US Defence Secretary Announces “Third Phase” of Military Build-Up Against China
- Emphasis mine:
- US Defence Secretary Announces “Third Phase” of Military Build-Up Against China
by Peter Symonds, http://www.wsws.org/
US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced last Thursday a further dramatic expansion of the Pentagon’s “rebalance” or “pivot” to the Asia Pacific that will only heighten the already tense military confrontation with China in the region. He insisted that the Asia Pacific was “the single most consequential region for America’s future.”
Speaking on board the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson in San Diego, Carter outlined what he called the “third phase” of the US military build-up and the strengthening of a “principled and inclusive security network” in Asia. While claiming that Beijing was not excluded from the “network,” every aspect of the third phase” is aimed at preparing for a war with China.
The importance that Carter attached to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to “bind the United States more closely together with 11 other countries” underlines the real purpose of the “pivot:” to maintain American dominance and subordinate China to the interests of the United States. The very terms of the TPP ensure that Beijing will be excluded unless it accepts the rules set by Washington.
The defence secretary made clear US economic hegemony had to be underpinned by military might. In outlining the “third phase,” he declared that “the United States will continue to sharpen our military edge so we remain the most powerful military in the region and the security partner of choice.”
Carter indicated that the “first phase” of the “pivot” announced in 2011 involved a quantitative boost of the US military and the restructuring of its basing arrangements. Tens of thousands of American military personnel were redirected to Asia, with a commitment to station 60 percent of overseas naval and air assets in the region. The restructuring of US bases in Japan, South Korea, Guam and Hawaii was begun and new basing arrangements reached with Australia.
The “second phase” involved sending the “most advanced capabilities” to the Asia Pacific, including F-22 and F-35 stealth fighter jets, P-8 maritime patrol aircraft and the navy’s newest surface warfare vessels, as well as continuous deployments of strategic bombers. It also included a concerted effort to expand military ties throughout the region in an effort to encircle China with allies and strategic partners. Carter highlighted strengthened security relations with Japan, South Korea, Australia, the Philippines, India, Singapore, Vietnam and New Zealand in particular.
In order to maintain the “military edge,” Carter outlined extensive plans to “qualitatively upgrade and invest in our regional force posture.” He provided a list of hi-tech projects that will be funded, starting this year, including:
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