By Felix Chang, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy Research Insti tute
Felix Chang's ongoing research concentrates on military, economic, and energy security issues in Asia, and he frequently writes for American Interest, National Interest, Orbis, and Parameters. Even so, the lead to this article is a bit disingenuous in that in states: "... America's strategic 'pivot' or 'rebalancing' toward the Asia-Pacific has taken on a renewed importance with the recent North Korean military threats against not only its neighbors in Northeast Asia, but also the United States. Over the last half decade, Washington has trumpeted its foreign policy shift toward the region; but it has become increasingly clear that the military resources it has devoted to the region have not kept pace with its political engagement."
The author then demonstrates at length that what the U.S. government is calling a new policy of "balancing" America's presence in the Asia-Pacific actually began well over a decade ago and includes no new bases, just the redistribution of a rather small number of navy, marine, air force, and army assets.
This is a very well written, interesting, and lucid article that first discusses the varied reasons for the drawdown of U.S. forces in South Korea and Japan. The author then addresses why some U.S. forces were redeployed to Guam and...