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4-star admiral wants to confront China. White House says not so fast

David Larter

April 6, 2016

… The NSC frequently takes top-down control to send a coherent message, said Bryan Clark a former senior aide to Adm. Jon Greenert, the recently retired chief of naval operations. While serving as Greenert’s aide, Clark said the NSC regularly vetted the former CNO’s statements on China and the South China Sea…Clark, now an analyst with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments who has followed Harris’s strategy, said he thinks Harris is lobbying for more assertive freedom of navigation patrols that include military operations such as helicopter flights and signals intelligence within 12 miles of Chinese-claimed features. Such patrols, Clark said, would make clear the Navy does not acknowledge Chinese claims and that the surrounding waters are international. “He wants to do real [freedom of navigation operations],” Clark said. “He wants to drive through an area and do military operations.”

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