Just How Close Are We to World War III?

I asked last year, “Are we really committed to war against China over some disputed islands.” The latest answer from Yahoo News is “yes, we are.”

Tokyo has reportedly ordered its forces to destroy any North Korean ballistic missiles that pass through its airspace.

Hagel’s announcement follows the deployment of a second early warning US radar to Japan, P-8 maritime surveillance aircraft and plans to bring unmanned Global Hawk drones to the country.

Although Hagel said the US ships were being sent to help counter the threat posed by North Korea, the move also carried symbolic weight amid Japan’s tense stand-off with China over islets in the East China Sea.

Hagel reiterated that Washington stood by its mutual defense treaty with Japan, saying it applied to the disputed islands in the East China Sea, where Beijing and Tokyo are locked in a bitter argument.

“We take seriously American’s treaty commitments, and we strongly oppose any unilateral coercive action that seeks to undermine Japan’s administrative control,” Hagel said.

The Pentagon chief, who is due to fly to China Monday for a three-day visit, called for “a peaceful resolution” of the disagreement and said “America has no stronger ally or better friend in this region than Japan.”

So basically we have made some highly-debatable tiny islands a tripwire for war. How can that possibly be in the best interest of Americans?

And what is more, we are doing this when China already sees we are incapable of doing anything about Russia in Crimea.

Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel on Sunday warned China against unilateral action to resolve territorial disputes with its neighbors, drawing a parallel with Russia’s incursion in Ukraine as he announced two more warships would be sent to Japan.

If Hagel is openly hinting that China taking those islands by force would be like Russia annexing Crimea, then isn’t he clearly telling China that not much will happen to them?

We live in dangerous times. Does our State Department think we can simultaneously engage in showdowns with Russia and China?