This article originally appeared in War on The Rocks.
The long-standing debate over whether the United States is prioritizing China and the Indo-Pacific region has reignited once more. The debate centers on U.S. posture — the forces, bases, and agreements that constitute America’s overseas military presence and make up the backbone of the U.S. Department of Defense’s deterrence strategies — in the Indo-Pacific.
Ultimately, it will take the United States and its allies and partners working together to deter China, the goal of integrated deterrence.
The U.S. Air Force decision in October 2022 to remove two squadrons of aging F-15C/D fighters at Kadena Air Force Base on the Japanese island of Okinawa and replace it with a temporary detachment to cover the Kadena fighter mission sparked a firestorm. The announcement was quickly followed by numerous criticisms leveled by members of the Congress as well as regional and defense experts, many of whom have called for augmented posture in the Indo-Pacific to deter Chinese aggression. Their arguments cite a misalignment between resources and strategic priorities. If China’s developing military power renders it the U.S. Department of Defense’s priority pacing challenge, then why is the Pentagon removing key air assets that could contribute to holding Beijing at bay rather than doubling down on strengthening regional posture?
Read the full article from War on The Rocks.
More from CNAS
No I in Team
The United States faces a strategic landscape unlike anything it has encountered in its recent history. It faces a rising great power in China, a diminished but still dangerou...
By Stacie Pettyjohn & Becca Wasser
Precision and Posture: Defense Spending Trends and the FY23 Budget Request
This report examines the fiscal year (FY) 2023 defense budget request and assesses whether it sufficiently resources what was known of the Biden administration’s national defe...
By Stacie Pettyjohn & Hannah Dennis
Spiking the Problem: Developing a Resilient Posture in the Indo-Pacific With Passive Defenses
This article originally appeared in War on the Rocks....
By Stacie Pettyjohn
The Unmet Promise of the Global Posture Review
The review missed an opportunity to realign U.S. military presence overseas with the strategic priorities laid out in the interim National Security Strategic Guidance....
By Becca Wasser