US Deploying Thousands of Marines to Deter China
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)
According to the Wall Street Journal, the Pentagon may send a combat marine expeditionary force to deter "growing Chinese influence" while drawing down Middle East force levels.
Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Christopher Logan declined to elaborate, saying "(t)he Department of Defense continually evaluates how we employ our forces throughout the globe but it would be inappropriate to discuss any ongoing planning."
Defense Priorities analyst/retired army Lt. Col. Daniel Davis/believes the move "plays directly into the concerns and the fears of North Korea that we're actually preparing for an attack," adding:
"Effective diplomacy (with China) can't take place if you have a hammer hanging over the head of your negotiating partner."
He supports drawing down US forces in the Middle East, calling the region a "money pit and blood pit…with no (US) gain."
US forces should be brought home, not sent to East Asia "where they could potentially be used in a ground war there that would be even more catastrophic."
Marine expeditionary forces include about 2,200 combat troops, operating from amphibious assault ships with their own warplanes, tanks and other heavy weapons.
Washington already has about 50,000 troops in Japan, another 30,000 in South Korea, 40,000 in Hawaii, thousands in Guam, along with smaller numbers in Australia, Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore and elsewhere regionally.
With scores of ships, nuclear-powered submarines, warplanes, and 20,000 sailors, America's Yokosuka, Japan-based Seventh Fleet is the US navy's largest deployed sea force.
The Trump administration's National Defense Strategy prioritizes countering Russia and China. According to the WSJ, bolstering America's East Asia marine force aims to "persuade Pacific nations to stand with the US."
According to Commandant of the Marine Corp General Robert Neller, the National Defense Strategy and "other guidance requires us to adopt a more global posture and this will shape our future naval presence, especially in the Indo-Pacific region," adding:
"We have to be present and engaged to compete." The National Defense Strategy "will shape our future naval presence, especially in the Indo-Pacific region."
During a visit to Australia, Joint Chiefs chairman General Joseph Dunford claimed there's "no stronger way to demonstrate our commitment to our allies than actually being physically present."
Defense Secretary Mattis said "(g)reat power competition - not terrorism - is now the primary focus of US national security," - at a time when the nation's only threats are invented ones, Mattis adding:
"This strategy is fit for our time, providing the American people the military required to protect our way of life, stand with our allies and live up to our responsibility to pass intact to the next generation those freedoms we enjoy today."
Trump's National Security Strategy is a blueprint designed for endless wars of aggression, seeking unchallenged global dominance - peace and stability rejected as unacceptable options.
"Our way of life" is all about a permanent state of war, partnering with NATO, Israel and other rogue allies, risking the destruction of planet earth to own it.
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