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[Yap State News Brief] US Will Remain A Pacific Power: Pentagon

 

Resource: Yap State News Brief/ March 12, 2013

ASIA PACIFIC REGION (Marianas Variety/PACNEWS) — Even with budget cuts, the United States will continue to be committed to the Asia Pacific region and will remain a Pacific power.

 

Lt. Col. Cathy Wilkinson, Defense Press Officer for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, told Variety, “The president has made clear that the rebalance to the Asia-Pacific is a whole-of-government effort. The rebalance is a result of our enduring U.S. interests in the Asia-Pacific region. Those enduring interests will not change, nor will our commitment to the security of our allies and partners. The United States is and will remain a Pacific power.”

 

For fiscal year 2013, the sequester calls for a total of US$85.4 billion in U.S. budget cuts, US$42.7 billion of which in defense cuts.

 

Wilkinson said, “The budget constraints of sequestration would require a change in the pace and scope of some of the Department of Defense’s activities in the Asia-Pacific, but not the priority of the region to the United States.”

 

She said sequestration would require unavoidable reductions in daily operations, readiness, and maintenance activities.

 

“However, we will continue to deploy our best trained forces to the Asia-Pacific region and maintain our capacity to respond to a full range of possible contingencies,” Wilkinson said.

 

She acknowledged, however, “Clearly, sequestration would create turbulence across a range of our activities. That turbulence will have to be managed.”

 

Wilkinson said that over the long term, “we will ensure that our commitments to the region are met.”

 

The Pentagon, through Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter, earlier stated in a release that it has the resources to implement the new strategy despite concerns about tight budgets.

 

The pivot to Asia and the Pacific will have the U.S. Navy move 60 percent of its assets to the Pacific by 2020, have 2,500 Marines in Australia on a rotational basis, station Littoral Combat Ships in Singapore, and transfer Marines from Okinawa to Guam.

 

The pivot to Asia strategy, according to earlier reports, aims at building capabilities of U.S. allies and developing a broader politico-military relationship with China.

 

Resource: Yap State News Brief/ March 12, 2013

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