Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Not So Few These Days

A record number of Marines are exercising in Australia:

The United States will deploy a record number of Marines to train in Australia, the Australian defense minister said on Friday, as Washington seeks to counter what it describes as Chinese aggression in the region.

Payne said 1,587 U.S. Marines will spend six months training in Australia’s remote north, an increase of nearly 27 percent on its 2017 rotation for the program known as the Force Posture Initiatives.

We will continue to set records until a full Marine Expeditionary Unit is rotated through there, which began with a small contingent of 200 in 2012 as part of the "pivot" to the Pacific.

The article headline says it is a "symbolic" challenge to China. That is incorrect.

Because when the potential battlefield includes small islands in the South China Sea, even a few will do.