Rebalancing U.S. Forces: Basing and Forward Presence in the Asia-Pacific

Overview


As the U.S. military presence in the Middle East winds down, the Asia-Pacific is receiving increased attention from the American national security community. The Obama administration has announced a "rebalancing" of the U.S. military posture in the region in reaction primarily to the startling improvement in Chinese air and naval capabilities over the last decade or so. Rebalancing U.S. Forces sets out to assess the implications of this shift for the long-established U.S. military presence in the Asia-Pacific. ...
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Rebalancing the Force: Basing and Forward Presence in the Asia-Pacific

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Overview


As the U.S. military presence in the Middle East winds down, the Asia-Pacific is receiving increased attention from the American national security community. The Obama administration has announced a "rebalancing" of the U.S. military posture in the region in reaction primarily to the startling improvement in Chinese air and naval capabilities over the last decade or so. Rebalancing U.S. Forces sets out to assess the implications of this shift for the long-established U.S. military presence in the Asia-Pacific. This presence is anchored in a complex basing infrastructure that is too often taken for granted. In remedying this state of affairs, this volume offers a detailed survey and analysis of the infrastructure, its history, the political complications it has frequently given rise to, and its recent and likely future evolution.

American sea power requires a robust constellation of bases to support global power projection. Given the rise of China and the emergence of the Asia-Pacific as the center of global economic growth and strategic contention, nowhere is American basing access more important than in this region. Yet manifold political and military challenges, including rapidly improving Chinese long-range precision-strike capabilities, complicate the future of American access and security in the region. This book addresses what will be needed to maintain the fundamentals of U.S. sea power and force projection in the Asia-Pacific, and where the key trend lines are headed in that regard.

Rebalancing U.S. Forces demonstrates that U.S. Asia-Pacific basing and access is increasingly vital, yet increasingly vulnerable. This important strategic component demands far more attention than the limited coverage it has received to date, and it cannot be taken for granted. More must be done to preserve capabilities and access upon which American and allied security and prosperity depend.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Maritime power depends on many things, Mahan taught, not least of which is an array of well-positioned, amply supplied, and strongly defended bases. The United States can no longer take for granted its ability to operate unhindered in the Asia-Pacific, which makes this volume of thoughtful essays all the more timely and important. If the shift in American power and interest to Asia is to mean anything, decision makers will have to heed the arguments advanced here."

--Eliot A Cohen, Robert E. Osgood Professor of Strategic Studies, Johns Hopkins University's SAIS, and author of Supreme Command

"Rebalancing U.S. Forces provides a detailed introduction to the complex, often contentious questions surrounding the deployment of U.S. forces in Asia and the Pacific. As the United States pursues an increasingly differentiated basing strategy across the region, a deeper understanding of the history of this issue is much needed, and this volume helps point the way."

--Jonathan D. Pollack, senior fellow, China and East Asian Strategy, The Brookings Institution

"In Rebalancing U.S. Forces, Carnes Lord and Andrew Erikson have drawn together the powerful writing of the very best thinkers concerning the Pacific, U.S. forces in the region, and the atmospheric debates about the levels, location, and employment of military force in this most nautical part of the globe. This is a book that must be on the shelf of any twenty-first-century geopolitical analyst."

--Adm. James Stavridis, USN (Ret.), dean, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, Supreme Allied Commander at NATO, 2009‒2013, and co-author of Command at Sea, 6th Edition

"World order in the twenty-first century will depend more and more upon the terms of the political and strategic relations between the United States and the People's Republic of China. In this very timely book, Lord and Erickson and their authors examine expertly the likelihood of achievement of an effective U.S. pivot to Asia. This is, and needs to be, largely a maritime shift in U.S. posture. A seismic correction in U.S. geostrategy is happening."

--Colin S. Gray, professor of strategic studies, University of Reading, UK, and author of The Strategy Bridge and Strategy and Defence Planning

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781612514659
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press
  • Publication date: 5/15/2014
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 1,190,862
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author


Carnes Lord, currently Professor of Strategic Leadership at the Naval War College and director of the Naval War College Press, is a political scientist with broad interests in international and strategic studies, national security organization and management, and political philosophy. He has taught at the University of Virginia and the Fletcher School, and served in a variety of senior positions in the U.S. government. (For further details, see http://www.usnwc.edu/Academics/Faculty/Carnes-Lord.aspx).

Andrew S. Erickson is an Associate Professor at the Naval War College and an Associate in Research at Harvard's Fairbank Center. In spring 2013, he deployed as a Regional Security Education Program scholar aboard the USS Nimitz Carrier Strike Group. Erickson runs the research websites www.andrewerickson.com and www.chinasignpost.com.

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