The US should maintain a military capability to deter acts of aggression in the Indo- Asia Pacific region, the House of Representatives has said, amid aggressive Chinese behaviour in the strategic region.
Approving the annual defence budget, it noted that the US has a national interest in maintaining the stability and security of the Indo-Asia Pacific region.
The National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA)-2018 said that the US “should maintain a military capability to deter acts of aggression and respond to regional threats.”
It also called for continuing efforts to realign forces, committing additional assets, and increasing investments in the region as necessary to maintain a robust US commitment to the region.
It directed the Defence Secretary to develop a strategic plan and submit it to the Congress by February 1 next year and assess US Pacific posture, deployment plans, and realignment and basing needs to accomplish defence priorities and respond to complex crises and contingencies.
To be submitted to the Congress before March 1 next year, the report should align with the Department of Defence strategy to prioritise US defence interests in the Indo-Asia Pacific region that would be required elsewhere in this subtitle, the budget said.
Calls for reassessing and realigning forces by the US come at a time when China has been increasingly aggressive in the disputed South China Sea region and flexing its military muscles overseas. It has this week sent military personnel to man its first overseas military base at Djibouti in the strategic Indian Ocean region.