Crossfire War: Southeast Asia; Singapore – South China Sea – Maritime Security E

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Night Watch: SINGAPORE – 13 countries, revolving around Singapore are to conduct, this week, a maritime security exercise in the South China sea, an extension of the U. S.-led effort to halt the weapons of mass destruction.

“The terrorist attacks that have taken place around the world since 9-11 are not isolated acits with local objectives, but strands of a single, global web of terror,” stated Singapore’s Defence Minister Teo Chee Han, quoted by Reuters. He continued, “We now have a network of terrorists who will use the most extreme violence and destruction to achieve their objectives.”

Under this exercise any ship carrying illegal material would be intercepted and escorted to Singapore. The operation center for this is Singapore’s Changi Naval Base. This is part of the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) President George W. Bush began in May 2003 and officially supported by 60 nations.

Unofficially and in reality only 13 countries are taking part including: Australia, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States and Japan. Tokyo held the previous exercise in October 2004, one that was criticized by North Korea as “hostile and provocative.” Pyongyang, ever since the 1970’s, has been exporting missiles, beginning with the Scud to the Middle East, a major source of their revenue and it has always been done with Beijing’s encouragement.

Beijing does so because they want to see a weaker West, Russia and India, which would enable the Middle East and China to become the main voice in the world economy. That makes the South China Sea the main maritime route for the traffic that continues today. Beijing is notably absent from the exercise. According to the reports China is not even participating as an observer.

Malaysia, Pakistan, Brunei and Vietnam are the only Asian countries that plan to observe the maneuvers but the participation of Kuala Lumpur and Islamabad are suspect because they both, especially Pakistan have benefitted from the weapons support from China and North Korea. Kuala Lumpur has been at the center of the network that has enabled the Islamic world to have nuclear technology.

Both capitals will probably inform Ankara-Tehran-Riyadh as to the effectiveness of the exercise. Singapore’s Defense Minister probably realizes that the terrorists objectives serve the interests of these capitals as well as benefitting Beijing. The “strands” of the “global web of terror” lead to these financial, training and procurement centers.

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Willard Payne is an international affairs analyst who specializes in International Relations. A graduate of Western Illinois University with a concentration in East-West Trade and East-West Industrial Cooperation, he has been providing incisive analysis to NewsBlaze. He is the author of Imagery: The Day Before.