With U.S. troops out of Iraq and soon to leave Afghanistan, plans for re-focusing our military are already shifting to other areas — specifically, the Pacific.
Admiral Samuel J. Locklear III, head of U.S. Pacific Command, said the new focus on the Pacific is an attempt to “rebalance” the U.S. Navy’s mission. He stressed that this new balance is not intended as a threat or as posturing. Rather, “it draws on the strengths of the entire U.S. government, including diplomacy, trade, and, of course, security.”
Chinese leaders are not happy with this new focus; it has provided plenty of fodder for China’s state-run media, which has been attacking the latest Pacific policy since its announcement.
However, Locklear has made it clear that the U.S. is not on the offensive in the Pacific, and has not launched this initiative with the aim of getting involved in “China’s territorial disputes with other nations.” He said the U.S. position on those issues is simply that America wants to see them “resolved peacefully.”
Regarding the Pacific, Locklear says the U.S. just wants to “continue to effectively and efficiently contribute to stability and security of the Asia-Pacific” while also protecting “U.S. national interest.”