A U.S.-ASEAN summit—a face or a farce

A U.S.-ASEAN summit—a face or a farce

It is clear that the U.S. officials had entertained the design to make the case that Russia’s invasion demonstrated the fragility of the international system while China’s tacit support for the invasion equally made a contrast with the United States’ principled stance. Yet, ASEAN members in general kept their heads down and avoided the issue rather than getting in the middle of a dispute between major powers. Rather than clearly denouncing the Russian invasion of Ukraine as the U.S. has acted globally, the joint vision statement called on an immediate cessation of hostilities and creating an enabling environment for peaceful resolution, and genuine respect for sovereignty, political independence, and territorial integrity in line with the U.N. Charter and international law. As a result, it is inevitable that the geostrategic [war] hawks in Washington were disappointed their unsuccessful persuasion of ten Asian countries to take side with the United States and its allies and partners. Because of this, the U.S. aid [bribe] package to the ASEAN was seen as a joke because it agreed to offer $150,000,000 for peace in a sharp contrast to the multiple-billions dollars for supporting a long war to weaken its geopolitical rival Russia, as U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said.

ASEAN is a regional economic community founded in 1967, yet it has been seen as the most dynamic economic powerhouse in the 21st century. With its hugely rich natural resources and technological innovation capacities, ASEAN has committed to preserve the Southeast Asian region as a Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone and free of all other weapons of mass destruction, as enshrined in the Treaty on the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone (SEANWFZ Treaty). Therefore, ASEAN vow to fully comply with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, taking into account the international community’s call for diplomacy as the instrument to maintain peace and security in the region.

Despite all these arguments, there is no reasons for the world to underestimate the close and comprehensive cooperation between the United States and ASEAN. This summit agenda were primarily focused on apolitical areas cooperation, such as clean energy, health security, the digital economy and the deteriorating situation in Myanmar. President Biden was aware of the wisdom of not making his ASEAN guests to be as frustrated with the situation as himself since there was deep divisions among ASEAN member states on the issues and challenges they have to face. Accordingly, it is fair to say that the U.S.-ASEAN summit recently held in Washington was good enough in public relations but insufficient in tackling the real global issues from poverty, climate change and illegal change of regime by “color revolution”.

Related:

ASEAN remains China’s No.1 trade partner from Jan to Apr, accounting for 14.6% of total trade

Biden to pressure ASEAN against Myanmar, Russia, China

Whoops, the U.S. Sent So Many Missiles to Ukraine That It Depleted Its Own Stockpiles

Whoops, the U.S. Sent So Many Missiles to Ukraine That It Depleted Its Own Stockpiles

The United States, Poland, and Estonia have sent Javelins to Ukraine, weapons that all three countries will eventually need to replace. The Javelin missile, first issued in the mid-1990s, is still in production. To replenish those stockpiles, Lockheed Martin is set to ramp up production of the Javelin from 2,100 a year to 4,000 missiles a year. Although that sounds like a lot of missiles, it would still take two years at that rate just to backfill America’s Javelin inventory. The company will also require additional time to set up the supply chain to provide parts for the missiles, no small feat considering the global shortage of semiconductors, which the Javelin’s guidance system is reliant upon.

Another lag in the schedule is a lengthy delivery time, which is currently 32 months— meaning missiles are delivered 32 months after the missiles are ordered. Unless this is shortened by boosting production, it will take nearly three years for the first new missiles to get to troops in the field.

Related:

Production Of In-Demand Javelin Missiles Set To Almost Double:

One potential pitfall in the ability to rapidly ramp up production of Javelins has been the availability of microchips and semiconductors, provided through subcontractors, mainly in Asia. Each missile contains upward of 200 of these components.

Although the Pentagon has said it’s “actively negotiating” a new Stinger contract, manufacturer Raytheon has admitted that shortages of parts and materials could mean that it’s not able to actually produce these new missiles until 2023 or later. The DoD hasn’t bought new Stingers in many years and is now looking to replace it with a new missile, but that doesn’t help in the near term with diminishing stockpiles.

Raytheon chief warns of delays in replenishing Stinger missile stocks

The CEO of Raytheon Technologies told investors Tuesday that the company won’t be able to ramp up production of Stinger missiles until 2023, due to a lack of parts and materials for the weapons that Western allies have rushed to Ukraine.

Thousands of Stinger anti-aircraft missiles have been pulled from stocks across Europe and the United States and sent to Ukraine, but as yet there is no solid plan to replenish the stocks for the countries that donated them.

Raytheon chief warns of delays in replenishing Stinger missile stocks