doesn't inspire confidence that the US Navy manages to crash another of
its top-notch warships - on the same day that it launches military
drills off Korea; drills which could spark an accidental nuclear war.
the US Navy can't control its own vessels in normal civilian maritime
situations, what does that say about the competence, or lack of,
in nail-biting war scenarios?
In the latest incident, the guided-missile destroyer USS John S McCain collided with an
oil tanker near Singapore. This was the fourth major accident involving
the US Navy this year — and all were in Asia-Pacific. Ten American
sailors are missing and, from the extensive damage to the ship, presumed
As one flabbergasted US military pundit told CNN:
"How does a state-of-the-art navy destroyer equipped with multiple
radar systems and communications gear with a full-bridge watch not see,
detect and evade a 30,000 ton slow-moving (10 knots) behemoth?"
US destroyer in question is fitted with the Aegis anti-missile system,
which is supposed to be the apex of American technology for this kind
of weaponry. There are reportedly 14 such vessels operated by the US 7th
Fleet in the Asia-Pacific. The ships are purported to be a key part
of the defense system for the US and its allies against North Korean
these elite warships can't avoid running into oil tankers, it doesn't
say much about their ability to detect and zap supersonic enemy
ballistic missiles hurtling across the stratosphere. The incompetence
of US forces only adds to the uncertain tensions that have gripped the
region in the nuclear stand-off between Washington and North Korea.
North Korea this week repeated its warning that the war games being conducted by the
US and its South Korean ally over the next two weeks are a reckless
move that could trigger "an uncontrollable phase of a nuclear war".
Washington has gone ahead with its annual war drill off Korea —
involving massive land, sea and air maneuvers — despite calls from both
China and Russia for the games to be cancelled as a concession to reduce
tensions with North Korea.
latest collision between an Aegis-equipped US destroyer and an oil
tanker is an emphatic reminder that accidents can happen even
with supposedly sophisticated weapons systems. Given the knife-edge
standoff between the US and North Korea this kind of risk-taking
by Washington in holding its war drills is doubly reprehensible.
year that US forces conduct these war maneuvers off Korea, the North
Koreans protest that they are a provocation signaling a rehearsal for an
American military invasion.
year's war drills are especially fraught after US President Trump
warned earlier this month that American military would unleash "fire and
fury like the world has never seen before" on North Korea over its
nuclear weapons program. Trump's words implied a pre-emptive strike
by the US with nuclear weapons.
Korea responded with threats to launch a ballistic missile strike
near the American Pacific island territory of Guam, where the US has
nuclear-capable B-1 bombers based. Last week, North Korean leader Kim
Jong-un backed off the strike plan on Guam, saying he would judge
forthcoming "foolish Yankee" actions.
the next two weeks, the giant war maneuvers being held by US forces
in conjunction with South Korean and Japanese military, could spark an
all-out war with North Korea. If a war were to erupt, it would most
probably involve the use of nuclear weapons, with catastrophic human and
accident-prone US navy only adds to the anxiety that a war could be
stumbled into. That is precisely why China and Russia called on all
sides de-escalate military forces and to make diplomacy and dialogue a
typical arrogance, however, the Americans are pushing ahead to escalate
the situation, making the absurd claim that the Korean war drills are
The Washington Times reports illogically with the headline: "US-South Korean troops start military drills amid North Korea's threats".
double standards are risible. When Russia holds war maneuvers on its
own territory, Washington and its NATO allies routinely decry those
drills as "offensive" to European security. Yet, when Washington
conducts land, sea and air operations involving up to 70,000 troops and
"decapitation strikes" against North Korea, well, then the maneuvers are
said to be "defensive".
other irony about the US naval crashes is that Washington claims that
its vessels are present in the Asia-Pacific in order to guarantee
"freedom of navigation". The Americans allege that China is flexing its
military muscles in the region and thereby threatening the free movement
of international merchant ships.
the latest collision this week with an oil tanker off Singapore,
earlier in June another Aegis-equipped US destroyer crashed into a cargo
ship off Japan. That incident resulted in the death of seven US crew
members. Just last week the commanders of the USS Fitzgerald were
dismissed from their posts for incompetence following a navy inquiry.
May, another US guided-missile warship was in a collision with a South
Korean fishing vessel. A fourth accident this year was when a US warship
ran aground while approaching Japan.
deadly record of American navy incompetence is due in part because
of Washington's unprecedented military build-up in one of the most
congested merchant shipping routes in the world. Nearly 25 per cent
of all global commodities are shipped through the Strait of Malacca and
the South China Sea. Over 200 cargo ships pass through the narrow
2.8-km-wide Strait of Malacca every day, near where the US destroyer
collided with the oil tanker this week.
the frequency of ramming on the high seas caused by US navy vessels, it
begs the question: what freedom of navigation is Washington supposedly
primarily, the most serious danger from US forces is the incompetence
in handling supposedly hi-tech weapons systems in a region that is
already on a knife-edge for a nuclear war. The American recklessness is
That's why with the US Navy lumbering around, no wonder one gets an eery sinking feeling.
views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do
not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.
ROLAND SAN JUAN was a researcher, management consultant, inventor, a part time radio broadcaster and a publishing director. He died last November 25, 2008 after suffering a stroke. His staff will continue his unfinished work to inform the world of the untold truths. Please read Erick San Juan's articles at: ericksanjuan.blogspot.com This blog is dedicated to the late Max Soliven, a FILIPINO PATRIOT.
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