Here's a big shout-out to everybody at the U.S. Navy Public Information Office (search)... they called to correct me.

On Thursday — quoting author Chalmer Johnson in the Los Angeles Times — I talked about the Navy sending seven carrier battle groups to the Taiwan straits this summer. That's a lot of military hardware, and it would have been an impressive and scary show.

But turns out... no, not true.

The Navy says there are two carrier groups in the Pacific at the moment, and the guy from the L.A. Times was wrong about us sending seven.

What the U.S. Navy is doing is an exercise to show the world — including China, one supposes — that we can mass carrier battle groups quickly from all over the globe... specifically that the U.S. can mass six carrier battle groups in 30 days, and bring in another two a couple months later.

The Navy says we're not trying to send a message to China over Taiwan.

Maybe so... but the Chinese are apparently listening to the message we say we're not sending.

According to Friday's Washington Times, the Chinese are on a submarine-building spree... submarines are what you use to oppose carrier battle groups.

So the Chinese, according to this report, have figured out that if they want to challenge U.S. military power in the Western Pacific — whether over Taiwan or whatever — they should build submarines, and that is what they are doing.

Even after correcting Thursday's error, though, my point is still the same. It is that the present U.S. national security policy — enunciated by the Bush administration in 2002 — is that American will allow no country, friend or foe, to develop the military capability that would challenge it.

My point was and is this: watch China. China has the money to challenge us where the Soviets did not.

That's My Word.

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