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.

TEXT SIZE - +
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

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid