We know that the cost of freedom is high, but we are determined to preserve our freedom no matter what the cost.
US troops have been stationed in Asia since the second world war. For decades the world’s most dynamic economies – including South Korea and Japan – have grown rapidly under American protection and have become thriving democracies. But now, the American military presence, which has been so crucial to the region’s peace and stability, is in doubt.
Even today, the US acts as a guarantor of security to its allies. And as a deterrent to Kim Jong Un’s nuclear-armed North Korea and an increasingly powerful and assertive China under Xi Jinping.
Donald Trump, however, has shaken the American security umbrella in Asia to its core. The US president wants allies to pay more money for American military support and has even raised the possibility of pulling troops out if they don’t. He argues that for too long, too many countries have taken protection from the US for granted. This could mean the potential departure of 30,000 US troops from South Korea, more than 50,000 from Japan, and thousands more across Guam, Australia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.