Wednesday, September 12, 2018

China Expands Military Base in Djibouti

via EPOCH Times
China is rapidly expanding its military base in Djibouti, a small African country on the Red Sea, according to a recent analysis by a retired Indian Army officer published in The Print, an Indian news outlet.

According to The Print report published on Sept. 10, satellite images reveal that the Chinese military base, which is located just miles from the United States’ Camp Lemmonier military base, has been visited by several LPD (landing platform docks) naval ships, which are capable of “embarking, transporting, and landing expeditionary forces along with requisite equipment.”

These ships have “blue-water capability,” which means the ability to operate far from a home port and in open water.

Satellite images showed that on July 27, a Type 71 LPD docked near the Chinese base in Djibouti and unloaded vehicles that were likely armored vehicles and “fire support systems,” according to the analysis by retired Col. Vinayak Bhat. After July 27, the images showed a number of large containers, which Bhat surmises were delivered by the LPD that docked near the base.
Mark my words.

The first "sharp" engagement between US and Chinese forces will occur far from the Pacific.  It will happen in Africa and while we're running around with light infantry supported by JLTVs and arty, they're gonna face off against Chinese armored units.

Both nations will down play the fight but bodies will be broken and people killed.

The politicians will blame so poor Colonel for a mistake he didn't make and his career will be ruined, the after action report will be spun to make him look like an idiot and the sobbing mothers will be told that their children died protecting the nation.

The reality?

We've set up a major military installation in a country that the Chinese damn near own.  Check out this portion of the article.
 China also has sought commercial ties with Djibouti, chiefly through financing infrastructure projects in the country, including the Doraleh Multipurpose Port, and establishing a free-trade zone. The port was completed in May 2017, financed by China Merchants Ports Holdings, a state-owned firm that was also behind the construction of the Hambantota port in Sri Lanka. In December 2017, Sri Lanka announced that it was unable to repay its loans from China and would instead convert the $1.4 billion debt into equity: a 99-year lease that handed over ownership to China.
It gets worse.
 In February, Djibouti prematurely ended a contract with Dubai’s port operator DP World, to run the Doraleh Container Terminal (different than the China-financed port). The port seizure led Marine Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, the top U.S. military commander overseeing troops in Africa, to worry that Djibouti may hand over control of the terminal to China—to which the African nation owes a significant debt.

More than 80 percent of the country’s foreign debt is owed to China, according to a March report by the U.S. think tank Center for Global Development. Meanwhile, the country’s crippling public debt is valued at about 88 percent of the country’s overall $1.72 billion GDP.

Waldhauser said that if the Chinese were to seize control of the port and place restrictions on its use, it could affect resupplying of the U.S. base in Djibouti and the ability of Navy ships to refuel there.
We've been chasing terrorists and China has been buying up African countries.

You didn't hear about this in the mainstream media did you?

The first fight will happen in this African country and no one is paying attention.  As things stand now we could easily lose that fight.  Why? Because the only balancing factor we have is our air power...but our airfield is within artillery distance of their base.  They wouldn't even have to drive to get into firing position.

We could easily face a Wake Island in Africa if the Chinese are as aggressive as I think they are.

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