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Multiple effects of U.S. military deployment adjustment

(PLA Daily)

08:11, June 06, 2012

At the meeting of the Shangri-La Dialogue, Leon E. Panetta, U.S. secretary of the defense, expressed that the United States' overseas military deployment worldwide during the next 8 years would shift its focus from Europe to the Asia-Pacific region. By 2020, the U.S. Navy will change the current warship deployment pattern in which the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean evenly share its warships into that of 60% in the Pacific Region and 40% in the Atlantic Ocean. While maintaining the current scale of 10 aircraft carriers, the U.S. plans to deploy 6 of them in the Pacific Ocean.

  Lin Zhiyuan, researcher with the Academy of Military Sciences (AMS) of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA), expressed that the main point of Panetta's speech was the reification of the United States' shift of its military strategic focus towards the Asia-Pacific region. Lin Zhiyuan believes that the U.S. has openly dished out its future military deployment adjustment on multilateral occasions in order to achieve a kind of deterrent effect. At the same time, it also means to send a message to its allies in the Asia-Pacific region that the U.S. will bear the important responsibilities with regard to security.

  However, the U.S. military deployment adjustment is rather a choice of rotational deployment than the establishment of new permanent military bases in its allied countries. Based on Lin Zhiyuan's analysis, this rotational type of deployment is more flexible in the military view and more frugal in economical sense, while it can simultaneously take into account the security situation in both the West Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean.

  Professor Han Xudong of the National Defense University (NDU) believes that after the new military deployment adjustment is completed, the control over the "strategic leverage" will be tightened, and it will definitely increase people's worries about the military confrontation between powers in the Asia-Pacific region as well as the intensified security situation.

  Lu Yin, researcher of the Strategic Research Institute of the NDU who attended this year's Shangri-La Dialogue, expressed that as the only superpower in the world, the United States has important interests in the Asia-Pacific region, and its strategic adjustment has intrinsic strategic and logic needs. However, if the United States intends to play a more crucial role in the Asia-Pacific region, its best option is to work hard on expanding the common interests instead of expanding the regional bifurcation.


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