Alan Romberg recently had an article on the CNN website entitled “U.S. and S. Korea navies send a message.”
He argued that the recent large-scale U.S.-South Korean naval exercise had several purposes. Most important was to send a message to Pyongyang that Washington and Seoul have the capability — and will — to response with devastating force to any further acts of aggression.
A second was to strengthen the U.S.-ROK capability to coordinate such a response, and to reinforce their anti-submarina capabilitities.
A third factor was to demonstrate to China that the U.S. not only has the right to operate in international waters but that it will do so in defense of its national interests. Washington would prefer to cooperate with Beijing than seemingly challenge it in order to change North Korean behavior. But, beyong exercising freedom of navigation, Washington’s message to Beijing was: “If you cannot help bring North Korea to cease its provocative behavior, we will be forced to take actions that, while not aimed at you, will discomfit you.”
For the full text of the article, go to: