October 5, 2012 - The USS George Washington and the USS John C. Stennis aircraft carrier strike groups (CSGs), a flotilla of five ships and more than 10,000 Navy personnel are now operating
in the conflict ridden South China
The news was announced by the Navy a few days ago, but is now making the rounds in Asian media outlets, and generating as much speculation as it is concern.
The Washington will be operating in the East China Sea near the disputed Diaoyutai islands controlled by Japan, but claimed by both Taiwan and China.
The Stennis will be operating south of the Diaoyutai's in the South China Sea, where territorial disputes between China and its regional neighbors have been making headlines for months.
There is speculation that the carrier assignments could just be coincidence, and while that's possible it's just as likely that the U.S. is doing it's part to fulfill three separate treaty obligations to allies in the region.