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Inside the Ring
AIR SEA BATTLE BUDGET
The new LCSs are among the Navy’s most advanced warships, designed to fight close to shores against what the military calls anti-access and asymmetric threats in those waters.
Deploying up to three of the new warships in Singapore is yet another message to China that the United States and its allies will not allow Beijing to seize control over the entire, resource-rich South China Sea.
China has privately called the sea its “driveway” and is moving its advanced naval forces, including ships, aircraft and submarines, into the region.
Another indicator of support for Air Sea Battle is the Pentagon’s decision to keep 11 aircraft carrier strike groups after considering going down to 10.
The budget also preserves funds for U.S. bombers and cruise-missile upgrades on submarines.
Additionally, the budget slashed spending on mobility aircraft needed for power projection as part of Air Sea Battle.
President Obama and his top aides this week avoided all public discussion of the dangers posed by China’s growing economic and military power during the visit this week of Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping.
Vice President Joseph R. Biden, who recently took the lead on U.S.-China policy from the State Department and other agencies, said during a meeting with Mr. Xi on Tuesday, “We believe that a rising China is a positive development, not only for China but also for the United States and the world.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Bill Gertz is a national security columnist for The Washington Times and senior editor at The Washington Free Beacon (www.freebeacon.com). He has been with The Times since 1985.
He is the author of six books, four of them national best-sellers. His latest book, “The Failure Factory,” on government bureaucracy and national security, was published in September 2008.
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