Age, where every individual, regardless of gender or other characteristics, is a contributing and valued member of the global marketplace.

In addition to our commitment to these broader multilateral institutions, we have worked hard to create and launch a number of “minilateral” meetings, small groupings of interested states to tackle specific challenges, such as the Lower Mekong Initiative we launched to support education, health, and environmental programs in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam, and the Pacific Islands Forum, where we are working to support its members as they confront challenges from climate change to overfishing to freedom of navigation. We are also starting to pursue new trilateral opportunities with countries as diverse as Mongolia, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, and South Korea. And we are setting our sights as well on enhancing coordination and engagement among the three giants of the Asia-Pacific: China, India, and the United States.

In all these different ways, we are seeking to shape and participate in a responsive, flexible, and effective regional architecture — and ensure it connects to a broader global architecture that not only protects international stability and commerce but also advances our values.

Our emphasis on the economic work of APEC is in keeping with our broader commitment to elevate economic statecraft as a pillar of American foreign policy. Increasingly, economic progress depends on strong diplomatic ties, and diplomatic progress depends on strong economic ties. And naturally, a focus on promoting American prosperity means a greater focus on trade and economic openness in the Asia-Pacific. The region already generates more than half of global output and nearly half of global trade. As we strive to meet President Obama’s goal of doubling exports by 2015, we are looking for opportunities to do even more business in Asia. Last year, American exports to the Pacific Rim totaled $320 billion, supporting 850,000 American jobs. So there is much that favors us as we think through this repositioning.

When I talk to my Asian counterparts, one theme consistently stands out: They still want America to be an engaged and creative partner in the region’s flourishing trade and financial interactions. And as I talk with business leaders across our own nation, I hear how important it is for the United States to expand our exports and our investment opportunities in Asia’s dynamic markets.

Last March in APEC meetings in Washington, and again in Hong Kong in July, I laid out four attributes that I believe characterize healthy economic competition: open, free, transparent, and fair. Through our engagement in the Asia-Pacific, we are helping to give shape to these principles and showing the world their value.

We are pursuing new cutting-edge trade deals that raise the standards for fair competition even as they open new markets. For instance, the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement will eliminate tariffs on 95 percent of U.S. consumer and industrial exports within five years and support an estimated 70,000 American jobs. Its tariff reductions alone could increase exports of American goods by more than $10 billion and help South Korea’s economy grow by 6 percent. It will level the playing field for U.S. auto companies and workers. So, whether you are an American manufacturer of machinery or a South Korean chemicals exporter, this deal lowers the barriers that keep you from reaching new customers.

We are also making progress on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which will bring together economies from across the Pacific — developed and developing alike — into a single trading community. Our goal is to create not just more growth, but better growth. We believe trade agreements need to include strong protections for workers, the environment, intellectual property, and innovation. They should also promote the free flow of information technology and the spread of green technology, as well as the coherence of our regulatory system and the efficiency of supply chains. Ultimately, our progress will be measured by the quality of people’s lives — whether men and women can work in dignity, earn a decent wage, raise healthy families, educate their children, and take hold of the opportunities to improve their own and the next generation’s fortunes. Our hope is that a TPP agreement with high standards can serve as a benchmark for future agreements — and grow to serve as a platform for broader regional interaction and eventually a free trade area of the Asia-Pacific.

Achieving balance in our trade relationships requires a two-way commitment. That’s the nature of balance — it can’t be unilaterally imposed. So we are working through APEC, the G-20, and our bilateral relationships to advocate for more open markets, fewer restrictions on exports, more transparency, and an overall commitment to fairness. American businesses and workers need to have confidence that they are operating on a level playing field, with predictable rules on everything from intellectual property to indigenous innovation.

Asia’s remarkable economic growth over the past decade and its potential for continued growth in the future depend on the security and stability that has long been guaranteed by the U.S. military, including more than 50,000 American servicemen and servicewomen serving in Japan and South Korea. The challenges of today’s rapidly changing region — from territorial and maritime disputes to new threats to freedom of navigation to the heightened impact of natural disasters — require that the United States pursue a more geographically distributed, operationally resilient, and politically sustainable force posture.

We are modernizing our basing arrangements with traditional allies in Northeast Asia — and our commitment on this is rock solid — while enhancing our presence in Southeast Asia and into the Indian Ocean. For example, the United States will be deploying littoral combat ships to Singapore, and we are examining other ways to increase opportunities for our two militaries to train and operate together. And the United States and Australia agreed this year to explore a greater American military presence in Australia to enhance opportunities for more joint training and exercises. We are also looking at how we can increase our operational access in Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean region and deepen our contacts with allies and partners.

How we translate the growing connection between the Indian and Pacific oceans into an operational concept is a question that we need to answer if we are to adapt to new challenges in the region. Against this backdrop, a more broadly distributed military presence across the region will provide vital advantages. The United States will be better positioned to support humanitarian missions; equally important, working with more allies and partners will provide a more robust bulwark against threats or efforts to undermine regional peace and stability.

But even more than our military might or the size of our economy, our most potent asset as a nation is the power of our values — in particular, our steadfast support for democracy and human rights. This speaks to our deepest national character and is at the heart of our foreign policy, including our strategic turn to the Asia-Pacific region.

As we deepen our engagement with partners with whom we disagree on these issues, we will continue to urge them to embrace reforms that would improve governance, protect human rights, and advance political freedoms. We have made it clear, for example, to Vietnam that our ambition to develop a strategic partnership requires that it take steps to further protect human rights and advance political freedoms. Or consider Burma, where we are determined to seek accountability for human rights violations. We are closely following developments in Nay Pyi Taw and the increasing interactions between Aung San Suu Kyi and the government leadership. We have underscored to the government that it must release political prisoners, advance political freedoms and human rights, and break from the policies of the past. As for North Korea, the regime in Pyongyang has shown persistent disregard for the rights of its people, and we continue to speak out forcefully against the threats it poses to the region and beyond.

We cannot and do not aspire to impose our system on other countries, but we do believe that certain values are universal — that people in every nation in the world, including in Asia, cherish them — and that they are intrinsic to stable, peaceful, and prosperous countries. Ultimately, it is up to the people of Asia to pursue their own rights and aspirations, just as we have seen people do all over the world.

In the last decade, our foreign policy has transitioned from dealing with the post-Cold War peace dividend to demanding commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan. As those wars wind down, we will need to accelerate efforts to pivot to new global realities.

We know that these new realities require us to innovate, to compete, and to lead in new ways. Rather than pull back from the world, we need to press forward and renew our leadership. In a time of scarce resources, there’s no question that we need to invest them wisely where they will yield the biggest returns, which is why the Asia-Pacific represents such a real 21st-century opportunity for us.

Other regions remain vitally important, of course. Europe, home to most of our traditional allies, is still a partner of first resort, working alongside the United States on nearly every urgent global challenge, and we are investing in updating the structures of our alliance. The people of the Middle East and North Africa are charting a new path that is already having profound global consequences, and the United States is committed to active and sustained partnerships as the region transforms. Africa holds enormous untapped potential for economic and political development in the years ahead. And our neighbors in the Western Hemisphere are not just our biggest export partners; they are also playing a growing role in global political and economic affairs. Each of these regions demands American engagement and leadership.

And we are prepared to lead. Now, I’m well aware that there are those who question our staying power around the world. We’ve heard this talk before. At the end of the Vietnam War, there was a thriving industry of global commentators promoting the idea that America was in retreat, and it is a theme that repeats itself every few decades. But whenever the United States has experienced setbacks, we’ve overcome them through reinvention and innovation. Our capacity to come back stronger is unmatched in modern history. It flows from our model of free democracy and free enterprise, a model that remains the most powerful source of prosperity and progress known to humankind. I hear everywhere I go that the world still looks to the United States for leadership. Our military is by far the strongest, and our economy is by far the largest in the world. Our workers are the most productive. Our universities are renowned the world over. So there should be no doubt that America has the capacity to secure and sustain our global leadership in this century as we did in the last.

As we move forward to set the stage for engagement in the Asia-Pacific over the next 60 years, we are mindful of the bipartisan legacy that has shaped our engagement for the past 60. And we are focused on the steps we have to take at home — increasing our savings, reforming our financial systems, relying less on borrowing, overcoming partisan division — to secure and sustain our leadership abroad.

This kind of pivot is not easy, but we have paved the way for it over the past two-and-a-half years, and we are committed to seeing it through as among the most important diplomatic efforts of our time.

U.S. diplomat called Okinawans ‘masters of manipulation and extortion’ on Futenma issue

March 7, 2011 

A U.S. diplomat who had previously been posted to Japan and Okinawa was quoted by students from American University as calling Okinawans ‘lazy’ and ‘masters of manipulation and extortion’ on the issue of the Futenma base.   It no wonder why the Okinawans demanded his removal from Okinawa after he questioned why local authorities were allowing the construction of homes in the vicinity surrounding Futenma air station.
The Japan Times reports:

A U.S. official in charge of Japanese affairs at the State Department is said to have likened the Japanese cultural principle of maintaining social harmony to “extortion” and described Okinawans as “lazy” during a speech in Washington late last year.

According to a written account compiled by students who attended the lecture at the State Department, Kevin Maher, head of the Japanese affairs office and a former consul general in Okinawa Prefecture, described Okinawan people as “masters of manipulation and extortion” when dealing with the central government.

The article goes on:

Maher gave the speech Dec. 3 at the request of American University to a group of 14 students who were about to embark on a roughly two-week study tour of Tokyo and Okinawa.

In the speech, Maher was quoted as saying, “Consensus building is important in Japanese culture. While the Japanese would call this ‘consensus,’ they mean ‘extortion’ and use this culture of consensus as a means of extortion.

“By pretending to seek consensus, people try to get as much money as possible,” he said.

Maher also criticized the people of Okinawa as “too lazy to grow ‘goya’ (bitter gourd),” a traditional summer vegetable in the prefecture, according to the account.

Maher served as the consul general in Okinawa from 2006 to 2009 after joining the State Department in 1981 and being posted to Tokyo and Fukuoka.

In the summer of 2008, while he was posted in Okinawa, Maher sparked controversy after questioning why the local authorities were allowing the construction of homes in the residential area around the Futenma air base. Plaintiffs seeking damages over noise from the U.S. base then presented him with a written demand calling on him to immediately leave Okinawa.

Magosaki, former head of the international intelligence office at the Foreign Ministry, said he had the impression that “U.S. officials in charge of recent U.S.-Japan negotiations shared ideas like those of Mr. Maher,” adding “in that sense, his remarks were not especially distorted.”

READ THE FULL ARTICLE

Who needs Wikileaks when State Department officials are willing to put their own feet in their mouths?   Meanwhile, as the Financial Times reports, Secretary of State Clinton warned Congress about the waning U.S. influence in the Asia Pacific region vis a vis China:

In an appearance before Congress, Mrs Clinton highlighted the “unbelievable” competition with China for influence over islands in the Pacific, with development of Papua New Guinea’s “huge” energy reserves one of the key issues at stake.

Arguing against proposed cuts to the state department budget, she added that the US was already losing an “information war” to al-Jazeera, the Arab news channel, with Russia and China increasing their international broadcasting as Washington and London pulled back.

“We are in a competition for influence with China; let’s put aside the moral, humanitarian, do-good side of what we believe in, and let’s just talk straight realpolitik,” she told the Senate foreign relations committee, as she appealed to its members to keep state department funding intact.

The waning U.S. influence may be more related to the arrogant policies of the U.S. as reflected in the statements of Mr. Maher than any cut in funding for the state department or competition from China.

 

 

 

 

Wikileaks reveals the secret soft underbelly of American Empire

December 6, 2010 

The Honolulu Star Advertiser reported:

WASHINGTON >> In a disclosure of some of the most sensitive information revealed yet by WikiLeaks, the website has released a secret cable listing sites worldwide that the U.S. considers critical to its national security.

The locations cited in the diplomatic cable from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton range from undersea communications lines to suppliers of food, medicine and manufacturing materials.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE

The leaked cable lists sites that would make a secret map of the soft underbelly of the American Empire.  Here is the Wikileaks document:

INFO  LOG-00   MFA-00   EEB-00   AF-00    AGRE-00  AIT-00   AMAD-00 AOP-00   AEX-00   AS-00    A-00     ACQ-00   CIAE-00  CIP-00 COME-00  CCOE-00  CPR-00   INL-00   DNI-00   DIM-00   DODE-00 DOEE-00  WHA-00   PERC-00  DS-00    EAP-00   DHSE-00  EUR-00 FBIE-00  VCI-00   FSI-00   OBO-00   TEDE-00  INR-00   IO-00 CAC-00   MED-07   MFLO-00  MMP-00   MOFM-00  MOF-00   M-00 CDC-00   VCIE-00  NEA-00   DCP-00   NRC-00   NSAE-00  ISN-00 OES-00   OIG-00   NIMA-00  PM-00    P-00     ISNE-00  DOHS-00 FMPC-00  IRM-00   SSO-00   SS-00    MR-00    TRSE-00  CBP-00 EPAE-00  SCRS-00  PMB-00   DSCC-00  PRM-00   DRL-00   G-00 ALM-00   SCA-00   SAS-00   FA-00    PMA-00   SWCI-00    /007R

P 182318Z FEB 09

FM SECSTATE WASHDC

TO PAGE 02        STATE   015113  182333Z

ALL DIPLOMATIC POSTS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI PRIORITY

S E C R E T STATE 015113

NOFORN, NOT FOR INTERNET DISTRIBUTION

E.O. 12958: DECL: 1/29/2019

TAG PTER, PGOV, ASEC, EFIN, ENRG, KCIP

SUBJECT: REQUEST FOR INFORMATION:CRITICAL FOREIGN DEPENDENCIES (CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE AND KEY RESOURCES LOCATED ABROAD)

REF: STATE 6461  PLEASE PASS TO RSO, POLOFF, ECON, and MANAGEMENT (GSO and IT).  Classified by S/CT DAS, Susan F. Burk, Reason: 1/4 (B), (D), (E), and (G)

¶1. (U//FOUO) This is an action request; see Para. 13.

¶2. (U//FOUO) Under the direction of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP) was written to provide the unifying structure for the integration of critical infrastructure and key resources (CI/KR) protection into a single national program. The overarching goal of the NIPP is to build a safer, more secure, and more resilient America by enhancing protection of the nation’s CI/KR to prevent, deter, neutralize or mitigate the effects of deliberate efforts by terrorists to destroy, incapacitate or exploit them; and to strengthen national preparedness, timely response, and rapid recovery in the event of an attack, natural disaster or other emergency.

¶3. (U//FOUO) In addition to a list of critical domestic CI/KR, the NIPP requires compilation and annual update of a comprehensive inventory of CI/KR that are located outside U.S. borders and whose loss could critically impact the public health, economic security, and/or national and homeland security of the United States. DHS in collaboration with State developed the Critical Foreign Dependencies Initiative (CFDI)to identify these critical U.S. foreign dependencies — foreign CI/KR that may affect systems within the U.S. directly or indirectly. State is coordinating with DHS to develop the 2009 inventory, and the action request in Para. 13 represents the initial step in this process.

¶4. (U//FOUO) The NIPP does not define CI/KR. Homeland Security Presidential Directive 7 (HSPD 7) references definitions in two separate statutes. In the USA Patriot Act of 2001 (42 U.S.C. 5195(e)) “critical infrastructure” is defined as systems and assets, whether physical or virtual, so vital to the United States the incapacitation or destruction of such systems and assets would have a debilitating impact on security, national economic security, national public health or safety, or any combination of those matters. In the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. 101(9)) “key resources” are defined as publicly or privately controlled resources essential to the minimal operations of the economy and government.

¶5. (U//FOUO) The NIPP identifies 18 CI/KR sectors: agriculture and food; defense industrial base; energy; healthcare and public health; national monuments and icons; banking and finance; drinking water and water treatment systems; chemical; commercial facilities; dams; emergency services; commercial nuclear reactors, materials, and waste; information technology; communications; postal and shipping; transportation and systems; government facilities; and critical manufacturing. Obviously some of these sectors are more likely to have international components than other sectors.

¶6. (U//FOUO) Department is surveying posts for their input on critical infrastructure and key resources within their host country which, if destroyed, disrupted or exploited, would likely have an immediate and deleterious effect on the United States. We expect posts, after consultation among all sections and agencies, will in many instances immediately recognize whether such CI/KR exist in their host country. Posts are not/not being asked to consult with host governments with respect to this request.

¶7. (U//FOUO) Building upon the initial survey completed in 2008, Department requests each post reassess and update information about infrastructure and resources in each host country whose loss could immediately affect the public health, economic security, and/or national and homeland security of the United States. This reassessment may include suggestions from posts for removing, modifying, or adding CI/KR to the list developed in 2008 (see the list of CI/KR identified in 2008 in Para. 15 below).

¶8. (U//FOUO) The following three categories should be considered when determining whether critical foreign dependencies exist in the host country: 1) direct physical linkages (e.g., pipelines, undersea telecommunications cables, and assets located in close enough proximity to the U.S. border their destruction could cause cross-border consequences, such as damage to dams and chemical facilities); 2) sole or predominantly foreign/host-country sourced goods and services (e.g., minerals or chemicals critical to U.S. industry, a critical finished product manufactured in one or only a small number of countries, or a telecom hub whose destruction might seriously disrupt global communications); and 3) critical supply chain nodes (e.g., the Strait of Hormuz and Panama Canal, as well as any ports or shipping lanes in the host-country critical to the functioning of the global supply chain).

¶9. (U//FOUO) Although they are important issues, Department is not/not seeking information at this time on second-order effects (e.g., public morale and confidence, and interdependency effects that might cascade from a disruption).

¶10. (U//FOUO) Posts do not need to report government facilities overseas managed by State or war fighting facilities managed by other departments or agencies.

¶11. (U//FOUO) The following general information should be addressed when nominating elements for inclusion, removal, or modification:  — (U//FOUO) Name and physical location of the asset, system, or supply chain node.  — (U//FOUO) Post’s rationale for including, modifying, or removing an asset, system, or supply chain node.  — (U//FOUO) Any information Post has regarding conditions in country causing Post to believe the CI/KR is an active target or especially vulnerable due to natural circumstances.  — (U//FOUO) Any information Post has regarding CIP activities in country and who/what agency is responsible for those activities.

¶12. (U//FOUO) Questions can be directed to Sharri R. Clark in S/CT: ClarkSR@state.sgov.gov; ClarkSR@state.gov; 202-647-1514. Alternatively, questions can be directed to S. Gail Robertson in S/CT: RobertsonSG2@state.sgov.gov; RobertsonSG@state.gov, 202-647-3769.

¶13. (U//FOUO) ACTION REQUEST: Posts are requested to report by March 20, 2009 on CI/KR in their host country meeting the criteria outlined above and a brief explanation of why posts believes the asset meets the criteria. Due to the potential sensitivity of assets identified, posts are asked to consider the necessity of classifying their responses appropriately. Please note the list in its entirety is classified S/NF. If post determines there are no such CI/KR in its host country, a negative report is requested. Please send replies to the attention of Sharri R. Clark in S/CT and use the subject line “CI/KR Response for S/CT”.

¶14. (U//FOUO) Posts’ assistance with providing input to the first list created in 2008 was invaluable, and Department appreciates Posts’ continuing cooperation.

¶15. (S//NF) Following is the 2008 Critical Foreign Dependencies Initiative (CFDI) list (CI/KR organized by region):  [BEGIN TEXT OF LIST]

AFRICA Congo (Kinshasa): Cobalt (Mine and Plant)  Gabon: Manganese – Battery grade, natural; battery grade, synthetic; chemical grade; ferro; metallurgical grade  Guinea: Bauxite (Mine)  South Africa: BAE Land System OMC, Benoni, South Africa Brown David Gear Industries LTD, Benoni, South Africa Bushveld Complex (chromite mine) Ferrochromium Manganese – Battery grade, natural; battery grade, synthetic; chemical grade; ferro; metallurgical grade Palladium Mine and Plant Platinum Mines Rhodium    EAST ASIA AND THE PACIFIC  Australia: Southern Cross undersea cable landing, Brookvale, Australia Southern Cross undersea cable landing, Sydney, Australia Manganese – Battery grade, natural; battery grade, synthetic; chemical grade; ferro; metallurgical grade Nickel Mines Maybe Faulding Mulgrave Victoria, Australia: Manufacturing facility for Midazolam injection. Mayne Pharma (fill/finish), Melbourne, Australia:  Sole suppliers of Crotalid Polyvalent Antivenin (CroFab).  China: C2C Cable Network undersea cable landing, Chom Hom Kok, Hong Kong C2C Cable Network undersea cable landing Shanghai, China China-US undersea cable landing, Chongming, China China-US undersea cable landing Shantou, China EAC undersea cable landing Tseung Kwan O, Hong Kong FLAG/REACH North Asia Loop undersea cable landing Tong Fuk, Hong Kong Hydroelectric Dam Turbines and Generators Fluorspar (Mine) Germanium Mine Graphite Mine Rare Earth Minerals/Elements Tin Mine and Plant Tungsten – Mine and Plant Polypropylene Filter Material for N-95 Masks Shanghai Port Guangzhou Port Hong Kong Port Ningbo Port Tianjin Port  Fiji: Southern Cross undersea cable landing, Suva, Fiji  Indonesia: Tin Mine and Plant Straits of Malacca  Japan: C2C Cable Network undersea cable landing, Chikura, Japan C2C Cable Network undersea cable landing, Shima, Japan China-US undersea cable, Okinawa, Japan EAC undersea cable landing Ajigaura, Japan EAC undersea cable landing Shima, Japan FLAG/REACH North Asia Loop undersea cable landing Wada, Japan FLAG/REACH North Asia Loop undersea cable landing Wada, Japan Japan-US undersea cable landing, Maruyama, Japan Japan-US undersea cable landing Kitaibaraki, Japan KJCN undersea cable landing Fukuoka, Japan KJCN undersea cable landing Kita-Kyushu, Japan Pacific Crossing-1 (PC-1) undersea cable landing Ajigaura, Japan Pacific Crossing-1 (PC-1) undersea cable landing Shima, Japan Tyco Transpacific undersea cable landing, Toyohashi, Japan Tyco Transpacific undersea cable landing Emi, Japan Hitachi, Hydroelectric Dam Turbines and Generators Port of Chiba Port of Kobe Port of Nagoya Port of Yokohama Iodine Mine Metal Fabrication Machines Titanium Metal (Processed) Biken, Kanonji City, Japan Hitachi Electrical Power Generators and Components Large AC Generators above 40 MVA  Malaysia: Straits of Malacca  New Zealand: Southern Cross undersea cable landing, Whenuapai, New Zealand Southern Cross undersea cable landing, Takapuna, New Zealand  Philippines: C2C Cable Network undersea cable landing, Batangas, Philippines EAC undersea cable landing Cavite, Philippines  Republic of Korea: C2C Cable Network undersea cable landing, Pusan, Republic of Korea. EAC undersea cable landing Shindu-Ri, Republic of Korea FLAG/REACH North Asia Loop undersea cable landing Pusan, Republic of Korea KJCN undersea cable landing Pusan, Republic of Korea Hitachi Large Electric Power Transformers 230 – 500 kV Busan Port  Singapore: C2C Cable Network undersea cable landing, Changi, Singapore EAC undersea cable landing Changi North, Singapore Port of Singapore Straits of Malacca  Taiwan: C2C Cable Network undersea cable landing, Fangshan, Taiwan C2C Cable Network undersea cable landing, Tanshui, Taiwan China-US undersea cable landing Fangshan, Taiwan EAC undersea cable landing Pa Li, Taiwan FLAG/REACH North Asia Loop undersea cable landing Toucheng, Taiwan Kaohsiung Port    EUROPE AND EURASIA  Europe (Unspecified): Metal Fabrication Machines: Small number of Turkish companies (Durma, Baykal, Ermaksan)  Austria: Baxter AG, Vienna, Austria: Immune Globulin Intravenous (IGIV) Octapharma Pharmazeutika, Vienna, Austria: Immune Globulin Intravenous (IGIV)  Azerbaijan: Sangachal Terminal Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Pipeline  Belarus: Druzhba Oil Pipeline  Belgium: Germanium Mine Baxter SA, Lessines, Belgium: Immune Globulin Intravenous (IGIV) Glaxo Smith Kline, Rixensart, Belgium: Acellular Pertussis Vaccine Component GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals SA, Wavre, Belgium: Acellular Pertussis Vaccine Component Port of Antwerp  Denmark: TAT-14 undersea cable landing, Blaabjerg, Denmark Bavarian Nordic (BN), Hejreskovvej, Kvistgard, Denmark: Smallpox Vaccine Novo Nordisk Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Bagsvaerd, Denmark: Numerous formulations of insulin Novo Nordisk Insulin Manufacturer: Global insulin supplies Statens Serum Institut, Copenhagen, Denmark:  DTaP (including D and T components) pediatric version  France: APOLLO undersea cable, Lannion, France FA-1 undersea cable, Plerin, France TAT-14 undersea cable landing St. Valery, France Sanofi-Aventis Insulin Manufacturer: Global insulin supplies Foot and Mouth Disease Vaccine finishing Alstrom, Hydroelectric Dam Turbines and Generators Alstrom Electrical Power Generators and Components EMD Pharms Semoy, France: Cyanokit Injection GlaxoSmithKline, Inc. Evreux, France: Influenza neurominidase inhibitor RELENZA (Zanamivir) Diagast, Cedex, France: Olympus (impacts blood typing ability) Genzyme Polyclonals SAS (bulk), Lyon, France: Thymoglobulin Sanofi Pasteur SA, Lyon, France: Rabies virus vaccine  Georgia: Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Pipeline  Germany: TAT-14 undersea cable landing, Nodren, Germany. Atlantic Crossing-1 (AC-1) undersea cable landing Sylt, Germany BASF Ludwigshafen: World’s largest integrated chemical complex Siemens Erlangen: Essentially irreplaceable production of key chemicals Siemens, GE, Hydroelectric Dam Turbines and Generators Draeger Safety AG & Co., Luebeck, Germany: Critical to gas detection capability Junghans Fienwerktechnik Schramberg, Germany: Critical to the production of mortars TDW-Gasellschaft Wirksysteme, Schroebenhausen, Germany: Critical to the production of the Patriot Advanced Capability Lethality Enhancement Assembly Siemens, Large Electric Power Transformers 230 – 500 kV Siemens, GE Electrical Power Generators and Components Druzhba Oil Pipeline Sanofi Aventis Frankfurt am Main, Germany: Lantus Injection (insulin) Heyl Chemish-pharmazeutische Fabrik GmbH: Radiogardase (Prussian blue) Hameln Pharmaceuticals, Hameln, Germany: Pentetate Calcium Trisodium (Ca DTPA) and Pentetate Zinc Trisodium (Zn DTPA) for contamination with plutonium, americium, and curium IDT Biologika GmbH, Dessau Rossiau, Germany: BN Small Pox Vaccine. Biotest AG, Dreiech, Germany: Supplier for TANGO (impacts automated blood typing ability) CSL Behring GmbH, Marburg, Germany: Antihemophilic factor/von Willebrand factor Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics GmbH, Marburg, Germany: Rabies virus vaccine Vetter Pharma Fertigung GmbH & Co KG, Ravensburg, Germany (filling): Rho(D) IGIV Port of Hamburg  Ireland: Hibernia Atlantic undersea cable landing, Dublin Ireland Genzyme Ireland Ltd. (filling), Waterford, Ireland: Thymoglobulin  Italy: Glaxo Smith Kline SpA (fill/finish), Parma, Italy: Digibind (used to treat snake bites) Trans-Med gas pipeline  Netherlands: Atlantic Crossing-1 (AC-1) undersea cable landing Beverwijk, Netherlands TAT-14 undersea cable landing, Katwijk, Netherlands Rotterdam Port  Norway: Cobalt Nickel Mine  Poland: Druzhba Oil Pipeline  Russia: Novorossiysk Export Terminal Primorsk Export Terminal. Nadym Gas Pipeline Junction: The most critical gas facility in the world Uranium Nickel Mine: Used in certain types of stainless steel and superalloys Palladium Mine and Plant Rhodium  Spain: Strait of Gibraltar Instituto Grifols, SA, Barcelona, Spain: Immune Globulin Intravenous (IGIV) Maghreb-Europe (GME) gas pipeline, Algeria  Sweden: Recip AB Sweden: Thyrosafe (potassium iodine)  Switzerland: Hoffman-LaRoche, Inc. Basel, Switzerland: Tamiflu (oseltamivir) Berna Biotech, Berne, Switzerland: Typhoid vaccine CSL Behring AG, Berne, Switzerland: Immune Globulin Intravenous (IGIV)  Turkey: Metal Fabrication Machines: Small number of Turkish companies (Durma, Baykal, Ermaksan) Bosporus Strait Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Pipeline  Ukraine: Manganese – Battery grade, natural; battery grade, synthetic; chemical grade; ferro; metallurgical grade  United Kingdom: Goonhilly Teleport, Goonhilly Downs, United Kingdom Madley Teleport, Stone Street, Madley, United Kingdom Martelsham Teleport, Ipswich, United Kingdom APOLLO undersea cable landing Bude, Cornwall Station, United Kingdom Atlantic Crossing-1 (AC-1) undersea cable landing Whitesands Bay FA-1 undersea cable landing Skewjack, Cornwall Station Hibernia Atlantic undersea cable landing, Southport, United Kingdom TAT-14 undersea cable landing Bude, Cornwall Station, United Kingdom Tyco Transatlantic undersea cable landing, Highbridge, United Kingdom Tyco Transatlantic undersea cable landing, Pottington, United Kingdom. Yellow/Atlantic Crossing-2  (AC-2)  undersea cable landing  Bude, United Kingdom Foot and Mouth Disease Vaccine finishing BAE Systems (Operations) Ltd., Presont, Lancashire, United Kingdom: Critical to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter BAE Systems Operations Ltd., Southway, Plymouth Devon, United Kingdom: Critical to extended range guided munitions BAE Systems RO Defense, Chorley, United Kingdom: Critical to the Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) AGM-154C (Unitary Variant) MacTaggart Scott, Loanhead, Edinburgh, Lothian, Scotland, United Kingdom: Critical to the Ship Submersible Nuclear (SSN)    NEAR/MIDDLE EAST  Djibouti: Bab al-Mendeb: Shipping lane is a critical supply chain node  Egypt: ‘Ayn Sukhnah-SuMEd Receiving Import Terminal ‘Sidi Kurayr-SuMed Offloading Export Terminal Suez Canal  Iran: Strait of Hormuz Khark (Kharg) Island Sea Island Export Terminal Khark Island T-Jetty  Iraq: Al-Basrah Oil Terminal  Israel: Rafael Ordnance Systems Division, Haifa, Israel: Critical to Sensor Fused Weapons (SFW), Wind Corrected Munitions Dispensers (WCMD), Tail Kits, and batteries  Kuwait: Mina’ al Ahmadi Export Terminal  Morocco: Strait of Gibraltar Maghreb-Europe (GME) gas pipeline, Morocco  Oman: Strait of Hormuz  Qatar: Ras Laffan Industrial Center: By 2012 Qatar will be the largest source of imported LNG to U.S.  Saudi Arabia: Abqaiq Processing Center: Largest crude oil processing and stabilization plant in the world Al Ju’aymah Export Terminal: Part of the Ras Tanura complex As Saffaniyah Processing Center Qatif Pipeline Junction Ras at Tanaqib Processing Center Ras Tanura Export Terminal Shaybah Central Gas-oil Separation Plant  Tunisia: Trans-Med Gas Pipeline  United Arab Emirates (UAE): Das Island Export Terminal Jabal Zannah Export Terminal Strait of Hormuz  Yemen: Bab al-Mendeb: Shipping lane is a critical supply chain node  SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA  Kazakhstan: Ferrochromium Khromtau Complex, Kempersai, (Chromite Mine)  India: Orissa (chromite mines) and Karnataka (chromite mines) Generamedix Gujurat, India: Chemotherapy agents, including florouracil and methotrexate    WESTERN HEMISPHERE  Argentina: Foot and Mouth Disease Vaccine finishing  Bermuda: GlobeNet (formerly Bermuda US-1 (BUS-1) undersea cable landing Devonshire, Bermuda  Brazil: Americas-II undersea cable landing Fortaleza, Brazil GlobeNet undersea cable landing Fortaleza, Brazil GlobeNet undersea cable landing Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Iron Ore from Rio Tinto Mine Manganese – Battery grade, natural; battery grade, synthetic; chemical grade; ferro; metallurgical grade Niobium (Columbium), Araxa, Minas Gerais State (mine) Ouvidor and Catalao I, Goias State: Niobium  Chile: Iodine Mine  Canada: Hibernia Atlantic undersea cable landing Halifax , Nova Scotia, Canada James Bay Power Project, Quebec: monumental hydroelectric power development Mica Dam, British Columbia: Failure would impact the Columbia River Basin. Hydro Quebec, Quebec: Critical irreplaceable source of power to portions of Northeast U. S. Robert Moses/Robert H. Saunders Power, Ontario: Part of the St. Lawrence Power Project, between Barnhart Island, New York, and Cornwall, Ontario Seven Mile Dam, British Columbia: Concrete gravity dam between two other hydropower dams along the Pend d’Oreille River Pickering Nuclear Power Plant, Ontario, Canada Chalk River Nuclear Facility, Ontario: Largest supplier of medical radioisotopes in the world Hydrofluoric Acid Production Facility, Allied Signal, Amherstburg, Ontario Enbridge Pipeline Alliance Pipeline: Natural gas transmission from Canada Maritime and Northeast Pipeline: Natural gas transmission from Canada Transcanada Gas: Natural gas transmission from Canada Alexandria Bay POE, Ontario: Northern border crossing Ambassador Bridge POE, Ontario: Northern border crossing Blaine POE, British Columbia: Northern border crossing Blaine Washington Rail Crossing, British Columbia Blue Water Bridge POE, Ontario: Northern border crossing Champlain POE, Quebec: Northern border crossing CPR Tunnel Rail Crossing, Ontario (Michigan Central Rail Crossing) International Bridge Rail Crossing, Ontario International Railway Bridge Rail Crossing Lewiston-Queenstown POE, Ontario: Northern border crossing Peace Bridge POE, Ontario: Northern border crossing Pembina POE, Manitoba: Northern border crossing North Portal Rail Crossing, Saskatchewan St. Claire Tunnel Rail Crossing, Ontario Waneta Dam, British Columbia: Earthfill/concrete hydropower dam Darlington Nuclear Power Plant, Ontario, Canada. E-ONE Moli Energy, Maple Ridge, Canada: Critical to production of various military application electronics General Dynamics Land Systems – Canada, London Ontario, Canada: Critical to the production of the Stryker/USMC LAV Vehicle Integration Raytheon Systems Canada Ltd. ELCAN Optical Technologies Division, Midland, Ontario, Canada: Critical to the production of the AGM-130 Missile Thales Optronique Canada, Inc., Montreal, Quebec: Critical optical systems for ground combat vehicles Germanium Mine Graphite Mine Iron Ore Mine Nickel Mine Niobec Mine, Quebec, Canada:  Niobium Cangene, Winnipeg, Manitoba: Plasma Sanofi Pasteur Ltd., Toronto, Canada: Polio virus vaccine GlaxoSmithKile Biologicals, North America, Quebec, Canada: Pre-pandemic influenza vaccines  French Guiana: Americas-II undersea cable landing Cayenne, French Guiana  Martinique: Americas-II undersea cable landing Le Lamentin, Martinique  Mexico: FLAG/REACH North Asia Loop undersea cable landing Tijuana, Mexico Pan-American Crossing (PAC) undersea cable landing Mazatlan, Mexico Amistad International Dam: On the Rio Grande near Del Rio, Texas and Ciudad Acuna, Coahuila, Mexico Anzalduas Dam: Diversion dam south of Mission, Texas, operated jointly by the U.S. and Mexico for flood control Falcon International Dam: Upstream of Roma, Texas and Miguel Aleman, Tamaulipas, Mexico Retamal Dam: Diversion dam south of Weslaco, Texas, operated jointly by the U.S. and Mexico for flood control GE Hydroelectric Dam Turbines and Generators: Main source for a large portion of larger components Bridge of the Americas: Southern border crossing Brownsville POE: Southern border crossing Calexico East POE: Southern border crossing Columbia Solidarity Bridge: Southern border crossing Kansas City Southern de Mexico (KCSM) Rail Line, (Mexico) Nogales POE: Southern border crossing Laredo Rail Crossing Eagle Pass Rail Crossing Otay Mesa Crossing: Southern border crossing Pharr International Bridge: Southern border crossing World Trade Bridge: Southern border crossing Ysleta Zaragosa Bridge: Southern border crossing Hydrofluoric Acid Production Facility Graphite Mine GE Electrical Power Generators and Components General Electric, Large Electric Power Transformers 230 – 500 kV  Netherlands Antilles: Americas-II undersea cable landing Willemstad, Netherlands Antilles.  Panama: FLAG/REACH North Asia Loop undersea cable landing Fort Amador, Panama Panama Canal  Peru: Tin Mine and Plant  Trinidad and Tobago: Americas-II undersea cable landing Port of Spain Atlantic LNG: Provides 70% of U.S. natural gas import needs  Venezuela: Americas-II undersea cable landing Camuri, Venezuela GlobeNet undersea cable landing, Punta Gorda, Venezuela GlobeNet undersea cable landing Catia La Mar, Venezuela GlobeNet undersea cable landing Manonga, Venezuela  [END TEXT OF LIST]

¶16. (U//FOUO) Minimize considered. CLINTON

Obama, Gates And Clinton In Asia: U.S. Expands Military Build-Up In The East

November 7, 2010 

Obama, Gates And Clinton In Asia: U.S. Expands Military Build-Up In The East

by Rick Rozoff

Global Research, November 7, 2010
Stop NATO

President Barack Obama arrived in Mumbai, India on November 6 and announced $10 billion in business deals with his host country which he claimed will contribute to 50,000 new American jobs. By some accounts half the transactions will be for India’s purchase of U.S. military equipment and half the new jobs will be created in the defense sector.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is completing a nearly two-week tour of the Asia-Pacific region which will culminate in meeting up with Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen in Australia on November 8 to among other matters secure the use of the country’s military bases.

Gates will then visit Malaysia, “amid concern in the region over China’s growing economic and naval power” [1], to solidify military ties with the Southeast Asian nation as Obama moves to Indonesia, South Korea and Japan after his first visit to India on what will be his longest trip abroad since assuming the presidency.

Obama styles himself “America’s first Pacific president,” having been born in Hawaii and spending part of his childhood in Indonesia, and his administration has targeted Asia for the expansion of U.S. military influence and presence.

Several months ago a Chinese report warned that his visit to India was designed in large part to “secure $5 billion worth of arms sales,” a deal that “would make the US replace Russia as India’s biggest arms supplier” and “help India curb China’s rise.” [2]

What he has accomplished is “a $5 billion sale for 10 of Boeing’s C-17 cargo planes” which represents “the sixth biggest arms deal in U.S. history.”

“This and the pending $60 billion deal with Saudi Arabia will certainly help to jump-start the economy, as they [arms sales] have for the past fifty years.” [3]

Job creation in the U.S. is an abysmal failure except in the military sector.

“Boeing said the C-17 deal with India will support 650 suppliers in 44 U.S. states and support the company’s own C-17 production facility in Long Beach, California, for an entire year.” [4]

Other deals included an $822 million contract for General Electric to provide 107 F414 engines for the Tejas lightweight multirole jet fighter being developed by India.

Rahul Bedi, Indian-based correspondent for Jane’s Defence Weekly, recently revealed that since U.S. sanctions enforced after India’s 1998 nuclear tests were lifted in 2001 “India has concluded and signed arms contract worth $12 billion. This includes maritime reconnaissance aircraft (Boeing P-81), missiles, artillery guns, radars and transport aircraft.

“India is also buying heavy lift transport for the air force (C-17s). An artillery radar contract was the first of its kind worth $142 million. Over the next years, India is going to go for repeat orders of C-17s [Globemaster IIIs], C-130J Super Hercules [military transport aircraft], etc.” and “these contracts are worth another 7 to 8 billion dollars.” [5]

The projected purchase of 126 multirole combat aircraft will account for another $10 billion and other contracts for assorted military helicopters are also being pursued by Washington. What is in question is $15 billion in weapons deals.

With already concluded and potential contracts, “we are talking about very, very big business. We are talking about the shifting of Indian military hardware, completely.

“Shifting from Russian components to American ones is a big shift. In the mid-90s, the Pentagon had assessed that by 2015 [it] would like India to source it’s 25 per cent of hardware. They seem to be well on their way in meeting their target.

“The profile of Indian military hardware is becoming US-oriented. This will bring definitive change in Indian military doctrine because it’s dependent on [imported] equipment.”

The U.S. is also pressuring the Indian government to sign several military-related agreements, including a Logistics Support Agreement which could prove “dangerous because the use of US ports by Indians will be zero while the US can or may use Indian bases frequently because of their presence in the region. So, technically speaking, if the US should have problem[s] with Iran or Pakistan they, under the agreement, may use our bases. Indian soil can become a lunching pad for refuelling or servicing.” [6]

Addressing the U.S.-India Business Council in Mumbai on November 6, Obama said: “There is no reason why India cannot be our top trading partner (from 12th position now)….I’m absolutely sure that the relationship between India and the US is going to be one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century.” [7] That is, one of the decisive political-military alliances of the century.

In the words of Nicholas Burns, Under Secretary for Political Affairs, “The simple truth is that India’s rise, and its strength and progress on the global stage, is deeply in the strategic interest of the United States.” [8]

Obama will leave India on November 8, when Clinton, Gates and Mullen gather in Australia, and head to Indonesia where he will exploit his childhood history and then to the G-20 meeting in South Korea and the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) summit in Japan.

Indian troops are currently participating with U.S. airborne forces in this year’s annual Yudh Abhyas joint military exercises “involving airborne specialist operations in sub-zero temperatures in Alaska” of a sort that could be put to use along India’s Himalayan border with China in the event of an armed conflict like that which occurred in 1962.

“The exercise will test the mettle of the Indian Army men in performing operations in extreme cold conditions in Alaska where the temperature hovers around minus 20 degree Celsius.

“The exercise is designed to promote cooperation between the two militaries to promote interoperability through the combined military decision-making process, through battle tracking and manoeuvring forces, and exchange of tactics, techniques and procedures.” [9] Last year’s Yudh Abhyas, held in India, was the largest U.S.-Indian military exercise to date. [10]

From September 29-October 4 personnel from the Indian army, air force and navy trained with the U.S.’s 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit at the latter’s base in Okinawa in the East China Sea during the Habu Nag 2010 “bilateral amphibious training exercise between India and the United States, designed to increase interoperability during amphibious operations,” the first time “the Indian military had the chance to work alongside Marines in this situation.” [11]

“Okinawa is located close to China and has a significant US presence where several military bases are concentrated.” [12]

Clinton began her six-nation tour of the Asia-Pacific region on October 27 by visiting a military base in Hawaii, meeting with the head of U.S. Pacific Command and assuring the foreign minister of Japan that the U.S. is prepared to honor its military commitments under terms of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty in the event of further clashes between Japan and China over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands in the East China Sea. [13]

The next day U.S. and Japanese warships participated in an advanced ballistic missile interception test off the coast of Hawaii and on November 2 the U.S. launched the two-week Orient Shield 11 (XI) military exercise with 400 U.S. National Guard and 200 Japanese troops in the latter’s nation.

“Since World War II concluded, the United States has worked to build a better relationship with Japan. In 1960, the U.S. and Japan signed the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security, a binding agreement for both countries to support each other from enemy attack.” As such, “United States Army Japan facilitates a two-week Orient Shield exercise in Japan each fall….”

In the words of the commander of the Japanese forces involved this year, “Our main goal is to enhance the interoperability between the U.S. and Japan.” [14]

Since Hillary Clinton spoke this July of U.S. intentions to intervene in territorial disputes in the South China Sea between China and its neighbors, the Pentagon has conducted three joint military exercises with South Korea, including in the Yellow Sea and the Sea of Japan/East Sea, and one with Vietnam in the South China Sea.

Last month the U.S. led a 14-nation Proliferation Security Initiative [15] naval exercise off the southern port city of Busan, “marking the first time for South Korea to host such a drill.” [16] In addition to the U.S. guided missile destroyer USS Lassen and two South Korean destroyers, a Japanese ship and personnel from Australia, Canada and France participated.

In late September China’s Rear Admiral Yin Zhuo warned that “A series of military drills initiated by the US and China’s neighboring countries showed that the US wants to increase its military presence in Asia.”

“The purpose of these military drills launched by the US is to target multiple countries including China, Russia and North Korea and to build up strategic ties with its allied countries like Japan and South Korea.” [17]

Secretary of State Clinton arrived in New Zealand on November 4. Like South Korea, Australia, Malaysia and now Japan (which has announced plans to deploy Self-Defense Forces medical personnel), New Zealand has troops serving in Afghanistan.

“New Zealand has participated in the U.S.-led campaign in Afghanistan, with 140 personnel carrying out reconstruction work in Bamiyan and 70 special forces troops in the country believed to be operating in Kabul.”

Her visit revived and expanded military ties between the U.S and New Zealand that had been dormant since 1986, “mark[ing] the end of a row over nuclear weapons dating back almost 25 years,” according to Prime Minister John Key.

“U.S. and New Zealand troops could train together” again, the press reported, and two days before Clinton’s arrival the New Zealand government published a 100-page defense white paper, the first in 13 years, detailing “closer military relations with the United States, Australia, Britain and Canada, as well as enhanced front-line capabilities.

“On the ground the army will get more front-line soldiers and Special Air Service elite troops, while on the seas the Anzac frigates will be upgraded….Hillary Clinton arrived in New Zealand for a three-day visit, prompting one newspaper to suggest it was a perfect gift for her.” [18]

Though not of the same scope, the New Zealand white paper follows one by Australia last year that calls for a post-World War Two record $72 billion arms build-up. [19]

Clinton’s next stop was Australia, where Pentagon chief Gates had also arrived to “reinforce the U.S. commitment to the region with a longstanding U.S. ally and an increasingly close partner,” according to Defense Department Press Secretary Geoff Morrell.

Clinton, Gates and U.S. military chief Admiral Mullen will meet with Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith and Defense Minister John Faulkner on November 8 for the 25th anniversary Australia-United States Ministerial (AUSMIN) meeting.

The Pentagon spokesman added that “This year’s talks will cover a broad range of foreign policy, defense and strategic issues, including ongoing military operations in Afghanistan,” noting that “Australia is the largest non-NATO contributor to the International Security Assistance Force” in Afghanistan. [20]

Morrell emphasized the meeting would strengthen the U.S.’s alliance with Australia and would contribute to increased collaboration with regional partners to ensure “maritime security” in Asia. As a news source put it, “US officials often employ the phrase ‘maritime security’ to refer to concerns about China’s assertive stance over territorial rights in the Pacific, particularly in the South China Sea.” [21]

A local news report recently divulged that “Australia has agreed to a major escalation of military co-operation with the US,” including “more visits by American ships, aircraft and troops and their forces exercising here regularly….”

“Access to Australian Defence Force facilities will allow the US to step up its military presence in the Asia-Pacific region…as concern grows about China’s military expansion.”

Three “big announcements” on military cooperation will be made after the Australia-United States Ministerial consultations and “Increased numbers of US personnel in Australian facilities are expected within months, and the tempo of military exercises will be stepped up as that happens.” [22]

The military installations that the Pentagon will gain access to are expected to include army and air force bases at Townsville, the new Coonawarra naval base in Darwin, the Stirling naval base on Garden Island and the Bradshaw Field Training Area.

“The Australian development is part of a new US strategy to step up its military presence in the Asia-Pacific region after reviews of strategic policy concluded that the Bush government’s attempts to project power from North America were not working.” [23]

When Clinton arrived in Melbourne on November 6 she “signalled increased military cooperation with Australia.”

“Easier use of Australian bases, more joint training programmes and more visits by ships, planes and troops are proposed. There could also be stockpiling of US military equipment and supplies at local bases, and a joint space tracking facility that would monitor missiles, satellites and space junk.”

In her own words: “I think it’s going to be an issue of discussion at AUSMIN (Australia-US ministerial level talks Monday) about the cooperation on a range of matters, including space, cyber-security and so much else.”

New Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard confirmed that her administration would “welcome the United States making greater use of our ports and our training facilities, our test-firing ranges.” [24]

The focus of U.S. military strategy has shifted from Europe, subjugated through NATO expansion, and Africa, subordinated under U.S. Africa Command, to Asia. An Asia-Pacific analogue of NATO and AFRICOM is being expanded by the day.

Notes

1) Radio Netherlands, November 4, 2010

2) Global Times, July 13, 2010

http://world.globaltimes.cn/asia-pacific/2010-07/550830.html

3) Anika Anand, The Real Reason For Obama’s Trip To India: The Sixth Biggest

Arms Deal In U.S. History

Business Insider, November 6, 2010

http://www.businessinsider.com/top-10-us-arms-deals-in-history-2010-11

4) CNN, November 6, 2010

5) Sheela Bhatt, As Obama arrives, US bids for heavy arms business

Rediff News, November 5, 2010

http://news.rediff.com/special/2010/nov/05/obama-visit-special-as-arrives-us-bids-for-heavy-arms-business.htm

6) Ibid

7) Press Trust of India, November 6, 2010

8) CNN, November 6, 2010

9) Press Trust of India, November 4, 2010

10) India: U.S. Completes Global Military Structure

Stop NATO, September 10, 2010

http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2010/09/10/india-u-s-completes-global-military-structure

11) United States Marine Corps, October 5, 2010

12) Indian Express, September 22, 2010

13) U.S. Supports Japan, Confronts China And Russia Over Island Disputes, Stop NATO, November 4, 2010, http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2010/11/04/u-s-supports-japan-confronts-china-and-russia-over-island-disputes

14) U.S. Army Japan, November 2, 2010

15) Proliferation Security Initiative And U.S. 1,000-Ship Navy: Control Of World’s Oceans, Prelude To War, Stop NATO, January 29, 2009, http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/08/26/proliferation-security-initiative-and-us-1000-ship-navy-control-of-worlds-oceans-prelude-to-war

16) Korea Herald, October 13, 2010

17) Global Times, September 26, 2010

18) United Press International, November 4, 2010

19) Australian Military Buildup And The Rise Of Asian NATO, Stop NATO, May 6, 2009, http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/08/28/australian-military-buildup-and-the-rise-of-asian-nato

20) U.S. Department of Defense, November 4, 2010

21) Radio Netherlands, November 4, 2010

22) Australian Associated Press, November 6, 2010

23) Ibid

U.S. Marshals Military Might To Challenge Asian Century, Stop NATO, August 21, 2010, http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2010/08/21/u-s-marshals-military-might-to-challenge-asian-century

24) Deutsche Presse-Agentur, November 6, 2010

+++

Stop NATO http://groups.yahoo.com/group/stopnato

Blog site: http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/

© Copyright Rick Rozoff, Stop NATO, 2010

The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=21804

Mixed Messages: U.S. Strategy in the Asia Pacific

October 30, 2010 

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivered a strategy speech while on a stop over in Honolulu.   One military website reported:

The U.S. goals in the Pacific are to sustain and strengthen America’s leadership in the Asia Pacific Region; to improve security; to heighten prosperity and promote our values, said the Secretary.

The United States has been practicing forward deployed diplomacy, which means they have adopted a proactive footing.

“We’ve sent the full range of our diplomatic assets including our highest ranking officials, our development experts, our teams from a wide range of pressing issues into every corner and every capital of the Asia Pacific Region,” said Clinton.

“We know that much of the history of the 21st century will be written in Asia,” said Clinton. “This region will see the most transformative economic growth on the planet,” she added.

Clinton also remarked on how important America has been as Asia has moved forward in the future.

“The progress that we see today in Asia has not only been the hard work of leaders and citizens of across the region, but the American soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines that protect borders and patrol the region’s waters; the American diplomats that have settled conflicts and brought nations together in common causes; the American business leaders and entrepreneurs who invested in new markets and formed trans-pacific partnerships; the American aid workers that have helped countries rebuild in the wake of disasters and the American educators and students that have shared ideas and experiences with their counterparts across the ocean,” said the Secretary.

Clinton underscores the critical importance of the region as the geopolitical center of gravity.    But she also seems to overcompensate for America’s dwindling power with strident pronouncements of U.S. dominance and indispensability.     Although the Obama administration has stepped up diplomatic efforts in the region, the U.S. increasingly resorts to its vast network of military bases as its primary source of power.  In fact, even diplomacy is becoming more militarized, with the Pacific Command assuming many roles typically handled by the State Department and the State Department taking on more militarized language. e.g. “forward deployed diplomacy”.

Wall Street Journal reports that the U.S. is sending mixed messages to China:

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton encouraged greater U.S.-China cooperation in Asia, even as she stressed that the U.S. will increase its effort to remain a military and economic power in the region.

Similar to the speech she gave when she visited Hawai’i in January 2010, Clinton reaffirmed Washington’s intention to remain top dog in the Asia Pacific region:

“Now, there are some who say that this long legacy of American leadership in the Asia-Pacific region is coming to a close. That we are not here to stay. I say, look at our record. It tells a different story,” Mrs. Clinton said Thursday in Hawaii.

The U.S. rivalry with China is bad news for the small islands of the Pacific, including Hawai’i, Guam, Okinawa.  As the Telegraph reports:

Local residents’ concerns, however, have been sidelined by the US-China strategic competition. China has significantly expanded its fleet during the past decade, seeking to deter the US from intervening militarily in any future conflict over Taiwan, which Beijing claims as its own, and to project power across disputed territories in the gas and oil-rich South China Sea.

Beijing’s naval build-up is also intended secure the sea lanes from the Middle East, from where China will import an estimated 70-80 per cent of its oil needs by 2035 supplies it fears US could choke in the event of a conflict.

Despite claims that China does not have imperial desires to establish foreign military bases, it has undertaken a military base race of its own:

China has therefore invested in what are called its “string of pearls” a network of bases strung along the Indian Ocean rim, like Hambantota in Sri Lanka and Gwadar in Pakistan and in developing a navy which can operate far from home.

Okinawa Times article about Hawaii solidarity against US bases (Japanese language)

January 21, 2010 

http://www.okinawatimes.co.jp/article/2010-01-18_1767/

[ハワイ]「基地いらない」米国務長官訪問に県人ら抗議集会

「沖縄にもグアムにもハワイにも基地はいらない」とデモをする人たち=ホノルル市・東西センター前

[画像を拡大]

2010年1月18日 09時41分

【知花愛実通信員】12日、米国のヒラリー・クリントン国務長官がホノルル市を訪れ、市内にある東西 センターでアジア太平洋問題についてスピーチを行った。滞在中、太平洋地域のリーダーと面会し討議するほか、この後、パプアニューギニアを訪問し、環境保 護問題などについて会議を行う。

クリントン国務長官到着時、東西センターの前では、反戦・反基地を訴える活動家らが集まり、懸案の普 天間基地移設問題を前に、基地縮小の意を訴えた。地元ハワイの人々をはじめ、ネーティブハワイアン、グアム、沖縄などさまざまな地域出身の人々が集まり、 抗議行動に参加していた。

代表のカイル・カジヒロさんは「沖縄にも、グアムにも、ハワイにもどこにも基地はいらない。私たちは 基地の移設より、全面的な縮小を求めている。私たちの住んでいる所は、遠く小さな島国かもしれないが、基地のために利用される必要はない、平和に暮らす権 利がある。アジア太平洋が一つのコミュニティーとして団結してそれを訴えていくべきだ」と述べた。

Is Hatoyama government backtracking on bases in Okinawa?

January 17, 2010 

This editorial writer claims that the Hatoyama government in Japan is seeking “hana michi”, a graceful and face-saving surrender after challenging the US base relocation agreement.   Let’s hope that this is wishful thinking on the writer’s part and not the inclination of the Japanese government.  The people of Okinawa want the U.S. bases out.   Will Japan choose to once again play faithful sidekick to the U.S., or will it defend the human rights of Okinawans to live in peace without the occupying American military bases?

>><<

http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20100117/NEWS08/1170353

Posted on: Sunday, January 17, 2010

Japan hastens to repair rift over Okinawa

By Richard Halloran

The Japanese have a ritual called “hana-michi,” which literally means “path of flowers” and in practice means to allow a defeated adversary to make a graceful exit.

The term comes from the kabuki theatre. A trounced opponent, whether in a sword fight or social conflict, is permitted to dash down a ramp called the “hana-michi” running through the audience, to stop to flourish his sword or hands in defiance, and to disappear out the door.

It appears that the government of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama in Tokyo, after having caused a serious rift in the Japan-U.S. alliance, has begun to move down a “hana-michi” to seek a graceful exit from the ensuing turbulence. In that “hana-michi,” the Hatoyama regime is evidently being abetted by President Obama’s administration.

The split between Tokyo and Washington was rooted in an agreement between previous administrations in the two capitals under which U.S. forces in Japan would be realigned. A contentious provision in the agreement would have a U.S. Marine Corps air station in the crowded town of Ginowan on the island of Okinawa moved to a less populated place on the island.

The Hatoyama government, in effect, reneged on the agreement even though the pact had taken 13 years to negotiate. Senior officials in the Obama administration, notably Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, were taken by surprise and visibly disturbed. Most important, muttering seeping out of Washington held that the Japanese had betrayed the trust of the Americans.

Things went from bad to worse from mid-September, when Hatoyama took office, until year-end. Then, from Japanese press reports, Hatoyama officials became aware that they had severely damaged Japan’s relations with the U.S., especially in security. They began seeking repairs that would not make them lose face before their constituents.

That led Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada to make a hastily arranged trip to Honolulu last week to meet with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who was stopping in Hawai’i on her way to the South Pacific. They talked for 80 minutes, which meant little over half an hour with translation. Okada did affirm that his government was committed to resolving by May the issue of the Marine air station in Okinawa.

(Instead of going on to Australia, Clinton turned around and went back to Washington to help with relief efforts in Haiti.)

To embark on its “hana-michi,” the Hatoyama government has asked the U.S. to engage in new, wide-ranging discussions about the U.S.-Japan alliance even before settling the Futenma problem. Somewhere in those talks, the Japanese evidently hope to escape from the impasse they have caused. Clinton has agreed.

Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia Kurt Campbell suggested the rationale for the new discussions during a press briefing before Clinton left Washington. In recent weeks, he said, the message from Tokyo “has been that the government of Japan needs more time to work on these issues, and our response has been that we believe that this is the best approach.”

At the same time, Clinton reiterated the Obama administration’s position that the best way to resolve the Futenma issue would be for the Japanese government, despite political opposition at home, to abide by the agreement already reached.

In a subtle way, Clinton indicated that Japan had been demoted a notch in the eyes of Obama officials. Until now, Japan has been singled out by Republican and Democratic administrations as “the cornerstone” of U.S. security in Asia. In a policy address after meeting with Okada, Clinton said “the cornerstone” of U.S. involvement in Asia rested on “alliances with Japan, South Korea, Australia, Thailand and the Philippines.”

Few people anywhere understand subtlety and indirection so well as the Japanese.

AP: Clinton was met by protesters

January 13, 2010 

The AP reported:

Speaking on a hillside terrace at the East-West Center on the campus of the University of Hawaii, Clinton was met upon arrival by a few dozen protesters lining the street and shouting “End the wars!” and hoisting signs demanding that the U.S. withdraw its military forces from Okinawa. None attended the speech.

>><<

http://www.philly.com/philly/wires/ap/news/nation_world/20100112_ap_clintonacceptsjapansdelayonusbasedecision.html

Posted on Tue, Jan. 12, 2010

Clinton accepts Japan’s delay on US base decision

ROBERT BURNS

The Associated Press

HONOLULU – Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Tuesday the Obama administration feels assured of Japan’s commitment to a continuing security alliance with the United States, even as Tokyo weighs abandoning a 2006 deal on a U.S. Marine air base.

“The Japanese government has explained the process they are pursuing to reach a resolution” on relocating the Futenma air station, “and we respect that,” she told a news conference after meeting with Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada at a Honolulu hotel.

Clinton apparently received no explicit promise from Okada that Japan would not force Futenma off its territory entirely. The U.S. military views Futenma as critical to its strategy for defending not only Japan but also reinforcing allied forces in the event of war on the Korean peninsula.

Okada told reporters that he reiterated his government’s pledge to reach a decision on relocation of Futenma by May. He said Tokyo would determine the future of the air station in a way that would have “minimal impact on the U.S.-Japan alliance.”

In a nod to Japanese sensitivities, Clinton said it was important for the U.S. to maintain its role in contributing to stability in the Asia-Pacific region while keeping in mind the need to reduce the impact of jet noise and other inconveniences to local communities near U.S. bases.

Clinton also delivered a speech designed to clarify the Obama administration’s views on modernizing the groupings of Asian and Pacific nations in ways that would enhance their cooperation on a wide range of issues, including regional security, trade and the environment.

Speaking on a hillside terrace at the East-West Center on the campus of the University of Hawaii, Clinton was met upon arrival by a few dozen protesters lining the street and shouting “End the wars!” and hoisting signs demanding that the U.S. withdraw its military forces from Okinawa. None attended the speech.

Clinton stressed that the first U.S. priority in the Asia-Pacific is to maintain the country-to-country alliances it already has, while exploring ways in which the United States can play a role in any new or reconfigured associations.

“The ultimate purpose of our cooperation should be to dispel suspicions that still exist as artifacts of the region’s turbulent past,” she said.

No country, including the U.S., should dominate in the region, she said. But the role of the United States is irreplaceable, she added.

“We can provide resources and facilitate cooperation in ways that other regional actors cannot replicate, or in some cases are not trusted to do.”

She described the region as a source of potential instability.

“Asia is home not only to rising powers, but also to isolated regimes; not only to long-standing challenges, but also unprecedented threats,” she said.

For decades the main U.S. ties to the Asia-Pacific region have been through security and trade agreements with individual countries, such as the 50-year-old security treaty with Japan that allows the basing of U.S. forces on Japanese territory.

The case of Futenma air station, on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa, has become particularly sensitive. That it must be moved is not in dispute , the two countries signed a deal in 2006 to relocate it on the island. The problem is where to put it. And the U.S. position is that it cannot be shut down until a replacement is established elsewhere on Okinawa , an idea most Okinawans oppose.

A new left-leaning Japanese government that took office in September is reassessing the U.S.-Japan alliance.

It also is investigating agreements long hidden in government files that allowed nuclear-armed U.S. warships to enter Japanese ports, violating a hallowed anti-nuclear principle of postwar Japan. The findings are due out this month.

At her news conference with Okada, Clinton played down the friction over Futenma, stressing the many other areas of long-standing cooperation between the two countries. And she made clear that satisfying U.S. needs for the Marine base is equally in Japan’s own interest.

“We look to our Japanese allies and friends to follow through on their commitments, including on Futenma,” she said. “I know Japan understands and agrees that our security alliance is fundamental to the future of Japan and the region.”

The Hawaiian setting for Tuesday’s meeting, in the 50th year of the U.S.-Japan defense alliance, inevitably stirred memories of darker times. After her session with Okada, Clinton visited the World War II memorial to the sunken USS Arizona, which still lies in Pearl Harbor with its dead. She chatted briefly with two survivors and laid a wreath before a wall containing names of those who died on the ship.

Nearly 2,400 Americans were killed and almost 1,180 injured when Japanese fighters bombed and sank 12 naval vessels and heavily damaged nine others on Dec. 7, 1941. The Arizona, which sank in less than nine minutes after an armor-piercing bomb breached its deck and exploded in the ship’s ammunition magazine, lost 1,177 sailors and Marines. About 340 of its crew members survived.

Clinton: APEC meeting is a chance for Hawai’i to showcase its ‘diversity’

January 13, 2010 

“Diversity”! I guess that’s our cue to bust out the flower shirts and grass skirts.  Cliches like “aloha spirit” and “diversity” have been so overused and abused by powerful interests in Hawai’i that they have lost their meaning, become empty, irritating and even dangerous ideas, weapons to be used against the rebellious.  When Native Hawaiians express anger at the historical injustices that continue to afflict them, they are scolded: “where’s your aloha spirit?”  But when business or politicians want to window dress their event or program, they wrap themselves in the idea of Hawai’i's mythic “diversity” without having to deal with the messy inequalities, contradictions and conflicts that always simmer below the surface stoked by Hawai’i's troubled past.  APEC will highlight Hawai’i's dual nature as victim and accomplice of Empire.

Oh, yeah. The following article mentions that a “small group” held a solidarity demonstration.  It added to the “diversity” of the event.

>><<

http://www.starbulletin.com/news/20100113_Isles_should_grab_spotlight_Clinton_says.html

SECRETARY OF STATE VISITS HAWAII

Isles should grab spotlight, Clinton says

Next year’s Asia-Pacific forum is a chance to demonstrate the state’s potential, she says

By Susan Essoyan

POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Jan 13, 2010

Hawaii has a chance to showcase its diversity and act as a model for the region when it hosts the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum next year, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said yesterday at the East-West Center in Manoa.

“The opportunity for Hawaii, which is such a meeting place for East and West, is just extraordinary,” Clinton said after giving a speech that stressed the need to strengthen regional institutions such as APEC.

The 50th state, Clinton said, can display not only its “culture and the history, but the diversity, the extraordinary mixture of people from across the Asia-Pacific regions.” “Certainly with the values that our country has and the aloha spirit that Hawaii exhibits, this could be a model for the imagination of what could be in the 21st century for many of the countries who will be visiting,” she said.

Clinton spoke on the lanai of the Hawaii Imin International Conference Center, overlooking its picturesque Japanese garden, to an invitation-only audience of about 150 people. Among the guests were East-West Center students, alumni and staff, as well as Gov. Linda Lingle, Mayor Mufi Hannemann, U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie, former Govs. George Ariyoshi and John Waihee, ambassadors and consuls general.

The East-West Center was chosen as the site for her speech in part because it is marking the 50th anniversary of its founding by Congress in 1960 to strengthen relations among nations of Asia, the Pacific and the United States.

“I think it’s wonderful that we have this opportunity at the very beginning of our anniversary year to have a visit by such an important person,” said Gordon Ring, alumni officer at the East-West Center. “The Asian countries are aware of the East-West Center, but people on the U.S. mainland aren’t as aware of it. I think this really is going to help build our profile in the United States.”

Honolulu is the first stop on Clinton’s Pacific tour, her fourth trip to Asia since becoming the chief U.S. diplomat a year ago. She leaves today for Papua New Guinea. “I don’t think there is any doubt that the United States is back in Asia, but I want to underscore that we are back to stay,” she said.

“We are starting from a simple premise: America’s future is linked to the future of the Asia-Pacific region, and the future of this region depends on America,” Clinton said. She said the United States intends to play an active role, adding with a smile, “I don’t know if half of life is showing up, but I think half of diplomacy is showing up.”

Clinton emphasized the need to make organizations such as APEC and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations more efficient and effective. “No country, including our own,” she added, “should seek to dominate these institutions, but an active and engaged United States is critical to the success of these institutions.”

She highlighted dramatic changes in the region, “from soybeans to satellites, from rural outposts to gleaming mega-cities, from traditional calligraphy to instant messaging and, most importantly, from old hatreds to new partnerships.”

“We believe that Asia’s rise over the past two decades has given the region an opportunity for progress that simply didn’t exist before,” she said. “There is now the possibility for greater regional cooperation, and there is also a greater imperative.”

“APEC has been very focused on trade, which is important, but I am also focused on sustainable prosperity, broadly shared prosperity,” she said in response to a question. “We do not want to see the inequalities of the previous century being replicated among the steel and glass skyscrapers of a new age.”

Across the street, a small group held signs calling for the United States to shut its military bases. “Asia Pacific Vision: Peace,” read one. “U.S. bases out of Guam, Okinawa and Hawaii.”

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