Obama’s Marine Preserve Cripples US Navy Defense Against China

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


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Last week I wrote about how Obama and Kerry’s ridiculous ocean obsession was distracting from important national security issues such as Al Qaeda overrunning Iraq.

But as former Naval Intelligence officer and national security expert J.E. Dyer points out, the 782,000 mile marine preserve can also undermine national security.

Environmentalist groups have been fighting the U.S. Navy for years over the use of low-frequency and mid-range sonars…

…The expanded monument area takes the sonar fight, which has been mostly contained in smaller areas near the coast, and writes it over a huge swath of ocean.

The expanded Pacific Islands monument is entirely a forward operational area.  It’s not a training area from which the Navy might perhaps relocate to satisfy other stakeholders.  It’s a very large part of the ocean which we would be deciding to close off to certain kinds of operations – if we followed the monument expansion to its predictable conclusion, and allowed the logic of environmental activism to override the needs of the Navy.

This brings us to the third dimension of the problem, which is that the expanded Pacific Islands monument is an especially bad place to limit or curtail our naval operations.  The reason is that it is the most obvious pathway for Chinese naval units, including submarines, into the Central and Eastern Pacific…

The gradual expansion of China’s naval operating areas, including expansion into the Pacific, has been a key trend in the Chinese fleet’s profile.  Coupled with it in recent years have been deployments by intelligence collection ships (AGIs) to patrols off of Guam and Hawaii.

These patrols are intended straightforwardly for collection against U.S. military activities, of course, but in light of China’s expanding naval profile, they are also a harbinger of future fleet operations in the Pacific.

Of particular significance, especially as it concerns the use of sonar, is the likelihood of Chinese submarine operations becoming routine in the Pacific…

The Pacific Islands monument area not only lies across the most direct paths from the East China Sea to the Central Pacific, but is one of the most seamount-infested parts of the entire Pacific Ocean floor – especially compared to the floor of the Eastern Pacific.  Seamounts are good reference points for underwater navigation, but they’re also excellent baffles for longer-range sonar acoustics.

These are excerpts of a much larger and heavily illustrated article written from an expert standpoint which is worth reading, but what it amounts to is that while Obama has been talking about a pivot to Asia, he has managed to undermine the US Navy against the PRC even much closer to home.

 

  • USARetired

    Considering who is behind this, It most likely is intentional!

    • Daniel Greenfield

      I wouldn’t be surprised if the PRC’s people didn’t have a hand in it either

      • truebearing

        Maybe they loaned us some more rope so when we finally hang ourselves, the drop takes a few seconds longer.

        • objectivefactsmatter

          Those Marxists sure have offered us lots of rope. It’s surprising not everyone wants to take them up on their generous offer.

  • SoCalMike

    Obama and Kerry just stuck another knife in our ability to project force.
    Whoopsy Daisy…
    Just another day for 2 traitors gutting our military and helping military enemies again. It’s what they do.
    Special thanks to everyone who voted for this trash.

  • Guest

    I expect canned laugh tracks or perhaps coached audiences for sitcoms produced live on an Universal Studio set.

    Not this.

  • Chris Gait

    I’m sure the US Navy will respect this new ‘monument’, the term our petty tyrant uses for this type of land or ocean grab not authorized by Congress. I wonder if the Chinese submarine fleet will be so lawful and obedient. The overwhelming charm of Obama’s diplomatic efforts around the world will no doubt prevent Chinese and Russian subs from entering the ‘monument’ and disturbing the fish. Or maybe another non-existent entity, like mermaids, will keep them out.

  • T vannieKaap

    All technology is short-term, there will be better options in a few years time. Do we destroy our natural world for that? Stupid.

    • tickletik

      Yes you are.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      How come after all this time of using sonar the world has yet to be destroyed?

      • objectivefactsmatter

        Tipping point?

        • Daniel Greenfield

          peak sonar

      • truebearing

        It’s causing Global Deafening of the Oceans. An imaginary crisis that will mean we have to give up all of our weapons and do what we’re told.

        • Daniel Greenfield

          time for a sonar tax

          • truebearing

            Al Gore is already working on a new documentary.

    • Pete

      10,000 years after the agricultural revolution we are still tilling the soil. We are not using digging sticks or scratch plows but we are still tilling. No till farming still seems around the corner.

      We are still digging and smelting metals.

      We are stilling growing plants for fiber for clothes like we have been doing for 3,000 to 5,000 years or more.

      Where is this tech that you speak of that radical changes and will give us a a zero footprint?

      Maybe if South Africa was a reliable country that the U.S. could cont on as an ally like we do england, we could afford to have a smaller “environmental footprint.

      While you are lecturing us, why don’t you go across the border and into Zimbabwe and report on the Chinese colonization efforts. I hear the Chinese are big into diamond mining in Zimbabwe.

      • objectivefactsmatter

        We should soon be able to read minds reliably and soon after that will be able to leave our mortal bodies and live among the gods.

        Stay current with new age technology, dude.

        “I hear the Chinese are big into diamond mining in Zimbabwe.”

        If anyone wants to understand the term “neo-colonial,” take a look at China’s commercial relationships. With just about everyone.

    • truebearing

      Would you prefer China’s deep respect for the natural world? idiots like yourself never think globally, yet pose as saviors of the planet.

    • William Magoffin

      Are you a sonar expert? For our surface fleet this is virtually their only defense against submarine attack. Half of our DDG 51s don’t carry the AN/SQR-19 Tactical Towed Array Sonar (TACTAS) because at the speeds necessary to escort carriers the TACTAS would be dragged in to the surface layer and be mostly washed out by flow noise. Guess what the space that was used for TACTAS is now used by? A helicopter carrying low frequency active sonar.

      The PLAN is now fielding conventional subs with Sterling Cycle systems, meaning they can charge their battery drives below the thermocline layer for two weeks at a time. Silent, high endurance battery boats are exactly the threat LFAS was created to fight, it was the biggest thing in sonar in the past 20 years. Telling the Navy not to use LFAS is like telling the Air Force not to use their surveillance radars. At that point we might as well just keep our fleet in port and go for a fleet in being doctrine because without LFAS we can’t control the seas anymore.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      Do you believe everything that people tell you?

    • CowboyUp

      What better options? ‘Better’ options like our toilets and clothes washers that don’t do what they’re supposed to yet end up wasting more water? Stupid.