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

    New EU Asylum Rules Could Boost Rightists

    New regulations will seek to correct EU failures in dealing with migrant crisis, most notably inability to get member states to absorb a total of 160,000 refugees

    More Political Turmoil Likely in Iraq as Iran Waits in the Wings

    Analysts warn that Tehran, even though it may not be engineering the Sadrist protests in Baghdad, is seeking to leverage its influence on its neighbor

    Goodbye Ketchup, Hello Sriracha!

    How immigrants are triggering a great transformation in American cuisine

    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.
    Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Rulingi
    X
    May 03, 2016 5:16 PM
    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora