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China’s HQ-9 Missile Placement Underlines Pentagon Focus on A2/AD

Defense News

By Aaron Mehta, Defense News

February 19, 2016

...Robert Martinage, a former undersecretary of the Navy now with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, says the weapon placement is not a game-changer in and of itself, but “it could be the canary in the coalmine, a harbinger of what’s to come.” If China expands its deployment of advanced defenses, Martinage said, it would have “significant operational implications” for the US and its allies. In peacetime, it could lead to China painting US planes with radar, increasing the risk of an incident; in a combat situation, it would put nearby assets at direct risk. It also includes political impacts, Martinage added, noting it is “just another step in [China’s] game.” “Little incremental provocations ... ultimately lead to where they want to go, which is asserting their sovereignty over most of the South China Sea,” he said. “The question is, What do we do about it? I think we continue to do the freedom of movement navigations. But beyond that there’s not a whole lot we can do. It’s a little of a fait accompli, and the question is what’s next.”...

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