The Pentagon announced that it will likely increase the amount of Marine Corps Expeditionary Units in East Asia.
The Marine expeditionary units will act as a quick reaction force (QRF) responding to crises and bolster permanent regional military units in the event of increasingly likely hostile military engagements with North Korea, China, or Russia.
Critics say increasing the number of Marines in East Asia will only exacerbate already heightened tensions with North Korea and is nothing more than saber rattling that has the potential to push Kim Jong Un over the edge if he perceives the buildup as preparation for an imminent attack.
“The Department of Defense continually evaluates how we employ our forces throughout the globe but it would be inappropriate to discuss any ongoing planning,” Pentagon spokesman Marine Lt. Col. Christopher Logan told CNBC.
Those in favor of the new deployments say that the increased numbers will assure our allies of our continued support in the face of increasing Chinese aggression in the region. The MEUs would conduct patrols and participate in interoperability training exercises with allied militaries in the region.
“I believe the [National Defense Strategy] and other guidance requires us to adopt a more global posture and this will shape our future naval presence, especially in the Indo-Pacific region,” Gen. Robert Neller, the Commandant of the Marine Corps told the Journal.