Wednesday Headlines

Defense Chief Warns China’s Against Increased Militarization
Defense Secretary Ash Carter warned China that if it continues its aggressive posture in the South China Sea, there will be real consequences. Addressing the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco, Carter cautioned Beijing that “specific actions will have specific consequences.”

His remarks come days after defense officials testified before Congress that China represents a direct threat to US interests abroad, as well as to the homeland.

“China’s nuclear-capable missile forces pose a military risk to the US homeland,” said USMC General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr. of the Joint Chiefs, adding that their “expanding, well-resourced, and well-trained cyberspace forces represent a threat to the United States.”

The growing danger of an unchecked China demonstrates the failure of the Obama strategy abroad to focus on building partnerships in hopes of slowly turning the global order to U.S. advantage. Rather than back off, China has pursued a more confrontational approach aimed at undermining the American competitive edge.

Appearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee in late February, U.S. Pacific Command chief Adm. Harry Harris told legislators that Chinese missile deployments to Woody Island, along with new radars and runways on small, man-made islands in the region reflect China’s pursuit of a “hegemony in East Asia,” directly challenging US power.

“China is clearly militarizing the South China Sea, and you’d have to believe in the flat Earth to think otherwise,” he added.

Arab States Declare Hezbollah A Terrorist Organization
This week, the Gulf Cooperation Council, a Saudi-dominated political bloc formally designated Lebanon’s Hezbollah militia a terrorist organization.

In a prepared statement, GCC Secretary-General Abdullatif bin Rashid Al- Zayani said the decision was made in response to recent acts of terror and efforts to smuggle weapons and explosives into the region, reports the Arab News.

“The GCC states consider Hezbollah militias’ practices in the Council’s states and their terrorist and subversive acts being carried out in Syria, Yemen and Iraq contradict moral and humanitarian values and principles and the international law and pose a threat to Arab national security,” Al-Zayani said.

While it appears to be a positive move, it represents a signal of escalating tensions between regional rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Event: Forum On Foreign Policy Challenges Facing Next President
On March 1, the Brookings Institution presented a panel discussion on the myriad of number of foreign policy and national security choices and challenges which could face the next president.

The issues addressed included the future of an all-volunteer force to when and where to intervene in foreign conflicts.

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