Europe has waged a losing war in reasserting its presence in the Indo-Pacific, further compounded by the limited economic and military capacity to secure its interests in the region. The aftermath of the two great wars saw a forced program of withdrawal and reconstruction, with limited capacities to redirect its strategies on its former colonies. China’s entrenched hold and intent to dictate the region’s security threatens the historical foundations of the West, in which reliance on the United States alone to contain China is growing. exaggerated. Britain and France have tried to fill the void, but have been hampered by consistency and scope, despite being seen as much-needed European representation to send a clear message to China.
Its longstanding defence-oriented military harbor allowed for realignment and openings for non-military advancement, which contributed to Germany’s integral leadership in areas such as knowledge creation and scientific advancement. Moscow’s forceful change to the rules-based order and Beijing’s similar intent pose a direct threat to this architecture that Berlin has helped maintain, shaking the Germans out of complacency.
Germany’s latest efforts to join the fray with its first marathon 24-hour flight to Asia by its Eurofighter aircraft by joining exercise Pitch Black, in addition to the seven-month deployment of its frigate Bayern more early this year in the Indo-Pacific which marked a breakthrough after two decades, aims to present a four-pronged goal.
First, it intends to signal to Beijing that it is ready for reduced strategic dependency and a strengthened position to protect its larger economic and geostrategic calculations in the region. Second, to warn Moscow and future adversaries that Berlin intends to move out of its lockdown from its focus on economic and value-based peripheries to a security-focused periphery with a gradual shift to a more defensive posture affirmed. This rapid deployment of long-range flight is intended to demonstrate Germany’s agility and rapid ability to extend its air power to a remote potential locality of conflict, serving as the critical moment needed for ready surgery to protect its interests at abroad or to deter aggressive intentions. despite the absence of aircraft carriers.
Third, to aspire to greater leadership in the West’s resistance and containment force, playing a deeper role in return for more consolidated trust and mutual support for its defensive needs outside the sphere of NATO and anticipating more serious threats from the Indo-Pacific. Fourth, the change of intent to communicate to the local population in lobbying for increased public support and acceptance of a new stature in security resources, hence the desire to replace current internal challenges and solicit greater national unity and political victories.
The strategic returns derived from this decision reassured fearful regional players who longed for a united and coherent Western response and support. Conversely, it gives new barriers to Beijing, Pyongyang and Moscow to halt the expansion of the West’s containment team. It also serves as a pretext both to justify their hardened scare tactics and to display larger maps and tools in their tactical countermeasures. Conventional narratives of the West’s unfair and targeted profiling with systemic provocations will be capitalized on by Beijing and Pyongyang to pinpoint blame, underscoring increased measures to encircle China through strategic military exercises.
The potential flight maneuver near Taiwan during the return trip of the German jets will be seized upon by Beijing specifically to blame Berlin and the West in general for the unnecessary provocation amid already escalating tensions. The maneuver, coupled with the unwavering consistency of support for Taiwan through the high-level U.S. delegation that followed Pelosi’s trip, could yield renewed repeated assurances of support and commitment to freedom of passage and of a rules-based regional order. This reinforces a reminder to Beijing that a committed and combined deterrent is always strong and undeterred, but the risks of pushing Beijing further into an already tight turn that will lead to riskier errors and miscalculations in its retaliation have been well taken care of by the containment team. .
Any potential lines crossed by Beijing’s counter actions will be used to the team’s advantage, and Beijing is smart enough not to be played into the tactical mind game by the West. However, most of the pent-up anger will be funneled to immediate regional recipients, with Taipei, Seoul and Tokyo bearing the impact of a greater scaremongering gray area and coercive snubs under Beijing and Pyongyang’s new game consisting of to test the limits and the response. strategies and capacities of these stakeholders.
The same tactic of “strategic systemic provocation” used against them will now be used on their adversaries, hoping in particular that Tokyo and Taipei will engage in early missteps that will be quickly justified by the need for potentially disproportionate responses. An already escalating security dilemma and slashing will provide both costs and opportunities, and some parties will, wisely or not, leverage all available options to ensure the success of their tactical maneuvers. A game of cat and mouse might not yield a clear victory for both, but both sides are bound to be seen to be acting to secure their interests and needs, and that a victory in tactical and psychological games , at the very least, will do justice to their national pride and collective purpose.
For China, only a complete and pure victory over the West both in its geopolitical aspirations in the region and in the world and in its soft power and cultural dominance will justify its 100-year marathon by 2049 and redeem its pride tarnished by the century of humiliation. . The greater alignment and combined forces of the Western-led containment team will seek to ensure that the historically predominant, stable and proven rules-based international order and norms will persevere against Beijing’s onslaught.
A long and potentially ugly new mental and physical game of a tactical, deceptive and strategic nature has begun, where conventional and solitary firepower alone would not guarantee long-term success and acceptance. Systemic trust, the predominance of values and moral purpose, and the prevailing guarantees of equality and transparency based on law and rules, based on freedom and respect for rights, are what is necessary for structural and systemic triumph. On historical terms, the West may well have both the combined will and ability to ensure that it remains triumphant in this conflict yet again, this time for a new course of better self-correction in the aftermath. .