US is Encircling China with Fighter Jets and Stealth Bombers

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US is Encircling China with Fighter Jets and Stealth Bombers

Plus, Washington is still considering selling submarines to Taiwan. Tuesday defense links.

Some defense and security links:

This is likely to make China none too happy. At a Washington, DC breakfast on Monday, Air Force Gen. Herb Carlisle, the USAF’s top commander in the Pacific, basically stated that the U.S. plans to encircle China with its most capable aircraft over the next few years. Over at Breaking Defense, Colin Clark reports that Carlisle said that the first Air Force F-35’s will be deployed to the Pacific, and are likely to be stationed at bases in Misawa, Japan; Kadena, Japan; Osan Air Base, Korea; and Kunsan Air Base, Korea. Singapore will also purchase the F-35s. Clark also quotes the general as saying the USAF will send "fighters, tankers, and at some point in the future, maybe bombers on a rotational basis," to a base in Darwin, Australia.

Meanwhile, John Reed of Foreign Policy reports that Carlisle also said (in Reed’s words) that the USAF will also be, “sending jets to Changi East air base in Singapore, Korat air base in Thailand, a site in India, and possibly bases at Kubi Point and Puerto Princesa in the Philippines and airfields in Indonesia and Malaysia.” As Reed sums it up, “This means the Air Force will sen[d] large numbers of F-22 Raptors, F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, and B-2 stealth bombers to the region.”

In other news likely to thrill China, in response to a letter from U.S. Representative Robert Andrews (D-NJ), the Defense Department has confirmed it is still considering a request by Taiwan for a design and feasibility study of it potentially purchasing diesel submarines. “The Department of Defense will continue to consider carefully any Taiwan requests for defense articles and services,” Under Secretary of Defense for Policy James Miller said in a response to the letter, according to Taipei Times.

The U.S. authorized the sale of eight diesel submarines to Taiwan but Taipei failed to respond to the offer until 2008, when it asked to conduct a feasibility study, the report said.

Times of India reports that the Ministry of Defense in Delhi is seizing upon an inter-service spate within India’s military to try and undermine proposals for the armed forces to create its own joint chiefs of staff. India can agree that it should offer Vietnam—which it is joint exploring for energy in the South China Sea with—a US$100 million line of credit so Hanoi can buy four patrol boats, according to The Hindu.

China is not taking its neighbors and the U.S. balancing against it lying down. It is once again conducting joint military exercises with Russia, and is considering expanding military ties with the United Kingdom.

Over at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, Peter Jennings and Tobias Feakin have a new report which argues that after the 2013 general elections, the new Australian government should publish a new whitepaper on cybersecurity within a year.

Also in cyber and think tank news, the Atlantic Council has a new report out entitled “Iran: How a Third Tier Cyber Power Can Still Threaten the United States.”