◎ The Nimitz and Ronald Reagan strike groups are on station in the South China Sea carrying out Freedom of Navigation Operations.
The U.S. Navy’s aircraft carrier battle groups are the most dramatic symbol of American military and geopolitical power. They were critical to winning World War II in the Pacific and they have since been deployed in the Indo-Pacific to communicate U.S. resolve against potential adversaries.
The presence or absence of the Seventh Fleet — the configuration of Navy ships and aircraft in the Indo-Pacific built around the carriers — generally determines whether war or peace prevails in the region. In the immediate post-war period, Washington’s strategic planners in the Truman administration shockingly determined that America’s Pacific security perimeter could exclude Taiwan and South Korea.
Joseph Bosco served as China country director for the Secretary of Defense from 2005 to 2006 and as Asia-Pacific director of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief from 2009 to 2010. He is a nonresident fellow at the Institute for Corean-American Studies and the Institute for Taiwan-American Studies, and has held nonresident appointments in the Asia-Pacific program at the Atlantic Council and the Southeast Asia program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
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