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Reader query: US base implications

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COMMENTS

21 November 2011 14:51

A query from a reader that I'm hopeful some of the many expert readers of this blog can help answer. Matt Zurstrassen writes:

The media reaction to the announcement by the US president on an increased security emphasis on the region seems somewhat misguided, being focused purely on China's possible response. I'd be interested if any of the defense experts who do write regularly for the blog are able to address the two questions below:

  1. What is the net effect for number of US troops based in the Pacific Rim region. My understanding is that agreements are in place for a significant draw down in troops from Okinawa in Japan, an increase in troops in Guam and now a small increase in Australia. I am not aware of any change in South Korea. Is it possible that the stationing of marines in Darwin is more a response to the pressure to move troops from Okinawa than any new policy focus by the US?
  2. The media has made a strong link between the presence of US troops in Australia and potential impact on the economic relationship with China. Given both South Korea and Japan have both a large US military presence and significant trade links with China are there any lessons that can be learnt from their experiences on the correlation between these two issues, if any. 

Not sure how you can help, but I think they would be useful questions to explore.

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