[Center for Strategic and International Studies] Asia-Pacific Rebalance 2025: Capabilities, Presence, and Partnership. January 2016
"An independent review of U.S. defense strategy in the Asia-Pacific."
"The vision statement — which is not legally-binding — was accompanied by concrete deliverables as well. For instance, Carter announced that the United States would provide $18 million to the Vietnamese Coast Guard to purchase American Metal Shark patrol vessels. This builds on existing U.S. efforts to assist Vietnam’s coast guard in the face of growing Chinese assertiveness in the South China Sea, not just through providing equipment but also training and curriculum development. He also announced that the Pentagon was stationing a peacekeeping expert at the American embassy in Vietnam to help educate and guide Vietnam’s entry into global peacekeeping operations."
"Evan Medeiros, a China expert who has worked at the National Security Council during all of Obama's tenure, will step down as the agency's Asia director on Thursday, officials said. He will be replaced by Daniel Kritenbrink, the deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.
White House officials said the personnel change did not portend any shift in U.S. policy toward China. Foreign policy experts in Washington who know Medeiros described his departure as a personal decision after a long run at the NSC, where officials work long hours under high-pressure situations."
By Thomas Christensen, Boswell professor of world politics and director of the China and the World Program at Princeton University, and a former U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs.
"Measures of the overall balance of power between two countries are most relevant when considering wars of survival, such as World War I and World War II. But most international security politics involves coercive diplomacy and limited military engagements short of full-scale war. In such struggles, geography, politics, psychology and perceptions can play an even more important role than the military balances of power"
"Transposed to the offshore realm, active defense means sniping at U.S. Pacific Fleet reinforcements steaming to the relief of Japan, Taiwan, or some other beleaguered ally during a conflict. U.S. Pacific Fleet expeditionary forces would arrive in the theater battered and overextended.
Luring U.S. Navy expeditionary forces in deep while pummeling them with missiles and torpedoes would help even the force balance. Active defense would grant PLA commanders some prospect for victory should a major fleet action transpire off Asian coasts."
"the United States has unambiguously begun re-engaging militarily with the Philippines, most notably through 2014’s Enhanced Defense Cooperation agreement with the Philippines, a 10-year accord that allows U.S. ships to rotate through Philippine naval bases. Washington also allocated some $50 million in military aid to Manila for fiscal year 2014, and $40 million for 2015, up from some $25.5 million in 2013.The United States and other allies of the Philippines have also helped facilitate the acquisition of weapons, surveillance technology, and vehicles. These include helicopter sales, navy patrol craft from Japan, and two C-130 transport planes to aid in humanitarian aid missions. The Philippine Coast Guard also recently dedicated a national coastal watch center built by the Raytheon Corporation.
Beyond that, the United States contributes some $50 million a year to advise and assist the AFP with military training and intelligence operations for counterterrorism operations."
The new Southeast Asia Maritime Security Initiative.
"The initiative did not originate with the Pentagon. It was actually something included in the Senate Armed Services Committee budget language crafted under the watchful eye of committee chairman Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz."
"assistance "may include provision of equipment, supplies, training, and small-scale military construction," as well as "training to ministry, agency, and headquarters level organizations for such forces.""
"If passed by Congress, the initiative would provide up to $50 million for fiscal year 2016; $75 million for fiscal year 2017; and $100 million in each of fiscal years 2018, 2019 and 2020."
By Yanmei Xie and Andrew S. Erickson.
"The message, delivered via the navy, will discredit a calculation by some Chinese and regional actors that the United States is unwilling or incapable of delivering more than verbal protests, because it is distracted by crises in other parts of the world."
"The United States, however, needs to clarify its red line, bearing in mind the attendant risks."
"Among other problems, a decade of land wars with unclear, unrealistic objectives diverted attention and resources from capabilities to preserve the ability of the U.S. military to operate in maritime East Asia even while threatened by Chinese systems. Washington is finally devoting more attention to two types of weapons with particular potential to demonstrate that counterintervention won’t work — missiles and sea mines — but existing efforts may be too slow and limited to arrest an emerging gap between U.S. goals and capabilities."
"Beijing intends to be a rulemaker as much as a rule-taker. Even as it competes with the US in East Asia, it looks set on becoming pre-eminent in Eurasia. The west has to decide whether to become a stakeholder in someone else’s project."
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