Thursday, November 17, 2011

"Obama has pledged to expand America's military in the Asia Pacific as a 'top priority'"

Some people, when Obama visits the Pacific, see pink unicorns and happy kids.

The UK Telegraph sees something else:
Barack Obama has pledged to expand America's military in the Asia Pacific as a "top priority" as he declared the US intends to shift its focus from the Middle East.

"As we end today's wars, I have directed my national security team to make our presence and missions in the Asia-Pacific a top priority," he said.

"Reductions in US defence spending will not – I repeat, will not – come at the expense of the Asia-Pacific.

In a 25-minute address to the Australian parliament described by the White House as an "anchor speech" for his 9-day visit across the region, Mr Obama said the US "is a Pacific power – and we are here to stay."

"Our enduring interests in the region demand our enduring presence in this region," he said. 
 Maybe he's merely out there putting up some sort of smoke screen for the probable plans for a war against Iran.  Or maybe he's looking for bigger campaign donations from Raytheon, General Electric and other war merchants of death.

We'll see.



Aussie Blue Sky said...

All of the Australians I've spoken to about this don't like it a bit, calling it "imperialist" or "colonialist" - words that haven't been used in decades! It was just sprung on us yesterday without warning; I watched the press conference and could hardly believe the words coming out of Obama's and Gillard's mouths. The American spying presence that has been here for decades is suspect enough; Australia doesn't need the Marines and the Air Force as well. I don't believe this provocation will end well for Australia. I expect they think they can 'manage' the fallout.

I thought it was kind of odd that the US suddenly wanted to acknowledge the 60th anniversary of the ANZUS treaty, when they ignored the 50th....

Not happy with Obama all round when I see the blood flowing in the Occupy streets and the peoples' President turning his back. Leaders are there to LEAD. A prominent and respected person on Twitter unfollowed me for saying the same thing yesterday....

I'm getting old and cranky like you, Phil :)

Anonymous said...

(I guess it depends where you li8ve in Oz - this announcement has been in the Qld news for more than a week now - and no one I've spoken to is upset or alarmed at all. The US already has a military presence here complete with utilization of an existing
Australian base in the Northern Territory and yearly scheduled 'games' between the two military forces.

Is it not possible that the Obama administration is simply going about putting things back the way the were prior to 9/11? Does everything the Obama administration does need to have a negative motive assigned?

Philip Munger said...

"Does everything the Obama administration does need to have a negative motive assigned?"

--- of course not, ozmud. But he certainly is not a progressive president compared to many predecessors. RNM, for instance.

ABS raised some good points, though. You're certainly closer to China than I am in Alaska, but do you think you need 2,500 US Marines based there? I think it is time for the USA to pull back from a system that is in too many places already. From

"There are 761 US Military Bases across the planet. 156 Countries with US bases. 46 Countries with no US presence. 63 countries with US Military Bases and Troops. 7 Countries with 13 New Military Bases since 09/11/2001. In 2001 the US had 255,065 Troops Posted Abroad."

Aussie Blue Sky said...

Ozmud, it wouldn't surprise me at all if Queensland were the first to feel the 'Chinese burn', during the very next round of pricing negotiations around the next phase of the 20year coal contract. With Qld still producing less coal because of the floods, and no global shortage of coal, and ..... what was the third thing?... uh ..... sorry, I don't know..... oops...

Anonymous said...

rofl @ Aussie blue sky - do you think any of us will ever again be qable to list three things without being tempted to say uh sorry oops? hahaha...

@ Phil - well if I might offer a bit of perspective to your numbers - 2500 is the number of sailors on a 1960's era aircraft carrier. One ship. So no, in that respect, I don't see the issue. Maybe it's just the 'old school' in me, or having grown up during the cold war between the USSR and pretty much every one else - but I don't see the 'fault' or lack of 'progressiveness' on the part of the Obama Administration just because we have a military presence in 100+ countries.

How many of those countries depend on our presence to keep the peace and/or prevent things like genocide?

I don't claim to have the answers, I just think we tend to criticize the office without being privy to all the information - and I don't believe we should necessarily have that information. At some point we need to trust the people we elect - and allow them some wiggle room for making mistakes - or nothing is ever going to get done.

But - I do enjoy a good discussion :)

Anonymous said...

I love ya. I also think you have a bee in your bonnet
regarding IM.
I'm voting for Obama 2012.

Anonymous said...


At least you stand up for what you believe!!!

No compromising, let's be practical, sellout, pussy blog here.

I don't agree with you, but I gotta respect ability to stay firm your principles.


notafaux said...

@Phil: "But he certainly is not a progressive president compared to many predecessors. RNM, for instance."

Who is "RNM"? A list of past US presidents yields no one with those initials. Perhaps you mean RMN (Richard Milhouse Nixon)? Not exactly a progressive predecessor, I'd say--unless you know something that's eluded everyone else all these years.

nswfm said...

Didn't Nixon do the following?

"The Environment

Nixon signed into law the Clean Air Act Extension of 1970, amending the Clean Air Act of 1963 to greater enforce environmental regulations.

Nixon then established the Environmental Protection Agency, streamlining several agencies into one, making it easier to regulate and enforce environmental laws."


"Civil Rights

A Quaker, Nixon felt racism and segregation in the U.S. was a moral outrage. In 1971, he signed the Equal Rights Amendment desegregating public schools.

He asked the Justice Department to bring sex discrimination suits under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and ordered the Labor Department to add sex discrimination provisions to the guidelines for its Office of Federal Contract Compliance."

He did do a lot of other sucky things, but I'm happy to breathe clean air and not be discriminated against legally because I'm female.