China’s military forces are showing no signs of increased alert status or readiness for conflict despite high tensions with Japan over Beijing’s air defense zone overlapping U.S. and Japanese air defense coverage of the disputed Senkaku islands.
China’s military imposed a destabilizing air defense zone over the East China Sea without consulting the United States, and top Pentagon leaders said Wednesday there have been no contacts with their Chinese counterparts since the zone was set up Nov. 23.
The uncertainty of U.S. defense spending is undermining the ability of U.S. military forces in Asia to maintain stability amid a growing military buildup by China, according to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
President Barack Obama on Tuesday backed away from plans to order an immediate military strike on Syria for its use of chemical weapons against civilians while pursuing a Russian diplomatic initiative.
Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Congress on Wednesday that Syria could conduct cyber attacks in retaliation for U.S. military strike, and that U.S. forces are prepared for regional retaliation that could include Hezbollah terrorism.
During a hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Committee examining whether Congress should approve President Obama’s plan for military strikes on Syria, Dempsey discussed aspects of military planning for attacks on Syria, including some of the military’s concerns about retaliatory attacks.
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the president’s top military adviser, told the Senate on Tuesday that U.S. plans for attacks on Syria were made more difficult by leaks to the press and the president’s delay in ordering the strikes.
Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman, said in testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that despite those setbacks he is confident military strikes will be effective in degrading the Syrian military’s chemical warfare capabilities.