While U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense William J. Lynn, III visited Guam today to speak with government leaders and residents about the upcoming troop realignment, he took time to partake in the University of Guam’s Presidential Lecture Series.
In his speech, Lynn told the audience of local and community leaders that the realignment of forces on Guam is key to maintaining an effective U.S. presence in the Asia-Pacific region as almost 8,500 Marines are scheduled to move to Guam from Okinawa.
“Reflecting its importance, five of the seven bilateral defense agreements the U.S. has are with nations in Asia,” he said. “Without question, the rise of Asia in economic and military terms is the most significant change in the strategic environment for the United States.”
Lynn explained the reconfiguring of U.S. military will take time. First, the infrastructure must be built up to support the incoming Marines and family members. The nation then must manage the construction effort and be able to ready Guam for a successful future upon conclusion of the build-up, he said.
“If done effectively,” Lynn said, “our work will help safeguard our fellow citizens, ensure the long-term health of Guam and bring continued stability to the entire Pacific region. And these are things we all have a stake in.”