A Friendly Note to the Obama Administration

Not that you aren’t aware of this, guys (at least, I hope that you are aware of this), but the Chinese are testing you. Try not to fail the test by actually allowing the Chinese to expand their air defense zone. Rather, inform the Chinese–quietly but firmly–that the United States will not recognize the expansion of the zone by filing any flight plans with the Chinese, and state that the Chinese will be responsible for any and all confrontations that may occur in the future.

Additionally, let it be noted that there is absolutely no need whatsoever to inform others of any conversations that you may have with the Chinese; we don’t want them to lose face in the event that they decide to back down. It was, after all, Sun Tzu who told us to “[b]uild your opponent a golden bridge to retreat across,” and the less willing you are to build that bridge, the less willing the Chinese will be to walk across it.

This is a major test for American diplomacy, Obama administration peeps. Pass it, and you might restore some credibility to our foreign policy in the aftermath of the abandonment of (a) the president’s red lines on Syria, (b) the bizarre willingness to let the Russians dictate terms in Syria and re-enter the Middle East diplomatically, and (c) the incredibly bad nuclear deal with Iran. Fail it, and . . . well . . . get ready to be beset with even more challenges from less-than-friendly nation-states that will give you more headaches, and will erode American national security in the process.