US to expand military deployments as war danger builds in Asia
12 February 2018
The National Defense Strategy released by the Trump administration last month defined China and Russia as the paramount “strategic competition” facing US imperialism. It labelled the two nuclear-armed states as “revisionist powers” that must be prevented from undermining American global dominance. The document declared that the US had to “prioritize preparedness for war.”
The American military has been doing precisely that in Asia for over six years, since the Obama administration announced its provocative “pivot” to the region in November 2011. It has prepared and positioned a vast array of surface ships, submarines, bombers, jet-fighters, infantry divisions and marine units to wage a region-wide war against China. New bases for US forces have been established in Australia and Singapore and re-established in the Philippines and Thailand. India, which has been groomed as a “strategic partner” against China, now provides access, maintenance and supply arrangements to the US military.
The US has some 50,000 personnel in Okinawa and elsewhere in Japan, including 18,000 marines, an aircraft carrier battlegroup and squadrons of Air Force jet fighters. It has some 29,500 personnel in South Korea, on the frontline of any conflict with North Korea. Guam hosts 7,000 military personnel, as well as B-52 and B2 strategic bombers capable of delivering nuclear weapons.
On February 9, the Wall Street Journal reported on the next stage of the concentration of American power in Asia. The Pentagon is considering deploying to the region the three West Coast-based Marine Expeditionary Units (MEUs), which have primarily been used in Iraq and the Middle East over the past decade or more.