The Armed Forces of the USA in the Asia-Pacific Region

The Armed Forces of the USA in the Asia-Pacific Region

The Armed Forces of the USA in the Asia-Pacific Region

The Armed Forces of the USA in the Asia-Pacific Region

Excerpt

Some may question the inclusion of the US armed forces in a series devoted to 'the armed forces of Asia'. After all, technically, little US territory is located in Asia proper. However, both history and current reality warrant the inclusion of US forces in this series.

As the first chapter of this book briefly recalls, substantial US military forces have been present in the Asia-Pacific region for a hundred years, through four wars and countless smaller continU+00A- gencies. Today, about 100 000 American soldiers, sailors, Marines and air personnel are 'forward deployed' in the Western Pacific, including over 36 000 on the Asian mainland in Korea--at the request and, with the obvious exception of forces on the high seas, with the permission of Asian host nations. Moreover, as the world's sole remaining 'superpower', only the US currently posU+00A- sesses a military force with a truly 'global' reach, which means that even US units based thousands of miles away from the Asia-Pacific region can be deployed there in a matter of hours in some cases, and weeks at most. Whether these facts are viewed with approval or concern, they remain facts.

This book aims to show how the Armed Forces of the United States, which are collectively organized in the Department of Defense (DOD), play--and will continue to play--a major role in the security framework of the Asia-Pacific region. It examines how these all-volunteer forces are structured, organized, equipped, based and staffed and the challenges they face in an era of economic constraints, rapid technological change and uncertain threats. In all cases, only publicly available, non-classified sources have been utilized in the preparation of this book. However, given the very high degree of 'transparency' the US government mainU+00A- tains about its military forces, and the freedom of the press . . .

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