Lewis Diuguid

Global military buildup sends troubling signal

US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter passing NATO Response Force soldiers during his visit to the I. German-Dutch Brigade in Muenster, Germany. The troops are part of NATO's Very High Readiness Joint Task Force.
US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter passing NATO Response Force soldiers during his visit to the I. German-Dutch Brigade in Muenster, Germany. The troops are part of NATO's Very High Readiness Joint Task Force. The Associated Press

The world rapidly is growing into a very touchy place with the escalation of military forces along old, Cold War battle lines.

The U.S. on Monday promised to contribute weapons, aircraft and troops, including commandos for NATO’s new rapid reaction force to assist in defending Europe against any potential Russian military action and against the Islamic State. Russia made its neighbors nervous when it annexed Crimea on March 19, 2014, and Russian troops remain a threat to Ukraine.

Meanwhile, China is constructing artificial islands and military facilities in the South China Sea, startling the U.S. and many of China’s neighbors. China also has a rapidly growing fleet of nuclear submarines with ballistic missiles, which also make officials nervous in Vietnam, Taiwan, Japan, the Philippines, Malaysia and U.S.

China’s military rejuvenation includes it launching its first aircraft carrier and announced plans to restructure the armed forces. A U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon surveillance plane earlier this year was repeatedly instructed by a Chinese dispatcher to leave the reefs and shoals in the South China Sea.

Technology is making the world smaller, enabling people to be drawn closer together. But the militarization along old battle lines certainly does not add to the feeling of security.

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