Avoiding Conflict in Asia Pacific's Waters

October 27, 2016 (Ulson Gunnar - NEO) - A look at a map of Asia Pacific, and one sees that it is a region dominated by bodies of water. Namely there is the Pacific Ocean, the Indian Ocean, the Andaman Sea, the Philippines Sea, the South China Sea and numerous gulfs, bays, straits and smaller seas.

Several nations are in fact described as "island nations." Commerce by sea between and beyond Asian nations factors in as an important geopolitical and economic issue each nation must face. There is also fishing as well as gas and oil extraction performed throughout Asia's waters.

It is no surprise then that across Asia, many disputes surface between nations regarding the use of Asia's waters. Unlike on land, enforcing borders and perceived claims across seas and oceans is infinitely more difficult. Despite this, Asian states have resolved these issues through bilateral resolutions both for individual cases and in a more general sense. Very rarely do these disputes escalate toward serious or enduring confrontations, and more rarely still do they result in actual conflicts.

If an external force sought to destabilize Asia, it would likely seek several vectors including fostering confrontations over the use of Asia's waters.

The United States in particular, has cultivated a multinational, multifaceted confrontation in the South China Sea for this very purpose, attempting to pit nations like Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines and even nations removed from the sea, all against China. Minor, isolated disputes that could otherwise be resolved through bilateral relations directly with Beijing, have now been consolidated into a larger and growing confrontation prodded forward by the involvement of the United States, its military forces and its attempts to involve international institutions.

By doing so, Asia is being destabilized. The vast majority of Asia's economic activity unfolds within Asia itself. While exports and imports from beyond Asia are no doubt important as well, instability in Asia would be a threat to nation security and undermine economic stability for each respective state, whether they were directly involved in the South China Sea row or not.

US Attempts to Shame Asia for "Caving to China"

October 24, 2016 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - It is becoming clear that US influence - despite its "pivot toward Asia" - is waning across the Asia Pacific region. Washington has suffered geopolitical setbacks in virtually every nation in Asia Pacific, including those now led by regimes it has meticulously organized, funded, and backed for decades. It is also waning, however, among those nations considered long-time and crucial US allies.

This includes Southeast Asia's Thailand, whom the US repeatedly reminds the world has been Washington's ally since the Cold War and America's war in Vietnam, and allegedly, even before that.

Washington's Waning Influence is Based on Floundering Fundamentals  

However, in reality, Thailand has incrementally dismantled American influence over it, and has diversified its trade and cooperation with a large variety of nations - including China - as a means of depending on ties with no single nation in particular.

America's Ironic "Two-Faced" War on Terror

October 23, 2016 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) - Rarely ever does hypocrisy align so succinctly as it does within the pages of American policy and media coverage. US policy think tank, the Brookings Institution, recently provided an extreme example of this in a paper titled, "A convenient terrorism threat," penned by Daniel Byman.

The paper starts by claiming:
Not all countries that suffer from terrorism are innocent victims doing their best to fight back. Many governments, including several important U.S. allies, simultaneously fight and encourage the terrorist groups on their soil. President George W. Bush famously asked governments world-wide after 9/11 whether they were with us or with the terrorists; these rulers answer, “Yes.”

Some governments—including at times Russia, Egypt, Turkey, and Pakistan among others—hope to have it both ways. They use the presence of terrorists to win sympathy abroad and discredit peaceful foes at home, even while fighting back vigorously enough to look plausible but not forcefully enough to solve the problem. This two-faced approach holds considerable appeal for some governments, but it hugely complicates U.S. counterterrorism efforts—and the U.S. shouldn’t just live with it.
Byman then begins labelling various nations; Somalia as a "basket-case," Iran as a "straightforward state sponsors of terrorism" and attempts to frame Russia's struggle against terrorism in Chechnya as somehow disingenuous or politically motivated.

Byman also attempts to claim Syrian President Bashar Al Assad intentionally released terrorists from prison to help escalate violence around the country and justify a violent crackdown, this despite reports from Western journalists as early as 2007 revealing US intentions to use these very terrorists to overthrow the governments of Syria and Iran specifically, the New Yorker would reveal.

US Seeks to Exploit Thailand's Transition to Destabilize Asia

October 21, 2016 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - The passing of Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej marks a historical, cultural, and geopolitical event of yet unknown proportions. His time as Thailand's head of state spanned decades, and the stabilizing progressive nature of his reign has transformed Thailand into an economically and culturally significant center of power within Southeast Asia and in Asia itself.

With his passing, the Western media, long attempting to undermine him in life, took the opportunity to defame him in death, claiming he resided over a "divided" nation bound to unravel with his passing.

They also took the opportunity to defame and distort the character of King Bhumibol Adulyadej's heir, Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn.  Despite the baseless gossip and speculation about the Prince's private life, his public life has been marked with distinction in service to the nation, serving as a special forces operator in combat along Thailand's borders, a trained pilot, and a regular figure presiding over public functions.

Like his father, the Prince's role in Thai society is not determined by the Western media and the perception they dishonestly try to foster before their intentionally ill-informed audiences, but by the Thai people themselves. And during the days of mourning following the late King's death, it has become abundantly clear that the vast majority of Thais are committed to preserving their ancient institutions, understanding them by far more deeply than the Western media has presented.

Undeterred, the West, and the United States specifically, seeks an opportunity to disrupt and destabilize Southeast Asia as a means of disrupting China's growing influence in the region as well as Beijing's growing ties to its regional neighbors.

Already cultivating opposition fronts and faux-nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) region wide, funded by the US State Department itself, the US believes that Thailand is experiencing a vulnerable moment of weakness it can use to create a domino effect of destabilization across the entire region.

What Washington Really Wants in Syria

October 19, 2016 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) - When the United States announced that it would be abandoning "peace talks" with Russia regarding the ongoing conflict in Syria, many had already dismissed them as disingenuous.

The Washington Post in an article titled, "U.S. abandons efforts to work with Russia on Syria," would claim:
U.S.-Russia relations fell to a new post-Cold War low Monday as the Obama administration abandoned efforts to cooperate with Russia on ending the Syrian civil war and forming a common front against terrorists there, and Moscow suspended a landmark nuclear agreement.
The Washington Post would also admit however, in regards to Russian allegations that the US categorically failed to separate militants it has been backing in the 5 year long conflict and universally-designated foreign terrorist organisations, that:
Russia’s version of the sequence of events mandated by the deal is “explicitly not true,” a senior administration official said. “Separation was not step one,” but was supposed to occur after seven days without major violence. The Russians, the official said, have “constantly tried to move the goal posts.”
This admission made by US policymakers, politicians and the Western media all but admits that the US has never prioritised confronting terrorism in Syria and has been using the presence of terrorist organisations merely as a pretext for more direct Western military intervention. In fact, by acknowledging that Western-backed militant groups are indistinguishable and inseparable from designated terrorist organisations including Al Qaeda's Syrian franchise, Jabhat Al-Nusra, the US is all but admitting it is intentionally arming and equipping the terrorists themselves.