World

October 31, 2013

U.S. looks to Asia nations to build their militaries

Lawmakers voiced bipartisan support Oct. 29 for the Obama administration’s strategic pivot to Asia but stressed the need for partner nations to strengthen their military capabilities and contribute more to their own defense.

Members of the House Armed Services Committee plan to step up scrutiny of U.S. military policy in the fast-growing region, where despite budget pressure, Washington wants to increase its presence as it draws down forces in Afghanistan.

Lawmakers said they plan a wide-ranging examination of U.S. force deployments and how to optimize security relationships. They plan a series of five hearings between now and early 2014, mostly focused on the growing military power of China. Topics will include its capabilities in space, the modernization of its navy and air force, and maritime disputes.

The lawmakers said part of the committee’s intent is to explain to congressional colleagues and the American public about the strategic importance of the U.S. remaining engaged in the Asia-Pacific, where it has been the dominant force since World War II. Some in Asia, however, are voicing doubts about Washington’s staying power in the region as it grapples with political divisions at home and crises in the Mideast.

“The biggest thing for us is presence. If we have presence there it’s the greatest stability you can have in that region,” said Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Va., one of six lawmakers briefing reporters on the upcoming hearings.

Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., said the committee would look at how the U.S. can guarantee its alliance commitments with nations like South Korea and Japan, while building on its many other relationships in the region.

“One of the keys to making this work is partner capacity,” he said, citing as an example U.S. counterinsurgency support for Philippine forces fighting Islamic rebels. “What other options are out there to build capacity in forces so it doesn’t all fall on us?”

But Smith also advocated cooperation with China, which views the U.S. pivot as an attempt to encircle and crimp its emerging power. Smith said China should be viewed as a partner that could work with the U.S. on issues including North Korea and the transition in Afghanistan.

Committee chair Howard McKeon, R-Cal., sounded less accommodating.

He supported a more active role for Japan’s military in response to assertive behavior by China. Japan has the region’s second strongest military after China but it remains constrained by its pacifist constitution.

“It’s incumbent upon us to do all we can to build up and strengthen our partners so they can bring more to the table when they are needed,” McKeon said.

That risks tension not just with China but South Korea. Both those nations nurse bitter memories of Japan’s wartime atrocities and colonialist expansion in the first half of the 20th century.

Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, D-Hawaii, said the U.S. needs to recognize that the historical conflicts between its allies like South Korea and Japan, often can’t be solved by Washington.

“They have got to, on their own, decide that this is either a conflict they can park on the side for a little or resolve,” she said. “We are not going to be able to resolve history.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

News Briefs February 27, 2015

Ukraine will start pulling back heavy weapons in the east Ukraine’s military says it will start pulling back its heavy weapons from the front line with Russian-backed separatists as required under a cease-fire agreement. The Defense Ministry said in a statement Feb. 26 that it reserved the right to revise its withdrawal plans in the...
 
 

Northrop Grumman’s AstroMesh reflector successfully deploys for NASA’s SMAP satellite

The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory successfully deployed the mesh reflector and boom aboard the Soil Moisture Active Passive spacecraft, a key milestone on its mission to provide global measurements of soil moisture. Launched Jan. 31, SMAP represents the future of Earth Science by helping researchers better understand our planet. SMAP’s unmatched data capabilities are enabled...
 
 
NASA photograph by Brian Tietz

NASA offers space tech grants to early career university faculty

NASA photograph by Brian Tietz Tensegrity research is able to simulate multiple forms of locomotion. In this image, a prototype tensegrity robot reproduces forward crawling motion. NASA’s Space Technology Mission Director...
 

 
navy-china

USS Fort Worth conducts CUES with Chinese Navy

The littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) practiced the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES) with the People’s Liberation Army-Navy Jiangkai II frigate Hengshui (FFG 572) Feb. 23 enhancing the professional ma...
 
 

AEGIS tracks, simulates engagement of three short-range ballistic missiles

The Missile Defense Agency and sailors aboard the guided-missile destroyers USS Carney (DDG 64), USS Gonzalez (DDG 66), and USS Barry (DDG 52) successfully completed a flight test involving the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense weapon system. At approximately 2:30 a.m., EST, Feb. 26, three short-range ballistic missile targets were launched near simultaneously from NASA’s Wallops...
 
 

DOD seeks novel ideas to shape its technological future

The Defense Department is seeking novel ideas to shape its future, and officials are looking to industry, small business, academia, start-ups, the public – anyone, really – to boost its ability to prevail against adversaries whose access to technology grows daily. The program, called the Long-Range Research and Development Plan, or LRRDP, began with an...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>