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US plans for Guam missile base seen as countering strength of China

Julian Ryall
South China Morning Post [1]
December 11, 2013

The US is planning to station anti-ballistic-missile systems on the Pacific island of Guam, a move ostensibly to defend against unpredictable North Korea, but which analysts say may be intended to counter China.

Within Washington’s defence plans for next year are provisions for siting terminal high-altitude area defence (Thaad) systems on the island territory, combined with the broader realignment of US forces in the Asia-Pacific region.

Under those movements, United States troop numbers on the Japanese island of Okinawa are due to be cut, with troops from the Futenma air station relocated to an enlarged base in the northeast of the prefecture, while others will be reassigned to Guam, South Korea and Australia.

The report on the defence planning states that: “The committee recognises the strategic importance of providing ballistic missile defence for Guam and the current US asset based there.

Full story here. [1]