Home » Aviation » Locklear: Asia-Pacific is Becoming ‘Most Militarized Region in the World’

Locklear: Asia-Pacific is Becoming ‘Most Militarized Region in the World’

U.S. Pacific Command commander Adm. Samuel Locklear. US Navy Photo

U.S. Pacific Command commander Adm. Samuel Locklear. US Navy Photo

American allies and potential adversaries in the Pacific are busily amassing formidable stockpiles of advanced military hardware, just as American commanders are doubling down on U.S. presence in the region.

Aside from China’s aggressive efforts to buildup its military arsenal, countries like Japan, Australia and Singapore are quickly following suit, Pacific Command chief Adm. Samuel Locklear said Thursday.

As a result, the seas and skies of the Asia-Pacific is rapidly evolving into “the most militarized region in the world,” the four-star admiral told reporters at the Pentagon.

The ongoing weapons buildup in the Pacific could, at some point, lead to several regional powers superseding the United States as the dominant military force in Asia, Locklear warned.

It is not only the quantity of weapons being stockpiled by China and others in the Pacific that is causing concern among Navy leaders, but also the types of advanced weapons systems being sought by regional powers, Locklear said.

“They are buying weapons, 21st century weapons” that at some point in the future, could challenge American military dominance in the region, Locklear said.

Recent reports claim Chinese military officials have conducted a live fire test of a new hypersonic weapon, which is designed to hit any target around the world within an hour.

Currently, the only weapon in the world that can hit targets worldwide at that speed are intercontinential ballistic missiles.

Those reports come on the heels of a recent announcement by the China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) that it is pursuing designs on a force of four aircraft carriers.

Liaoning party chief Wang Min told a local legislative body on Saturday had begun a second carrier in the Dalian shipyard in and ultimately planned four carriers in comment reported in state media were subsequently taken down, according a report in the South China Morning Post.

Wang said the second carrier could be completed in six years.
The statements and their pull back are indicative of inconstancies in China’s expressed intentions for their future forces

In 2010 China said to begin a major carrier construction plan contained in a footnote as part of the hundreds of pages long 2010 Ocean Development Report

“In 2009, China put forward an idea and plan for building aircraft carriers. These indicate China has entered the historical era of building a maritime superpower,” read a translation of the report.

The inclusion of the carrier plan — buried in a public document — was viewed largely as an ineffectual attempt of transparency.

That said, the ongoing buildup in China and elsewhere “is not something to be afraid of, but something to be pragmatic about” as U.S. forces double down in the Pacific, he noted

For its part, American military leaders in Washington must remain dedicated “maintain the type of [military] edge” that can keep rising regional players in check, the PACOM chief said.

As part of maintaining that military edge, Navy leaders are pursuing continued deployments of the sea service’s advanced warship, the Littoral Combat Ship, to Singapore in the coming months.

The U.S. Navy’s first Littoral Combat Ship (LCS-1) conducted real-world operations in the South China Sea during the ship’s first deployment to Singapore in 2013.

Other nations in the region are plussing up their military stockpiles, particularly submarines.

  • Kortney Dunkle

    I think surface assets are toast. Carriers and other large combat ships are sitting ducks and land bases will be forfeit. Whoever fires first wins. I would go with a large investment in submarines and be done with it. We don’t want to invade
    China, nor necessarily contain it. Rather, we want to be be able to keep from
    being forced out and be able to respond with a sledge hammer if attacked.

    • Woblocc

      Soviets had the same idea and then realized the big gaps a sub only force created in power projection and defense. You need a whole-of-spectrum solution, which is why simply having subs won’t do it. Carriers are sitting ducks but they give you the ability to forward-deploy strategic assets that can take out China’s assets. It’s a very complicated subject.

      • Kortney Dunkle


      • theblues77

        Plus carriers never “travel” alone. There are always carriers, cruisers, and destroyers. Subs are definitely part of the game as well.

        I am more concerned about what is going to cause it to all go down.

    • Dunnyveg

      I can highly recommend an article titled “u sank my carrier!” by the War Nerd.

    • MadMoto

      The combination of, CIWS (Phalanx) and the new Raytheon SeaRAM have already been proven to defeat Russian Sunburn systems that China bought and reverse engineered.. We have no reason to believe their design is in anyway significant to the Russians.

      • Kortney Dunkle

        Offense or Defense in the air/sea
        Battle. ? I’ll take offense or nothing

        • MadMoto

          I agree, I was merely pointing out the Russian’s famed Sunburn has already been made obsoleted. With respect to offensive capabilities the Navy will roll out the Rail gun in a few years… Tell Comrade Putin it’s his move…

    • Elilla Shadowheart

      I keep hearing it, but I expect that in our lifetime we’ll see the resurgence of battleships. Especially since they’re the optimal platform for slapping railguns on(plenty of room for a nuclear reactor to power it among other things), for FFE on long range targets.

      • Kortney Dunkle

        I would be a nervous wreck on a carrier or battle ship. Just no match for supersonics and captivating torpedos

        • Elilla Shadowheart

          So would I. But war, and weapons are a never ending arms race. Someone comes up with a new way to blow something up with *insert device* and someone comes up with *insert device* to counter it. It may be 5 years, or 25 years down the road but someone will figure it out.

          • Kortney Dunkle

            You are pretty smart for a girl !

      • Kortney Dunkle

        Informative but I’d still be nervous

      • Eugene Pariah

        “FFE” = Fire For Effect, right?

      • citizenrich

        That’s not my understanding. “Rail guns” and other energy weapons will be fired from carriers. It’s all classified but it’s estimated that the new Ford Class boats will be able to produce 300 – 500% more power than needed from her reactors. This new carrier will be like a speedboat.
        Once again, classified, but I’ve read estimates that this new carrier can approach 45 to 50 knots which would explain why the superstructure and cladding has been made so much thicker. The extra rolled steel on these new boats makes them super rigid and able to handle tremendous stress caused by speed. Cool stuff.

    • citizenrich

      It’s not that simple. Force protection and reduced manpower were the top priorities for the new superclass Ford carriers. Nobody is going to sink one of these new carriers with a potshot or even 10 potshots. Most of the defense protocols have become completely autonomous.

      The only scenario where a Ford class carrier will be sunk is an all out, very serious war.

      In that case, we’d have more to worry about than an aircraft carrier. Basically, the only way to sink a carrier would involve a full blown conflict with another superpower.

  • Dunnyveg

    In 1976, there wasn’t one privately owned automobile in all of China. Now China is challenging the US in its role as global hegemon. We have liberal free trade policies to thank for this. Had the US refused to trade with China, they’d still be running each other around in rickshaws.

  • Obamunist_Party

    Just in case you thought the warmongers had taken a break.

  • Jimbo Jones

    American is to busy taking care of the sniveling kykes to be concerned.

  • Petevonwolfhausen

    Clearly we need to prepare for impending war with Singapore.

  • R.Myr

    It’s amazing to me that China is trying to butt heads with the entire East Asia region in some sick scramble to secure loyalty and resources. If I were the Chinese Government I’d worry more about long term economic growth and implementing a modern social welfare system and elderly care, given the sorry state of chinese demographics. What does it matter if you control advanced weaponry if you cannot even maintain peace, loyalty, and security in your own country? What a waste.

    • Kortney Dunkle

      Top Commies are always cash hoarding, self serving, thugs.

  • Jim Hise

    I do believe that Admiral sounds scared. When a people purchase most of their goods from a sworn enemy, all their wealth is transferred to the enemy. When the enemy gains enough power to stick it in the ear of that people, they will do so. Such as China. When a people demand the highest wage in the world, the largest pension fund in the world and the best health care in the world, however will not purchase the product they themselves make, you have problems. That is where we are today. Now that we have no protection from evil as we have thrown God out of the nation, we are in a world of hurts. The old saying goes good here, The crows have come home to roost. So Admiral either suck it up and deal with it or stand up and change it. Stand up and say NO to a godless commander un chef (intentional)

    • Kortney Dunkle

      You are dead on.

  • eyesjamesq

    Debt killed the Soviet Union and debt will kill America.

    • David Wilkinson

      We’re already belly up.

      • We are rapidly approaching the point where there is not enough capital in the world to underwrite the US debt. Or as Mark Steyn puts it, America is the ”brokiest brokey broke nation in the history of the world.”

    • citizenrich

      The only hope we have is that these idiot liberals and envirowacko’s might save us by accident. The longer we forestall producing our energy assets, the more valuable they become. Various reports conclude that there’s somewhere between 2 and 4 trillion barrels of oil underneath US states and territories. If we go down the middle, that’s (3) trillion. What’s the present and future value of those assets?

      That oil will eventually come out of the ground, one way or another. Do you agree with this statement?

      If so, the future value of that oil at say 250 bucks a barrel approaches 200 trillion dollars.

      So, maybe draining Opec’s reserves at cheap prices wasn’t such a bad idea.

      • citizenrich

        My understanding is that Bretton Woods sort of set the formula up for a post ww2 world. Recover all the easy oil from the Mideast first and leave most of our oil basically untouched until needed. It worked perfectly until 1974 and then again until 2008.

      • eyesjamesq

        The oil will come out of the ground and the chinese communists will be doing the drilling.

        • citizenrich

          I’d be a fool to say that’s not a possibility.

          How much do we owe the Chinese? I believe it’s 1.3 Trillion USD give or take a penny.

          So, do you really believe the United States would turn over 300 trillion dollars worth of oil (that’s the current value of our oil) because we owe them 1/300 of that amount?

          If you owed somebody a buck, would you just give them your car? Would you at least fight the person who tried to take your car because you owe them a dollar thirty? I bet you’d fight!

          No ?

          • eyesjamesq

            I believe America will discover just how accurate long range ICBM’s are as they explode over our cities.

          • citizenrich

            Has anyone ever questioned the accuracy of well made ballistic missiles? The Germans sent the first man made artifacts into space with the V2 rocket guided by gyroscopes and they were pretty accurate. And, that was 70 years ago. In fact, much of our rocket tech was learned from captured German scientists of the V2 program. Hitler hated the rocket program as he felt it consumed huge resources with little results.

            Did you know that it took almost 100 long tons of potatoes to produce enough boost fuel for (1) rocket?

          • eyesjamesq

            All that is very nice but it doesn’t change the false perception of peace and security most Americans believe in. There is no peace or security.

          • mo123

            Quick, run. The aliens are coming. You should build you a bunker and stay there. Don’t come out though, you never know what’s on the other side of the door.

          • eyesjamesq

            You go live in a bunker, I like sunshine.

          • CCouser

            It’s Obama at your door, looking for another “loon” supporter like you.

        • popeye2010

          Yup, while Americans will be forced to power their 40watt CFL bulbs with windmills and solar panels, the Chi-Coms will be living large.

    • mkelter2011

      I have to agree that debt will kill America. Our debt service to China funds the growth of the Chinese military.

      • eyesjamesq

        Being RA and coming from the Vietnam era military I was disgusted when we made communist China a trade partner, still am, we were so busy fighting the spread of communism everywhere except in our own country.

        • Mohammad Atta

          U.S foreign policy is based on two principals. Unicorns and rainbows, and making money for crony capitalist organizations and big banks.

          • eyesjamesq

            I’m thinking all countries operate on the same principle they just mask it in different terms to fit their politics.

          • Mohammad Atta

            No one but us would consider trying to bring democracy to 7th century barbarians. We are the only nation that deluded.

          • eyesjamesq

            The arabs believe they are democratic already.

          • Mohammad Atta

            I agree they are content to live under sharia law sadly for the rest of humanity since sharia law has such wonderful things in it like this gem.

            Islam’s House of
            Islam and House of War

            The world is divided into
            the House of Islam and the House of War, the
            Dar al-Islam and the Dar al-harb.
            The Dar al-Islam is all those lands
            in which a Muslim
            government rules and the Holy Law of Islam
            prevails. Non-Muslims may live there on Muslim
            sufferance. The outside world, which has not
            yet been subjugated, is called the “House
            of War,” and strictly speaking a perpetual
            state of jihad, of holy war, is imposed
            by the law. The law also provided that the
            jihad might be interrupted by truces
            as and when appropriate. In fact, the periods
            of peace and war were not vastly different
            from those which existed between the Christian
            states of Europe for most of European history.

            The law thus divides unbelievers theologically
            into those who have a book and profess what
            Islam recognizes as a divine religion and
            those who do not; politically into dhimmis,
            those who have accepted the supremacy of the
            Muslim state and the primacy of the Muslims,
            and harbis, the denizens of the Dar
            al-harb, the House of War, who remain
            outside the Islamic frontier, and with whom
            therefore there is in principle, a canonically
            obligatory perpetual state of war until the
            whole world is either converted or subjugated.

      • David Wilkinson

        Maybe nuking Beijing will help?

    • Ed

      But liberals all slept through history class so what can you do?

  • It amazes me that the American people cry out about the Chinese “manipulation” of their currency while they are making strides with their efforts through the BRICS nations while at the same time, a great many of these same Americans ignore the economic turmoil going on in the US. Given the rather tenuous position of the Chinese economy and their disparity between male and female youth, China may actually benefit in a great many ways with a live, shooting war. All they would have to do is keep their infrastructure in place and they could feasibly enjoy the same type of prosperity that the US enjoyed after WWII as the only industrial nation with a complete industrial complex up and running.

    Add in the presence of the Chinese in Central and South America, their easy access to America’s west coast, the influx of immigrants and illegals into the US, Russia’s strategic positioning throughout the Arctic region and the North Pole and their battalion sized armor repair facilities in Cuba where such large armored forces do not serve very well and the picture gets uglier. Add to that the hiring practices of American defense contractors throughout the last fifteen years or so that indicate they are building new underground bases in the US and reinforcing old bases and … this could be a bumpy beginning to the new century.

    • Kortney Dunkle

      They are prepared to lose up to 400 Million they said. We’d better
      awaken from our stupor.

  • Bernie Blasnalus

    What…the Obama peace dividend hasn’t materialized? He was given the NPP and had such good will among every nation on earth coming into office. I’m shocked our ‘drones among friends’ and ‘Benghazi security’ programs haven’t calmed things among neighboring nations. At lesat race/gender realtions in the US are better under Obama..

    • Eugene Pariah

      Sarcasm … it works for me, too.

  • Formerparatrooper

    We will wake up after we have been had. Obama is more worried about Gays and women in the military.

  • Obooger Eater

    Will someone please just get me sharks with fricking laser beams attached to their heads

    • theblues77

      I wouldn’t be surprised if they already had them!

    • Mohammad Atta

      They are coming thanks to Fukushima mutating the surrounding wildlife.

  • Nekromanteion

    The 100 yuan bill has an image of chairman Mao boldly printed across it. You know, the mass murderer responsible for the deaths of 30 million+ people. (The U.S. 100 dollar bill has Benjamin Franklin on it.) But The Chinese seem cool with it. They’ve also murdered millions of their own daughters after birth because its considered preferable to have boys. In addition to their totalitarian government, the Chinese people are dangerous group-think psychopaths who ought not be trusted. If you don’t believe me, ask a Tibetan or an Indian or a Filipino or anyone from any country surrounding China. If China isn’t checked economically and/or militarily, they will become more dangerous than the Soviet Union post WWII.

  • formerusaf

    Adm. Samuel Locklear’s boss will be ordering him to stop complaining and get with the program, unless he already has been informed he is officially retiring from the Navy.

  • dupkaman

    Within 10 years the feces will hit the fan and we’ll be lucky to survive.

  • The Serf

    This is how intelligent American political leadership is in the US.

    The US outsources most of its manufacturing to China making it one of the richest and most powerful countries in the world built on American consumption.

    China builds a 1st world military to match the strength of the United States with the consumer dollars of the American people.

    The US has to borrow from the Chinese to fund our military.

    Any person with any ounce of intelligence outside the modern era would see that this would be a recipe for disaster.

    But Americans are so brainwashed by the liberal media that they are too stupid to understand the evil and traitorous actions of our own political leadership.

  • Uli Kunkel

    Hard to believe a guy who last year said global warming was his biggest threat.

    • Pablo Diablo

      Brandt can’t watch, though, or he has to pay a hundred.

  • Buypass

    Let the Chinese tick off the Rising Sun boys too much.
    Bad Joss to them.

    • GypsyGene

      In the next “big” shooting war, many conventional weapons systems will prove to be obsolete. Spending on these systems will be restructured as well. Countries go to war over money or to control social unrest. With China, social unrest is a great fear, and fear always cost money.

      • citizenrich

        Huh? War is a competition for resources. It’s never anything more; it’s never anything less.

  • jaz

    Well, there goes the big secret. Now everyone knows that American foreign policy consists of Obama and Kerry flying around the world while they engage in a group circle jerk, a few selfies, and a victory lap. Send ’em both a Noble Prize.

  • J_Biggs

    This planet, and especially this country, needs another world war.


    its because asian countries are controlled by peace-hating dictators who live in constant fear of well-hung americans pounding their women silly

  • REP

    Many have been warning for almost 20 years, but who really listens until it is too late.
    Trade surplus $80B/yr = money to buy weapons to turn on you for causing the slave labor conditions by supply & demand. Exceptionally high rate of male children being born without females to balance the society = an undercurrent of rage which can explode at any time and with any made up trigger. C#### is the largest danger to world peace this world has ever seen.

  • MichaelGuy

    We are seeing the same yellow press journalism of William Randolph Hearst that was used to justify the expropriation of Spanish Colonies in 1898. We are seeing the plutocratic disciples of Theodor Herzl using the propaganda Bernays, Woodrow Wilson and the progressives to aid England and attack the Kaiser’s Germany, a nation that did us no harm. All this was done to enact the Balfor Agreement of 1917, so that Britain would steal Palestine from Turkey and create “Israel” Now the AIPAC sycophants are obediently trying to foist war or sanctions on Shia Iran and Alewite Syria, just like they did for Iraq and Libya( Maybe because they don’t have Zionist controlled national banks like the EU and US?) So, in conjunction with the Sunni oil sheiks who control and finance Al Qaaeda, the Israelis want us to enslave, eradicate or bring every rival to riyadh to a state of Chaos and European style Dark Ages? Israel wants us to forget that it was Saudi and qatar sponsored terrorist who have been killing Americans, africans and Indians since the USS Cole, Mogadishu and 9-11. Let us obey George washington’s Farewell Address and not get involved in entangling alliances, and quit financing these Middle East parasites. At 17 trillion in debt, we are broke! A pox on all their houses. Treat them dispasionately like Uraguay, Chad, Laos, let them solve their own problems Thank God for Assad and Putin who stand up to this.

  • StarTripper

    Gee, the US demonstrates it doesn’t have the will to defend allies so our allies start to build up their own militaries to face their traditonal adversaries. Those who don’t learn from history…yadda yadda yadda.

  • MichaelGuy

    The Chinese are led by wise patriots and will have an empire that rivals Kublai Kahn, thanks to free trade treaties and the profligate squandering and borrowing of Congress and the White House. Loans are made with terms, conditions and with pledges of assets and services as collateral. The patriotic Chinese leaders do not surrender the sovereignty of their nations to un-elected bureaucrats in the UN, GATT, WTO. The Chinese do not betray the propserity of their citizens by complying with deleterious free trade and environmental restriction that curtail their industry. The do not force their citizens to cosign loans to foreign plutoccrats, making serfs of their citizens that will give 20% of their income to the lenders forever.
    In short the Chinese will not betray their country , making it a fief and colony in some global unHoly Roman Empire ruled by elite caste of liberal bureaucratic lords and progressive plutocrats. You can be sure they will demand we surrender Taiwan and the islands of our Philippine and Japanese allies. Since they also import more oil than the US from Saudi Arabia and Qatr, you can be sure they will convince our perfidious Sunni alllies to devalue the dollar. Then they will eliminate the royal nobility of the Pesian gulf, and treat the Persia gulf as their own sphere of influence. They already ahve a submarine base in Pakistan ( another parasitic ally) to attack the 7th Fleet What alternative will Congress produce another detrimental free trade treaty, the Trans Pacific Partnership, that will further impoverish America and cause more industries to leave?

    • Mohammad Atta

      You are correct. They also don’t teach their children to hate their nation in their school system like we do. They also don’t have a suicidal immigration policy. Lenin was right when he said the capitalist would manufacture the very rope he would hang himself with. Ironically since we gave China all of our manufacturing technology so a few people could make billions, we will have to ask China to manufacture the rope to hang us with since we believe a service eCONomy is the way of the future, and manufacture very little these days.

  • Ctrot

    “As part of maintaining that military edge, Navy leaders are pursuing continued deployments of the sea service’s advanced warship, the Littoral Combat Ship….”

    If we’re depending on the LCS for an edge…. we’re screwed.

  • mkelter2011

    This far-east arms race has been going on for quite some time. Now that he recognizes this peril, maybe Admiral Locklear can stand down on his pronouncement that “Global Warming is the biggest threat to world security”.

  • Joni Olson

    it’s a shame the human race will probably destroy itself !!!

  • margielyle

    No worries…Obama only likes little drones.

  • Mohammad Atta

    I am curious how good we will be able to project power in the future when we are bankrupt and produce very little these days. If we ever go to war with a modern enemy like China how will we be able to keep up when many of the components to critical military hardware we don’t even make since they are outsourced. If and when we ever lose our reserve currency status we will be unable to project the kind of power we once could since modern military’s are very expensive. I believe it’s inevitable that we lose our reserve currency status, you really think this reckless spending is sustainable long term? Eventually the world will say enough, they already are in some places.

    • steve

      We will go the way of England both economically and militarily. Once great and all powerful to weak and irrelevant.

      • Mohammad Atta

        The worst part is we did it to ourselves. It all could have been prevented rather easily, but we let greed destroy us and short sightedness destroy us.

        of the great civilizations in the world passed through a series of
        stages from their birth to their decline to their death. Historians have
        listed these in ten stages.

        The first stage moves from bondage to spiritual faith.
        The second from spiritual faith to great courage.
        The third stage moves from great courage to liberty.
        The fourth stage moves from liberty to abundance.
        The fifth stage moves from abundance to selfishness.
        The sixth stage moves from selfishness to complacency.
        The seventh stage moves from complacency to apathy.
        The eighth stage moves from apathy to moral decay.
        The ninth stage moves from moral decay to dependence.
        And the tenth and last stage moves from dependence to bondage.

  • GM Off with their Heads

    Let the fight begin.

  • dimitri

    china wants to project power when the u s a’s devaluation of the dollar and the Chinese iuo are near worthless. that is when homeland security’s 1.6 billion bullets will be needed to control the populace back home. but what is also worrisome is when the gov starts to take americans savings account ala Cyprus to pay off debt

  • jimsmith55

    China has to spend all our money on something.

  • Nathan Bedford Forrest

    This clown’s another Obama liberal blow-hard bag of wind who’s never even seen combat. In April, 2013, he stated that “Global Warming was the biggest threat facing the US Military”. Somebody should just byatch slap him and shut him up. Girly Man!

    • Kortney Dunkle

      I would have retired him for that statement. It was just bizarre. I guess
      he was pandering to Obama. Can’t imagine he really believes that or
      allows his mind to be cluttered with such nonsense.

  • Will setag

    By the time we do end up in a new pacific war all our navy ships and planes will be running on Obama’s Bio Fuel.
    We could never eat enough French fries to support that war.