søndag 18. august 2019

Military bases to ballistic missiles, what’s the target of Trump’s Asia strategy?

«He’s going to be a great one,» cooed US President Donald Trump in his characteristic ebullient style as he witnessed the swearing-in last month of Mark Esper, his fourth defence secretary in three years.In Asia, defence policymakers and analysts who have watched unprecedented internal turmoil unfold in the Pentagon during Trump’s tenure say they, too, hope West Point graduate and former Army Secretary Esper will bring much needed continuity to the civilian leadership of the world’s most powerful military.

For decades, countries far from the United States –from Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean to one-time US enemy Vietnam and treaty ally the Philippines in Southeast Asia – have viewed American forward deployment in the region as a fait accompli, welcoming it as a vital hedge against Beijing’s assertions in the neighbourhood.