According to the Wall Street Journal, the Pentagon may send a
combat marine expeditionary force to deter growing Chinese
influence while drawing down Middle East force levels.
Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Christopher Logan declined to
elaborate, saying (t)he Department of Defense continually evaluates
how we employ our forces throughout the globe but it would be
inappropriate to discuss any ongoing planning.
Defense Priorities analyst/retired army Lt. Col. Daniel
Davis/believes the move plays directly into the concerns and the
fears of North Korea that were actually preparing for an attack,
Effective diplomacy (with China) cant take place if you have a
hammer hanging over the head of your negotiating partner.
He supports drawing down US forces in the Middle East, calling
the region a money pit and blood pitwith no (US) gain.
US forces should be brought home, not sent to East Asia where
they could potentially be used in a ground war there that would be
even more catastrophic.
Marine expeditionary forces include about 2,200 combat troops,
operating from amphibious assault ships with their own warplanes,
tanks and other heavy weapons.
Washington already has about 50,000 troops in Japan, another
30,000 in South Korea, 40,000 in Hawaii, thousands in Guam, along
with smaller numbers in Australia, Thailand, the Philippines,
Singapore and elsewhere regionally.
With scores of ships, nuclear-powered submarines, warplanes, and
20,000 sailors, Americas Yokosuka, Japan-based Seventh Fleet is the
US navys largest deployed sea force.
The Trump administrations National Defense Strategy prioritizes
countering Russia and China. According to the WSJ, bolstering
Americas East Asia marine force aims to persuade Pacific nations to
stand with the US.
According to Commandant of the Marine Corp General Robert
Neller, the National Defense Strategy and other guidance requires
us to adopt a more global posture and this will shape our future
naval presence, especially in the Indo-Pacific region, adding: