Source Pravda.Ru

US to ease its global military presence

President Bush's plan to withdraw up to 70,000 troops from overseas bases contained few specifics, particularly about Asia. Some experts think the United States may leave much of its Asia force intact. Although Pentagon officials have said the troop realignment plan includes pulling about 30,000 soldiers from Germany, they have said nothing about Asia. President Bush's plan to withdraw up to 70,000 troops from overseas bases contained few specifics, particularly about Asia. Some experts think the United States may leave much of its Asia force intact. Although Pentagon officials have said the troop realignment plan includes pulling about 30,000 soldiers from Germany, they have said nothing about Asia.

The United States has about 90,000 troops in foreign countries in the Asia-Pacific region, almost all of them in Japan and South Korea. A few thousand are in Australia and a few hundred in Singapore, while there are about 15,000 troops on Guam and Hawaii, informs the Voice of America.

The BBC reports that Japan and Australia said the move would improve global security and South Korea said it was not surprised but there were concerns voiced in Germany.

Two heavy army divisions will be withdrawn from Germany, which is host to the biggest US overseas contingent outside Iraq. Some of the troops will be moved to posts in Eastern Europe while others will be based in the US, available for deployments overseas.

Japan and South Korea will also see large reductions in the numbers of American troops on their territory.

The New York Times believes that the he troop redeployment plan announced yesterday by President Bush makes little long-term strategic sense. It is certain to strain crucial alliances, increase overall costs and dangerously weaken deterrence on the Korean peninsula at the worst possible moment. Meanwhile, it will do nothing to address the military's most pressing current need: relieving the chronic strain on ground forces that has resulted from failing to anticipate the long, and largely unilateral, American occupation of Iraq.