Saturday, March 24, 2012

China, North Korea and Iran--leadership changes affects regional security and RP

North Korea's alleged plan to launch an interballistic missile has alerted many countries in the region, including the Philippines. Japan, a traditional enemy of the Koreans eons back, vowed to intercept such a missile if launched. 

The USS Blue Ridge, the flagship of the United States 7th Fleet has now docked in Manila. Prior to this, there has been a steady deployment of armed US personnel in the Philippines. 

Wikipedia describes the seventh fleet as the United States permanent forward projection force operating near Japan and South Korea. It is a component fleet force under the US Pacific Fleet. It is the largest of all forward-deployed US fleets, with 50-60 ships, 350 aircraft and 60,000 Navy and Marine Corps personnel. Built in 1946, the seventh fleet is responsible for the defense of the Korean peninsula.

Its flagship carrier, the USS Blue Ridge (LCC-19) is the lead ship of the two Blue Ridge-class command ships of the U.S. Navy, and is the command ship of the United States Seventh Fleet. Her primary role is to provide Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence (C4I) support to the commander and staff of the United States Seventh Fleet. She is currently forward-deployed to US Navy Fleet Activities, Yokosuka, Japan and is the third Navy ship named after the Blue Ridge Mountains, a range of mountains in the Appalachian Mountains of the eastern United States.

There are three active and potential flashpoints in Asia: one, the Korean Peninsula, South China Sea and Near East. 

Dear Leader has just departed and US-educated successor has just ascended. Now, it is not entirely known how influential and strong the successor is, and how traditional powers have since accepted the transition. It now remains with the successor if he would show just how strong his political will is, or if he chooses to remain at the back-end of things and allow his closest generals to run the show.

In China, there will also be a change in the Communist Party's power structure. The old guards, those who pursued reforms within the Communist system are slowly fading out of the scene and being replaced by young turks. The new Chinese leadership will emerge in the next few weeks, and many are trying to figure out policy changes in its wake.

Of course, who could forget about Iran? Iran's leadership has since been attacked by the United States and the state of political disarray in those parts are astounding.

These are political risk points that may affect the Philippines in the next few weeks or months. The question really is, do we have the right leadership to manage our affairs while these things happen?