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Us Military Reaches Further Into Asia


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The United States is forging ahead with plans to expand its military power in Asia, with the Philippines and other allies welcoming troops and the Pentagon devoting funds to design cutting-edge weapons.

Despite pressure to curb spending, President Barack Obama has made clear that he will put a top priority on maintaining the US military's dominant role in East Asia at a time when China is rapidly building its own armed forces.

After two days of talks, senior officials from the United States and the Philippines pledged Friday to enhance security cooperation. The former US colony is locked in increasingly acrimonious disputes with Beijing in the South China Sea.

In Manila, Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said the Philippines was looking to doing more joint exercises with the United States as well as having a greater number of US troops rotate through the Southeast Asian country.

The offer comes two months after Obama, on a visit to Australia, announced that the United States would post up to 2,500 Marines in the northern city of Darwin by 2016-17.

The United States also plans to forward-deploy littoral combat ships in Singapore, a longtime US partner with a strategic position.

Such moves are in line with the strategy of US military planners, who want forces to be more agile and closer to potential trouble zones without the costs -- both financial and political -- of permanent bases.



Keeping an eye on China?

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