South China Sea Strategies for other nations (Not China)


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Naval Group And PT PAL Ink MoU With Submarine Deal In Sight
The MoU regarding cooperation in submarine domain was signed today on February 10. The signing comes after a visit by Naval Group’s CEO to the local shipyard PT PAL Indonesia.

The MoU regarding cooperation in submarine domain was signed today on February 10. The signing comes after a visit by Naval Group’s CEO to the local shipyard PT PAL Indonesia.
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Same ones they offered to Australia lol. Now Australia won't get subs for decades and Indonesia gets them to threaten them. Ankus for the win.
Not really. The sub to be sold to Indonesia is a SSK design through and through, whereas the canceled deal with Australia was an SSN to be converted to SSK.


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Yes this is a Skorpene class submarine. If it gets sold at all. AFAIK Indonesia already has some German Type 209 submarines and they had a purchase agreement with South Korea to buy submarines. Maybe the Indonesians want to change submarine design after the accident with that old Type 209?


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Directly from the Arsenal of Taranto.
It sims that the two frigate of the Maestrale class under contract by Fincantieri for interim solution to the Indonesian Navy are the frigate F576 Espero and the F575 Euro which are now in reserve in the arsenal.
(Sorry no photo to large to upload)


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Greater Conflict-Phase Access to Asia/U.S. Policies for Five Indo-Pacific Countries​

In November 2023, Rand, together with the DoS, prepared this document saying what should be done in the event of a major conflict in Asia.

Basically it is a document to contain and eventually a plan for the United States to defeat China.

The report's broad focus indicates the great importance of US allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific in any regional campaign to counter Chinese initiatives. After all, partners and allies would not only employ their own military and economic capabilities to defend their territories but would also give access to their territories, airspace and waters for the US to conduct a military campaign, highlighting the importance of this for the USAF, which would depend on access to airspace and air bases of allies and partners in the region in order to confront China.

The DoD and USAF have invested a lot of time and effort into increasing access for U.S. forces during peacetime, however, it is unclear to what extent this access would remain existing and open in the event of a conflict, both the geography and politics of the region. limit Washington's options to access some regions of some allies and partners, and this would end up defining the outcome of the conflict and this concern about having this access occurs for some important reasons.

US strategic dilemmas:

1) Chinese naval air capacity may be enough to balance American efforts in WestPac;

2) Chinese naval air capacity combined with its ballistic capacity (also hypersonic) would be enough to neutralize American efforts in the region;

3) The use of drones will be devastating for both China and Americans, however, China is better prepared to produce drones to replace the losses;

4) Both sides have secret devices/technologies that will influence the conduct of the conflict, however, Rand states that even if the US is ahead of China in this dilemma, there is no guarantee that it is far ahead of China and that this would be enough to obtain the decisive advantage in the conflict;

5) The loss of one or more US aircraft carriers will have a devastating impact on the willingness to continue the conflict, affecting the permanent morale of Americans. This same loss for the Chinese will have a much smaller impact on both morale and willingness to continue the conflict.

Therefore, the US strategy is to guarantee territorial access from these allies and partners. Therefore, the report focuses on five allies and partners considered fundamental in the Indo-Pacific region.

Are they:

The conclusion of these five allies is due not only to geography, but to the strategic perspective, internal politics and economic incentive of each nation, however, the report is very realistic about the limits of expectations that American planners should have in relation to its influence on access decisions during a conflict, as for Beijing, it can be seen as these countries directly entering the war, making it a more difficult task for the Americans to convince these allies and partners in the event of an eventual conflict.

That's why the report highlights two things that Washington should keep in mind:

1) Do not expect sudden changes in the positioning of allied and partner countries;

2) Just because a country provides access in times of peace does not mean it will provide access in the event of war;

In summary, the five allies and partners in the region will make their decisions based on the most influential factors, thus creating three levels of interaction and strategy:

1) Government level;
2) Military level
3) Air force level (USAF) - more specific

So the report focuses on how allies and partners will make their access decisions in the conflict phase and that this decision will likely be based on five key questions:

1) Would granting access affect the political survival of the leader or the regime?
2) Would granting access directly affect the country's security?
3) Would granting access affect the outcome of the conflict?
4) Does granting access affect - or be affected by - similar regional decisions?
5) Would granting access affect the country’s economic prosperity?

These questions are broadly applicable to all states facing the prospect of deciding whether to approve access requests during a conflict phase.


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Greater Conflict-Phase Access to Asia/U.S. Policies for Five Indo-Pacific Countries​

The report then looks at each country individually starting with the Philippines:

Risk of military retaliation - Philippine leaders are concerned about the vulnerability of their territory to Chinese attacks, particularly in the South China Sea.

Risk of economic retaliation - Economic retaliation is even more concerning because the Philippine economy is hugely linked to Chinese trade and investment

The second fact is the Philippine assessment of the likely defense of Philippine territory by the US, because the country is simply not sure whether the Americans will defend their territory if China were to attack, especially in the South Chia Sea and this is something that will likely influence the decision of Philippine access to the Americans, on the other hand, the Philippines would also consider whether, by refusing American access, it could worsen the US-Philippines alliance and thus reduce the likelihood of the US defending Philippine territory in the future.

The second ally/partner is Japan:

Due to the Japanese dependence on the US security umbrella, the Japanese perception is that their alliance with the Americans is their fundamental guarantee of security, a fact that will influence the guarantee of access. There are fears on the part of Japan that refusing US requests for access in the event of conflict, including access to existing US bases, could undermine the alliance and risk Japan confronting China on its own.

The second factor is the dependence of the US on bases that are in Japanese territory, this makes the Japanese assess that US success in many Indo-Pacific scenarios, especially those involving Taiwan, would require access to bases in the country, if Japan refusing this access would undermine American war efforts so much that it would likely worsen Japan's own security in the long run.

The third ally/partner is Singapore:

Singapore's first factor is the concern of losing its status as a regional economic center, since, for its leadership, economic prosperity is linked both to the survival of its political regime and to its national security. If Singapore grants access in a potential conflict between the US and China, China could devastate Singapore's position as a regional economic hub that offers a neutral, safe and efficient place to trade.

The second factor is the need for the US's balancing role in the region to safeguard Singapore's autonomy, as the small nation seeks to maintain its autonomy in foreign policy, avoiding getting too close to or relying excessively on any geopolitical power, although there is a general preference by the USA as the guarantor of order, prosperity and security in Southeast Asia.

Singapore considers that if it refuses access, this could lead to US defeat in a potential conflict, leaving the nation vulnerable to a regional order dominated by China and just as this second factor has the issue of Singapore's strong commitment as a dependency on the order. current regional, as a small state in a volatile area, Singapore depends on the stability and current order to protect its interests, another order guided by the interests of larger and more powerful states, could leave Singapore exposed to attacks or extortion, Singapore could thus be willing to grant access to prevent larger states from using their force to violate the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The fourth ally/partner is Indonesia:

As an initial factor, the non-alignment policy historically sees its policy as the best way to keep the country safe, maintaining neutrality and only dealing with security challenges multilaterally through ASEAN. There is a strong preference among Indonesian elites to maintain a policy of non-alignment even in the event of a conflict.

The second factor they also consider the risk of retaliation from China, Indonesian elites are concerned about military and economic retaliation from China, with regard to military retaliation a primary concern is the vulnerability of the Natuna Islands to a Chinese attack, Not least because Indonesia's economy is very vulnerable to economic retaliation given the absurd amount of Indonesia's trade and investment with China, which is vastly greater than Indonesia's trade with the US.

Yet a third factor is ASEAN's support for US operations, as Indonesia would consider the position of ASEAN members when making this decision, although ASEAN is unlikely to form a consensus on a conflict between the US and China, the position of the country as leader of ASEAN and its preference to work through that body on regional issues would carry great weight with the country's elites, so what would weigh with them would be the position of ASEAN as a whole in assessing the level of US support in a conflict with the China.

The fifth and final ally/partner is India:

The first factor considers the extreme caution and risk aversion of Indian foreign policy makers towards China, as India would hesitate to take actions that it perceives as hostile and direct against China, India recognizes that China is economically and militarily powerful too much for the Indians to succeed in the event of a conflict, Indian elites therefore fear that granting access in the conflict phase to the US would lead to a full-scale war with China which, by controlling the Himalayas, would be able to impose absolutely incalculable losses to the Indian population, whether in the supply of drinking water or through military retaliation.

As a second factor, India's traditional reluctance to participate in any kind of military alliance, Indians consider formal alliances and informal security cooperation blocs or even any partnership that can be characterized as alignment as bad for their sovereignty and national interests, Indian elites believe that the nation's essential interests are best served by a foreign policy that balances competing nations with each other by giving a high degree of freedom of action to New Delhi, as is clear from the conflict between Russia and the West on the Ukraine issue, the position Indian neutrality was too great to face Western pressure, which they feared that tightening could end up pushing the Indians further towards Moscow.

So the report points out that it could be done for the US to persuade these countries.


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Greater Conflict-Phase Access to Asia/U.S. Policies for Five Indo-Pacific Countries​

In the case of Japan:
Most Important Deciding Factors:
1) Japanese reliance on U.S. security umbrella
2) U.S. dependence on Japanese bases

U.S. Policy Levers Most Likely to Be Effective:
1) Expand and deepen high-level discussions of joint wartime contingency planning
2) Increase intelligence-sharing with Japan
3) Publicly and privately reiterate the U.S. commitment to Japan’s defense across all contingencies
4) Expand preparations for cooperative cyber defense and information resilience, air and missile defense, and defense against attacks on distant Japanese islands

In the case of the Philippines:
Most Important Deciding Factors:
1) Philippine assessment of the likelihood that the United States will defend Philippine territory
2) Risk of PRC retaliation

U.S. Policy Levers Most Likely to Be Effective:
1) Provide an explicit security guarantee to protect territory claimed by the Philippines in the South China Sea
2) Increase high-visibility commitments to Philippine security
3) Dramatically expands U.S.-Philippine economic ties
In the case of Singapore:
Most Important Deciding Factors:
1) Singapore’s concern over losing its status as a regional economic hub
2) Need of U.S. balancing role in the region to safeguard Singapore’s autonomy
3) Singapore’s strong commitment to and reliance on the rule of law and regional order

U.S. Policy Levers Most Likely to Be Effective:
1) Reenter the Trans-Pacific Partnership (U.S.)
2) Regularize expanded peacetime access requests in Singapore
3) Regularize expanded peacetime access requests elsewhere in Southeast Asia
4) Conduct high-level consultations to clarify potential conflict-phase access requests in advance
5) Build consensus against PRC aggression within international or regional organizations
In the case of Indonesia:
Most Important Deciding Factors:
1) Indonesia’s nonalignment policy
2) Risk of retaliation from China
3) Whether ASEAN supports U.S. operations

U.S. Policy Levers Most Likely to Be Effective:
1) Build consensus against PRC aggression within international or regional organizations
2) Strengthen U.S. ties with ASEAN
In the case of India:
Most Important Deciding Factors:
1) Indian policymakers’ extreme caution and risk aversion vis-à-vis China
2) India’s traditional reluctance to join any sort of military alliance

U.S. Policy Levers Most Likely to Be Effective:
1) Build consensus against PRC aggression within the United Nations General Assembly and the Quad
2) Gradually regularize peacetime access requests
3) Conduct high-level consultations in advance of a conflict regarding anticipated access requests
4) Expand cooperation regarding defense equipment production and related technology transfer
To conclude the report's analysis, there are four policy points that the US must urgently follow:
1) Prior planning and regularization of access requests
2) Offer greater commitment and carry out consultations with potential host countries
3) Building regional consensus
4) Promoting bigger political changes in the US

The four notes could increase the willingness of these countries to decide to face Chinese retaliation in the event of war.

The interesting thing about the report is that it does not include South Korea, a country seen as a traditional ally, and any country in Indochina, especially Thailand, in this way, the report points to the construction of regional consensus trying to convince regionally and internationally of the importance of opposing the China. The report makes it clear that without these five allies, an American defeat would be inevitable. The enactment of larger changes in US policy itself, because although most of the policies in the report are narrow in focus and can be followed under the current situation of US foreign policy towards the region, other policies would require much broader changes such as, for example, re-participating in the Trans-Pacific Agreement, it becomes clear that, basically, Washington's geostrategy is focused on purely diplomatic aspects, because if on the one hand in the American perception there is the view that materially the USA has all the devices to overcome the China, on the other hand, such an advantage is not absolute, requiring territorial access from countries close to China, in short, access to ground installations that serve as an air bridge for attacks against Chinese targets or, in other words, access to aircraft carriers that cannot be sunk.


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Indonesia will not join, cause they know the US at the urging of Australia had plan to balkanize them, Irian Jaya come to mind and also the strategic island of Sumatra. Plus the Indonesian don't trust the Singaporean as the latter don't want a strong neighbor next door and consider them a threat, the reason why Singapore allowed the US to established a naval base to protect them.