Capt. James Fanell, the director of intelligence and information operations at U.S. Pacific Fleet has been relieved and reassigned (1). Fanell, you may recall, publicly voiced concerns about Chinese military intentions.
"Fanell warned during a February public appearance that a recent Chinese amphibious exercise led naval intelligence to assess that China’s strategy was to be able to launch a 'short, sharp war' with Japan, an unusually frank assessment about a closely watched region."
"Fanell has also stated that
is at the center of virtually every maritime territorial dispute in the Asia-Pacific and that the Chinese were engaging in a blatant land-grab of islands that would enhance their exclusive economic rights to fishing and natural resources." China
Notably, his comments did not match the we're-all-friends commentary being put forth by the Administration and CNO Greenert. As the article stated, Fanell's comments,
"... ran counter to the Pentagon’s talking points on building ties to the increasingly assertive Chinese navy ..."
To be fair, the article makes it clear that the reason for Fanell’s relief has not been made public. It is possible that the relief is for reasons unrelated to his comments. I find that highly unlikely. I’ll withhold final judgment pending more information but this has the stink of retribution about it. We’ll keep a close eye on this one.
(1) Navy Times, "Senior Navy intel officer removed for controversial comments on
", David Larter, China 10-Nov-2014,