Freedom of navigation moves to continue near Chicom man made islands
...It seems pretty clear that the Chicoms are not going to back down just because of a few sail by operations. It is also clear to me that they will not be dissuaded by more talking. I suspect it will take ever greater shows of force in the region that directly challenge the Chinese suspect claims without threatening real Chinese territory. Perhaps they should treat the artificial islands like Chinese ships floating in the water.
Officials said Carter had told Pacific Command to come up with a detailed plan for conducting freedom of navigation operations in the South China Sea that could include deploying more naval forces to the western Pacific to routinely conduct these exercises out of Clark Air Base in the Philippines with support from P8 surveillance aircraft. The official in charge of developing the plan is Rear Admiral Mark Montgomery, the head of Pacific Command operations.
Carter and the top brass support that strategy, U.S. officials briefed by Carter's staff said, but others in the Pentagon -- , including Admiral John Richardson, the new chief of Naval Operations -- favor less confrontation and more engagement with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy. Pacific Command will submit its proposal to an interagency process. It could be debated for months before the president makes another decision.
Some Republican lawmakers expressed support for the freedom of navigation patrol -- and said the Obama administration must do more to stand up to Chinese aggression.