It appears that the Obama administration wants to get out the exit door next year without offending China over the simmering South China Sea issues. The gag order from Obama via Susan Rice came before a nuclear summit meeting last Thursday in which China’s Xi Jinping was in attendance. It appears that President Obama wanted to do so some private negotiation with China. I guess that the POTUS can be more “Flexible” if it is done that way. However, good military men follow lawful orders, and are not policy makers.
Jumpy Obama, Rice Tell Generals To Shut Up About China
As Written By JONAH BENNETT a Reporter at The Daily Caller
“They want to get out of office with a minimum of fuss and a maximum of cooperation with China,” retired Navy captain Jerry Hendrix told Navy Times.
President Barack Obama’s National Security Council has placed a gag order on military officials who want to challenge China over its aggressive posturing in the South China Sea.
Navy Adm. Harry Harris believes in pioneering a much stronger confrontation with China, but the Obama administration has struck down his proposals repeatedly, preferring the tactic of negotiations and talks over action, Navy Times reports.
What Harris wants is to conduct military operations likely involving ships and aircraft within 12 nautical miles of artificial islands in the South China Sea, which the Chinese government continues to expand. Harris’ idea is to halt growth, so that these islands don’t come within 140 miles of the Philippines’ capital city, Manila.
This saber rattling is making the Obama administration rather uncomfortable, especially since it’s desperately trying to negotiate with China on a wide-range of issues and does not want Harris — or others in military leadership who support more aggressive plans — to disrupt the process.