US Wants to Surround China With Missiles, but Its Asian Clients Don’t Want to Host Them

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2020-06-24 19:33:15

The governor of a Japanese territory where the Pentagon is thinking about basing missiles capable of threatening China has a message for the United States: Not on my island.

But Pentagon planners aren’t backing down after the Trump administration withdrew last year from a 33-year-old arms control treaty that barred U.S. land-based intermediate-range missiles in Asia.

Senior officials now say that putting hundreds of American missiles with non-nuclear warheads in Asia would quickly and cheaply shift the balance of power in the western Pacific back in the United States’ favor amid growing Pentagon concern that China’s expanding arsenal of missiles and other military capabilities threaten U.S. bases in the region and have emboldened Beijing to menace U.S. allies in Asia.

The missile plan is the centerpiece of a planned buildup of U.S. military power in Asia projected to consume tens of billions of dollars in the defense budget over the next decade, a major shift in Pentagon spending priorities away from the Middle East.

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