Jeff: Yo, we have to talk.

Sam: What’s up dude?

Jeff: Some messed up stuff just went down and I need to know that you got my back.

Sam: Of course dude. What happened?

Jeff: So I was just chillin in the pit the other day, minding my own business, and Chad just snagged my ear buds off the table and walked away.

Sam: That’s kind of a dick move.  Did you say anything?

Jeff: I yelled after him. I was like “Yo, those are mine, what are you doing?”

Sam: What did he say?

Jeff: Something about how he had lent them to me years ago and they were rightfully his. Then he flicked me off!

Sam: Asshole

Jeff: I know, right? Anyway, I need to know that you’ve got my back.

Sam: What do you mean?

Jeff: Like if we get in a fight, I need to know that you’ll fight with me.

Sam: Fight with you? Over a pair of ear buds? You have like twenty of them in your room. This is about something else, isn’t it?

Jeff: I’d never actually fight over them. But if I have to talk trash him, it would be nice for you to be there to flex a little muscle. Just to intimidate him.

Sam: Dude that’s so stupid.  No, that’s ridiculous. I’m not trying to get involved in that.

Jeff: C’mon man, remember the other night when you promised to always have my back.

Sam: Dude you know how sentimental I get when I’m drunk. Look, I know Chad has almost always been an ass, but this just isn’t worth it.

Jeff: You promised. A verbal promise between best fiends is deeper than a signed contract.

Sam: I wouldn’t call us best friends. All right fine. I’ll back you up because I feel obligated, but it’s still stupid.

Jeff: Thank You, let’s go show him what’s up.

Now replace “Jeff” with “Japan”, “Sam” with “U.S”, “Chad” with “China”, and “ear buds” with “rock outcrop”. You may have a better idea of the current situation in the Pacific.

The tensions between China and Japan that began with the territorial dispute over a rocky island outcrop have now intensified to the point where Chinese fighter jets are shadowing Japanese aircrafts. As the threat of shots being fired continues to mount…

What should the U.S do in this situation?