Spratley Islands–Flashpoint for War

The Spratley Islands are a widely dispersed collection of small islands and reefs in the South China Sea. They are mostly uninhabited. The closest countries are the Philippinnes, Vietnam, and Brunei. In a rational world, those three countries would find a fair way to divide them up. Whenever was this a rational world?

If you follow the news, you will know there’s an ongoing contest between China and Vietnam for control of the area. The Philippinnes would like to assert an interest, but they have not been effective in doing so.

Here’s a Philippinne effort.

Spratley-Phillipines

The Vietnamese effort is more substantial, but probably not militarily significant.

Spratley-VN-Dien Bien

Spratley-VN-Dao Nui

Spratley-VN-Da Tay

The Chinese effort, on the other hand, shows a better grasp of how to deal with logistical problems.

Spratley-Ch-Sansha

Spratley-Ch

Things might get interesting there in a bad way. Alas.

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