After South China Sea Incidents, US Needs ‘Sustained’ Pacific Presence, Lawmaker Says — Breaking Defense

The destroy­er Ben­fold (DDG-65) tran­sits the Tai­wan Strait on July 28 2021. (File)
WASHINGTON: A recent con­tentious run-in between the US Navy and the Chi­nese mil­i­tary in the South Chi­na Sea was just the lat­est in a string of inci­dents that high­light a fun­da­men­tal ques­tion for US oper­a­tions in the con­test­ed water­ways: How long can the sta­tus quo be main­tained, and to what end?
The answer, accord­ing to a US law­mak­er and ana­lysts who spoke to Break­ing Defense, is for the Navy look beyond the sta­tus quo alto­geth­er to the long game by increas­ing its pres­ence in the South Chi­na Sea and stand­ing ready to counter mili­tia forces if the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment becomes more overt­ly aggres­sive towards US and allied ships, cre­ative­ly, if need be.
“It is …


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