Following months of analysis, the Pentagon released the results of the 2021 Global Posture Review (GPR) on Monday (US time) at a time when Washington has been striving to reinforce cooperation with friendly nations against an increasingly assertive China and a nuclear-ambitious North Korea.
“In the Indo-Pacific, the review directs additional cooperation with allies and partners to advance initiatives that contribute to regional stability and deter potential Chinese military aggression and threats from North Korea,” the Pentagon said in a press release.
The GPR assessed the US military’s defense posture across major regions outside the US, and developed near-term posture adjustments and analysis on longer-term strategic matters, according to the Pentagon.
Related to the Korean Peninsula, the department said that the GPR informed Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s approval of the permanent stationing of a previously rotational attack helicopter squadron and artillery division headquarters here.
It appeared to be referring to the permanent stationing of the two units that the Eighth US Army, stationed in South Korea, already announced in September. The two are the 5-17th Heavy Armed Reconnaissance Squadron (HARS) and the Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division Artillery (HBB, DIVARTY).
Though the department did not go into detail, the GPR appears to be focusing on military reinforcements on Guam and in Australia, a key US ally with which the US has recently been strengthening security cooperation through a nuclear-powered submarine deal that also involves Britain.
“These (defense) initiatives include seeking greater regional access for military partnership activities; enhancing infrastructure in Australia and the Pacific Islands; and planning rotational aircraft deployments in Australia, as announced in September,” the Pentagon said.
The Pentagon did not hint at any major realignment of American forces in South Korea and in the adjacent region, though speculation has lingered that the US could seek adjustments to the role of the US Forces Korea in order to help counter security challenges from China. (Yonhap)
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