The U.S. Defense Department has completed its review of the country’s military presence abroad and provided an overview of its contents. The priority region for the Global Posture Review was the Indo-Pacific, and U.S. readiness was enhanced with an eye on China and North Korea, which are building up their militaries. Joining hands with the United States, Japan should also hurry to develop its diplomatic and defense strategy with its sights on ensuring regional stability.
U.S. President Joe Biden instructed his Secretary of Defense to conduct a Global Posture Review. China has intensified its intimidating actions around the South China Sea and Taiwan and is rapidly developing hypersonic weapons. Although the U.S. still dominates in overall military strength, it is said that the military balance is gradually tilting in China’s favor in the western Pacific.
To halt this trend, the review aims to reposition U.S. forces in the Middle East and other areas. Most of the review has been classified top secret, but the overview states that the U.S. will increase fighter jet rotations in Australia and station an attack helicopter squadron in South Korea. No major changes will reportedly be made to the USFJ at this time.
Given the improved missile capabilities of China and North Korea, concentrating deployments at a small number of military bases is very risky for the U.S. It will move forward with enhancing airfields and storage facilities in Australia and Guam and dispersing military hubs.
Strengthening deterrence is also an issue for Japan, and it can be said that the Global Posture Review is in line with that. It is difficult for the United States to ensure regional stability singlehandedly. The U.S. is stressing cooperation with allies and cooperating countries, and Japan must quickly work out its response.
By the end of next year, the Kishida administration will revise Japan’s National Security Strategy, which is the basic policy for diplomacy and defense. Japan’s weak defense of the Nansei Islands, its response to missile attacks, and preparations in the new domains of cyberspace and outer space should be discussed in more depth.
To ensure efficient defense, close coordination with the U.S. is essential, including the division of roles. Japan also has close ties with China, however, and relations with that Asian neighbor are directly linked to Japan’s national interests.
The aim is to ease tensions and ensure regional stability. A balanced vision will be required to both achieve peaceful coexistence through dialogue and maintain deterrence.