Not Yet an Arms Race in Asia

Not Yet an Arms Race in Asia: This year, for the first time in modern history, Asian military spending is projected to exceed Europe’s military outlays, according to international security experts. While there is not yet an “arms race” in Asia, China’s well-documented military buildup has not gone unnoticed, they said during an American Enterprise Institute symposium on June 19. Larger countries, such as India, have moved to modernize, as have smaller nations, particularly those countries in Southeast Asia abutting the South China Sea, they said. While a great deal of emphasis has been placed on building ties with emerging allies in the region, such as India, the likelihood of steep US defense cuts means that the United States must rely more on its traditional allies as well as the emerging ones, said Chuck Jones, a former defense official now working for Lockheed Martin. In the backdrop of these developments is the US military’s AirSea Battle concept, which is meant to add “more vigor” to Air Force and Navy collaboration, particularly in the Asia Pacific, said Michael O’Hanlon, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. (AEI webpage of event with video)