Graphic courtesy Sen. Dan Sullivan
A bipartisan group of Senators and Representatives is urging Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to budget $1.5 billion a year to reinforce US forces in the Pacific to better support Asian allies, stiffening their spines against Chinese intimidation. Known as the Asia-Pacific Stability Initiative and endorsed by the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal, it’s a proposal first put forward by Senate Armed Services chairman John McCain. You can read the different letters from the House and Senate below.
Both documents warn against the rising power of China. The Senators also cite the threat of North Korea and of Russian forces in the Pacific. For its part, the more detailed House letter explicitly likens the McCain plan to the European Reassurance Initiative, created after the Russian conquest of Crimea to reassure US allies in the region. The representatives add the initiative could fund expanded international exercises, investments in infrastructure and munitions, and increased presence of US forces.