U.S. Militarization of Asia

June 14, 2011

In a June 4 speech in Singapore, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates boasted about the Obama administration's plans to continue and expand its "robust military engagement" in Asia.

In his speech at the "10th IISS Asia Security Summit," Gates said that the Obama administration plans to continue its program of further building up and "modernizing" the U.S. military arsenal in the region. He stated that "modernization efforts that our defense leaders have deemed absolutely critical to the future, relating to air superiority and mobility, long-range strike, nuclear deterrence, maritime access, space and cyber, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance" will be the main focus of the Obama administration in the near future.

Gates also emphasized that the U.S. plans to expand its military presence in the region: "Although much of the press in both the U.S. and the region has been focused in recent years on our efforts to modernize our basing arrangements with traditional allies in Northeast Asia – and our commitment to those efforts is absolute – we have taken a number of steps towards establishing a defense posture across the Asia-Pacific that is more geographically distributed, operationally resilient and politically sustainable – a posture that maintains our presence in Northeast Asia while enhancing our presence in Southeast Asia and into the Indian Ocean."

In addition to strengthening its military alliance with South Korea and instigating the rearming of Japan, the Obama administration will continue to expand its capability of launching "amphibious and land operations" in part by conducting joint military exercises and building up its military alliance with Australia. The Obama administration is also working to integrate the military of Singapore into the command structure of the Pentagon under a "Strategic Framework Agreement." Gates said that these plans include the deployment of U.S. Littoral Combat Ships to Singapore.

Already, U.S. warships prowl the oceans of Asia and 100,000 U.S. troops are "forward deployed" in Japan, South Korea and elsewhere.

This ever-growing militarization of Asia stems from U.S. imperialism's strategy of preemptive war and absolute military superiority. This reliance on military force is at the core of U.S. capitalism's drive to expand its world empire and enforce its domination over the entire world.