- Feb 16, 2012
- Reaction score
- Political Leaning
- Libertarian - Left
U.S. Deploying Jets Around Asia to Keep China Surrounded | Killer AppsThe United States Air Force will dramatically expand its military presence across the Pacific this year, sending jets to Thailand, India, Singapore, and Australia, according to the service's top general in the region.
For a major chunk of America's military community, the so-called "pivot to Asia" might seem like nothing more than an empty catchphrase, especially with the Middle East once again in flames. But for the Air Force at least, the shift is very real. And the idea behind its pivot is simple: ring China with U.S. and allied forces, just like the West did to the Soviet Union, back in the Cold War.
U.S. military officials constantly say they aren't trying to contain China; they're working with the Chinese and other Pacific nations to "maintain stability" in the region. Still, a ring of bases looks an awful lot like something we've seen before.
This is just the start of the Air Force's plan to expand its presence in Asia, according to Carlisle. In addition to the Australian deployments, the Air Force will be sending jets to Changi East air base in Singapore, Korat air base in Thailand, a site in India, and possibly bases at Kubi Point and Puerto Princesa in the Philippines and airfields in Indonesia and Malaysia.
The Air Force is taking a page from its Cold War playbook designed to keep the Soviets from invading Europe and will constantly deploy units based in the United States and the northern Pacific to a string of airfields in Southeast Asia.
"Back in the late great days of the Cold War, we had a thing called Checkered Flag: We rotated almost every CONUS [Continental United States] unit to Europe," said Carlisle, "Every two years, every unit would go and work out of a collateral operating base in Europe. We're turning to that in the Pacific."
U.S. officials keep saying that these deployments to the Pacific will be just for a short while. But these rotating troops will still need support staff waiting for them at all of these sites -- which means America's expansion in the Pacific be anything but temporary.
China is a serious threat and should be treated as such. Though I understand why military men and politicians won't show all their cards, it'd be nice for those Americans who remain skeptical because an official of some sorts hasn't specifically said, "We're gearing up for War with China."