This piece was originally published by The Diplomat
The United States’ announcement that it is considering sending military aircraft and ships within twelve miles of a chain of artificial islands China has built up in the disputed Spratly Islands is a troubling move that escalates the tensions and risks in the South China Sea. It reveals once again Washington’s propensity to be a one-move chess player – the kind of chess player that makes a move without considering how the other side will respond, and what it will do then. The U.S. disbanded the Iraqi army after toppling Saddam Hussein’s regime without asking what these men, unemployed and armed, would do; it fired thousands of civil servants without considering how Iraq’s government agencies would continue to operate without them. In Libya, the United States helped topple Muammar Gaddafi, but it was unprepared to deal with the anarchy that followed.
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