David A. JONES
China’s development, testing, public display, and apparent intent to deploy its new Dong Feng 21D “Carrier Killer” missile offers China and its allies a false hope if it intends to sink American aircraft super carriers. More likely, this will be the pretext for a 21st century arms race that has begun already. It shows the ineptitude of U.S. President Barack H. Obama and his administration in “Gunboat Diplomacy.” All this requires an immediate reversal if China is to join the West as a responsible peacekeeper.
What does China want? Apparently, the removal of American aircraft carriers that Obama has deployed along the Western Pacific rim of the Yellow, East China, and South China Seas. The United States position is that it will deploy its assets anywhere it wishes in international waters. This is short sighted. Yellow Sea, yes; East and South China seas, not necessarily. The menace of North Korea requires an American intervention, but there is no such menace from China southward, unless China itself chooses to become one, which would be unfortunate.
If he were adept at “Gunboat Diplomacy,” Obama would reduce the American naval presence in the Western Pacific but force China to desist from any weapons sale or military presence within the Western Hemisphere or anywhere else that could endanger America or its allies, quid pro quo. China should be warned that America will hold it responsible for any harm done by any power to which it sells ordnance of the caliber of the DF21D.
The DF21D obviates the obsolescence of the Nimitz Class super carrier, and the Ford Class “super super” carrier is obsolete before the first one is launched. Instead, the Obama Administration should cancel production of Ford Class aircraft carriers and replace them with a more maneuverable Raymond A. Spruance Class series of carriers that would contain fewer personnel and aircraft but be deployable more easily. Build them smaller, run them cheaper, send them everywhere.