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US to shift naval firepower to Asia-Pacific

Defence chief Leon Panetta announces major strategy shift that will assign 60 per cent of US fleet to Pacific by 2020.


Leon Panetta, the US defence secretary, has said that the majority of the country's naval fleet will be based in the Asia-Pacific region by the year 2020.

Speaking at a security conference in Singapore on Saturday, Panetta said the assigning of 60 per cent of the fleet comes as part of a new strategy to increase US presence in the Asia-Pacific.

"Make no mistake, in a steady, deliberate and sustainable way, the United States military is rebalancing and is bringing an enhanced capability development to this vital region," Panetta said at the annual Shangri-La Dialogue conference.

While noting it may take years to complete the transition, Panetta assured his audience at the security conference that current US budget problems and cutbacks would not get in the way of changes. He said the Pentagon has money in the five-year budget plan to meet these goals.

The boost in ship presence could increase tensions with China, where leaders have said they are unhappy with any larger US presence in the region.

Regional security

A key area of dispute is the South China Sea, which China claims almost entirely as its own. But Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and the Philippines also have territorial claims there.

The US has pressed for a diplomatic solution to the disagreements but has also made it clear that freedom of navigation is critical in the region.

Panetta tamped down his criticism of China, choosing instead to issue broad warnings about the use of force in the South China Sea to block access.

He praised China and Taiwan for working to improve their relationship across the Taiwan Strait.

He said he is looking forward to visiting China later this year, adding that he wants to see the US and China deepen their military ties, including on anti-drug programmes and humanitarian aid.

Panetta acknowledged that some see an increased US presence in the region as a direct challenge to China. But he said a greater US presence in the Asia-Pacific will benefit China and improve regional security.

Nine-day trip

The increased US naval presence in the Pacific will allow Washington to boost the number and size of the military exercises in the region in the next few years and to plan for more port visits over a wider area, including the
Indian Ocean.

Last year, the US military participated in 172 exercises in the region involving 24 counties.

Currently, the Navy has about 285 ships, with roughly half assigned to each coast, but that total may decline a bit as some ships are retired in the coming years and may not be replaced.

The current fleet includes 11 aircraft carriers, with six assigned to the Pacific.

But those numbers are slated to go down later this year, dipping to 10 carriers, with five assigned to Pacific ports in San Diego, Washington state and Japan.

Panetta, however, said he intends to go back to having six carriers in the Pacific in the coming years. And he said the Pacific will also eventually host a majority of the Navy's cruisers, destroyers, submarines and littoral combat ships, which operate in close to shore.

Panetta is on a nine-day trip across Asia, with planned stops in Vietnam and India.

Source: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia-pacific/2012/06/20126242228766871.html
 

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China is stuck in a rock and a hard place on the one hand they want to protect their territorial interests but on the other they intimidate their neighbors to the arms of the United states. maybe China needs to be more friendly to its neighbors and not scare them to the US. sometimes being friendly means sacrificing things of your own.
 

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^ They can welcome the US with open arms anyway as they want, it's not our business. We only care our islands and Chinese fishermen ;)
And hopefully, Americans should RESPECT China's core interests and concerns for the sake of world peace and stability.

Enough of the West's double-speak! :bash:
 

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And hopefully, Americans should RESPECT China's core interests and concerns for the sake of world peace and stability.

Enough of the West's double-speak! :bash:
China has got treated with more respect than 10 years ago, at that point the US could bomb the Chinese embassy with impunity and send two aircraft carriers to the Chinese shore. Now if the US dare to do that again, they must flip out.

Dont want to sound so aggressive, but we should confine ourselves to the fact we still live in the world where the law of the jungle governs the conduct of nations. Respect is not in the dictionary of the US, or any nation else for that matter in fairness to the US. Mighty is right. :)
 

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WASHINGTON - The US Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday questioned the quality of production on the Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, citing a "potentially serious issue" with its electronic warfare capability.


"The committee is ... concerned about production quality and whether it is sufficient to ensure the delivery of JSF aircraft to the US and its allies at an affordable price," the committee said in a report accompanying its fiscal 2013 defense budget bill.


Italy has already scaled back its planned orders for the new, radar-evading warplane and several other countries are slowing their orders, citing budgetary pressures. Japan has warned it could cancel its order if the cost per plane rises from what it was offered.


Lockheed is building the new radar-evading fighters for the US military and eight foreign countries helping to fund its development, Britain, Norway, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, Turkey, Australia and Italy. Japan and Israel have also ordered the fighters for their militaries.


Questions over the quality of production of the F-35 will compound the mounting woes of the $396 billion Pentagon program, which has already been restructured three times in recent years to extend the development phase and slow production.


The committee said it was troubled by the average rate of scrap, rework and repair at Lockheed's Fort Worth, Texas facility from 2009 through the first two months of 2012, but gave no details.


"Inattention to production quality" had led to the discovery of a potentially serious issue with an aperture on the plane that was critical to its electronic warfare capability, the report said. The full extent of the problem was not known, but it underscored the need for the Pentagon and Lockheed to "rigorously manage production quality," it said.
http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/world/2012-06/06/content_15478540.htm
 

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WASHINGTON, June 8 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. military rebalancing to the Asia-Pacific is not intended to contain China, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff said Thursday.

Instead, the pivot is designed to deal with "strategic challenges of the future" that are migrating to the region, Martin Dempsey said at a briefing to reporters on his just-concluded Asian trip.

By virtue of the size, scope and scale of populations and economies in the Asia-Pacific, the United States will seek engagement in the region with the intent of avoiding confrontation, the general said.

"I assured anyone that chose to ask me the question -- our new (defense) strategy and our rebalancing to the Pacific is not intended to contain China," he said.

Dempsey recently traveled to the Philippines and Thailand after attending the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, where U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta elaborated on the new U.S. defense strategy.

Panetta announced that Washington seeks to increase the U.S. military presence in the Asia-Pacific by shifting 60 percent of its Navy ships to the region by 2020 despite budgetary pressure.

Dempsey characterized the shift as "three mores" -- more attention, more engagement and more quality. He said the U.S. side is eyeing a troops presence in the Asia-Pacific region more on a rotational basis, while deploying the most advanced ships, fifth-generation aircraft and the best missile defense technology there.

The U.S. move has fueled suspicions that it is targeting China. But Washington has rejected such perceptions, saying it will endeavor together with China to strengthen mutual strategic trust to deal with shared security challenges.

The U.S.-China military-to-military engagement "is actually moving along quite well," said Dempsey, adding that he hopes "to see it move a little faster."

He also suggested that the two countries work to deal with "strategic challenges of the future," including economic, demographic and military ones in the Asia-Pacific.

"We do have a relationship with China, and we certainly aspire to increase that relationship over time," Dempsey said.

As regards the new U.S. military posture, Beijing has expressed the hope that the United States would play a positive and constructive role in the region and respect China's concerns and interests.
http://www.shanghaidaily.com/article/article_xinhua.asp?id=75782
 

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Naval forces of the United States, Japan and the Republic of Korea will conduct a two-day joint drill next week in the waters south of the Korean Peninsula, raising concerns over regional stability.

The two-day drill, scheduled to start on Thursday in waters off the ROK's southern island of Jeju, will involve training in search and rescue operations and maritime interdiction operations, the ROK Defense Ministry said on Thursday.

Destroyers and anti-submarine helicopters will be mobilized for what officials call an exercise "of a humanitarian nature", the ministry said.

This is the first time that Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force troops have conducted a drill in related waters with the US and ROK naval forces.

Japan's military personnel have participated in joint US-ROK maneuvers as observers.

The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS George Washington, based at the port of Yokosuka in Japan, is expected to take part in the drill, Kyodo News Agency said.

The Pentagon said the drill will focus on "improving interoperability and communications" to facilitate "cooperative disaster relief and maritime security activities" in the future.

The three countries "will conduct this exercise beyond the territorial waters of any coastal nation", it added.

But the joint operation is also intended to pressure Pyongyang to refrain from escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula, Japan's Jiji Press news agency said.

In addition to the DPRK, Kyodo said the exercise is also aimed at reining in China.

Beijing on Thursday also responded to the planned drill.

"China believes the international community, especially countries in the Asia-Pacific region, should contribute more to ensuring the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula as well as the Northeast Asia region, not making things worse," Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said.

Analysts said the drill is primarily aimed at boosting military coordination to handle the situation on the Korean Peninsula in case of emergencies, and will also help beef up Washington's military presence in the region.

The drill comes in the wake of Washington's new strategic focus the Asia Pacific region, and the drill will "further strengthen the US' leading status in the Peninsula situation", said Zheng Hao, a commentator with Hong Kong-based Phoenix TV.

Seoul and Washington are set to launch a separate, three-day drill on June 23 in waters off the west coast of the Korean Peninsula, Xinhua said.

In another development, the top diplomats and defense chiefs of Washington and Seoul on Thursday discussed how to strengthen their alliance and cope with the threat posed by Pyongyang.


Xinhua and AP contributed to this story.

[email protected]

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/world/2012-06/15/content_15503977.htm
 

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WASHINGTON, June 15 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. military will not build new bases in the Asia-Pacific as it rebalances its strategic priorities to the region, but will rather rely on allies and partners to pick up the tab, a senior commander said here on Friday.

"We're not really interested in building any more U.S. bases in the Asia-Pacific," said Pacific Command Commander Samuel Locklear during a press briefing at the Pentagon. "We shouldn't have to at this point in time."

Locklear said the U.S. military will rely on allies and partners in the region for shared use of military facilities, and those arrangements can be bilateral as well as trilateral.

"We should be able to find ways to not only bilaterally, but in some cases multilaterally ... find these locations where we can put security forces," Locklear said.

The U.S. military is shifting its focus toward the Asia-Pacific, but the Pentagon is also faced with huge budget cuts totaling 487 billion dollars in 10 years. If Congress doesn't act this year, it may face across-the-board automatic cuts mandated by the Budget Control Act of last year.

Although the Pentagon has indicated that operations in the Asia- Pacific will not be affected, doubts still remain.
http://www.shanghaidaily.com/article/article_xinhua.asp?id=77399



WASHINGTON, June 15 (Xinhua) -- Commander of U.S. Pacific Command Samuel Locklear pledged on Friday to continue to strengthen the U.S.-China military relations to enhance the security in the Asia-Pacific.

Speaking at a Pentagon news briefing, Locklear said it is very important to ensure the U.S. and China understand each other as China emerges, so to prevent miscalculation and have a positive influence on the security environment in the region.

Locklear, who assumed his post about three months ago, said he has been encouraged by the receptiveness from his counterparts in China's military and looks forward to having more exchanges of visit in future.

He revealed he will pay a visit to China in the next weeks, during which he will have conversations with senior Chinese military officials "in a very open and frank way."

"I think we're in a position in the coming months and years to continue to have a productive dialogue, because... it's very important for the security in the Asia-Pacific, for the U.S. and China to be able to have a productive partnership," Locklear said.

The officer said while the U.S. executes its much-trumpeted "pivot to Asia" strategy, the U.S. will continue to build the alliances and partnerships that help ensure a security environment in the Asia-Pacific that will allow future peace and prosperity in this vast region.

"So we're going to look at our alliances and continue to strengthen them. We're going to look at key strategic partnerships and ensure that those are properly taken care of and properly articulated," said Locklear, who is in charge of the largest U.S. command with about 320,000 U.S. soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines.

On the maritime disputes in the region, Locklear said they should be resolved peaceably, and sometimes the involved parties have to make compromise in order to avoid possible conflict.

"There's enough resources, I think, for everybody in the world. We just got to figure out how to make sure that everybody has adequate access to them," Locklear said.

Meanwhile, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said in late May that China will negotiate directly with relevant parties in regards to resolving disputes in the South China Sea.

"China has long been committed to safeguarding peace and stability by consulting with ASEAN nations and signing agreements, such as the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said.

http://www.shanghaidaily.com/article/article_xinhua.asp?id=77417
 

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Op-ED: If India subdued to US' "divide and conquer" strategy. that'd be a disaster for China, India, Asia and the whole world
Vijay Prashad
(4th Media, June 21)


India: the US doormat into Asia?

A mid-level officer of the Indian Foreign Ministry told me that he was startled by the language used by US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta during his visit to India on June 6. India, Panetta said, is the “lynchpin” in US plans to “rebalance towards the Asia-Pacific region”.


The officer said that at one point Panetta had said India is the US “doorway into Asia”. At least two of the Indian officials in the room later joked that he should have said that India is the US’s doormat into Asia.
Panetta had come to Delhi with a brief that was uncomplicated but not conducive to peace.



Panetta’s objectives, and that of the third India-US Strategic Dialogue (which began on June 13), seem obliged to isolate three major actors in Asia: China, Iran and Pakistan.


The “rebalancing” is not intended to bring these crucial countries to the table to discuss areas of common interest, such as the imbroglio in Afghanistan, the question of energy security and the unsettled border and security disputes between these countries.


The US has sought an alliance with India for the past decade with the aim of putting pressure on China, of balancing out its reliance upon Pakistan’s geographic location, and of isolating Iran in the forums of the non-aligned world (as well as enhancing access for US firms into the Indian market). These are not pathways to peace. They are precisely the opposite.




Afghanistan

Panetta’s short-term objective in Delhi was to bring India more firmly into its Afghan operations. He came to India seeking Indian monetary and military assistance for the Afghan mission of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Indian tanks are not going to be airlifted into Kabul anytime soon, although this remains on the agenda. As a precursor, the Indians were asked to increase their reconstruction commitments.


Whether Panetta’s goal is to actually have Indian tanks in Afghanistan seems unclear. What is obvious, however, is that this is an unsubtle way to put pressure on Islamabad to desist from its refusal to allow NATO material to transit from Karachi’s port through Torkham into Afghanistan. The US is currently spending upwards of $100 million per day more than beforehand to get its goods into Afghanistan through Central Asia.


During Panetta’s Delhi visit, the US fired its drones for the ninth time since the Chicago North Atlantic Treaty Organization summit in May, killing three people. The continuation of the drone program has soured the relationship between Islamabad and Washington. Pakistan’s Asif Ali Zardari is locked into his presidential residence, afraid of his people and terrified of their reaction if he gives in, once more, to the US.


What Zardari and the Pakistani military fear more than their own people, however, is the US pivot toward India. The sense that India has used its relationship with Kabul to encircle Pakistan is very strong amongst the ruling circles. Panetta might be playing up the US request for Indian extension into Afghanistan to pressure Pakistan to open up the doors for NATO trucks.


Nevertheless, to facilitate the short-term objectives of the Obama administration, Panetta is stoking the flames between India and Pakistan. India’s natural policy should be to calm tensions with Islamabad rather than to be yoked into a cynical ploy to increase anxiety for US ends.


But this policy is of a piece with the US-orchestrated tension between Iran and its neighbors. That the US can assume that there can be peace in Afghanistan without Iranian, Indian, Pakistani and Chinese cooperation is remarkable.
more: http://www.4thmedia.org/2012/06/21/...ter-for-china-india-asia-and-the-whole-world/


(Vijay Prashad is Professor and Director of International Studies at Trinity College, Hartford, United States. This spring he will publish two books: Arab Spring, Libyan Winter [AK Press] and Uncle Swami: South Asians in America Today [New Press]. He is the author of Darker Nations: A People’s History of the Third World [New Press], which won the 2009 Muzaffar Ahmed Book Prize.)
 

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America's Pacific Century: Militarization of Asia-Pacific region to "Contain China"
by Nile Bowie/Chandra Muzaffar
(4th Media, July 9)


In January 2012, US President Barack Obama unveiled the 2012 Defense Strategic Guidance report, entitled, “Sustaining U.S. Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense,” which confirmed America’s plans to drastically increase its military presence in the Asia-Pacific region to counter China, now the world’s second-largest economy.

Following a speech by US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta at the eleventh annual Shangri-La Dialogue defense summit in Singapore calling for the expansion of American alliances with defense treaty partners in the Asia-Pacific such as Australia, Japan, New Zealand, the Philippines, South Korea and Thailand, the United States would announce its plans to reposition 60% of its navy to the region by 2020.​




more:
http://nilebowie.blogspot.fr/2012/06/americas-pacific-century-containing.html
http://www.4thmedia.org/2012/07/09/...ization-of-the-asia-pacific-to-contain-china/
 

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Obama's top security advisor to visit China, Japan
(Shanghai Daily/Xinhua, July 21)

WASHINGTON, July 20 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama's top security advisor Thomas Donilon will visit China and Japan to strengthen security cooperation and promote ties with the two nations, the White House announced Friday.

During the China trip, Donilon "will discuss the current and future state of U.S.-China relations and cooperation on regional and global challenges of mutual concern, including nonproliferation, regional security in Asia and the Middle East, and global economic growth," the White House said in a statement.
more: http://www.shanghaidaily.org/article/article_xinhua.asp?id=84469
 

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US insists missile defense targets DPRK, not China
(China Daily, Aug. 25)

Washington's plan to expand an advanced missile-defense system in Asia is directed at Pyongyang, not Beijing, the US State Department said on Thursday. However, military experts in both the United States and China questioned the US' intentions, saying the expensive system, which is well beyond Pyongyang’s military capability, is actually "looking at China".

The Chinese military also called for the US to handle anti-missile issues with great discretion and avoid "letting its own state security take priority over other countries’ national security".

The Wall Street Journal’s front-page story on Thursday talked about Pentagon plans to put a second X-Band early-warning radar in southern Japan to complement one that has been in the country’s north since 2006.
more: http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/world/2012-08/25/content_15705003.htm
 
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