Will the US Marine Police add troops to West Pacific? American Media: Stir the South China Sea with New Styles

 Will the US Marine Police add troops to West Pacific? American Media: Stir the South China Sea with New Styles

Reference News Network reported on July 11 that recently, the U.S. Coast Guard, which is responsible for law enforcement and security along the U.S. coast, seems to have shown a growing interest in the Indo-Pacific Strategy proposed by the U.S. Department of Defense. In March 2018, a U.S. Marine Police patrol ship first crossed the Taiwan Strait with a U.S. Navy destroyer. Since January this year, the US Navys large patrol vessels have been active in the East and South China Seas, carrying out patrols in the above-mentioned waters, conducting joint exercises with the Philippine Marine Police and dispatching consultants to Vietnam and Sri Lanka. So, what is the purpose of the US Marine Polices sudden intensification of activities across the ocean ten thousand miles apart?

In April and June this year, two senior US Marine Police officers explained their patrol ship activities in the Asia-Pacific region. In April, the Washington Post quoted US Marine Police Commander Schultz as saying that the US Marine Police would increase its vigilance patrols in the waters around China, share the tasks currently undertaken only by the US Navy and increase its presence in the region. In June, US Marine Police Pacific Commander Fagan also claimed that the deployment of additional maritime police vessels to the Asia-Pacific region was intended to strengthen the force building in the area of fisheries law enforcement and to deal with piracy, drug trafficking and other criminal activities at sea. In response to the above remarks, the website of the American Journal of Diplomatic Scholars published an article entitled What Role the US Maritime Police Plays in the Indo-Pacific Strategy, which reveals the true intention of the US Maritime Police to enhance its intervention capability in the West Pacific region, mainly in the South China Sea, in a new way of marginality and low risk.

The picture shows U.S. Coast Guard Commander Schultz

From the perspective of force composition, function and departmental ownership, although the U.S. Coast Guard belongs to the U.S. National Armed Forces (alongside the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps), it is managed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, with enforcement and security maintenance of local waters as its primary responsibility, and ships and aircraft in the system. The low level of militarization (usually equipped with weapons for self-defence and law enforcement) has created the perception of paramilitary forces and law enforcement forces to the outside world. American media articles believe that the US Maritime Police can make use of this fuzzy attribute to make a fuss.

According to the article, the US Maritime Police can take the Japan Maritime Security Agency as an example in giving full play to the advantages of vague attributes, and point out that in dealing with territorial disputes with China and South Korea, Japan Maritime Protection uses law enforcement functions and light armed attributes to confront its neighboursmaritime forces on the one hand with modern equipment, and on the other hand. On the other hand, it limits the potential conflict risk to the scope of law enforcement activities, which not only justifies its provocative actions, but also prevents further escalation of the conflict. By deploying US naval police vessels to the frontier of the West Pacific and even the South China Sea, the United States also hopes to exert similar marginal military pressure on China to achieve a long-term confrontation.

The picture shows the U.S. Coast Guard patrol ship.

The article also argues that the attributes of law enforcement force can also alleviate the concerns of other countries along the West Pacific coast about the United States. In recent years, some traditional allies of the United States in the Western Pacific region have become increasingly centrifugal towards the United States. In particular, many countries have expressed resistance to U.S. military activities in the region. Philippine President Duttert has repeatedly rejected joint military exercises by the US and Philippine forces. Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir is also uneasy about the U.S. Navys actions. American media articles argue that if the US Marine Police replaces the role of the US military, or reduces the concerns of these countries about the US military presence, it will be bundled with the United States under the banner of joint law enforcement action.

In addition, in the name of law enforcement and security cooperation, the US Maritime Police can penetrate the influence of the United States into the countries along the western Pacific coast and enhance their game capabilities. In recent years, there have been opinions in American political and academic circles that the United States should realize the balance of power and mutual restraint in the region by strengthening the military and security forces of the countries in the region instead of acting personally in the West Pacific region (such views were put forward in several academic articles published in the American Journal of International Security in 2018). The U.S. Maritime Police is the grasp of the U.S. implementation of the above-mentioned actions.

The picture shows a joint exercise between the US Marine Police and the armed forces of Asian countries.

In recent years, the US Maritime Police has tried to continue to strengthen cooperation with Southeast Asian countries in personnel training, joint law enforcement and other fields. Its partners include the Philippines, Thailand and other countries with deep defense cooperation relations with the United States, as well as Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and other countries with a shallow foundation for cooperation with the United States. According to US media articles, these actions prove that the US Coast Guard can be an important tool to support the strength building of Southeast Asian countries and reduce the cost of US intervention in the region.

From the analysis of American media articles, the deployment of US Maritime Police in the Western Pacific region does contain many new tricks of disturbing the region. Senior US Marine Police officers also seem to be quite optimistic about the future of the operation. The two senior US Maritime Police generals have said that they will further increase their deployment in the South China Sea in the future, saying that this will contribute to resolving disputes in the region. But the magazine Diplomatic Scholars has reservations about this. The article commented that although the acceptance of the US Maritime Police is high in the West Pacific region, the US still needs to carefully adjust its strategy, otherwise it will be difficult to be welcomed in the region.

Regarding the trend of the US Maritime Police, Ren Guoqiang, a spokesman for the Ministry of National Defense, made it clear at the regular press conference of the Ministry of National Defense of China on April 25 this year that the continuous renovation of foreign countries in some regions, the strengthening of the frontier military presence and the promotion of regional militarization not only harm the security interests of coastal countries, but also are not conducive to regional peace and stability. China resolutely opposes this. Ren Guoqiang said that the Chinese army will take resolute measures to firmly safeguard national sovereignty and security and to firmly safeguard regional peace and stability. (Wen/Vernon)

Source: Responsible Editor of Reference Message Network: Yao Wenguang_NN1682