This book describes the structure and roles of the Armed Forces of the United States in the Asia-Pacific region, within the overall context of official US national security interests, strategy and policy as they relate to the region. By law and custom, the all-volunteer Armed Forces of the United States play no role in internal security or politics, and only an indirect one in economics, so our discussion of those areas is very limited. Although we offer our own estimates of the capabilities and limitations of US forces and include outside criticism of those forces where appropriate, we have tried to provide primarily a factual source of information, with only the minimum of critical analysis.
Following a brief history of the US military presence in the Asia-Pacific region, we offer an overview of US national interests, strategy and policy as they relate to the region. We then outline the national command and control chain leading to the US armed forces in the region, and the base infrastructure that supports those forces. After a brief survey of US nuclear forces in the regional context, we devote a chapter each to consideration of naval forces (US Navy and Marine Corps), air and space forces (US Air Force and Space Command) and ground forces (US Army and Special Operations Command) for the region. Because many US forces have global mobility, we include relevant information about US forces outside the region. We then offer our view of the future of the US armed forces in the Asia-Pacific region. We conclude with a chapter which briefly summarizes our findings and can thus be read as a kind of 'executive summary'.
We are indebted to the Armed Forces of Asia series editors, Professor Desmond Ball and Air Marshal Ray Funnell (Ret'd), for their trust in selecting us to write this book and their positive assistance and encouragement throughout. We are also