Defining the Ends, Means, and Ways of SCS Strategy

Interview with Jonathan W. Greenert
January 31, 2017

This is an excerpt of an interview from the Cipher Brief.

Read the full interview: Expert Commentary: Defining the Ends, Means, and Ways of SCS Strategy

An Interview with Admiral Jonathan Greenert

The Cipher Brief
January 31, 2017

Since China undertook a massive artificial island building program in 2013 with the intention of militarizing the islands, the U.S. has grown increasingly worried about freedom of navigation through this economically important waterway. The Cipher Brief spoke to Admiral Jonathan Greenert, former Chief of Naval Operations, to understand how the U.S. can properly signal its intentions and goals in the South China Sea to allies and adversaries without escalating to a conflict.

The Cipher Brief: If you had to brief the incoming Trump Administration on U.S. maritime interests in Asia, and specifically the South China Sea, what would you highlight as the most critical variables on which to focus?

Jonathan Greenert: The South China Sea (SCS) has received a lot of media coverage. Consequently, it is viewed by many as the most likely potential flash point. I think the East China Sea (ECS) is (and has been) the most volatile maritime area in the region. This was validated in my discussions with Japanese military and defense policy officials last month. They are increasingly concerned. Sovereignty disputes between Japan and China regarding natural gas and mineral rights in the Senkaku Islands have been festering. Naval, coast guard, and military air patrols, by each, in a relatively small geographical area have steadily increased. Their history of deep and sensitive cultural issues is well known.

Continue reading this interview on: The Cipher Brief.