There is a school of thought, promoted by misguided, shallow thinkers, that suggests that if we did as requested and left the regions as demanded, that all would be peace and love in the world – that it’s only the presence of the
otherwise happy, peaceful, caring, and responsible countries act
irrationally. Aside from being idiots,
these people seem unaware of the number and size of the areas that we would be
excluded from if the peaceful countries had their way. Also, the amount of international commerce
that transits these waters is staggering.
With no US presence to ensure the safety of that shipping, piracy, be it
traditional criminal piracy or government sponsored “fees” for the privilege of
passage, would become rampant. US
What’s disturbing about this issue is that we’re essentially complying with the demands.
We’ve completely ceded the entire South and East China Seas with nothing more than an occasional impotent Freedom of Navigation exercise which, truth be told, only strengthens China’s claims and demands.
We’ve largely backed off any enforcement actions against Iran in the Middle East. They’re bombing commercial vessels, seizing ships (including US naval ships!), shooting down our drones in international air space, and harassing ships and aircraft with near impunity. The only reaction from the US has been one downing of a drone that we’re not even 100% sure was Iranian.
Russia has largely forced us out of the region and aggressively harasses any ships or aircraft we dare to send in.
Russia, Iran, and China are all closely watching our reactions to the various provocations and exclusionary demands and our lack of reaction (appeasement) only encourages additional, more aggressive actions on their parts.