U.S. Secretary of Defense questions Britain’s pivot to Asia

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US Defense Secretary said Tuesday that Britain could be more useful as an ally if it weren’t focused on Asia, and U.S. concerns that European allies’ expansion into the Indo-Pacific could weaken domestic defense. Was emphasized.

“We are interested in the world and we want to make sure we work together to address all those interests,” Lloyd Austin said in Singapore on Tuesday.

“”[Military] Insufficient resources. .. .. We aim not only to help each other in the Indo-Pacific, but also to help each other in other parts of the world in order to balance our efforts in different parts of the world. “He says. Added. “NS [could] Focus a little more here, and […] The UK may be more useful in other parts of the world. “

Austin’s remarks will hurt the British government. Sent a new aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, to this area. The ship and its escorts passed through the Straits of Malacca into the South China Sea on Tuesday, and water was contested between China and its neighbors.

The carrier’s first operational deployment choice was designed as follows:Raise the flag of Global BritainBritish Defense Minister Ben Wallace said prior to his departure earlier this year.Last week, the Royal Navy said it deployment Two warships to the Indo-Pacific region permanently.

US Marine Corps F-35B Jet on deck of Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth this month © Roy Assa / AFP / Getty Images

Austin was the first US official to openly address the question of whether the Asia-Pacific deployment was the most efficient use of British military assets. Washington welcomes Britain’s entry into the region, but US private officials said Britain wants to work more closely with its European allies.

After years of reductions, British troops were stretched.The Royal Navy was unable to provide enough warships Escort the carrier, There are not enough jets in the UK yet, so we have more US F-35B military aircraft than in the UK. The Royal Navy initially dispatched four warships and one submarine, but had to rely on the US Navy and the Royal Netherlands Navy, which strengthened their carrier strike groups with warships, respectively.

One of the British warships, HMS Diamond, was forced to detour to an Italian shipyard for repairs after encountering an engine problem. The ship was just one of two operational Type 45 destroyers designed to protect the aircraft carrier from air raids. The other four all undergo different types of maintenance.

“the government, UK impact on the Indo-Pacific regionAdam Hug, director of the Foreign Policy Center, a London-based think tank, said. He said Britain had a strong commercial and political interest there, but the government “can add value to the work already done by allies such as the United States and Australia based in the region. We need to express the place we feel more clearly. “

The Biden administration has been working hard to strengthen cooperation with its European allies to counter China’s growing influence. While some security experts believe that the European navy navigating the South China Sea will send a strong signal to China about western unification, it is worth deploying rare European military assets far from home. There is also a debate about.

France is proceeding with an important naval deployment in Asia, and Germany is also dispatching frigate to this region.

Washington has a wider reservation European Navy Diplomacy In the Indo-Pacific. France is in the process of deploying a large navy to Asia, and Germany is also sending frigate to the region.

Eric Sayers, an Asian security expert at the American Enterprise Institute, said that US allies in Europe need to offer more in terms of countering China, but Washington has more navies in Asia. It was too fast to publicly welcome their desire to want.

“It may seem counterintuitive that democracy hesitates to help each other, but the best contribution European countries can make to a global alliance strategy to deter the great powers is finite for Russia. To prioritize our resources, “said an adviser to the United States Indo-Pacific Army.

“Our American partners are concerned that such developments will thin us, and they want us to focus near homes such as the Mediterranean and Africa.” A European diplomat said.

Austin will be visiting the Philippines and Vietnam later this week on his second visit to the region.

The UK Ministry of Defense did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Additional Report by Stephania Palma of Singapore

U.S. Secretary of Defense questions Britain’s pivot to Asia

Source link U.S. Secretary of Defense questions Britain’s pivot to Asia

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