U.S Navy PACFLT, top intelligence officer “relieved” for countering Pentagon’s talking points

Was one of the U.S. Navy’s senior intelligence officers reassigned for expressing his observations of a threat to the United States and Japan? Capt. James Fanell spoke out about China’s strategy and their ability to start a short, sharp war with Japan. This of course was not Pentagon talking points. What did he do that was wrong? He offered analysis of the exercise. Capt. James Fanell was making us aware of a threat, giving his observation as a top officer does. Highly doubtful that he felt this was classified.

When you are removed from a position like this, being reassigned is career ending. They have given him an office at the end of the hall. One step away from “out the door”


 A 29-year naval intelligence officer, Capt. James Fanell has more credibility and insider knowledge than most others in his branch of service. He gave his assessment, observation, he did not give out classified information.

The rest…….. well, read for yourself.



A senior Navy intelligence leader whose provocative comments this year about Chinese bellicosity stirred an international controversy has been shelved in the wake of an investigation into his conduct, Navy Times has learned.

Capt. James Fanell, the director of intelligence and information operations at U.S. Pacific Fleet, has been removed from that position by PACFLT boss Adm. Harry Harris and reassigned within the command, Navy officials confirmed.

Fanell warned during a February public appearance that a recent Chinese amphibious exercise led naval intelligence to assess that China’s strategy was to be able to launch a “short, sharp war” with Japan, an unusually frank assessment about a closely watched region.

His comments, which ran counter to the Pentagon’s talking points on building ties to the increasingly assertive Chinese navy, were picked up by media outlets from The New York Times and Reuters to London’s Financial Times and Daily Telegraph. Top defense officials, including the 4-star head of the Army and the Pentagon spokesman, were forced to respond to his comment in the following days.






Fanell leaped into the public spotlight earlier this year when the press picked up on remarks he made at the U.S. Naval Institute’s WEST 2014 conference, saying naval intelligence believed that China was preparing for a possible war with Japan.

“[We believe] the [People’s Liberation Army] has been given the new task to be able to conduct a short, sharp war to destroy Japanese forces in the East China Sea following with what can only be expected [as] a seizure of the Senkakus or even southern Ryukyu [islands],” Fanell was quoted as saying.

Fanell has also stated that China is at the center of virtually every maritime territorial dispute in the Asia-Pacific and that the Chinese were engaging in a blatant land-grab of islands that would enhance their exclusive economic rights to fishing and natural resources.

U.S Navy PACFLT, top intelligence officer relieved

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