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    US Military Buildup in Asia Pacific Poses Threat to Region's Stability

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    The US military "rebalance" in the Asia Pacific poses a significant threat to stability in the region, Dr. Binoy Kampmark underscored, referring to NATO's steady buildup in Australia.

    According to Binoy Kampmark, a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Washington views China as both a "threat and opportunity," depending on whether Beijing is acting in accordance with the US’ interests or not.

    "Enemies can be refashioned and rebranded overnight, even if they do tend to hold the credit strings. This is the backdrop of the remarks made last week by David Shear, the US Defense Department's Assistant Secretary for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs," the scholar stressed.

    Citing the US senior military official, Binoy Kampmark revealed that Washington is considering "placing additional air force assets in Australia as well, including B-1 bombers and surveillance aircraft," pointing out that the move is being planned in addition to the further deployment of US troops and marines in the Western Pacific.

    "We will have a very strong presence, very strong continued posture throughout the region to back our commitments to our allies, to protect and work with our partners and to continue ensuring peace and stability in the region, as well as back our diplomacy vis-à-vis China on the South China Sea," David Shear said as cited by the scholar.

    Although the Abbott cabinet has repeatedly stated that the US military presence in the region is contributing to the country's stability, this sentiment bears no relation to reality, the scholar noted.

    "The reality remains that any country silly enough to host powerful, strategic powers is bound to be inviting itself as a target, not of stability, but concerted instability," he underscored.

    Remarkably, the plans to beef up the US military presence in the Asia Pacific region had been already voiced in July 2014, by Chief of the US Air Force in the Pacific General Herbert Carlisle, who said that Washington would send "fighters, tankers, and at some point in the future maybe bombers, on a rotational basis" in Australia, the expert noted.

    While the United States is involved in the military buildup in the region, the goals of such preparations remain unclear.

    U.S. President Barack Obama and Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott
    © AP Photo/ G20 Australia, Andrew Taylor
    Binoy Kampmark cited the 2012 CSIS (Center for Strategic and International Studies) report that called into question the necessity of the Pentagon's defensive posture in the Asia Pacific region.

    "DoD needs to explain the purposes of force posture adjustments in the light of the new security challenges in the Asia Pacific region," the report stated.

    Those who sow the wind will reap the whirlwind, the scholar warned.

    "The latest, if seemingly inconsistent round of promised military deployments are ominous, but those in Beijing will have anticipated them.  A response is bound to come in due course," he concluded.

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    Tags:
    Pentagon, US Department of Defense (DoD), NATO, US Marines, military buildup, Tony Abbott, Asia-Pacific, South China Sea, Australia, China, Washington, United States
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