The past month in the Indo-Pacific saw flyovers of military exercises, anti-ship ballistic missiles and rising Taiwan tensions.
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Summer in the South China Sea—a hardened U.S. policy, extensive naval operations and a Twitter skirmish.
The interdependence of global submarine communication systems means that a break in the vast network of seabed cables during armed conflict could have cascading effects on internet access. Yet the law of naval warfare is underdeveloped in this area.
Although drone warfare to date has overwhelmingly been analyzed in the context of US operations against non-state actors - Al Qaeda or affiliated groups or, more recently, ISIS - much of the impact of drones on warfare is likely to come in the markedly different environment of state-to-state conflict (or near conflict) in the Asia Pacific ocean. The conflict environment, not to put too fine a point on it, of China versus, well, everyone or anyone else in the waters that China regards as its near-abroad and everyone one else regards as, more or less, the high seas.
Over the weekend, the U.S. Navy conducted another “freedom of navigation” operation (FONOP) in the South China Sea. This time, the U.S. Navy destroyer Curtis Wilbur entered waters within 12 nautical miles of Triton Island in the Paracels. And as with the previous South China Sea FONOP, China has reacted with “resolute opposition” to the U.S.
Editor’s Note: Energy markets are at the core of many national security debates. Whether it’s a discussion about Iran’s nuclear program, the importance of Libya, or China’s role in the world, questions about the security implications of energy are always raised. Llewelyn Hughes of Australian National University and Austin Long of Columbia are skeptical of many of the fears raised in national security debates. They argue that one of the key threats to energy markets is whether an actor can constrict a country’s supply of oil—and here U.S.