While last week’s patrol may have included more Chinese and Russian ships than past combined formations that have sailed off Alaska, it is still unclear whether the two navies can digitally integrate the computers and other machines on each other’s ships to work together at the speed necessary for modern missile-based warfare, said retired Navy Capt. Thomas Shugart, a military innovation expert with the Center for a New American Security think tank in Washington, D.C.
Shugart also noted that it appears the U.S. military did nothing to hinder last week’s Chinese and Russian patrol, and that stands in stark contrast to the aggressive and unsafe ways that China has responded to some U.S. Navy operations in international waters, Shugart said.
In July a Chinese warship came close to running into the Chung-Hoon in the Taiwan Strait. The Navy’s 7th Fleet also denied a Chinese military claim in 2021 that it had forced the Benfold to leave waters off the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea.
“We’re continuing to act like the grownups in the room, and I think it’s a good thing,” Shugart told Task & Purpose.