Home / Robert Farley / Exercises and Borders

Exercises and Borders


I have two largely unrelated pieces that both involve China. First, in the Diplomat:

As a regularly scheduled biennial exercise, RIMPAC happens regardless of the extant political situation in the Pacific. However, the absence of the People’s Liberation Army Navy – and the participation of Russia and India for the first time – combined with new tensions in the South China Sea, leaves the unavoidable impression that these exercises are geared towards managing the increasing naval power of China.

This year’s RIMPAC exercise took place against the backdrop of an unusually open debate about the future of U.S. maritime strategy in East Asia. The Obama administration’s “pivot” pledges a redistribution of U.S. military effort to the Western Pacific. The development of AirSea Battle, at least at tactical and operational levels, promises to enhance the ability of assets from different organizations to cooperate. China has viewed these debates with considerable concern.

And then in the Global Times:

The broader problem is that sponsorship of militant networks can have wide-ranging, unpredictable outcomes. Elements of the US supported mujahedeen eventually came to constitute part of the Taliban, giving harbor to enemies of the US. Pakistani support of the Taliban as well as other militant networks has led to many terrorist attacks in Pakistan and India. In the future, jihadist networks may undertake major attacks in Xinjiang and other parts of China.

Whether or not elements of the Pakistani Taliban are using Afghanistan as a safe haven, border conflicts will continue to create problems between Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the US…. Heavily armed bands of young, enthusiastic men undercut state power and authority, however attractive such networks may appear in the short term. Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India should take note, just as China and the US should closely monitor the development of new militant groups along the Durand Line.

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  • Anonymous

    We’ll meet again, don’t know where, don’t know when,
    but I know we’ll meet again some sunny day!
    Keep smiling through, just like you always do,
    ’till the blue skies drive the dark clouds far away!

  • RhZ

    With all due respect Professor Farley, I do hope you will consider the wisdom of connecting your name with a rag like the Global Times.

    The Global Times is controlled directly by the Party and is one of the official organs of central propaganda. Indeed, one of the main organs of disseminating disinformation world-wide. Its purpose it to project soft power to cover up for the horrible abuses of the CCP.

    It is the Global Times which is used to attack dissidents like Ai Weiwei, carries water for the brutal policies of the Party, and generally seeks only to serve the Party.

    You might not want your name attached to such an organization. Just saying.

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