Lawmakers Call for Asia-Pacific ‘Rebalance’ Review

Lawmakers Call for Asia-Pacific ‘Rebalance’ Review

A bi-partisan group of lawmakers is calling upon newly appointed National Security Advisor Susan Rice to conduct a formal strategy review of the administration’s Asia re-balance strategy, claiming the approach is in need of greater clarity.

The letter, co-signed by Rep. Randy Forbes – R-Va., Chairman of the House Armed Services Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, Rep. Rob Wittman R-Va., Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, D-Hi and Del. Madeleine Bordallo D-Guam, asks the administration to produce a classified and unclassified interagency Asia-Pacific Strategy Review in order to more successfully delineate priorities and strategic goals in the region.

“Currently, agencies outside of the White House, including the Department of Defense, Department of State, and country teams at various Asia-Pacific Embassies lack the specific direction that will be required for the implementation of this strategy,” the letter states.

The Pacific Pivot calls for the the Navy to position as much as 60-percent of its fleet in the Pacific theater to potentially offset the growing influence of the Chinese military throughout the region. Other initiatives include a 6-month rotational deployment of up to 2,500 Marines to Australia.

Authors of the letter believe the Pacific Pivot needs additional detail and clarification.

“Asia promises to be a pivotal theater for U.S. national security interests in the 21st century and requires a robust U.S. military force posture in the decades ahead. Any interagency strategy review of U.S. Asia policy should address what type of military resources are required to protect U.S. interests and uphold our commitments to allies and partners in the region. I would hope that such a review, while charged with looking holistically at U.S. strategy in the region, would pay close attention to the resources needed to sustain a robust U.S. presence in Asia,” Congressman Forbes said in a written statement to Military​.com.

Although the letter talks primarily about the need for an integrated, specific and well articulated strategic review of the Asia-Pacific strategy, the conversation is taking place within the context of a fast-changing threat equation in the Pacific region.

For instance, a recent report called China’s ballistic missile development program the “most active and diverse” in the world.

“China has the most active and diverse ballistic missile development program in the world. It is developing and testing offensive missiles, forming additional missile units, qualitatively upgrading missile systems, and developing methods to counter ballistic missile defenses. The Chinese ballistic missile force is expanding in both size and types of missiles,” according to the report done by the National Air and Space Intelligence Center.

The report also specifies that the Chinese military continues to develop and deploy large numbers of conventionally armed short and medium range ballistic missiles while developing a new submarine launched ballistic missile, the JL-2.

The intelligence report mentioned Anti-Access/Area-Denial concerns and also explains that the Chinese military uses nuclear armed ballistic missiles for regional nuclear deterrence. In addition, the NASIC report says China is acquiring new conventionally armed medium range ballistic missiles to conduct precision strikes, called CSS-5 MRBMs.

“These systems are likely intended to hold at risk or strike logistics nodes, regional military bases including airfields and ports and naval assets,” the report states.

At the same time, there has been overt tension and provocation from the North Korean regime.

North Korea’s recent unveiling of a new road-mobile Hwasong-13 ICMB and continued development of its Taepo Dong-2 missile were also cited specifically in the NASIC intelligence report.

“North Korea has an ambitious ballistic missile development program and has exported missiles and missile technology to other countries, including Iran and Pakistan. North Korea has also admitted its possession of nuclear weapons. An intermediate-range ballistic missile and a new solid propellant short-range ballistic missile are also being developed,” the report says.

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The only interesting info on this topic appears on-line at Airpower Australia and at G2mil, the base closure section about our Asian bases.

“Pacific Pivot” is really nothing more than a marketing strategy (not a military strategy) for forces that are already deployed. That is, with 285 ships and a current 50/50 split, it will require a shift of 29 ships from Atlantic to Pacific to change the split to 60/40. Instead of going through all the trouble with shifting ships, let sequestration fix the mix. That is, if the Navy has to cut 10% of its fleet to absorb its share of the 10-year Budget Control Act cuts, take all 29 out of the Atlantic Fleet and, wa la, the mix has changed to 60/40 with NO additional costs, changes in ship assignments or basing, and no additional infrastructure! Problem solved. The Pacific Pivot is already in place. Mission Accomplished!


Rice is a documented liar. She needs to be secured.

This was the goal since before ww2. It’s very obvious to anybody who knows history, that China has always been the world’s superpower (for thousands of years), India was also a large player, and they both (will be) again soon. It’s simply a numbers game. Sure, when China and India went introvert, and partially and fully colonized, we Westerners ruled the world for a few hunderd years. But when we Europeans were still throwing speers and butchering each other (all the intra european wars), middle age nonsense, the Chinese had fleets even the current USN would be jealous of (hyperbole). China will be about 4x what the US was in the 50’s. Easily, look at the numbers and all the potential. The middle east is one big proxy, that us westerners try to secure, merely to HOLD OFF the inevitable. The middle east is never a goal in and of itself ((apart from Israel’s interest) to hell with their interest anyway). The west (you and we) need to stay ahead of the game and push for more self reliance (energy), and try to keep inventing and innovating. Because in the end, it’s a economic game, not a military one. He who invents and invests the most wins. End of subject. Think of the big picture, not shuffeling a few ships around. It all leads to who has the best economy sustainably.

He who holds the industry and the resources, can rule the waves and possess an empire where the sun never sets on its flags.

The PRC has been behind, mostly due to a failure of the self to advance. Taking a page from the Meiji playbook, they are certainly to give us a run for our money.

I wonder if cutting all the Perrys will achieve this…

Except the number of Atlantic/Mediterranean missions hasn’t changed nor will they change. Air Sea Battle and the Pacific Pivot require more ships than we have now even before sequestration. It’s more of a budget strategy than a marketing strategy.

The biggest threat we face from China is from being so economically interdependent with them. The idea that a bunch of ChiCom Kleptocrats can safely manage the world’s 2nd largest economy is laughable.

I wouldn’t call China’s tech level a “failure” so much as a “we don’t care.” They had the opportunity a few hundred years ago to be a serious international player and voluntarily closed their doors. Even now, their main focus appears to be physical control of their region and gradually increasing influence around the world (not necessarily world control). We’re called the superpower because we have the ability to intervene around the world and despite the “go home America” rhetoric most of the world expects us to intervene. I don’t see China picking up that torch any time soon.

Why not? It works on Wall Street.

Better than you imagine. See, it’s quite the paradoxal claim youmake. Those chicoms” made it the second (and soon) biggest economy in the world, in just 2.5 decades. So they must be doing something right.

There is not one thing paradoxical about it. China has gotten fat off being allowed into the US market and to a lesser extent Europe. As you yourself point out over and over the US has out sourced everything under the sun. China has taken advantage of this and followed the example of others before it like Japan, S. Korea, and Taiwan. Its not like China has done anything special here. China’s development has less to do with them and more to do with excessive American out sourcing.

Who is in a better position to make military decisions, the military or Congressmen and women who sit on Capitol Hill and make decisions based on their lobbyists?

would you go to war with the bank that has all your money? china is not going to war with the USA, there is the potential for conflict through actions of our allies but not a war. the concerned european is very correct, he who has the most always wins. get the heck out of the middle east and all of the european theaters. close the bases and move out with our money and people. put the money where it belongs “in the USA”.

Well, the oursourcing sure made it easier for them, you’re right. But you have to understand (and nixon had a hand in it), when that murderous thug MAO died, Deng Xiaoping reformed the nation’s economy. He said, it doesn’t matter HOW, so long as we catch the mouse. The mouse being welfare (like in the US constitution, which most US pols ignore) and power. So he opened up the floodgates, and saw China’s potential (more than a billion worker bees).

Sure there is corruption there, but understand that they’re doing VERY well. Their infrastructure is out of this world, certainly US infrastructure doesn’t hold a candle (still use overhead telephone wires???). They invest trillions in education, health care and infrastructure. They have a 2 trillion dollar + warchest and are building up their military. That’s good management in my book.

You always have to remember, they still have more than 500 million poor peasants in the heartland. So it still is a developing nation.

Well, sadly the US is very corrupt (because of lobbying), so ‘the best decision’ really doesn’t get made a lot, just those who pour money into lobbying.

–want to get coal plants to clean up, because they still use 1950’s emission control free polution? NO, big coal just bought off a few little congressmen.
–want to keep in line Wall street, because they’re overtly gambling away the nation’s resources? No, they just ‘donated’ some ‘campaing money’.
–want to do something about energy independence? No, big oil and gas said no.

To see where the US started declining, look up when it started caving under pressure from undue sources. It used to be you guys broke up the big banks and oil companies and handed Rockefeller his butt in his old age. That must have made him a happy man, after all millions of Americans got freed from the biggest energy cartel in the history of mankind. Gee, something FOR the people instead of for the corps.

China is going to be the new super power in the world. India has a stagnant economy and will be forced to counter China’s buildup. Russia is worried about China more than the US, they share a common border. The US and Australia are worried about China having the ability to control the sea lanes in the western pacific, much as Japan did early in WWII. China is the big worry for the Asia pacific region due to the ambitions of their government to be a super power. The US economy seems to no longer support the ability to project power around the world and China senses a weakness to exploit.

China isn’t doing anything special, in fact they are still underperforming given that they are so big. Their economy should be even bigger and should be stronger but its not because it is run by a bunch of thieves who shake everybody down in the country and create structural inefficiencies in the economy that dwarfs any other country. The best example of this how the economy has been juiced by investment to produce things the country has no need for like dozens of entire cities that are brand new and sit entirely empty because there was no demand for them yet the Kleptocrats interfered and now there are these ghost cities that sit all over the country empty. To compound all I have mentioned the average Chinese has limited options to invest the money they HAVE to save so they almost have to invest in real estate which means when the property bubble goes bust in China (and it definitely will) the Chinese could very well be facing their own Arab Spring.

that 2 trillion dollar war chest you speak of doesn’t look so impressive when the Chinese know they can’t do anything with it (read statements regarding this by Chinese leaders). When a real crisis hits currency reserves won’t mean much, it will be all about who has the most gold and its not China.
I haven’t even addressed how the Chinese have annihilated the environment over there. Just last week alone it was announced that the air pollution was so bad in China that it is said to cut off 5 years of the average person’s life, some place to live.

Spot on! Hitting the nail on the head. Brilliant.

Repeat. Spot on! Hitting the nail on the head. Brilliant.

Their kleptocrats are high-middle government bureaucrats. Garfield had to be assassinated before the whole patronage system was mostly discarded. At the highest levels, their /politicians/ and our /politicians/, plus political appointees, are probably equally kleptocratic/revolving-door.

Projecting power around the world makes the United States inherently vulnerable to a local power. The United States is spreading itself rather thin, and spending considerably to do so.

East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere once again and this time it is with the Indian Ocean thrown in. Will history be repeating itself in an epic proportion far greater than that fought by the Imperial Japanese Navy? The Battle of Tsushima to the Russians was insignificant in comparison, to the Russians the threat posed by China today, even Hitler’s invading armies had been a ‘flock of pilgrims’.

Well, Rep. Forbes; are you worried more about national security OR losing the money in the state you represent? I already know the answer — please save your breath and don’t reply.

I agree. But those dollars will be traded in sooner or later. And then the USD no longer is the world’s reserve currency. Let’s then see how big above their paygrade the US has been living for decades (petrodollar stranglehold/reserve currency) via powerprojection. Hope the fall is softer than when the Soviets went down.

In any way you cut it, China went from a huge poor country, with a billion peasants and a few communist party leaders, to a gigantic economy, outproducing the US by quite the margins, and showing no signs of letting up. This isn’t meant to diss the US or anything, just to lift the veil some have in their face. China is going to be the one who tells us how it is, adding ships to a fleet isn’t going to change that. We need to invest in education and infrastructure, to be able to compete with them in the future. That means economic ‘warfare’. No more boys with guns, but men with brains.

I think the Dollar losing reserve status helps the US in the long run because it will mean the US government will have to be more disciplined about the twin deficits. We will have to get our budget deficit under control which is a good thing because we as Americans aren’t getting much for it. Also the US will no long be able to act as the “Consumer of Last Resort” which means major trouble for China, Japan, Germany and any other nation that is dependent on the US to buy their goods instead of developing their own economy. In short the dollar losing reserve status will give the world what is long overdue, a complete global re-ordering of the economic relationships in the world. China will no longer be able to simply export their way to prosperity they will have to struggle to develop their own internal market which so far they been incapable of doing. So I think the pressure is on China, not America. Besides several economists have calculated that the net loss of losing reserve status would only be $150–200 billion per year, certainly not chump change but hardly anything to get nervous about when talking about a $16 trillion economy.

If we want Americans to have jobs and restore the middle class, then we need to “rebalance” things like shipbuilding. Abrogate NAFTA, GATT and the WTO and demand that — to equalizer the situtaion of the last 30 years — ALL ships transporting goods to America be BUILT in America for the next 30 years.

Germany (BMW and Mercedes), Japan (Toyota, Honda), South Korean (Hyuandai, Kia), and Taiwan (televisions, electronics, appliances) all have economic development plans. Keep everyone fully employed by selling their stuff to stupid Americans, who will buy their cheap goods at a discount (believing they “saved” money), while eliminating their own jobs!


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