October 09, 2015

The US Is Reshuffling All Its Game Pieces on the Asia-Pacific Chessboard

Featuring Dr. Mira Rapp-Hooper

Source: VICE News

Journalist Shannon Hayden

The Pentagon's announcement identifying the US Marine Corps units that would relocate from Okinawa to Guam was the next step in a multi-year plan to redistribute US forces in the Asia-Pacific. Most US troops in the Asia-Pacific  are currently based in Japan and South Korea, and is a holdover from World War II and the Korean War. But it's been half a century since those arrangements were put in place, and US defense policymakers have been keen to look at different configurations geared toward present and future, not historical, threats.

The presence of US forces on Okinawa has always been a sensitive political issue for Japan. Located 1,000 miles south of Tokyo, Okinawa is a Japanese prefecture and hosts roughly 26,000 of the total 47,000 US troops stationed in the country. Tensions between Tokyo and Okinawa have been a major factor in US force redistribution. 

 "The genesis of this plan [to move Marines to Guam] came from Japanese domestic politics," said Mira Rapp-Hooper, a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security. 

Read the full article at VICE News.

  • Dr. Mira Rapp-Hooper

    Adjunct Senior Fellow, Asia-Pacific Security Program

    Dr. Mira Rapp-Hooper is an Adjunct Senior Fellow with the Asia-Pacific Security Program at CNAS. She is formerly a Fellow with the CSIS Asia Program and Director of the CSIS A...