News / USA

US Military Refocus on Pacific a Work in Progress

Obama's Asia Pivot Challengedi
X
January 26, 2014 1:24 AM
One of the main features of the global defense strategy laid out by President Barack Obama two years ago, shifting the U.S. military's focus from the Middle East to the Asia Pacific region, is meeting significant challenges from China. VOA Pentagon correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
VIDEO: One of Obama's main global defense strategies is meeting significant challenges from China and its rapidly developing military might.
Luis Ramirez
One of the main features of the global defense strategy laid out by President Barack Obama two years ago, shifting the U.S. military's focus from the Middle East to the Asia Pacific region, is meeting significant challenges from China and its rapidly developing military power.
 
But U.S. military officials say American dominance of the Asia Pacific is not diminishing.
 
Recent actions by China, including its imposition of an aircraft identification zone over the East China Sea and a near collision between Chinese and U.S. warships, show that dominance is being challenged.
 
The Obama administration, in its efforts to shift focus from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to the Pacific, where China has been building up its forces, includes strategic placement of a new aircraft carrier and the development of hypersonic missile technology. 
 
According to Admiral Samuel Locklear, commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific, interactions with Chinese forces in the region will only increase, and he is calling for a pragmatic approach that includes boosting military-to-military relations with China.
 
"We have to do better at being able to communicate with each other in a way that allows us to not lead to miscalculation that won't be productive in the security environment,” he said.
 
Defense analysts such Barry Pavel of the Washington-based Atlantic Council, a nonpartisan think tank that promotes constructive leadership and engagement in international affairs based on the central role of the Atlantic Community, question whether the shift in focus has actually meant a strengthening of forces in the Pacific.
 
“We have the deployment of 2,500 or so Marines to northern Australia that'll be there on a routine basis, not a very big nor significant deployment in my estimation," he said. "There's a couple of ships. I think they were littoral combat ships that were discussed as being home ported in Singapore, and then there really hasn't been anything else.”
 
The placing of a combat ship in Singapore is one of the visible signs of that refocus. The United States has announced the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan is replacing the George Washington at Yokosuka in Japan - a one-for-one swap, but one the Navy says is an element of the rebalance.
 
U.S. officials are reviewing their military commitments to allies in the region and say they could add more ships, equipment and troops in the future.
 
With the U.S. military facing its biggest downsizing since the end of World War II, analysts say it remains to be seen how large any future military investment in the Pacific will be.

You May Like

Video Analysts: Beijing Parade a 'Bazaar' of Stolen Technology

Show commemorating victory over Japan in World War II involved long, medium and short range missiles, a range of tanks and 200 fighter aircraft More

Bernie Sanders Surge Reflects US Shift on Socialism

Although most analysts say it is unlikely he will get the Democratic nomination, Sanders' campaign opens up questions and issues that are otherwise marginalized More

Video On IS Frontline, Kurdish Fighters Ready for Offensive

Peshmerga soldiers say although they need more heavy artillery, they are poised to take the fight to the Islamic State extremists on their turf More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: MikeBarnett from: USA
January 26, 2014 5:07 PM
The following 2 sentences should be added to the 2nd paragraph:

The last time Europeans, and most Israelis are descendants of European jews who began immigrating in the late 1800's, occupied the land now known as Israel, muslims fought for 195 years, from 1096 to 1291, to remove them. This "War on Terror" could continue for another 129 years, if the US and Israel last that long.

by: MikeBarnett from: USA
January 26, 2014 4:27 PM
China, Russia, and four of the "stans" in the SCO have agreed to watch Afghanistan after the US and NATO leave in 2014. China fights islamic insurgents in Xinjiang, and Russia fights them in the southern Caucasus. Chinese warships have served for years in the International Naval Force that fights piracy in the Indian Ocean, and China built and sold three warships to Pakistan that have fought Somali pirates. China has built and sold several squadrons of aircraft to Pakistan that have bombed Taliban insurgents inside Pakistan. China and Russia are de facto military allies of the US and NATO in the "War on Terror."

Osama bin Laden's first reason for war with the US was US support for Israel. If a nation gives arms and munitions to a nation at war, it is a legal target for the other side. 15 muslim countries, including Saudi Arabia, have declared war on Israel. Two of them, Egypt and Jordan, have signed peace treaties. As long as the US supports Israel, a growing number of muslims will regard the US as the enemy. Given US official attitudes toward Israel, it is unlikely that the US will renounce its relationships with Israel.

US and NATO defeats in Iraq and Afghanistan indicate that the US needs more allies. China and Russia, former WWII alllies, have volunteered. The US and future NATO countries did not adopt the political systems of Russia and China during or after WWII. The US and NATO need not adopt the political systems of China and Russia during or after the current war. However, the US and NATO could use the current and growing military power of China and Russia. We could use the world's biggest oil and gas station in Russian Siberia, and we could use the world's biggest industrial production capability in China. This might be a better solution than pivoting into another war against countries that should be US and NATO allies.

by: Gasper Somisu from: Timika-Papua
January 26, 2014 3:14 AM
The US Military focus on Pasific. They have take many of mine in Papua but never pay attention for what happen. Like infraction of Human Rigth. There was big mistake since 1969 when act of free coice happend in Papua and New York Agreement that they made troubled us. They refocus in Pacific for what ?

by: Drew Turer from: WV
January 26, 2014 1:34 AM
I have to say that this was inevitable. The Chinese are becoming ambitious and are starting to claim territory. We need men over there in case a war happens to break out. I've watched this situation for a long time now and its highly probable from my point of view.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outragei
X
Henry Ridgwell
September 04, 2015 11:36 AM
The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outrage

The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Russians Observe 11th Anniversary of Beslan School Attack

This week, Russians have been observing the 11th anniversary of the attack by Islamic militants on a school in Russia's North Caucasus region that killed more than 330 hostages, including 186 children. The three-day siege and massacre that started on September 1, 2004 took place in Beslan, a town in the republic of North Ossetia, and is one of the bloodiest terrorist acts ever in Russia. VOA's Mike Richman reports.
Video

Video Native Americans Debate: Father Serra, Saint or Sinner?

Pope Francis will canonize an 18th century missionary to Spanish California during a papal visit to the United States this month.  But some Native Americans have criticized the elevation to sainthood of the missionary priest, Junipero Serra. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Kurdish Fighters on IS Frontline Ready for Offensive

Finger on the trigger, the Kurdish Peshmerga soldier stared across the dust at a village taken over by Islamic State extremists. The Kurdistan’s Khazir frontline, just 45 minutes from the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. And at this point, the militants were less than two kilometers away. VOA's Sharon Behn reports.
Video

Video China Announces Troop Cuts at WWII Parade

Chinese President Xi Jinping Thursday announced plans to cut the world’s largest military force by 300,000 troops. The announcement was made during a massive military parade to commemorate victory over Japan in World War II. The event was shunned by most Western leaders and for some is raising fresh concerns about China’s military ambitions. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Russia-Japan Relations Cool as Putin Visits China for WWII Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for commemorations of the 70th anniversary of China's WWII victory over Japan. Putin is expected to visit Japan later this year, but tensions between Tokyo and Moscow over islands disputed since the war, and sanctions over Ukraine, could pour cold water on the plan. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Yemen ‘on Brink of Disaster’ as Medical Shortages Soar

Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. There are fears Yemen's civil war could escalate as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia tries to drive back Houthi rebels, who seized control of much of the country earlier this year. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Apps Helping Kenyan Businesses Stay Ahead of Counterfeiters

Counterfeit goods in Kenya cost the government as much as $1 billion each year in lost tax revenues. The fake goods also hurt entrepreneurs who find it hard to carve out a niche in the market and retain customers. But as Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi, information technology is being used to try to beat the problem.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.

VOA Blogs