Posts Tagged ‘geostrategy’


Geostrategic implications of CNOOC/Nexen deal extend to South China Sea

August 7, 2012

Will Rogers at the CNAS Natural Security blog points out that the recent China National Overseas Oil Company (CNOOC) tender to purchase Canadian firm Nexen has important geostrategic implications beyond the continuing Chinese efforts to penetrate North American fossil fuel interests.  Nexen has extensive deep sea oil drilling expertise, a field in which Chinese firms have little background.  The Nexen purchase, Rogers points out, could signal an intent to be even more aggressive in pursuing their territorial claims over the bulk of the South China Sea and its attendant resources.  As Rogers points out, “China’s foray into deep-water drilling will raise the stakes in the South China Sea. Countries like Vietnam and the Philippine that also seek to exploit the region’s deep sea fossil fuel resources could become increasingly worried about their ability to exploit resources if China gets there first – potentially increasingly the number of incidents to obstruct offshore oil and natural gas drilling activities.”


Sri Lanka, China pledge military cooperation

June 8, 2012

The commander of the Sri Lankan army and China’s Minister of Defense Liang Guanglie on Thursday pledged to boost military cooperation.

China’s ‘String of Pearls’ strategy edges ever forward.  Although some insist that this policy is not dangerous, a Chinese military presence in Sri Lanka would be highly provocative.

Sri Lanka/China in 2012 is to India as Cuba/USSR was to the US in 1960.


The growing China-India military rivalry over Arunachal Pradesh

April 19, 2012

Namrata Goswami, writing for India’s Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses, details the history of the Chinese claims of sovereignty of the peripheral Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh.  China’s claims are grounded in the historical ties of Arunachal Pradesh to Tibet, which China claims to be, not an independent sovereign state, but rather a historic and integral part of greater China which was rightfully reunified with the core in 1949.  India followed this action by annexing Arunachal Pradesh in 1951, and there have been border skirmishes and boundary disputes between the two powers ever since.  Goswami covers this history in her report.

Goswami then details the very large Chinese military buildup in and around Tibet, and outlines the danger that this presents to India.  In addition to the overt military buildup, China’s aggressive infrastructure development in this remote region will give that nation the ability to rapidly mobilize troops to the border in the event of a future conflict, a definite advantage over India, which side of the border does not have a modern transportation system developed.

Goswami concludes with a list of policy options for the Indian government to take in order to prevent and/or prepare for any conflict with China over the region.  India’s defense and infrastructure needs here presents an opportunity for the US to further deepen our developing ties with India.  Goswami’s policy recommendations include infrastructure projects (especially roads and other transportation efforts) and the development of a military special forces contingent that can rapidly deploy to the region.  After our experience in Afghanistan, the US military has more experience with fighting in high altitude regions than any high tech military in the world.  A training program to share that experience with and to transfer relevant technologies to Indian forces would be an excellent way for the US to maintain its influence in South Asia even after the eventual withdrawal from Afghanistan.


Terror as geostrategic lever

January 24, 2012

Geopolitically, Pakistan is hemmed in between Iran to its west and India to its east.  In India, it has what it believes to be a mortal enemy with which it has been at various levels of war since independence; in Iran, it has a rival for leadership in the Islamic world.   Pakistani leaders would like their nation to be the center of a pan-Islamic quasi-Caliphate to balance the growing power of India.  To that end, it’s Directorate of Inter-Services Intelligence has built what some call “an empire of terror” throughout the nations of Central Asia.  ISI has a in every pie, with the dual goals of thwarting other Islamic nations for leadership (Iran and, increasingly, Turkey) plus building a deterrent for India.  Window on the Heartland has recently posted an overview of Pakistan’s use of terror as a geostrategic lever:

Pakistan has always desired to expand its influence in Afghanistan and beyond. Central Asia is seen as an area of natural expansion for the country. Islamabad’s objectives in the region are determined by its geopolitical imperative: to turn itself into the leader of an Islamic bloc stretching from the Black Sea to China able to counter India’s influence and become an autonomous actor on the international scene. In this context, the destabilizing efforts carried out by the ISI through support to terrorist groups in Central Asia since the early 90s have been aimed at creating the right conditions so that the Pakistani leadership could gradually take over from of other major powers such as Russia, China and the United States.

Read the whole thing.

The ISI has built what is in essence a model for a low-tech, asymmetric analog to the integrated defense network centered on complex weapons systems that the US is building.