Looking to Europe for Pacific Deterrence

The US military should look to its policy in Europe to help assure allies in the Pacific, and create a new funding and deterrence initiative to push back against North Korean aggression, the head of the Senate Armed Services Committee said Tuesday. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Tuesday there’s “strong merit” for an Asia-Pacific stability initiative, much like the Pentagon’s European Deterrence Initiative that is aimed at reassuring allies in Europe and building up infrastructure. “This initiative would enhance Pacific Command’s credible combat power through targeted funding to realign US military force posture in the region, improve operationally relevant infrastructure, fund additional exercises, pre-position equipment and munitions, and build capacity with our allies and partners,” McCain said during a Tuesday hearing. Despite a US effort to rebalance or “pivot” to the Pacific, the US has not been able to “adapt to the scale and velocity of China’s challenge to the rules-based order” and that has harmed American credibility, McCain said.