These days, most people think of a cruise as a leisurely trip on a comfortable ocean liner, with fun in the sun by day, and a heavy dollop of nightlife later on. To the US Navy and other security forces, however, a cruise is what an aircraft carrier group is currently doing in the South China Sea.
The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier the George Washington and attendant escort ships are conducting a raw show of force in our region. Countries are pleased or peeved, but security forces are getting their first glimpse of what the new US "pivot towards Asia" looks like in real life.
The US has provided a high profile to this voyage of the George Washington's trip. The carrier, based at Yokosuka, Japan, entered Southeast Asia earlier this month. It conducted joint exercises with the Malaysian navy and air force.
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