Coast Guard Personnel as Ship Riders in the South China Sea? has a surprising proposal for dealing with the Chinese non-military aggressiveness in the South China Sea. He proposes putting US personnel (he specifically mentions US Coast Guard personnel among other possibilities) on the vessels of friendly nations, specifically mentioning the Philippines, but this might be extended to other nations facing similar attempted intimidation.

The intended effect of emplacing U.S. personnel aboard allied vessels ideally should be twofold. First, help our allies by lowering their risk of operations (such as resupplying isolated garrisons) and assuring them that the U.S. is a stalwart friend. Second, negate Chinese escalation dominance by forcing them to confront Americans in order to achieve their ends. This would force them into a choice between moving to higher level rungs on the escalation ladder and therefore incurring a greater risk of conflict with the U.S., or backing off. Whatever course they chose, their incremental approach would be dealt a setback.

The comments also note that having a US rep on board would also insure that incidents are accurately reported keeping allies as well as the Chinese honest and lending the reports greater credibility.

8 thoughts on “Coast Guard Personnel as Ship Riders in the South China Sea?

  1. I’m not nessicarilly against it, and it is an intriguing option, but the obvious question is “then what”? Because that won’t stop China from doing what it’s doing.

    Escalating, then backing down doesn’t do any good. And I don’t think we are willing to go to the next step over this.

    Maybe the Philippines shouldn’t have kicked us out of Subic then disarmed themselves?

  2. How about instead we announce that the US will not go out of its way to defend any non-US flagged ship. And watch the Flag of Convenience shippers scream.

    I see no reason to subsidize with US taxpayer money our competitors. If they want US protection they pay US taxes.

    We can’t afford to give away freebees anymore.

      • Our present policy of defending foreign merchant ships for free while making US shipping pay was a big part of destroying the US merchant fleet

  3. DJF their is no such policy. The US as part of EU and NATO particpates in anti-piracy operations in specific areas where US flag ships sail. PVST and other costs are taken by SOME companies in certain areas. It is a doubtful asertion that those were part of decreases US flag fleet size

  4. Pingback: Japan, U.S., Australia, Philippines coast guards to huddle over China activities–Japan Times | Chuck Hill's CG Blog

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