Imperial Hegemony in Asia: ‘Visible and Present’
The U.S. and Japan have come to an agreement on the relocation of about 9,000 U.S. Marines that will leave their bases in Okinawa, with about 5,000 transferred to Guam and the rest spread among other locations in the region like Hawaii, Australia, etc. This is just one part in the Obama administration’s broader imperial plan to boost American military and naval presence in Asia-Pacific to counter China’s regional influence. I wrote about this agreement earlier in the week, so read on to find out about how the citizens of both Japan and Guam have resisted the Defense Department’s meddling on their land.
I wanted to point out some key quotations from defense officials on this so-called strategic ‘pivot’ to Asia the Obama administration laid out months ago. It’s interesting, they’re very frank about what is happening. Other measures that Washington takes to expand the global military empire come with exhaustive propaganda about why it must be done. In Latin America, the war on drugs is the pretext to support undemocratic regimes and maintain a military presence throughout the region. In the Middle East, its usually about “terrorism” or a single dangerous regime that presents an existential threat.
But there are no such lies when it comes to expansion in Asia-Pacific. Nobody is screaming about any threats, or rogue nations, or criminal networks or terrorism. They’re just admitting the sole purpose is to expand the military presence without the justification of any military threat.
Well, as you know, one of the goals of the administration in Asia is to create a — to build a presence in the Asia-Pacific that’s more geographically distributed. And I think this agreement is part and parcel of that. When you look at it in combination with our plans to build a rotational presence in Australia, what you have are sort of an ongoing ability for U.S. forces to be visible and present in multiple places across the region at any given time. And we think that that presents advantages in building relations with partner countries; helping to respond to, for example, humanitarian emergencies; and as needed, respond to contingencies.
This new posture that we’ve created results in a more operationally effective presence across the region through Marine Air-Ground Task Forces, which we call MAGTFs — in multiple locations. So in multiple locations, we’ll have combinations of command, ground, air and logistics capable of deploying and operating together in a — in a self-contained way. So that’s what the presence on Guam will be like, it’s what the presence on Okinawa will be like, as well as other locations in the region.
No “Hitler-reincarnated” is needed, I guess, for expanding the empire in Asia. The crafters of U.S. foreign policy are openly admitting that this “presence” is reason enough in itself. It’s kind of like what BBC reporter Jonathan Beale described onboard the USS Abraham Lincoln in the Gulf’s Strait of Hormuz last February: “This carrier and these [fighter] jets are more than just a show of force, they’re here to send a clear message to Iran as to who really controls these waters.”
A similar show is being played out off the coast of the Philippines. Armed Chinese and Filipino naval vessels have been standing off for about two weeks after a dispute about territorial claims in contested waters. This standoff happened just days before the U.S. and the Philippines engaged in new military exercises included in a new agreement facilitating greater U.S. military and naval access to the Philippines. The U.S. has a security agreement with the Philippines promising we’ll defend it against any threats. Not only is Washington playing World Policeman, but they’re making sure China never has the ability to declare its very own Monroe Doctrine.
We want to deter potential adversaries (China) from daring to grow their economies or build up their militaries. Those are strictly American prerogatives. And defense officials don’t mind admitting it.