Bryan Clark, senior fellow at the Center for Strategic & Budgetary Assessments, discusses the ongoing RIMPAC military exercise and the Navy’s continued acquisition of the F/A-18 Super Hornet.
The Rim of the Pacific Exercise 2018, the world’s largest international maritime exercise began this week. While the joint training effort features 52 ships and participation from 25 nations, there are some notable absences. Brazil dropped out citing a change in operational schedules, and China’s invitation was rescinded over militarization in the South China Sea. “China’s been attempting to use its higher end military capabilities like communication and sensors jamming, building islands in the South China Sea and deploying missiles and air defense systems there as a way of coercing and pressuring their neighbors to give in to their demands for territorial claims or maritime access,” said Bryan Clark, senior fellow at the Center for Strategic & Budgetary Assessments. “If the U.S. can not be the only country that’s pushing back on that, but can bring the Philippines, Australia, Japan and Korea along to maybe be able to operate at that same level of sophistication, then it gives [ways] to make it a multilateral operation rather that strictly a one-on-one.”