Bob Work, deputy defense secretary, said Tuesday the Pentagon will continue its military rebalance toward Asia regardless of the department’s current level of budget, DoD News reported Wednesday.
Cheryl Pellerin writes Work estimates that 60 percent of combined U.S. Navy and Air Force troops will be based in Asia Pacific by 2020.
He added the Marine Corps has been distributing four air-ground task forces across the region, according to Pellerin’s report.
“We are seeking a posture in Asia that is geographically dispersed, operationally resilient [and] politically sustainable, with an aim of maintaining peace and prosperity in one of the most important regions in the world,” Work told an audience at a Council on Foreign Relations-hosted event Tuesday in Washington.
He noted that the Pentagon aims to equip Pacific-based forces with defense platforms such as F-35 fighter aircraft, THAAD anti-ballistic missile system and TPY-2 transportable surveillance radars.
Projects are also underway to build U.S. military bases and facilities in South Korea, Japan and Guam, according to the report.
“We might not be able to go as fast as we would want because of budgetary pressures,” he told the event audience.
“We might not be able to have as many forces as we would otherwise like because we wouldn’t be able to afford them, bbut the Asia-Pacific rebalance continues apace.”