01/14/12: The Hill reports that in a move reflecting the Pentagon’s new cost-cutting strategy, the US Army is planning to withdraw two of its four brigades from Europe. The Army is replacing the two brigades with rotational units, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said in an interview with the Defense Department’s American Forces Press Service. The move is part of both a reduction in ground forces for the Army as well as a strategic shift toward the Asia-Pacific region.
01/12/12: Reuters reports that China's Ministry of Defense warned the US to be "careful in its words and actions" after announcing a defense rethink that stresses responding to China's rise by shoring up US alliances and bases across Asia. The statement from the ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng was Beijing's fullest reaction so far to the new US strategy unveiled last week. It echoed the mix of wariness and outward restraint that has marked China's response to the Obama administration's "pivot" to Asia since late last year. The accusations leveled at China by the US in this document are totally baseless, said Geng.
12/07/11: The New York Times reports that top American and Chinese military officials began an annual review of major issues on Wednesday pledging to seek greater cooperation and trust in a relationship that, to many, more resembles a burgeoning rivalry. The Defense Consultative Talks, now in their twelfth year, opened on the heels of President Obama’s pledge last month to bolster the United States’ military presence in the Pacific, a move seen by many here as aimed at containing China’s rise.
11/30/11: The Miami Herald reports that China's Defense Ministry said Wednesday that America's strengthened military pact with Australia is a figment of "Cold War thinking" that will destabilize the Asia-Pacific region. Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng's comments at a monthly news conference came short of the scathing attacks on the agreement from China's nationalist press and outspoken academics. However, they appeared to reflect a harder tone from the armed forces, whose expanding budget and reach have rattled many of China's neighbors and prompted them to seek strengthened alliances with the region's dominant military power, America.
11/18/11: The Financial Times reports that the numbers of American marines to be based in Darwin may be modest but the strategic significance is not. The beefed-up security pact with Australia is a hugely important episode in the growing geopolitical contest between China and the US over the future of Asia. For the last three decades Australia has served as a sort of early-warning system for the rise of China. To understand the impact China is having on the world, Australia has been a good place to start.
11/17/11: The Boston Globe reports that the United States will provide a second warship to the ill-equipped Philippine military as it confronts China in increasingly tense territorial disputes in the South China Sea, a Philippine official said Thursday. US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton assured Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin during talks in Manila on Wednesday that Washington would give its longtime ally a second Coast Guard cutter virtually for free sometime next year.
11/17/11: The Telegraph reports that the US president said America was "all in" for the coming Asian century and the region was crucial to his country's economic recovery. He also made clear "As we end today's wars, I have directed my national security team to make our presence and missions in the Asia-Pacific a top priority," he said. "Reductions in US defence spending will not – I repeat, will not – come at the expense of the Asia-Pacific."
11/16/11: Reuters reports that President Barack Obama and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Wednesday unveiled plans to deepen the US military presence in the Asia-Pacific, with 2,500 US marines operating out of a de facto base in northern Australia. China, already worried the United States is caging it in, immediately questioned whether strengthening military alliances would help the region when economic woes put a premium on cooperation.
10/27/11: The Washington Times reports that Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta traveled to Asia this week, and his message to allies and adversaries - mainly China and North Korea - was clear: The United States is shifting its focus to the region and bolstering forces and alliances there. “We are a Pacific nation. We will not only remain a Pacific power, but we will strengthen our presence in this area,” he told sailors aboard the USS Blue Ridge, command ship of the Navy's storied 7th Fleet.
Thread: Shift of US Military Focus to Asia-Pacific Region