Is a new ‘Chinese Containment Policy’ underway? It sure looks like it to the Plaid Avenger and friends! As the USA continues to focus more time, attention, money, and military into Asia as a whole, SouthEast Asia in particular looks to be the region that is gaining the most-est in terms of US love. Visits from top US officials, investment from top US companies, and strategic US military ties are all being formed at a break-neck speed across the ASEAN block…all of which serve to bolster US influence in the region while simultaneously side-lining China’s aggressive attempts to do the same thing! The battle for Pacific primacy on!
From Shangri-la to Washington, DC, America has got a fever for the flava’ of Asian alliances! US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta was showing the love to Singapore, VIetnam, and India last week while talking defense strategies in the Asia ‘hood, and elaborating more about the US forces shift to the Asia-Pacific realm. Now Hillary Clinton is hosting an Indian delegation here in the US to further woo the South Asian power into inceased integration and cooperation with the Americans on a variety of other issues. These moves reflect the changing nature of US initiatives, changing US alliances, and also are indicative of how important India is becoming to future US policy on that side of the planet.
Keywords: US, Shangri-La, Singapore, Vietnam, Cam Rahn Bay, India, US-India strategic dialogue, SCO, China, Afghanistan, Asia-Pacific, Pacific, Indian Ocean, military
9000 US Marines are about to say “so long!” to Okinawa, Japan…from a much-contested US military base that has been a source of friction between these two allies for decades. In this podcast, the Professor sets the Okinawa stage of background for this saga, and more importantly discusses where these 9000 US Marines are likely to be going to—which is signaling a significant shift in priorities for the US military here in the 21st century. So, goodbye Japan, and hello US allies in the South China Sea!
Keywords: Okinawa, Japan, US, military, Marines, Futenma, airbase, Pacific, Asia, Guam, Hawaii, South Korea, South China Sea, Australia, Philippines, WW2, China, Indonesia, Vietnam
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization has been the most powerful and effective defensive alliance of all time….but it’s in bad trouble all of the sudden, and easily in its weakest position ever since the group was founded over 60 years ago. Loss of defined mission and over-extension are just the start of NATO’s issues; the European members have long been under-contributing to the cause, and the US is being forced to cut military spending which will affect its contributions as well. All NATO countries are undergoing serious recession bordering on depression, and most are also decreasing their military expenditures…just at a time when the group is involved in more missions than ever before. Can the alliance survive?
Keywords: NATO, US, Leon Panetta, Robert Gates, Secretary of Defense, Afghanistan, Libya, Europe