Washington pulled out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) and is promptly attempting to station missiles in the Pacific, urging regional as well as old WWII allies to allow placement there, but so far it appears they aren’t having it.
“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,” LA Times writes.
Denny Tamaki, the governor of Okinawa, spelled out to the Times, “I firmly oppose the idea” — and we suspect pretty much the entirety of the local Japanese population on the island does too, considering American missiles would automatically make them a target.
Since Trump pulled the US out of the 33-year old arms treaty last year, the Pentagon has touted plans to place hundreds of non-nuclear warheads in Asia.
Despite Trump saying he really just wants to negotiate ‘a better deal’ — given the late Cold War era INF agreement only dealt with US and the successor states of the Soviet Union, also failing to account for new technologies possessed by other powerful rivals like China, Moscow has charged that the US really just wants to proliferate its missile ‘defenses’ unconstrained.
Some critics are saying that ditching the INF had nothing to do with alleged Russian ‘violations’ as was official the rationale cited by the administration, but instead, as Russia-based American geopolitical analyst Mark Sleboda explains, “the US didn’t unilaterally pull out of the INF because of any alleged ‘Russian violations’ – it did so to encircle China with a cordon of land-based ballistic missiles to close a “missile gap” for a naval conflict off China’s coast.”
And now, it appears this is playing out precisely: “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,” LA Times continues.
Meanwhile, US allies like Australia and the Philippines have already issued a stern “no” concerning the prospect of placing US missiles on their territory, while South Korea is also considered too provocative a location concerning tensions with Pyongyang.