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World Pentagon to Analyze Positioning of Troops in Middle East, Asia-Pacific: Official

02:35  30 november  2021
02:35  30 november  2021 Source:   newsweek.com

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A Pentagon study prompted by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in March concluded recently, with the Pentagon announcing Monday no major changes are needed in the positioning of U.S. military forces around the globe, according to The Associated Press.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin pauses while speaking during a media briefing at the Pentagon, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021, in Washington. The Pentagon announced Monday the results of a study initiated by Austin in March that reviewed U.S. troop deployments around the globe. © Alex Brandon/Associated Press Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin pauses while speaking during a media briefing at the Pentagon, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021, in Washington. The Pentagon announced Monday the results of a study initiated by Austin in March that reviewed U.S. troop deployments around the globe.

However, officials said Monday they would continue to analyze forces needed in the Middle East, along with adjusting forces in Asia and across the Pacific.

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The study comes after the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan in August, as the Biden administration faces complex concerns about China's influence in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as Russia's actions in Europe, especially concerning Ukraine.

The study is the first of multiple planned assessments of the administration's defense priorities and the policies surrounding them. The planned studies include a review of the current nuclear forces and a review of the policies that go along with their potential use, set to be finished early in 2022.

The Pentagon is reportedly also working on revisions to the National Defense Strategy, the framework for the administration's defense policies including the role of nuclear weapons, modernizing the nation's armed forces, cyber threats and international alliances.

Some fear China could win from US spat with Marshall Islands

  Some fear China could win from US spat with Marshall Islands WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — For decades, the tiny Marshall Islands has been a stalwart American ally. Its location in the middle of the Pacific Ocean has made it a key strategic outpost for the U.S. military. But that loyalty is being tested amid a dispute with Washington over the terms of its “Compact of Free Association” agreement, which expires soon. The U.S. is refusing to engage the Marshallese on claims for environmental and health damage caused by dozens of nuclear tests it carried out in the 1940s and '50s, including a huge thermonuclear blast on Bikini Atoll.

In September, the U.S. announced a partnership with Britain and Australia to improve coordination of their defense, security and diplomatic efforts in the Asia-Pacific region, along with Australia acquiring nuclear-powered submarines from the U.S. and Britain, a move seen by many as one made with China specifically in mind.

An official who spoke anonymously to reporters including the AP before the report's release said multiple other adjustments to placement of forces in the Asia-Pacific region are being worked on, but require further conversations and approval with foreign governments.

For more reporting from The Associated Press, see below.

Iran presents a further challenge, including in Iraq and Syria, which makes it difficult to allocate more U.S. forces to other parts of the world.

With China in mind, the Pentagon plans to make infrastructure improvements in some parts of the Pacific, including in Guam. The U.S. is also set to increase rotational force deployments to Australia.

U.S., Iraqi officials to announce U.S. military shift to advisory role in Iraq by year’s end

  U.S., Iraqi officials to announce U.S. military shift to advisory role in Iraq by year’s end The shift would mark the official end of the U.S. combat mission in Iraq, but won’t include a troop drawdown.Officials plan to announce this shift on Monday after Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi meets with President Joe Biden at the White House, according to one of the people familiar with the discussions.

The Austin study, known as the Global Posture Review, has set the stage for adjustments to U.S. force positioning in the coming two to three years, according to a senior defense official who briefed reporters on the outcome.

In April, Austin announced plans to expand the U.S. military presence in Germany by 500 troops and a halt to planning for large-scale troops cuts that had been ordered by the Trump administration. At the time of Austin's announcement, U.S. and European officials were expressing concern about a buildup of Russian forces near Ukraine's border. That crisis abated, but in recent weeks it has returned amid worry that Moscow might be planning a military incursion into Ukraine.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin (R) and Ukrainian Minister of Defense Alexei Reznikov listen to the playing of national anthems during an arrival ceremony at the Pentagon November 18, 2021 in Arlington, Virginia. Ukraine and Russia's influence on the nation was part of the study of global troop placements concluded by the Pentagon recently. Win McNamee/Getty Images © Win McNamee/Getty Images U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin (R) and Ukrainian Minister of Defense Alexei Reznikov listen to the playing of national anthems during an arrival ceremony at the Pentagon November 18, 2021 in Arlington, Virginia. Ukraine and Russia's influence on the nation was part of the study of global troop placements concluded by the Pentagon recently. Win McNamee/Getty Images

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