Intelligence indicates China is exploring opening a permanent deep water naval base on the West African Coast. The base would be in a deep water port developed under their Belt and Road initiative in Bata, Equatorial Guinea. This would provide a forward staging base to project combat power off the US East Coast and into the Gulf of Mexico…
i hear taiwan is a good location for a us base.
Well, for the time being Korea and Japan will suffice.
But all of that is a world removed from this potential new base. China will be getting a lesson on the difficulties of power projection. In the meantime, we might want to start shoring up relations with Brazil.
if china is seriously looking at it, we should publicly announce we’re seeking a deal to open a port in taiwan. then use that to negotiate china out of the idea.
It’s not a perfect parallel because Taiwan is in China’s sphere, and Equatorial Guinea isn’t in ours. So it would be a super provocative move. But it would definitely lay down a marker.
taiwan is not in china’s sphere, they’re in china’s crosshairs
Closer to China’s sphere than ours. That is indisputable.
Power projection is first and foremost about the ability to sustain the forward deployed forces. The ability to mass fuel, stores and ordinance, along with maintenance facilities in the Atlantic Basin would see advanced cruise missile armed surface ships and submarines operating in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. It would also allow China to forward deploy SSBNs in the Atlantic. This would put our entire coastline, and all potential targets within several hundred miles of the coast within striking distance of tactical weapons systems.There are no tactical ADA systems currently deployed to protect our coastline. Potential targets include power stations, communications nodes, refineries, tank farms, distribution centers supplying food to our major coastal cities, many of our Army, Air Force bases and Marine bases, all of our naval bases and shipyards.
This is the first potential base. How long before Venezuela and Panama.
Don’t see how we could allow it.
How? Sternly worded letters? Economic sanctions on Equatorial Guinea? China wants the base and will spend what they need to git it. Offer China pretty things?
It didn’t work in 1939.
Come on man!!
china joe has this all under control.
I’m sure Xi has Joe and family well under control.
Well, the next time you hear conservatives complain about soft power, and it’s associated costs, this will be a handy example of why it is important.
This is just the opening move in China expanding their String of Pearls Strategy to the Atlantic Ocean. They use belt and road to gain influence and build dual use infrastructure at strategic locations around the world. Once constructed they negotiate military access and basing rights.
And it isn’t soft power when backed up with a massive military build up.
Belt and Road is the epitome of soft power. And we are failing to compete.
When a nation’s objectives are expansion at any cost it isn’t soft power. It is pushing the envelope as long as possible to have as much military infrastructure in place before a conflict, instead of having to make a forced insertion then construct the forward support bases under fire.
Well, if we are free to redefine terms at will, you are correct. Otherwise, you are not.
Soft power is actually a myth. It sounds nice, but really only means diplomacy. Diplomacy has only one purpose, to achieve international political objectives. And as “on War” teaches, war is just politics by other means. In other words war is a tool for accomplishing international political objectives. Xi’s political objective is global hegemony. He supports his diplomacy (velvet glove) with a credible mailed fist inside it and he is willing, and intends, to use that force. Our leaders need to get serious about this now. Because combat operations with China will occur on US Soil.