A tense standoff in the waters southwest of Vietnam is about to enter its seventh week. Throughout May and June, Chinese Coast Guard vessels aggressively patrolled around Malaysian and Vietnamese oil drilling platforms.
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Editor’s Note: Although the Trump administration has made much of China's rise when it comes to trade, the president should be focused more on the security implications. Robert Ross of Boston College points to the decline in U.S. naval strength in East Asia as a game-changer for the regional order. Ross argues that the Navy's forward presence is strained, while China's capabilities are growing steadily. U.S. allies are aware of this painful reality, and their willingness to trust America to protect them will decline.
The guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain collided with a merchant vessel in the Straits of Malacca at 5:24 am local time on Monday morning, resulting in one confirmed U.S. Navy casualty, nine sailors still missing, and several others injured.
Editor's Note: The United States has long depended on a worldwide network of military bases to project power, reassure allies, contain enemies, and fight terrorism. Indeed, as the Islamic State has metastasized, the Pentagon is considering expanding the U.S. basing network in the developing world, particularly in Africa. Renanah Miles and Brian Blankenship of Columbia University describe how China and other countries are joining this quest for bases. They argue the resulting competition is creating a market, and a dysfunctional one, for access.