America’s Asia-Pacific Marsec Strategy
By 2020, 60 percent of U.S. naval and overseas air assets will be based in the Pacific.
US Releases Asia-Pacific Maritime Security Strategy
Last week, the Pentagon released a new Asia-Pacific Maritime Security Strategy document outlining the Department’s plan for ensuring the freedom of the seas and the broader security of the region. While the strategy is careful to not exclusively focus on the rise of China, the country’s central role in U.S. strategic thinking is hard to miss, and the military touted the report as the “most comprehensive assessment of land reclamation activities in the South China Sea” to date. The document rejects Chinese sovereignty claims over disputed islands in the South China Sea, asserts that the United States will enhance its “force posture and persistent presence” in the region while “building the capacity’ of allies and partners, and explicitely supports India’s “Act East” policy as a “strategic convergence” with the U.S. re-balance, embracing India as a “net provider of security in the Indian Ocean region and beyond.”
The report notes that at present the United States maintains 368,000 military personnel in the Asia-Pacific region, and that over the next five years, the U.S. Navy will increase the number of ships assigned to the Pacific Fleet by approximately 30 percent. The report also says that by 2020, 60 percent of U.S. naval and overseas air assets will be based in the Pacific.
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