BY MONTE R. BULLARD | IN-DEPTH PIECE
American Freedom of Navigation Operations (FONOP) policy in the South China Sea, sometimes focused on the Spratly Islands (Nansha) and Paracel Islands (Xisha) within the South China Sea, is clearly based on incomplete information. A review of official reports, like the America First National Security Strategy (AFNSS) and the Defense Department’s Annual Report to Congress 2018 on China’s Military Power, indicates that the government writers and reviewers of these documents when describing whether China is a strategic threat or a strong economic competitor almost always come to the conclusion or just assumed that China is a threat. We note that even the Harvard Belfer Center paints China as a threat as do two excellent articles in the Winter 2018 edition of the Naval War College Review. We have already written one blog that offers a critique of the AFNSS. This blog is to point out weaknesses in some official and academic reports.