It was reported in the Wall Street Journal on February 22 that "an outspoken intelligence officer" for the US Pacific Fleet has ruffled feathers in Beijing and Washington by issuing warnings about belligerent Chinese intentions in the South China Sea.
Captain James Fannell, Director of Intelligence and Information Operations for the Pacific Fleet, stated at a maritime security conference that China is training for a short, sharp war with Japan, and that he expected China to start using its new aircraft carrier to enforce its expansionist territorial claims in the South China Sea. As a result of his comments, Captain Fannell is described as "one of the US military's most outspoken hawks on China."
It is also reported that US defense officials have been debating whether to reprimand Captain Fannell for making these public remarks at a time when the Pentagon is trying to "ease tensions between China and Japan and improve military ties with Beijing."
Having worked in the government, I well understand the importance of exercising great care in what one says about sensitive security matters when occupying an official position. But it is irresponsible that anyone would consider reprimanding Captain Fannell for articulating a very well-founded concern.