DAILY CALLER — Obama’s National Security Council has placed a gag order on military officials who want to challenge China over its aggressive posturing in the South China Sea.
Navy Adm. Harry Harris believes in pioneering a much stronger confrontation with China, but the Obama administration has struck down his proposals repeatedly, preferring the tactic of negotiations and talks over action, Navy Times reports.
What Harris wants is to conduct military operations likely involving ships and aircraft within 12 nautical miles of artificial islands in the South China Sea, which the Chinese government continues to expand. Harris’ idea is to halt growth, so that these islands don’t come within 140 miles of the Philippines’ capital city, Manila.
This saber rattling is making the Obama administration rather uncomfortable, especially since it’s desperately trying to negotiate with China on a wide-range of issues and does not want Harris — or others in military leadership who support more aggressive plans — to disrupt the process.
“They want to get out of office with a minimum of fuss and a maximum of cooperation with China,” retired Navy captain Jerry Hendrix told Navy Times.
Two defense officials also told Navy Times that Susan Rice, national security adviser, placed a gag order on military officials before the nuclear summit took place last Thursday, which received attendance from China’s president Xi Jinping.
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