April 02, 2014

Power Balance in Asia - Pacific Region

Essay : [Power Balance In Asia - Pacific Region]

English Essay on "Power Balance In Asia - Pacific Region"

Power Balance in Asia - Pacific Region

A large number of inter-border disputes, Sino-Indian, Indo-Pakistan, Pakistan-Afghanistan, Sino-Russia, Russia-Japanese, Sino-Vietnam, have remained unresolved and even after the superpower detente continue to be the cause of strife often breaking out into armed conflicts. In a number of countries viable political superstructures have emerged and organized central state power facing periodical challenge. In several countries the nation state building process has either been not completed or is still in its initial stages. Ethnicity in itself has emerged as an autonomous political factor and has a destabilizing effect on the political structure. The Asia-Pacific region has become a key link on our planet, of vital importance to the countries of Africa and the Persian-Gulf, to Canada and many other nations. Its unique strategic situation and the complicated and contradictory balance of forces has not led to unprecedented militarization and nuclearisation of this region, and it makes a tangible impact on the military and political situations of the world as a whole.
Unlike Europe, both in terms of political influence and military strength, the situation in the Asia-Pacific region is not “bipolar”. many of the region’s states are non-aligned and take independent stand, both conflicts raging in this region and other international problems.
The Cumulative impact of the unstable political situation in individual countries and the tensions of interstate relations heighten the level of military confrontation in the region. It is, therefore, not surprising that out of more than 250 military conflicts that have occurred in the world since the Fifties, 240 have taken place in Asian or Pacific countries.(4essay.blogspot.com) Again it was in Asia that the nuclear arms were used for the first and the only time.
Quite apart from the fact that three biggest socialist countries; the Russian Federation, China and Vietnam are located in this region, Japan occupies a strategic position in this region and the Soviet Union (New Russian Federation) and American meet each other across the Pacific.
The US concept of security for this region so far has been based on what was once termed, “Reagan’s doctrine for Asia aimed at achieving clear maritime superiority.” It is trying to achieve this by creating a military coalition, in which it helps to be involved not only long-standing allies such as Japan and South Korea but also the members of ASEAN. It is a different story that ASEAN countries have begun to assert their independence.
The large number of strategic, intermediate-range, shorter-range and battlefield nuclear arms deployed in the region by the US, the Soviet Union and China make a military confrontation probable and could cause any local conflict to expand and engulf the entire planet.
The US and the Russia deploy possibly 25 percent of their stockpile or over 4500 delivery vehicles and up to 25,000 war heads in the Asia- Pacific region.
Out of its strategic trial of land based intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBMS), heavy bombers and submarine launched ballistic missile (SLMBS), the United States has traditionally preferred the naval component in the Asia-Pacific region. According to some sources, about one third of the nearly 700 SLMBS on board American missile carrying, submarines are deployed in the Pacific. There include Trident 1 missile with multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles (MIRVS) (eight war head per missile) carried on board light ohio-class nuclear power submarine (SSBNS) each carrying 24 SLMBS.
Since 1983, the US has stationed a strategic au wing of 15 B-529 bombers on Guam Island, which has been dubbed a “Nuclear island” in the region. Each B-529 strategic bomber can carry 12 cruise missile (ALCMB) fitted with nuclear war head (following the bombers modernization this number will be increased to 20.)
The situation in Asia Pacific region is further destabilized large- scale deployment of Tomahawk sea-launched cruise missile capable of reaching target with a range of 2600 kilometers. Their deployment on board surface ships and multi-purpose submarine of the US 7th Fleet began in 1984. By 1991, it is planned to arm 137 US warships with these missiles.(4essay.blogspot.com) Tomahawk missile have been already used to arm 17 surface ships and 25 submarines in the Asia-Pacific region and another 15 ship with missile will be armed soon.
In addition to strategic forces, responsibility for “nuclear deterrence” is borne by airfield and carrier based aviation. Seven of American’s 15 aircraft carriers are permanently assigned to the US 3rd and 7th Fleet operating in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.
Each carrier can accommodate up to 200 nuclear warheads and up to nuclear-capable assault planes. The United States Pacific Fleet also includes 45 diesel and nuclear-powered submarines and about 170 large surface ships, all of which are able to carry nuclear arms. US department of Defence admits that the 7th Fleet alone carries up to 1500 nuclear warhead.
There are indications that the US intends to expand the nuclear factor in the regional military confrontation. In October 1986, the Pentagon decided to deploy a battalion of Lance nuclear-capable short- range missile in South Korea where the American forces already have over 1000 tactical nuclear weapons. Though the Lance missiles have a fairly short range (130 Kilometer), this decision has the potential of further destabilizing the situation in the conflict-prone Korean Peninsula.
In addition to strategic forces, the Russia has a sizable potential of intermediate-range nuclear systems (missile and bombers) in the Asia- Pacific region. In conformity with the Russian-American Treaty on the elimination of intermediate range and shorter-range missile, however, which was signed in Washington on December 8,1987, the Russian missile are to be scrapped.
China’s nuclear forces have remained virtually unchanged for years, and include some 400 nuclear warheads and 240 to 250 delivery vehicles (not more than 10 ICBMS, about 100 intermediate-range missile, 24 ballistic missiles on board two submarines, and 120 medium bombers). At the same time, China has launched a program to expand and modernize its nuclear potential. It plans to build 12 missile carrying submarines, and by the early 1998, hopes to build a supersonic strategic bomber.
From all indications, it appears that the American strategy in Asia undergoing important changes. In political terms, the US has now begun to play the role of a “balancing power’ and not that of “dominant” power. From a position of an “harmonistic power” it wants to defend its interests as a “balancing power.” There are both external and internal factors which have to led to this shift. Washington is struggling to bring its strategic ends in line with its financial means.
The US-Japan Security Treaty is gradually losing its significance -and will eventually become totally absolute. Though it would be premature to suggest that the special US-Japan military ties will soon end, it is becoming increasingly clear that the relationship between these two countries has begun to change, though as yet slowly.
China is yet another factor in the militarization of this region. There are widespread suspicious about Chinese intentions and they are likely to get more actuate as China asserts her wide ranging territorial claims. International disputes of China, include, boundary with India; bilateral negotiation are under way to resolve disputed sections of the boundary with Russia, boundary with Tajikistan in dispute: a short section of boundary with North Korea is indefinite; involved in a complex dispute over the Spartly Islands with Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, and possibly Brunei; maritime boundary dispute with Vietnam in the Gulf of Tanking Parcel Islands occupied by China, but claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan; claim Japanese-administered Senkaku-Shato, as does Taiwan.
International disputes of India, include boundaries with Bangladesh and China; status of Kashmir with Pakistan; water-sharing problems with downstream riparian, Bangladesh over the Gangs and Pakistan over the Indus. International disputes of Pakistan also includes status of Kashmir with India; water-sharing problems (Wular Barrage) over the Indus with upstream riparian India.

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