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US to Review Worldwide Military Deployments - 2003-05-30

U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz says the United States is re-examining its worldwide military posture. He made the comment in Singapore, where he is attending an Asia-Pacific security conference.

U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Wolfowitz says U.S. military deployments around the world must change to meet new challenges to global stability.

Speaking Friday after his arrival for an Asia-Pacific security summit in Singapore, he said that, while the United States is still committed to security in Asia, it is examining a new strategy for the region.

"We're in the process of taking a fundamental look at our military posture worldwide, including the United States," said Mr. Wolfowitz. "We're facing a very different threat than the one we have faced historically. Our forces have very different kinds of capabilities, dramatically different kinds of capabilities, than they have had before."

Some of the threats being addressed are terrorism and the North Korean nuclear crisis.

But Mr. Wolfowitz denied a recent report in the Los Angeles Times that Washington has already decided to withdraw U.S. Marines from Japan and South Korea for redeployment in Singapore and Malaysia and at new bases in Australia.

Australian Prime Minister John Howard says he has received no requests from the United States for bases.

A Pentagon spokesman told VOA that the report overstated the situation, that ideas are under consideration and there are no definite plans for troop realignment.